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?

2018 RAMMY Awards

February 2018 BonaBlast

While some seek change, many fear it. What would happen if each of us viewed change as an opportunity, a new beginning? A chance to reset, reevaluate, and create purpose. With this outlook, we can transform change into positive impact. When we pair opportunity with impact, the combination leads us to success.

Change is the only constant; nothing stays the same forever. As a company, we must change to grow towards our future. When we embrace continuous change, we find the opportunity for continuous success. We find continuous success as ONE Bonaventure.

2018 Lobby Day at Virginia General Assembly

January 2018 BonaBlast

The New Year is here and it’s the time where most people decide to build their list of resolutions. Their list to establish a new beginning, a new habit, or some type of change. However, our focus should not be on resolutions, it should be on our goals. Have you taken a moment to list your goals? Or more importantly, your action plan? 
A goal without a plan will fail, every time. In order to reach our goals, we must put forth the effort and have an action plan in place. Whether your goal is short term or long term, it will require your commitment and determination to get there. Consider resolutions to be the actions that must take place to reach your overall goal. They are extremely important, but it is vital to know what you’re working towards. Achieving your goals will bring you a feeling of accomplishment and success. Think about your career aspirations and the areas in which you would like to grow. Don’t waste another minute, the clock is ticking!

2017 Budget Bootcamp

December 2017 BonaBlast

How many times have you ended your work day wondering, “What did I actually accomplish today?” Your days can easily be filled by time consuming tasks that do not have the biggest impact in your role. As we enter into the new year we should focus our efforts on working on the tasks that will provide the highest impact and biggest return. Chris Cobb, our Chief Investment Officer, has shared his “Impact vs. Effort Strategy” with me and I am excited to share this with each of you to help maximize your success.
Think about your day. Phone calls, emails, meetings and to-do lists can heavily affect the amount of time in each day. What if you composed a list of 4 action items that would provide the maximum impact to reach your goals? Chris places his top 4 actions items directly above his computer, in order to never lose focus on the objectives that will positively affect the most people and the company. It is not about how hard you work, but ensuring you are focused on the right tasks. It is a balancing act that you have to master and learn how to prioritize what drives the most value. Compose your list and head into 2018 focused and prepared!
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!