Sperry Van Ness International Corp. (SVNIC), a commercial real estate services franchisor serving self-storage and other industries, is partnering with Rock Advisors Inc. to open SVN Rock Advisors Inc., a Canadian-based real estate brokerage franchise. The company will be led by Rock Advisors CEO Derek Lobo and Jim Dimanis, chief operating officer of Rock Advisors, according to the source. Sales representative Adam Dearbourn will work with Nick Malagisi, national council chair of self-storage for Sperry Van Ness Commercial Realty, on self-storage property brokerage in Canada. The company also has plans to expand beyond its Burlington, Ontario-based location.

“The ambition and the plan is that we will have approximately 30 offices from coast to coast,” Dimanis said. “We are already talking to six interested individuals. One individual is part of a very large organization that recently went corporate.”

SPVNIC’s growth plan was an attraction to get on board, Lobo said. “They just sold the master franchise to Canada to me, they sold the master franchise to Mexico, and they are busy expanding in Europe; they have sold one in Russia and so on,” said Lobo, adding that the company provides a strong platform for firms such as Rock Advisors, which specializes in the multi-residential market.

“Today a brokerage is complicated; you need databases, packages, technology, but SVN has built a platform that you just plug in and play,” Lobo added.

The partnership will allow Rock Advisors to expand its real estate reach into new markets, including self-storage. “We are also going to make this franchise available to people who do office, who do land, who do industrial,” Lobo said.

SVN Rock Advisors plans to zero in on smaller commercial deals, the source reported. “It is really an untapped market, that mid-market. Whether you are in multi-family or in the other classes, that really is a sweet spot, that $2 [million] to $10 million area just seems to be an un-serviced area,” Dimanis said.

SVNIC markets all of its properties nationally to a 100,000-member brokerage and investment community, according to the source. It includes more than 180 locations in 200 markets, with all offices independently owned and operated.

Rock Advisors is an Ontario-based commercial real estate company with a focus on multi-residential properties.