SVN Specialty Awards: Humanitarian of the Year – Brent & Amy Miller

Recognizing the SVN Difference with Specialty Awards

SVN Humanitarian of the year 2015If you read my recent blog post about the SVN Annual Conference highlights, you know that the SVN Specialty Awards recognize members of the SVN community who have distinguished themselves in 2015 by making significant impacts on the commercial real estate industry and beyond. The awards – which included Team Player of the Year, Ambassador of the Year, Collaborator of the Year, Trainer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Prospector of the Year, Innovator of the Year, and Firm of the Year – looked beyond production results and instead focused on culture. The winners of this year’s SVN Specialty Awards each embody traits that the SVN culture values immensely: practicing collaboration, cooperation and conscious capitalism while excelling in commercial real estate.

SVN Humanitarian of the Year 2015 – Brent & Amy Miller

If there was ever an office that makes community building a priority in our Shared Value Network it’s SVN | Miller. Led by Brent and Amy Miller, the group’s hard work to better their Salisbury, MD community is why we are giving them this year’s SVN Humanitarian of the Year Award. The Millers take doing well by doing good to heart and it is something that is reflected through every member of their team. We could say more, but I think that their SVN Difference video says it all. The SVN | Miller team picked up another honor at the conference, as this video won the “Best Documentary” category of our first annual SVN video awards. Check out the video below.

Brent and Amy Miller - SVN Humanitarian of the YearBrent Miller, CCIM, CPM, serves as Managing Director and Senior Advisor for SVN | Miller Commercial Real Estate with offices in Salisbury, Annapolis, Bethesda, Maryland; and Rehoboth/Lewes, Seaford, and Wilmington, Delaware. Miller specializes in the sale, leasing, and management of retail, office, and industrial property. With more than 27 years of commercial real estate experience, Miller has closed more than 750 transactions, resulting in a career brokerage volume in excess of $250 million.

Amy Miller, CPM, serves as Managing Director for SVN | Miller Commercial Real Estate & Property Management, Inc. in Salisbury, Maryland, where she acts as director of property management and chief financial officer. Miller has over 20 years of commercial real estate management experience.

The SVN blog will be featuring one SVN Specialty Award winner every week for the next few weeks. Subscribe to the SVN blog on the right-hand column of the blog homepage to stay up to date with SVN and CRE industry news.

Office Spotlight: Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate in Salisbury, MD

This week, we turn the spotlight on Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate with offices in Salisbury, Annapolis and Bethesda, Maryland, and Lewes, Wilmington, and Seaford, Delaware.

Brent Miller, CCIM, CPM | Managing Director | SVN - Miller
Brent Miller, CCIM, CPM | Managing Director | SVN – Miller

What has been your strategy for growing your firm and also your market share?

Our focus has always been to provide the best service possible to our clients, and we have worked to do this by growing our firm into a full-service commercial real estate company and by bringing on Advisors with unique specialties.  Not only do we offer sales and leasing, but also property management and receivership/asset recovery.

In the past year we have taken our office to the next level by bringing on a Marketing Director to ensure consistent branding and to improve both our online and physical presence and also a Director of Business Development for Property Management.

We’ve expanded our market area to cover not only the Eastern Shore of Maryland but also Virginia, Delaware, Annapolis and Bethesda by recruiting Advisors to open satellite SVN-Miller offices. We have advisors in Annapolis and Bethesda that also do “boots on the ground” property management for us while we handle all of the back-office accounting and property management in our Salisbury office. We also offer the back-office property management service to other SVN offices that don’t have an established property management team but would like to provide full-service property management to their clients.

What are some of the unique activities you do to motivate your team? 

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SVN – Miller team participates in local Mud Run.

We do a number of team building activities each year, both for enjoyment and to give back to our community. These have included a Wicomico River cleanup, multiple Mud Runs, a Habitat for Humanity build, a Ropes Course challenge, off-shore fishing trips and more.

Each month I schedule one-on-one meetings with each of our Advisors to talk to them about their personal and business development. We also just held our Annual State of the Company Meeting this week, and we welcomed Solomon Poretsky, Vice President of Organizational Development for Sperry Van Ness International Corp., who gave a great all day training session to our Advisors and staff.

We encourage our Advisors and staff to engage in continuing education and professional development & affiliations (IREM, CPM, CCIM, SIOR), and we make a concerted effort to recognize their individual achievements.

What’s been the biggest challenge in running your business in the last few years?

The great recession was a huge challenge for us and it significantly impacted the livelihood of our Advisors. We also literally weathered the storm when we were hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and consequently had to move out of our office for a month to remediate the flood damage. While this was a big challenge for us, the silver lining was that it cemented our SVN-Miller culture of working together as a united front.

How many Advisors/Staff did you have when you joined SVN? How many (in total) do you have now? 

SVN – Miller Annual State of the Company meeting

We actually started as a commercial property management company which led to our move into commercial real estate. When we started SVN-Miller we had two Managing Directors, ten Advisors, one Property Manager and a Receptionist. Now, we have two Managing Directors, twenty-three Advisors throughout our main office and five satellite offices, eight Property Managers, one Virtual Assistant and six staff members, including our Marketing Director and support staff for brokerage.

Brent Miller, CCIM, CPM
Managing Director and Senior Advisor
Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate
Salisbury, MD

*All Sperry Van Ness® offices are independently owned and operated.

Sperry Van Ness® 2012 Firm of the Year Miller Commercial Real Estate

The office that best embodies the Sperry Van Ness® culture and thus is able to increase its market share receives the Sperry Van Ness Firm of the Year award.  This year, the award is given to Sperry Van Ness/Miller Commercial Real Estate.

SVN Miller, which has offices in Maryland and Delaware, has been a Sperry Van Ness franchisee since 2007. That was the year that the principals decided to bring together the top commercial producers in the area to form a specialized commercial real estate group. Since then, SVN Miller has commanded a high market share  by growing its main office by recruiting high-achieving sales agents who embody SVN core covenants and culture, and expanding their footprint in the Mid-Atlantic through the addition of four satellite offices. Kevin's Slide

The SVN Miller team started out in January 2007 with 15 staff members including two managing directors and eight advisors. Today, they have doubled the staff, to 31 total, all working among its five offices.

SVN Miller places a lot of emphasis on having a sociable atmosphere by involving the entire staff in various group activities throughout the year. SVN Miller holds an annual investor forum each year in which advisors and the marketing team get together. It has also hosted several broker forums where all commercial agents in the area are invited to collaborate on deals.

A great example of SVN Miller’s strong team spirit came through during Hurricane Sandy. As the ocean flowed down the streets of Salisbury, Maryland, the team saw first-hand the devastation of a national disaster.  Yet, within a month, thanks to the entire staff including spouses and children who help move out, renovate, move back in, decorate, work through IT issues and more – SVN Miller was back fully operational, barely missing a beat during the crisis.

But it goes beyond socializing and educational get-togethers. Miller believes in team-building though community service projects. Every year, the offices participate in several community projects such working with Habitat for Humanity, doing a river clean up through the local Chamber of Commerce or participating in a Warrior Dash.   Advisors and staff, who each have favorite charities and causes and want a chance to showcase them, provide the project ideas.

Perhaps most telling of Miller’s team culture is the set of “success bells” that hang in the back of the office. Each time an advisor has a new contract, settlement or other good news, the advisor rings the bells, which starts a chain of congratulations that creates their unique team camaraderie.


 *All Sperry Van Ness® offices are independently owned and operated.