Sperry Van Ness Spreads Its Wings

SVNIC is not shy about joining forces–with the right company.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Smells like team spirit. Sperry Van Ness International Corp. appears to be in the partnership-making mood lately and the commercial real estate brokerage franchisor’s most recent joint venture, with Howard Perry and Walston Commercial & Hotel Group, has sparked the launch of SVN Hotels, a national hotel brokerage franchise.

SVNIC and HPW have set some ambitious goals for SVN Hotels based on a careful assessment of the current environment in the hotel sector.

Sanjay Mundra, SVN Hotels
Sanjay Mundra, SVN Hotels

“Hotel brokerage in the United States is at an all-time high with the expectation of over $50 Billion in sales in 2015. We are launching the SVN Hotels brand now with a goal of gaining 5 to 7 percent market share within the next 5 years,” Sanjay Mundra, CEO of HPW, told Commercial Property Executive. Mundra will serve as the new CEO of the SVN Hotels initiative.

SVNIC is hardly entering new territory with the new endeavor; rather, the company is just expanding its commitment to the hospitality world. “With over 190 offices serving 500 markets the SVN brand already has representation in key hotel markets and with the hotel sector continuing its record pace of growth, the timing was perfect for us to move into the market in a significant way,” Kevin Maggiacomo, CEO & president of SVNIC, told CPE.

And SVNIC’s partner in the SVN Hotels endeavor is no slouch either. On the scene for more than 40 years, HPW is a leading force in real estate services in North Carolina’s Triangle area, having provided a host of clients with development, investment, financing, brokerage, management and consulting services for numerous hotel endeavors across the country. And the $2.3 billion the company generated in 2014 speaks volumes.

The partners’ SVN Hotels platform will be all-encompassing in terms of clients, serving owners and investors from small private owners to large institutions. Its offerings will be supported by SVNIC’s national presence and expertise coupled with HPW’s marketing and technology prowess. Together, the firms boast a vital skill: insight. For example, they have observed that, “about 30 to 40 percent of all hotels in the U.S. are owned by Asian Americans,” Mundra said. “This ownership group is only increasing, as the second and third generations are doing larger and more sophisticated deals. We hope to building upon the relationships we already have in this sector as well as others.”

Maggiacomo added: “At SVN we pride ourselves on our inclusive culture and our commitment to diversity. If there was ever an area of commercial real estate where diversity exists, it’s in the hotel sector. We believe that by having Sanjay Mundra as the CEO and face of our new SVN Hotel brand, we not only bring on an experienced leader in the industry, but we are opening doors to attract clients and advisors who share our culture and values.”

SVN Hotels will initially operate from roughly 10 offices around the country. But that’s just for starters. “Most large hotel owners including REIT and pension funds have a great geographical distribution; the SVN organization matches their needs,” said Mundra. “It allows us to represent clients in multiple transactions across multiple markets. The SVN Hotel brand is now another brokerage choice among very few existing companies.”  The plan for SVN Hotels is to expand its national presence, with an eye on gaining a foothold in Boston, Atlanta, New York, and San Francisco.

And then there’s the team. SVN Hotels is kicking off with 25 advisors aboard, but again, things are just getting started.  “We already have experienced hotel brokers in many of our existing franchises. Where we don’t, our managing directors of those franchises are in the process of recruiting top advisors,” Maggiacomo noted.

SVNIC is not shy about joining forces–with the right company, of course. The formation of the SVN Hotels platform comes just months after SVNIC collaborated with real estate development and property management firm DealPoint Merrill to create SVN DealPoint Merrill Realty Partners, an internal private equity firm.