Five for Friday: A lesson in real estate taken from West Point

Learn how a West Point education is still helping John Snyder, CPM, SIOR, with his business at Sperry Van Ness/Investec Realty Services today in this week’s Five for Friday blog.

John Snyder, CPM, SIOR, managing director at Sperry Van Ness | Investec Realty Services
John Snyder, CPM, SIOR, Managing Director at Sperry Van Ness | Investec Realty Services

1. What is your geographic market and product specialty?

Our firm has offices in both Memphis and Nashville, Tenn., serving those regions as well as areas of Mississippi.  We service a variety of clients from large institutional owners of office parks to local investors and regional banks.  On the tenant representation side, our clients range from Fortune 100 firms with needs of 275,000 square feet to small not-for-profit organizations.  Due to our SVN affiliation, we have been able to partner with other SVN professionals to add value to our clients’ portfolios.  We also offer property management and consulting services.


2. What’s your latest best practice tip that you can share?

As referrals and relationships are the focus of our business, we strive to develop personal relationships with our clients.  Being in a smaller market and providing a wide range of real estate services, establishing that personal relationship is paramount to our business.  We also try to qualify our clients early in the process, following Patrick Lencioni’s Getting Naked business fable. When we match with our clients, our successes expand and referrals grow.


3. What’s been the biggest changeover on how you run your business in the past decade?

With the explosion of real estate information that is readily available to clients, we are faced with a re-education and prioritizing of data that is germane to a successful transaction.   The experienced, knowledgeable, ethical real estate professional who continues to study,  improve skill sets, and collaborate will remain a sought after advisor from the owners and users of real estate.


4. What business book do you like to recommend to your colleagues?

Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich is a basic primer for personal development and goal setting and it has never failed me! John C. Maxwell offers a library of leadership and team development education.  His latest, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect provides invaluable techniques for business practice improvement. Lencioni also has several books that help with improvements in teamwork, consulting, leadership, and personal development, including Death By Meeting.


5. What’s a fun fact that not everyone knows about you? 

Here’s a few.  I learned to accurately determine distances for measuring real estate (office buildings and golf courses) while walking more than 50 hours of punishment tours prior to graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  As a U.S. Army Corps of Engineer officer, I was qualified to both jump out of perfectly good aircraft and deploy and detonate tactical nuclear devices.  For fun, I continue to officiate soccer matches at the collegiate, high school, and youth competitive levels.  With more than 2200 matches completed, I have run farther than Forrest Gump – and I appreciate all the unsolicited advice and expertise provided by the uninformed coaches, players, and spectators!


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