Rand Sperry Launches New Real Estate Franchising Network 29 Years After Forming Sperry Van Ness

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He’s Baaack: SVN Co-Founder Introduces New Low-Cost Franchise Model to CRE. Los Angeles-based BRC Advisors Becomes First Affiliate

Real estate industry icon Rand Sperry has launched his latest venture, a new low-cost CRE franchise called Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates.
Real estate industry icon Rand Sperry has launched his latest venture, a new low-cost CRE franchise called Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates.

The call of real estate franchising is strong.

Seven years after cutting ties with the firm he co-founded with Mark Van Ness in 1987 now known as SVN, veteran Orange County executive Rand Sperry is back in the business of selling commercial real estate brokerage franchises.

Sperry this week announced the launch of Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates, LLC, and signed its first affiliate, BRC Advisors, Inc., a 100-broker shop with several offices throughout the Los Angeles region that closed $750 million in transactions last year. BRC Advisors founder and CEO James Huang has joined Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates as president.

But the goal, according to the co-founder of Sperry Van Ness, remains the same.

“We’re out there to help the little guy compete with the big guys,” Sperry tells CoStar. The biggest difference between Sperry’s new platform and other brokerage franchises comes down to one thing — cost.

The franchise fee to join the new Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates is a low $300 a month, plus a low-percentage royalty fee on commissions of more than $100,000.

“We’re bringing that opportunity to boutique or regional firms at a very, very low cost,” added Sperry. “When teams work with us, they will immediately gain the advantage of a brand name, innovative technology platforms and training.”

Sperry, who has been involved in Southern California and national commercial real estate for more than 40 years, has had no connection to his former namesake company for more than five years. However, as one of a handful of brokerage founders still active in national real estate, Sperry, 61, hopes to parlay his name and brand recognition into a franchising opportunity for smaller firms and individual brokers seeking national or regional visibility.

Sperry and Mark Van Ness left Marcus & Millichap to start Sperry Van Ness in 1987. The company was one of the first real estate services firms to champion “broker cooperation,” a business philosophy of working with competing agents to market, sell and lease properties. The prevailing model at the time was dual agency representation, in which the same broker or company would often represent both the landlord and tenant, or the buyer and seller, in order to keep the full commission or ‘bookend’ a real estate transaction.

Sperry Van Ness grew rapidly as a franchise operation in the early 2000s and the company went on to grow internationally.

After severing his relationship with the former Sperry Van Ness in 2010, Sperry began investing in commercial properties through his companies Sperry Commercial, Inc. and Sperry Equities, LLC. Sperry’s latest transaction, the pending purchase of a 580,000-square-foot Class A office building in Schaumberg, IL, increases his companies’ portfolio to 11 million square feet of owned or managed real estate.

But Sperry thought there was still room for a franchise model in commercial real estate with fees of just over 1%, versus the 8% or 9% typically collected on larger commissions. After about a year of negotiating and planning the compensation plan and franchise platform, he launched the new venture and signed BRC as its first affiliate.

Sperry is looking to sign new affiliates in Southern California, with near-term plans to add franchises in New York, Philadelphia and Seattle. His goal is to double the franchise’s current 150 brokers in 12 western U.S. offices within a year, and double that number annually for the next four to five years.

“We want to scale up the business nationwide,” said Rich Enderlin, chief operating officer and managing partner of BRC. “Rand has the experience and know-how to build a national franchise and we have the ambition, so we signed on to become the first affiliate.”

Enderlin said the franchise operates similarly to other real estate franchisers such as SVN, Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker Commercial and ReMax, while catering to smaller-sized firms.

“We designed the platform specifically to accommodate the smaller four- to five-person offices, whether they are remote locations or based in Des Moines or Little Rock or Orlando,” said Enderlin. “Firms that are established in their local market, yet they’d like to have a national presence. They get very strong name recognition as well as full franchise amenities, such as our automated back office system and discounts on business services. We share inventory with all our agents nationwide.”

In addition to its planned U.S. expansion, the company has designs on growing in other countries, including China and Vietnam and possibly South Korea,” added Enderlin. The company has already worked out a referral and commission agreement with NAI for business in South America.

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