This week, our Office Spotlight focuses on Sperry Van Ness | First Guardian Group based out of San Jose, CA
1. What has been your strategy for growing your firm and also your market share?
Our Silicon Valley location gives us exceptional access to many wealthy people who are interested in diversifying into real estate. We offer a full services approach that includes ongoing management of real estate investments through our in-house property management team. We have developed deep expertise in assisting our clients with obtaining attractive financing, completing 1031 exchanges, and assisting them in turning around troubled assets.
We have also developed skills in working with specialized ownership structures such as Tenant in Common (TIC) and Delaware Statutory Trusts (DST). This knowledge and experience provides us with significant differentiation that sets us apart from most commercial real estate companies. Finally, from day one, we have embraced the Sperry Van Ness philosophy of collaboration with other commercial real estate and management firms and split fees and commissions with other brokers in order to broaden our resources to better assist our clients. Through collaboration with other brokers, we are also able to expand our services nationwide and offer our clients “best of class” resources outside of local area. Our affiliation with SVN two years ago has proved to be a highly successful move to increase our branding resulting in two of our most successful years. Through SVN, we have also developed many new friends and business associates that have generously shared helpful ideas with us leading to greater business success.
2. What are some of the unique activities you do to motivate your team?
Nothing unusual. We treat all of our employees as insiders and fully share details of all deals in our weekly staff meetings. We also provide bonuses to employees for every closed transaction plus annual bonuses based on our annual net profit. We celebrate our successes with special lunches and have a refrigerator that includes chilled champagne that is shared on each closing.
3. What’s been the biggest challenge on how you run your business over the last few years?
Finding good talent. We are competing with some the best, highest paying companies in the world and finding and retaining good people is our biggest challenge. We have been very fortunate to recruit excellent people who have a passion for commercial real estate and have been successful in retaining them. However we have also experienced undesired turnover which causes us to be constantly thinking about ways to keep our current folks happy and also attract talented new people.
4. How many Advisors/Staff did you have when you joined SVN? How many (in total) do you have now?
We have generally maintained a core staff of about 8-10 people at our corporate offices. However we manage several hundred service providers across the US who work closely with us on various projects in addition to working with many third party sales and leasing agents across the US. Through frequent conference calls and use of screen sharing and video via WebEx, we are able to significantly expand our resources and develop a close-knit large team that greatly expands our capabilities.
Sperry Van Ness | First Guardian Group San Jose, CA
*All Sperry Van Ness® offices are independently owned and operated.