I’m often asked why we give away some of the (otherwise proprietary) Sperry Van Ness® systems, tools and resources. I’m further asked why SVN is investing in the development of new tools if only to hand some of them out to the brokerage community at large. “Aren’t we aiding our competitors?” “Are we losing pieces of our differentiated value proposition in doing so?” These are a few of the questions often posed to me.
April 18, 2013 No Comments
As President and CEO of Sperry Van Ness International Corporation, my role, aside from addressing the perennially evolving needs of the organization, is to spend a good percentage of my time on strategy and “second wave growth.” Creating a real estate services platform, scaling-up new offerings like property management and auction, but also on expanding upon the disruption that our compensated cooperation model has had on the industry is where I spent a considerable amount of my time. In this post I’ll share with you why we’ve funded and embraced such an “innovation lab” at SVN, and describe why it’s an important cause.
April 11, 2013 No Comments
Sperry Van Ness International Corporation is proud to announce that it is once again one of the most recognizable names in the commercial real estate industry, according to the annual Lipsey Survey. The 2013 Top 25 Brands survey ranks Sperry Van Ness® 11th overall – and 10th among CRE brokerages.
This is the 12th year the Lipsey Company has conducted its survey of CRE brands. This year, about 100,000 votes were cast worldwide. Mike Lipsey, founder of the Lipsey Company, attributes the enthusiasm for the survey as a sign of continued recovery for the industry.
March 13, 2013 No Comments
The following are excerpts from a note I sent to the SVN Advisor base this morning. I thought that others may find some of the content useful, and I am posting herein as a result. Enjoy.
SVN Advisors and Staff:
While having the courage to start something is an admirable quality, having the tenacity, the dogged determination, and the sheer will to finish well is a quality possessed by all true champions. Let’s cut to the chase – entering the race is easy, fast starts are a dime a dozen, but finishing victorious as a champion is what everyone strives for but few achieve. My question is this: where will you be at the finish line in 2012?
September 17, 2012 Comments Off
As we look forward to a new year, I am pleased to share my thoughts on the very memorable 12 months past, and to offer my outlook for the commercial real estate market in 2012. Before I do, I would be remiss if I did not thank the Sperry Van Ness clients, Advisors, staff, and fellow brokers for their contributions in driving us forward in spite of the unpredictable times. I know that I speak for all SVN Advisors and staff when I wish you a prosperous New Year.
A Year of Fits and Starts for Commercial Real Estate
January 9, 2012 3 Comments
My new iPhone 4s arrived finally arrived this past weekend. My oldest son and I opened the package with much anticipation and we immediately dropped what we were doing to configure the device. Among the many new features made part of the 4s is Siri – the speech recognition device which, as Apple advertises, “Understands what you say, knows what you mean, and takes dictation.” So, gone are the days when I have to manually type a query into Google to search for a nearby Sushi restaurant, find directions, or, get this – type to text or email. From now on, all I have to do is talk. So, over the weekend I dictated and had Siri read aloud roughly 100 text messages sent and received. I quickly grew so accustomed to iPhone dictation that I became annoyed when I had to manually type an email on my Mac later that evening. On one hand, I felt more efficient, on the other hand I questioned if I was simply becoming lazy…
November 3, 2011 No Comments
With less than 100 days remaining in 2011, I want to pose the following question: “What will YOU do differently in 2012?” You cannot simply repeat your 2011 performance in 2012 and expect the outcome to be any different. My message is a rather simple, yet important one – the market doesn’t matter, but YOUR actions do! Accepting the norm accomplishes little more than sentencing yourself to mediocrity, while radicalizing the norm creates opportunity even when markets don’t seem to be sympathetic to your cause.
October 6, 2011 No Comments
The impact and the power associated with mobilizing people for a purpose are rooted in fundamental economics – they are nothing new. From electing a government official, to spreading word of and organizing an “Aquarian exhibition” of 500,000 people at Woodstock in 1969, ideating among a critical mass of people, sharing and sourcing information while leveraging the power of numbers and virality have always been present in society. Aligned crowds, we call them “smart mobs” today, are driving virtually every major trend in the global economy.
What’s new, and ever evolving, is the technology which is enabling crowds to be catalyzed, assimilated, and leveraged like never before. If we examine only the past five years, we see how rapidly the speed and power of group collaboration has increased to create value to stakeholders in ways that were previously thought unimaginable. “Technology enabled collaboration,” as its been dubbed, is in full force and effect in almost every industry on the planet. From Restaurants to Travel, and from Yelp to Orbitz, people and businesses are organizing, collaborating, sharing and peering for the purposes of lowering costs, improving quality, saving time, and even curing disease.
September 6, 2011 7 Comments
How do you feel when you get something for free? Does the hair stand up on the back of your neck as if you’re being set-up for a bait-and-switch, or do you feel like you’ve received something of value at no cost for which you’re appreciative? If you’re anything like me, I’ve experienced both of the aforementioned scenarios. In my opinion there is definitely a right and a wrong approach to “Free.” In today’s post I’ll examine “Freemium” offers and how they might play a part in redefining the commercial real estate industry.
August 15, 2011 1 Comment
Recent events in the market, including the drawn out debate over the budget ceiling, Friday’s downgrade of the US credit rating and today’s downgrade of Freddie & Fannie by Standard & Poor’s, coincide with new data that show the broader economic recovery has slowed in recent months. Bet I’m not telling you anything that you didn’t already know.
These developments, alongside heightened volatility in stock markets, have obviously prompted concerns about the resilience of the commercial real estate recovery. In assessing what all of this means for the investment outlook, our clients are looking to us for leadership and a more balanced, long-term assessment of the future. Along those lines, and while I could certainly fill this post with a summary of the downside risks stemming from recent events which have recently imbued the blogosphere, the following is a different but pragmatic take on the road ahead – the market is currently sensitive to the downside risks, but it is also prone at this juncture to discount positive information. There is some good news, which stands apart from the cacophony of recently sounded panic alarms.
August 8, 2011 4 Comments