THRIVING IN A COMPETITIVE MARKET THROUGH THE SVN® PLATFORM: A FRANCHISING CASE STUDY

21 August 2015

FRANCHISE OWNERS

Scott Maesel, Al Stepan and Michael Thanasouras, Managing Directors of Sperry Van Ness® Chicago Commercial in Chicago, Illinois.

CHALLENGE

Maesel, Stepan and Thanasouras have an over 34-year combined history in the commercial real estate industry. Maesel is a highly regarded CRE veteran in the Chicago market with a background in commercial development and launching CRE divisions. Stepan also has a long background in commercial development with strong skills in recruitment and business development. Thanasouras has a career history as a top-producing Broker and a 14-year background in real estate finance and banking.

Maesel and Thanasouras decided to go out on their own and together opened a small boutique firm. They knew in order to compete for listings in the large and saturated Chicago market they needed to find a platform that provided strong brand visibility and had a great local reputation. In addition, they sought a platform that offered valuable and unique resources to ensure a competitive edge.

SOLUTION

In order to compete in the difficult Chicago market, Maesel and Thanasouras aligned their firm with Sperry Van Ness International Corporation (SVNIC) opening a franchise in 2008. In November of 2009, Al Stepan purchased 50% of the firm and joined as Managing Director in charge of all strategic growth plans.

Sperry Van Ness Chicago Commercial is one of the top SVN offices for consistently utilizing SVNIC’s available online tools, resources and trainings to strengthen their business. They have expanded each year since aligning with the SVN brand and seen much success through Stepan’s recruiting powers, to date hiring over 45 new Advisors servicing every CRE product type.

In 2012 the firm created a property and asset management division, which now has approximately 2 million square feet under assignment. In 2013, they added an auction division, SVN/AuctionWorks, and ended 2014 with approximately $2 million+ in property and asset management revenue and $6 million+ in brokerage revenue. In August of 2015, the firm joined forces with two Colorado-based franchises to increase its market presence in the mountain state. Consistently ranked among the top SVN offices both nationwide and in Chicago, they anticipate to grow by at least 20% in 2015.

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