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When advisors are permitted to cross over into different asset classes, they enjoy some distinct benefits

Commercial real estate firms vary widely. Some like to match up an advisor with one particular asset class. You work with a single kind of commercial real estate (CRE), whether it’s self-storage, retail or multifamily – and that’s it. There’s little crossover. The advantage with that arrangement is that advisors become highly knowledgeable about the asset class they work with, because that’s pretty much all they focus on.

But there are marked disadvantages as well. If the CRE category you’re dealing with goes cold, you don’t enjoy the flexibility to move into other areas. Say, you’re working solely with properties related to hospitality and tourism. If that industry suffers a downturn (as it has recently amid the pandemic lockdown), you’re not perfectly free to shift your energies over to mobile home parks or multi-family or something else. You’re stuck, at least for the time being. And if you do get the go-ahead to work with a different type of CRE, you have to start gaining expertise about it from scratch.

I’ve recently joined the SVN Commercial Advisory Group and I’m pleased with the philosophy here. One of the main things that attracted me to this firm was the potential for advisors to develop versatility as they manage transactions in many different CRE categories. They’re not plugged into only one.

Among other things, that means people are able to develop an across-the-board understanding of the CRE within the firm’s geographic region. When everybody knows a lot about many different asset classes, it facilitates teamwork.

It’s true that advisors settle into their own specialties. Some may deal mostly with multifamily, others with undeveloped land. But the potential for crossover is always there.

One great benefit of this arrangement is that it reduces the territorialism that prevents teamwork from flowering. There’s less concern over one’s “turf.” When people are partitioned off, an internally competitive mentality often develops. People can become secretive, making it much harder to function as teammates all moving in the same direction. And that detracts from everyone’s success, because when people work together and support each other, they all profit.

At the SVN Commercial Advisory Group, that teamwork also takes the form of mentoring. I moved from the Maryland/Virginia/Washington, D.C. area three years ago to start my real estate career in Florida. I’ve learned a lot about the industry since then, but it’s always nice to have a person with 10, 15 or 20 years of experience to tap for real estate knowledge. That’s one of the great things about this team — mentoring is valued and encouraged. No one here needs to feel like an island.

These are all reasons I’m glad to be part of the SVN Commercial Advisory Group, and I’m really looking forward to serving our clients.

Mary K. O’Malley, Associate Advisor
SVN | Commercial Advisory Group