Good afternoon- my name is Robert Ciavarra.
My Grandfather was an immigrant so were a few of my Aunts. My father was the 1st US born Ciavarra in the country. I say that because how much I appreciate the diversity in this club and to keep in mind how a few years ago my own family came to this country. Raised by Italian and Irish Catholics, I felt guilty and was guilty all the time.
My parents had three boys- what they used to call Irish twins. We were all just over 1 yr apart. My father had a rule no fighting on the front yard- because the yard was always perfect and my mother had the same policy except it was so the neighbors wouldn’t see us trying to kill each other. We had crab apple and roof shingle fights we use to play on any building construction sites we could find, climb power lines, and even use to challenge each other to see how far we could walk across semi frozen ponds- until that went wrong. The oldest is a lawyer in Worchester and the middle son is in NC- I like to describe the three of us as being cut from the same cloth but tailored very differently. My childhood was a mix of the movies “Far and away meets the Godfather”.
I graduated from Babson College and went to work for IBM where I met my wife. She was a Northeastern co-op when we met. She later transferred to Stonehill in Easton so we could be closer to where I was working in Real Estate. We always knew we were coming back to the Cape. We got engaged at my Grandmothers cottage in Yarmouth in 1986. We had a bit of a rocky start where family members and the Priest counseling us didn’t think were quite right. On our wedding day it rained , the limo broke down, I had purchased 300 balloons to be released and the balloon people gave the balloons out to the wedding before ours, we missed out flights, and my wife got a bad case of sun poisoning. 25 yrs later, at the same time as we renewed our Wedding vows in Boston, the Catholic Pilot did a story about us called a 10,000 day journey and our unorthodox start. In thirty plus years of being together we have been separated less than ½ doz times. We now live in West Yarmouth and my wife works at MES as an ELS teacher.
We have three children Kate 28, Nick 26, Hannah 24. Kate and Hannah live in Franklin. Kate likes art and traveling. Nick is pursuing a doctorate at UGA and Hannah is a civil servant in Holliston MA.
I went to work after IBM in Real Estate. Self employed for over 15 years. I was taught how to plow by the owner of the RE company, in Easton, by him using the 2 way radio to follow me and bark directions from his Mercedes. The job description started with other duties as assigned. In 2003 I started Painstaking property management- I tried Pain-giving PM- lots of weird calls- could have been a niche area for the right guy. I’ve managed brownstones in Boston, large retail site, warehouses as large as ten acres, 1st class offices and 1000s of apartments , at my peak I managed and or owned / leased over 1 million sqft. I was a Certified RE Appraise. I’ve done laon workouts with Shawmut Bank. Bank of New England, and even in DC with the FDIC. I’ve been an expert witness in Boston for tax abatements. I carried an unrestricted GC Lic 20 +yrs and I was Owner Project Manager fir a $5m office project and help rebuild a fired damaged National Historic registered bldg.. in Milford. In 2013 I started CCCRE. So far I’ve sold Downtown Hyannis retail, a warehouse in South Yarmouth, and what was the CTS plaza on 28 in Yarmouth.
Real Estate and other words of wisdom.
1. Vacancy is the biggest expense
2. Deferring maintenance never saves money
3. If you hear hooves think horse, then zebra, then unicorn
4. Sell when you are happiest
5. Don’t let the tax tail wag the dog
6. If you buy a cash cow don’t expect it to make ice-cream