Largest Dayton-area real estate firm gets new digs

Published: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 1:06 PM

            Managing Partner Ron Sweeney stands outside Coldwell Banker Heritage’s new office on Yankee Street.
            Kaitlin Schroeder
Managing Partner Ron Sweeney stands outside Coldwell Banker Heritage’s new office on Yankee Street.(Kaitlin Schroeder)

The largest residential real estate brokerage in the region now has a new home for dozens of agents and its luxury brand.

Coldwell Banker Heritage, which is on pace to hit about $950 million in sales volume overall this year according to the company, opened a new modern office at 8534 Yankee St. that it’s renaming it Coldwell Banker at Yankee Centre.

The Yankee Street office should generate roughly $250 million in sales, and it will be home to its Global Luxury Office for sales, with agents out of the office responsible for many of the top luxury sales in the region.

Managing Partner Ron Sweeney said Coldwell out grew its other two offices near the Dayton Mall and in Centerville, and combined them to the new space that better meets its needs.

“With technology things changed. We needed a little more of a modern facility,” said Sweeney.

RELATED: Local home sales heat up

Sweeney said real estate agents are a mobile workforce who need somewhere with a flexible layout to move around in, and the new Yankee Street office has a mixture of different kinds of work stations like private and semi private offices, drop in offices and open areas. The new office, which can house up to 75 agents, also has all the agents on one floor instead of disconnected across three floors like the previous offices, which were also didn’t have elevator access and were not accessible for aging clients.

As the company grew and technology changed, the Coldwell was in need of a new building with a modern layout. It was difficult to have a mobile workforce when the walls weren’t built for wireless routers to send signals through. The old offices served their purpose well at the time, but Sweeney said it was time for new space.

“Now this building is going to serve our purpose for the next 20 or 30 years as well,” he said.

RELATED: $380 million Springboro development moves ahead

The new facility will also fit with Coldwell’s luxury home sales program. Sweeney said more than half of the top 25 highest priced home sales in the region were coming from his office.

“It has a nice look to match the luxury part of the brand,” he said.

Sweeney said Coldwell’s agent count is up to close to 380, compared to 2011 when the franchise had close to 260 agents. Along with the franchise’s new Yankee Street office, it has sales offices in Troy, Springboro, Springfield, Vandalia, Kettering, Huber Heights and Beavercreek and a home office also in Beavercreek with its corporate functions and training facility.

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The agency also recently brought on an experienced commercial broker, Ric Moody, to lead Coldwell’s commercial real estate side in the region.

Coldwell’s agent growth is part of a broader trend of brokerages adding to their agent count as the housing market recovers from the recession. The Dayton Area Board of Realtors, which represents Darke, Preble, Montgomery, Greene and Warren counties, said its agent count is up to 2,885 at the end of June, up from 2,200 at the bottom of the market crash around 2012.

“The market is much better than 2010 and ‘11, which naturally draws in newer people but we also recruit experienced agents might want to join,” said Sweeney.

Dayton co-op grocery store gets $220,000 donation

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 11:14 AM

            A rendering shows a possible design for Gem City Market prepared by Dayton architect Matt Sauer. CONTRIBUTED
A rendering shows a possible design for Gem City Market prepared by Dayton architect Matt Sauer. CONTRIBUTED

The effort to open a community-owned grocery store in northwest Dayton took a step forward this week with a $220,000 donation from CareSource.

The CareSource Foundation announced Monday the donation to Gem City Market, which goes toward the market organizers’ overall fundraising goal of $4.2 million.

Organizers have been fundraising for the cooperatively owned grocery store proposed along lower Salem Avenue, which would bring access to fresh and healthy food to northwest Dayton.

The goal is to complete the grocery store in 2019 in an area currently considered a food desert. A food desert is defined as an area where more than 40 percent of the population has an income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level and lives more than a mile from a full-service grocery store.

Lela Klein, executive director of the Greater Dayton Union Co-Op Initiative, which is organizing the grocery store effort, said it is valuable to have a well known group like CareSource sign on to the project.

“Certainly the capital is really important but at this point the partnership is pretty significant for us as well. It’s the ability of having a known entity say ‘We have vetted this project and we have looked at it closely and we think it will move the needle,’” Lela Klein, executive director and Co-Founder, Greater Dayton Union Co-Op Initiative.

