Sperry Van Ness Promotes COO Kevin Maggiacomo to President

Irvine, Calif.–Sperry Van Ness International will kick off 2009 with a new president. The real estate brokerage firm’s board of directors has voted unanimously to promote COO Kevin Maggiacomo (pictured) to the new position.Maggiacomo will take on responsibility for the Irvine, Calif.-headquartered company’s day-to-day operation and execution of its vision, which CEO Mark Van Ness had been supervising.Maggiacomo tells MHN Online News Editor Anuradha Kher about why Sperry Van Ness is growth potential for multifamily in 2009. What are some compromises the company will have to make in light of the economic downturn?Last December, very early on in this economic cycle, we restructured the organization to provide for sustainability. We restructured the company to provide scalability, and as a result, and given our position as a franchisor to the commercial real estate broker, we have a healthy business model. We are exactly where we need to be. The company is built to be sustainable in varying economic cycles.What do you think 2009 will bring for the multifamily sector in terms of growth, ability of financing and availability of product?Multifamily is still considered one of the most stable commercial property types available to an investor.  Banks feel the same way and will usually offer the most aggressive interest rates and terms for this product type. The government’s operation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to provide a consistent flow of loan funds at aggressive interest rates for apartments in 2009 and beyond.  In terms of apartment cap rates, we expect to see cap rate expansion vs. the compression that we had observed in earlier years, especially in the B, C and D markets. Major metros will see expansion as well but on a more limited basis. We expect to see increased incentives from owners to tenants, and zero security deposit, two months’ free rent with a 12-month lease will be common. Here, owners are attempting to maintain occupancy levels, which would be a big win in 2009, which will be a challenging year.  Although new residential construction is extremely low at present, many foreclosed (former owners) are renting homes vs. renting apartments. This may hurt occupancy levels in some markets, further expanding the cap rates. How will the downturn impact the 2009 goals of the company?  What opportunities do you see for the company in this sector next year? In terms of our overall goals for the future, we see opportunity to gain market share in the short term, by mobilizing the company to work with distressed sellers, which will exist across all product types. We expect that the inventory of potentially troubled assets, plus assets in flat-out distress, to grow from the current $100 billion level as reported by Real Capital Analytics, to significantly higher levels in 2009 due to loan maturities, loss of tenants, and other losses stemming from the current economic cycle. We predict that the growth in the distressed asset category will continue to be led by the Retail and Office sectors, with apartments accounting for a smaller, 20 percent piece of the distressed asset pie. There are opportunities in this market for buyer, seller and broker/advisor if you know where to look. In many ways, this is Sperry Van Ness’ time. Selling property, by proactively marketing to the brokerage community, and sharing our fees 50/50, 100 percent of the time, is perhaps the only way to sell right now. This is nothing new. We have been practicing that for more than 20 years now. The goal is to take the newly formed Asset Recovery Team and our longstanding Auction Team, and mobilizing and positioning both to succeed in today’s market. These are two unique products, offering up significant points of differentiation in the marketplace. We will be a leader in the distressed asset sales business.