Damon Taseff has been with Allegro since 2004. He currently lives in Ohio City with his wife and three kids and loves to explore Cleveland and engage with his community. Let’s get to know him a little better!
Where did you go to college, and are you doing today what you thought you’d be doing then?
I studied finance at Ohio University and graduated with my Bachelors in 2000. I subsequently went back to school a few years later and studied finance again at Case Western Reserve University. I was fortunate to receive my Masters in 2008. Do we ever really know what we want to do? As an undergrad, I remember wanting to work in the real estate industry, be around smart people, and have an impact. Mission accomplished.
Describe a typical day at the office.
There is nothing typical about any of my days. It’s one of the many reasons I like my profession and where I work. I would guess that 30% of my time is spent on service delivery, 50% of my time is spent on business development and the remainder is administration. I enjoy coming into the office to work with the team. Collaboration is a big part of what we have built at Allegro. The opportunity to share ideas and think through each other’s issues on behalf of our clients is enjoyable.
Why does commercial real estate appeal to you?
It challenges me. Every transaction is complicated. There is nothing mundane about a commercial real estate project. Whether we are talking about brokerage, consulting, or property management, the needs of the client vary greatly. The sophistication of the client changes constantly. The role that I need to play requires constant adaptation. To play the role of a trusted advisor to my clients requires me to listen attentively, be diligent, think creatively, and rise to the occasion at all moments.
What deal/project are you most proud of?
I’ve been extremely fortunate to work on many exciting projects during my time here at Allegro. I have worked on a handful of splashy corporate initiatives that have had a meaningful impact for those respective organizations. I am very civic-minded. The chance to work on projects that also impact the public realm and have an impact in my community always resonate strongly with me. For example, I had the opportunity to lead a team of really impressive professionals and design the strategic real estate plan for Cuyahoga County. It was a resounding success and it enabled the County to move forward with some really important initiatives.
What characteristics do you think make someone in your field successful?
Communication and financial skills, attention to detail, a sense of urgency, determination and persistence, learning skills, and empathy.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I alluded to this a little earlier, but the constant change in client requirements and needs keeps the work on my plate fresh and ever changing. I enjoy the challenge of thinking and solving new problems.
What makes Allegro different from other brokerages?
Compensation for our team is salary based vs. the traditional commission based model which is prevalent within the industry. This creates a completely different dynamic between employees. Employees are incentivized to work together to develop business and serve our clients. The constant struggle of commissions splitting/sharing amongst team members is not a hurdle that impedes customer service within our firm. Our office environment is comprised of one team based vs. a handful or even army of independent agents.
Do you participate in any philanthropic organizations or events?
I try to be civically active. I currently sit on the Boards of the Campus District and St. Augustine Health Ministries. Just this year, I graduated as a member of the 2016 Leadership Cleveland class. I consider civic and philanthropic engagement to be a critical component of who I am. The more engaged in your community, the more impact you can have on making it a better place.
Where would you love to vacation (with no budget or time constraints!)?
The world is such a big place. I’m not sure there is a singular location for me. Vacationing for me is about the experience and the experience depends on the people around you. The chance to explore any new place with my family and friends would make all the difference.
Tell us a little about your family.
My wife, Ashley, and I have been married for 10 years. We have three great kids. My daughter, Alta, is 8. My two sons, Mather and Case, are 6 and 5, respectively. We enjoy living in Ohio City, Cleveland’s absolute best neighborhood, in my opinion. When we aren’t hanging out at home you will find us out and about exploring Cleveland.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What is that?
What’s your drink of choice?
Depends on my mood. I am versatile. Cheers!