RELATED: 5 things to know about the northwest Dayton grocery co-op

CareSource, a Medicaid managed care provider, which serves just shy of 2 million low income people, is also interested in ideas that address hunger and food insecurity, said Cathy Ponitz, vice president of the CareSource Foundation.

“We certainly partner with a number of foodbanks but we’re always looking for ‘What’s the innovation to help solve big, critical social issues?’” said Ponitz.

RELATED: Parties and handshakes to help get Gem City Market off the ground

Nozipo Glenn, a market member-owner and resident near where the market will be built, said it will benefit her and change her neighborhood to have a grocery store.

“Now that I’m older, disabled, and don’t drive anymore I have to catch two — and sometimes three — buses to get to a store where I can buy what I call ‘real food,’ which is fresh vegetables, fruit. It will make a great difference to me,” said Glenn.

She said by being community-owned market, the market will create neighborhood pride and could help attract additional development nearby.

“We are thrilled and honored by this extraordinary vote of confidence from the CareSource Foundation,” Amaha Sellassie, the Gem City Market’s Board President, said in a statement. “We share the organization’s broad vision of community health that includes food access and economic empowerment. Their long-term support for the Dayton community speaks for itself, and we are so grateful for their partnership.”

Michelle Riley, CEO of The Foodbank, said there’s 123,900 people including 36,600 children who report food insecurity in the Dayton region. That’s 18 percent of people in the Miami Valley.

Riley said its important for their clients who are the working poor to be able to shop for fresh food and vegetables in an accessible way.

“Those clients struggle with transportation. They struggle with being able to drive long distances to a grocery store. And they are using corner markets, where the prices are inflated and the food is not good, to supplement,” she said.

5 smart questions to ask at the end of your next interview

Published: Thursday, September 07, 2017 @ 9:53 AM
Updated: Thursday, September 07, 2017 @ 9:53 AM

Here are 5 smart questions to ask at the end of your next interview What type of employee tends to succeed here, and what qualities are most important for doing well and advancing at the firm? Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications? Who previously held this position? What are the company's highest priority goals this year, and how would my role contribute? If you were to hire me, what might I expect in a typical day?

When you're preparing for that all-important job interview, you probably spend a fair amount of time wondering what questions you might be asked and how you should respond. But it's just as important to consider the end of the interview when you're asked, "Do you have any questions?" 

You should always have a few questions prepared to ask – and they shouldn't be of the "How much time off would I get?" variety.

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Instead, take the opportunity to further demonstrate your qualifications while learning more about whether the company and position would be a good fit for you.

The following are five smart questions to ask at the end of your next interview:

What type of employee tends to succeed here, and what qualities are most important for doing well and advancing at the firm?

This question shows you're invested in your potential future with the company and gives you the opportunity to expand on any of your skills or work history that fits in well with your interviewer's answer. According to Business Insider, also helps you decide whether the company and position are right for you, since this is just as important as the interviewer deciding whether you're right for the company.

Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?

Although it may seem like a subject you want to avoid, this question lets the interviewer know that you're confident enough to discuss any vulnerabilities and that you're willing to be coached, which is an important quality for a prospective employee to have. U.S. News & World Report reports it also gives you the chance to address, without sounding defensive, any shortcomings your interviewer thinks you have.

Who previously held this position?

Forbes editors suggest this question will let you know if the person was fired, promoted or left for another reason. If he or she was promoted, you may be learning about a possible career trajectory and the potential for advancement. If not, listen for possible signs of employee discontent that may be revealed if an employee left the company entirely or made a lateral move. You also may be able to gauge whether the company has employees around your age. For example, did the person who previously held this position retire or quit to spend more time with their young kids?

What are the company's highest priority goals this year, and how would my role contribute?

The answer to this question will help you learn if your job has an important purpose that clearly fits into the company's goals, according to Inc. A job that matters and directly ties into a company's mission can make your work feel worthwhile while making it less likely that your position will be eliminated if there's a round of budget cuts.

If you were to hire me, what might I expect in a typical day?

Not only does this question show more interest in the position, but according to Business Insiderit also gives you very specific information about expectations and responsibilities. Finding out what a typical day might be like will help you decide whether it's a job that fits well with your skills and career goals or one that would leave you dreading the workday.

