Tidewater Holiday Ugly Sweater Party

January 2019 BonaBlast

Welcome to 2019! How are your New Year’s resolutions doing? Making resolutions is easy. Breaking resolutions is even easier. By next month, 35% of us will have abandoned any resolutions made; by June, that number jumps to 50%. 

There are proven ways to up the odds of achieving resolutions. Clearly define your goal, make it measurable,
and find ways to hold yourself accountable. Most importantly, always opt to do something, no matter how small, over doing nothing. At Bonaventure, we sum this idea up with this core value: Make it happen. 

What will you make happen today, tomorrow, in 2019?

Tidewater Bonaventure Thanksgiving Luncheon

November 2018 BonaBlast

In my day to day, I don’t practice gratitude as much as I should. There is at least a small amount of wonder to be found in my everyday life. Admittedly, I often pass it by without a thought. 

Perhaps that is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is a day to gather with my loved ones and take stock of all I have to be thankful for. The list is long: family, health, friends, colleagues, each of you. During my normal course of living, if I focus on scarcity, I never have enough. But if I focus on abundance, I find I have far more than I have ever deserved. 

As I enter the holiday season, I am grateful, and I am committed to remaining grateful. I will pause when I find that small amount of wonder in my everyday life. And as I start to look for that wonder, I already know I will find far more than a small amount. 

What are you grateful for?

Congrats Curtis, Jon & Antwan for earning the Bill Bessenfelder Award!

October 2018 BonaBlast

I recently met my personal health hero Crossfit Games Champion Rich Froning. I was over the moon at the opportunity to meet one of my heroes, and I left the encounter with far more than I imagined.

Becoming a world champion does not happen by accident but through focus. As Rich shared, that focus does not start in the gym. It starts within yourself by discovering who you are and knowing your core
ethics and strengths. Rich asserts that when you ask someone who they are, they often respond with a role or a title: a father, a lawyer, an athlete. However, this is not who you are, it’s what you do. By Rich’s definition, who you are is what is left when everything else has been stripped away. When you drop the role or the title, you find your values, talent, and purpose. Rich defines this as your “BE,” and it is only through finding your BE that you can attain your highest results.  

I know who I am: a father, son, boyfriend, brother, and CEO. But it is another thing entirely to think about what remains if all those titles were gone. I think I know, but it is hard to put into words. My core revolves around family, love, and loyalty. I hope knowing myself a little better will aid me in achieving my purpose of helping other to achieve their purpose. Thanks, Rich, for helping me to get to know myself a little better!!  

In Rich’s words, who do you BE?

Happy Hour at Gordon Biersch in Virginia Beach

September 2018 BonaBlast

The obvious difference between ordinary and extraordinary is “extra.”
We know this doesn’t mean extra as “more.” Extraordinary is not “more” ordinary. Changing ordinary to extraordinary signifies that a thing- an event, a person, or a circumstance- has shifted from simply being to being great.
Extra implies intention, action, and added value. Intention: I believe I can make this better. Action: I am taking steps to make this better. Added value: Now that this is better, it is more meaningful; it is now great.  
How will you turn ordinary into extraordinary today?

August 2018 BonaBlast

The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30 with its peak in August and September. With properties throughout Hampton Roads, Virginia, our management company is skilled in hurricane preparedness. We track weather, prepare for wind, floods, and power outages, stock up on supplies, and communicate frequently with our residents. 
Quite simply, we plan. We plan as much as one possibly can for unpredictable, dramatic, and dangerous weather. We plan, we hope it will veer off its course, and, if necessary, we wait it out until it passes.
Along with hurricane season, August is peak back to school season. The busyness of life ramps up more quickly than wind. Between tracking new schedules and stocking up on school supplies, there is an equal amount of planning. There is, however, no hope it will veer off course and no waiting it out. Once fall arrives, there is no slowing down.
It is in the eye of the hurricane that you will find calm. Once you make it through thunder and rain, there is a spot in the very center with few clouds and lighter winds. Storms may swirl around you but it is possible to find stillness. 
How will you cultivate calm amidst the storms of the season?


