I had the pleasure of interviewing Dava Davin, principal and owner of Portside Real Estate Group, one of Maine’s largest real estate groups. She’s also the founder of Portside Foundation, which raises tens of thousands of dollars annually to directly benefit local non-profit organizations and brings people together for Portside Gives Back event,. She is also a four time ironman finisher.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I worked in pharmaceutical sales and marketing for a decade before switching to a career in real estate. I was hollow inside and looking for more. Convincing physicians to change their prescribing habit so I could get a bonus took its toll on my well being.
In 2008, I decided to quit and find fulfillment working for a non-profit. We have just moved to Portland, Maine and I couldn’t find a job in the nonprofit sector, so I settled on an assistant job on a real estate team and worked my way up to owner in four years.
Why did you found your company?
Prior to founding my company, I worked for a large real estate franchise and I didn’t love it. I found it to be generic, boring and corporate. I wanted to create a company where we were thoughtful in everything we do from a marketing piece to the entire client experience. I wanted to build relationships and create a place where clients and agents felt safe and cared about.
What is it about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
I own and run the largest solely female owned real estate company in Maine. Bucking the trends by creating offices that bring agents and clients together in a world that is going virtual.
We started a non-profit foundation that hosts events for our clients and the broader community which bring people together while supporting local non-profits. It’s a whole new way to bring brand awareness and give back at the same time.
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors?
I have had many mentors. I am a huge believer in getting better every day, and I have had a business coach in one form or another for the last four years.
I have also had a triathlon coach that got me to the finish line of 4 Ironman competitions (2.4 mile swim/112 mile bike/26.3 mile run).
How are you going to shake things up next?
I am working to bring on some real estate technology that will be a game changer internally at our company, allowing us to serve our clients at the highest level in an efficient way. We are constantly filling our brain storming tracker to come up with game changing ways to differentiate ourselves from the other real estate companies. We thrive on being independently owned and nimble!
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey?
‘Work hard at all you do and try your best.’ These are simple words of wisdom from my brother who is a very successful venture capitalist.
‘Play big all the time.’ Amentor of mine used to always say this and it is so true. We need to take on life at 100%, there is no sense in doing things halfway. Whether it is running a real estate company, hiking a mountain, or making dinner for the family — we need to be in 100%. Life is such a blessing!
‘When people start copying what you are doing, you know you have made it’ — we have seen our competition copy some of our innovative marketing and networking methods and it fuels us even more to keep on pushing Portside come up with new things. The competition will always be one step behind!
What’s a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking?
“How I Built This” by NPR. I am fascinated with the backstories, the grit and the determination from the entrepreneurs.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Barbara Corcoran — I love her rags to riches story and would love to pick her brain on how to keep my team motivated and take my business to the next level.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Originally published at medium.com