7 ways women can avoid being ‘manterrupted’ at work

Published: Thursday, September 07, 2017 @ 4:20 PM
Updated: Thursday, September 07, 2017 @ 4:20 PM

Women are interrupted 30% more than men in the workplace Being constantly interrupted by men, or "manterrupted," quiets women and makes them lose confidence To avoid spiraling into self-doubt, here are some tips to put a stop to interruptions Speak with conviction using words like 'know' instead of 'believe' Use shorter sentences so your breaths in between aren't as long, making it harder to interrupt Lean in and make eye contact Speak authoritatively and don't open remarks with any type of apology Be sur

While the ultimate example may be Kanye West's "I'm gonna let you finish" interruption of Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards, women get interrupted by men in much more ordinary circumstances.

How much more often are women interrupted than men in the workplace?

In fact, studies say they're interrupted constantly, especially in the workplace, where women get interrupted about 30 percent more than men. On social media, the term “manterrupted” has become popular.

RELATED: 5 smart questions to ask at the end of your next interview

As Jessica Bennet describes the phenomena on, "We speak up in a meeting, only to hear a man's voice chime in louder. We pitch an idea, perhaps too uncertainly, only to have a dude repeat it with authority. We may possess the skill, but he has the right vocal cords." The effects of this, for women, go far beyond annoyance, the Time article suggests; being interrupted constantly quiets women, makes them lose their confidence and sometimes credit for their work. 

"Our ideas get co-opted (bro-opted), re-appropriated (bro-propriated?), or they simply fizzle out," says Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg. "We become less creative, less engaged. We revert into ourselves, wondering if it's actually our fault. Enter spiral of self-doubt."

But women don't have to take interruptions in stride. Leslie Shore, the author of Listen to Succeed, offered these tips in Forbes that anyone can use to put a stop to interruptions, though they are particularly designed for women: 

  • Override the interruption right away. If you are interrupted for "any reason other than someone asking for clarification, say to the interrupter, 'There are a few more essential points I need to make. Can you delay a moment while I do that?' or 'I know I will appreciate your feedback, but can you hold off until I'm done?'"

  • Adopt speaking strategies that already work for men. "Use shorter sentences so your breaths in between aren't as long, making it harder to interrupt, and speak with conviction using words like 'know' instead of 'believe' and 'will' instead of 'might.'"

  • Lean in and make eye contact. Shore cites Carol Kennedy and Carl Camden's study "Interruptions and Nonverbal Gender Differences," which found men tend to interrupt women more often when they lean away or don't look at the person they're talking to.

  • Go by the buddy system. It may rankle and smacks of sexism, but Bennett says a tried-and-true way of preventing interruptions is for a woman to buddy up with a friend - preferably a dude - for business talks. "Ask him to nod and look interested when you speak (when he's interested, of course). Let him back you up publicly in meetings. Seriously, try it. It's not fair, no. But dammit, it works."

  • Practice assertive body language. Other suggestions from Bennett include sitting at the table, pointing to someone, standing up or walking to the front of the room while you speak. Not only do these "high power poses" make a speaker appear more authoritative, but they actually increase your testosterone levels – and thus, your confidence. In some cases, it may actually help to literally "lean in"; in one study, researchers found that men physically lean in more often than women in professional meetings, making them less likely to be interrupted. 

  • Claim your own voice. You'll undermine your own authority if you start pitches with sentences like, "I'm not sure if this is right, but." Instead, speak authoritatively and avoid the baby voice. Most importantly, don't open your remarks with any type of apology. 

Along with practicing not being interrupted yourself, it's good form to work on ways not to be the interruptor. After all, the 2014 George Washington University study did indicate that even women interrupted female conversation partners more often than they did men. And either gender can promote a free-flowing exchange of ideas that rewards speakers of both genders. recommends these tactics:

  • Think twice before you break into the conversation. Consider if you are interrupting to become the speaker and gain power, and also how you'll look to everyone else in the room.
  • If you determine you're interrupting to gain clarity, make sure you break in with a clear question and then turn the floor back to the original speaker.
  • If you determine you're interrupting because you're worried you'll forget what you want to say, jot key words on your notepad to bring up your points later, without interrupting.