July 2018 BonaBlast

Last month my social media feeds overflowed with graduation celebrations. College, high school, even some kindergarten ceremonies. After all of the hard work leading up to those graduation moments and after all of the parties celebrating them, it is no surprise that my July feeds are filled with scenes from vacation. In August, I predict first day of school photos, moving into new dorms updates, and LinkedIn announcements of those college graduate’s new jobs. 

Summer takes us from spring to fall with warmer temperatures, cookouts, and flip flops and from one grade to the next, from home to college, and from college to career. Summer is the season of transition. 

In times of change, amidst the excitement of uncertainty, it is more essential than ever that you meet your most basic need. And that is the same for everyone: you need a place to call home.

In the multifamily housing world, this means instead of vacationing, we are working hard to make your transition easy. 

Who do you trust with your transitions?

2018 Patriotic Festival in Virginia Beach

June 2018 BonaBlast

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. 

My mother taught me this, and I share it with my four daughters (yes, four girls!). It is sage playground and social setting advice, however it doesn’t quite translate in a corporate environment where honest feedback is an important part of any employee’s or company’s achievement and growth.

Radical candor may sound scary at first, but it is powerful tool with which to build a better company. Rather than a guise to say not nice things to those around you, it is a bridge to better understanding between employees at all levels of an organization. Kim Scott describes two integral aspects of radical candor- caring personally and challenging directly- that must always be tied together. You cannot embrace one without the other. When I demonstrate I care, my praise or criticism has a positive impact even if its content includes something negative. 

Simplified, radical candor sounds like this: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

When my words are caring, honest, and needed, they are as well received on the playground as in the board room. 

If you introduce more candor in your work environment, what would radically change?

2018 VConnectUP Job Fair

May 2018 BonaBlast

Work hard. Play hard. These core values make Bonaventure’s list of what’s truly important to us as a company. There is a balance between the two. While continuous hard work can yield great achievements, it can also lead to exhaustion. Play proves integral to far more than simply finding both accomplishment and restoration.

A conference room table in the middle of our north headquarters office has recently become the platform for a mini cornhole game. As our team takes breaks, we regularly engage in a 5 or 10 point game. In these moments of diversion, healthy competition is fostered, folks reveal their sense of humor, and social interaction bonds us. We do better work together when we play together. Now if I could only figure out how my Executive Assistant keeps beating me……

How can you make play work for your team?

2018 VAMA Conference

April 2018 BonaBlast

They say practice makes perfect. While the saying has a ring to it, it isn’t that simple. Practice alone doesn’t make perfect. Practice, receiving feedback, applying feedback, then more practice… makes progress.
There are an endless number of feedback tools for use between consumers and companies, employers and employees, even teachers and students. In an era of Yelp, email, and online reviews, the ability to give feedback is at every consumer’s fingertips. Yet often complaints, constructive criticism, and opinions are mistaken for feedback. How do we tell the difference?
It’s simple. Good feedback, when received, applied, and put into practice, makes progress.  And maybe, one day, even perfection.
What feedback can you offer today that will lead to progress tomorrow?

2018 Love Each other Like Family, because We Are Award

March 2018 BonaBlast

In all businesses, equations are a fact of life. Gross revenue - expenses = net revenue. Occupancy rate = units occupied / number of available units. Often, in our focus on the mathematics of running companies, we forget the most important formula: happy employees = successful businesses.

At our annual Leadership Conference this month, the science, in addition to the math, of teamwork was explored. Teams who incorporate fun into their work environment generate energy. Teams fueled by energy
instill higher morale, boost company sales,
and increase employee retention. 

Bonaventure is a people company that happens to be in the real estate business. Here is our equation: one team + one set of core values + working together as one
= one, big, happy family. And happy employees = successful businesses.

What’s your equation?