Finally, be sure you're not interrupting yourself with digital distractions. According to Tom Searcy, Founder of Hunt Big Sales, you can also flounder in idea creation and presentation by allowing too many text, phone and social media interruptions during "think time" at work. "There is not sense in creating the physical and mental space for thought while still allowing ongoing digital interruptions," he wrote in "Set yourself up to win. Shut down the digital access. Even if you are working on your laptop, shut down the feeds of streaming interruptions for that period."

7 steps to transition from a 9-to-5 to a full-fledged entrepreneur

Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @ 9:14 AM
Updated: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @ 9:14 AM

Experts recommend these 7 strategies for transitioning into being an entrepreneur while you still have a day job Stop viewing your job as a ball and chain Study business management Prioritize your time Zone in on your vision for the future Focus on daily imperative action Establish a routine of healthy habits Keep your friends and family

Becoming an entrepreneur is the stuff dreams are made of: making your first million, delivering the world's next big idea, starting that sweet little shop, being your own boss. But if your stone cold reality is a 9-to-5 job, you can still make the entrepreneur dream come true. 
The strategy: transitioning into being an entrepreneur while you still have full-time work.
"Very few companies that enjoy incredible success today were started by people who had no other commitments," noted Brandon Turner in Entrepreneur. "Instead, they were built in basements and garages, and while the founder was employed at another company."

RELATED: 7 ways women can avoid being ‘manterrupted’ at work

According to the Kaufman Organization's 2017 State of Entrepreneurship report, the outlook is bright for entreprenuers. "Overall entrepreneurial outcome indicators have gone up, job creation by new establishment is on an uptick and optimism among small business owners has surged."

Turner, co-host of the BiggerPockets podcast, and other startup experts recommend these seven strategies for transitioning into being an entreprenuer while you still have a day job:

Stop viewing your job as a ball and chain. Instead, consider the full-time job you have while you're transitioning to being an entrepreneur a blessing. "Your job is the gasoline that will keep your entrepreneurial dreams alive while you are building your side project," Turner said. "Without that paycheck, you'll be out there spending all your time trying to raise money rather than spending your time perfecting your business. So stop thinking of your job as something that is dragging you down, but as a partner that is holding you up until the time is right to leave." 

Study business management. Even if your passion is textile design or that one widget that could make a fortune, if you plan to be an entrepreneur, you will need to know business basics. "No matter what you choose to do, you will be managing a business first and whatever the business does second," noted career coach Rob Gillies on

Prioritize your time. Turner calls attention to the total 168 hours in a week. 

"Your job takes up 40, your sleep takes up 56, and you are still left with 72 hours to build your business," he said. "You need sleep. You need food. You have kids. However, you don't need Netflix. You don't need CNN. You don't need the two hours and 57 minutes per day you spend staring at your smartphone." 

A few ways to maximize your time include possibly waking up earlier or eating fewer meals in restaurants and more from the microwave or slow cooker.

Zone in on your vision for the future. According to executive coach Linda Townsend, you can readily establish your startup mission long before you turn in your notice at your full-time job. Start by asking yourself big-picture questions such as, "What contribution do I want to make to the world or to my business?" Townsend told Next steps include making a list of your role models and the characteristics in them that you most admire; listing your core values and definition of success; and turning these insights into a personal mission statement.

Focus on daily imperative action. Whether you're working 9-to-5 or have unlimited free time to pursue your startup, locking yourself in a room for a month and emerging with a multi-million one-hit-wonder is not the way a business gets built, according to Turner. "It's not enough to just work hard. It's not enough to work hard every day. It needs to be imperative work, done daily,” he said. The work can't consist of non-urgent or unimportant tasks like checking e-mails or yet more phone calls to share the same ideas with people who aren't stakeholders. "You only have so many hours to work on your side business outside of your job hours, so you better make them count," Turner noted.

Establish a routine of healthy habits. According to Townsend, some simple self-care habits are essential if you hope to survive the demands of becoming an entreprenuer: get 8 hours of sleep each night, exercise for 20 minutes each day, do something creative or fun each day and connect with the people you care about.

Keep your friends and family. Instead of figuring you can devote 100 percent of your time to becoming an entrepreneur and worry about the personal relationships you leave behind later, have a plan for personal time, too, says Gillies. "You don't have to give up your life in order to build a business," he said. "You'll need to have support of your family, friends, spouse and children. Create a schedule that includes them and work diligently to stick to it. Doing so in the beginning will create the foundation for the future of how you operate."