Men for Others – Meet Five Local Men From The Real Estate Sector Building Community from the Ground Up
As Seen In Potomac Lifestyle Magazine
For Potomac Lifestyle’s 3rd annual Men’s Issue we met with five local leaders in the real estate industry at the Canopy By Hilton ™ located at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda. Read what they’re up to and how they’re giving back to the community.
Rory S. Coakley
Rory S. Coakley Realty Inc.
When Rory S. Coakley started his namesake realty company with his wife Nancy in 1989, the couple intended on creating an entity that was truly a “one-stop shop.” Unlike many realtors, Coakley offers both residential and commercial services under the premise that the two operations can complement each other. For example, a business owner looking for office or warehouse space for their company may also be looking to buy or sell a home. Coakley is able to provide support on both fronts by managing tax appeals for their commercial and residential properties.
Coakley also offers comprehensive property management services for residential and commercial business owners, along with real estate appraisals, land development, and other assistance, including litigation support and investment services. The local family-owned business proudly employs Rory’s son, Rory P. Coakley. Coakley also owns industrial, office and hotel property, as well as a self-storage facility, giving him extra skin in the game. “As owners, operators, and practitioners, we’re in the game deep with boots on the ground,” Coakley explains.
Rory S. Coakley and many of the agents at Coakley Realty have been involved with countless local charities and non-profits, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area, the Catholic Business Network, Stepping Stones Shelter, Potomac Community Resources, Community Reach of Montgomery County, Gaithersburg Sports, Positive Coach Alliance and a variety of coat drives and canned food drives.
The tight-knit company employs 30 agents, most of whom grew up in the Washington, DC area. Mike Rose, the company’s first realtor, was a student whom Coakley taught at Georgetown University and has been with the company for 25 years. Tom Nalls attended high school and college with Coakley and has worked at the realty company for four years as its Residential Sales Manager. He describes Coakley as “very focused on whomever he is working with, whether an individual client, agent, or charity.”
Fernando Guedes Jr.
ACE Construction DMV
From a fruitful soccer stint to a construction and development career, Fernando Guedes Jr., has maintained a winning mentality throughout his personal and professional life. Since founding ACE Construction DMV five years ago, the boutique firm has grown to 82 employees working with many of the major investors and developers in the condo and multi-family market in Washington. “We have a huge background in concrete and framing. We staff and self-perform that specific trade with all the construction management.” In spite of the ongoing pandemic, ACE has had a banner year.
As a fourth-generation developer, construction and development are in Guedes Jr.’s blood. His grandfather was one of the largest developers in Copacabana, Brazil. His father, Fernando Guedes, Sr., immigrated to the United States and Jr. was born and raised in Montgomery County. At the age of 16, Guedes, Jr. went to Brazil to play Division III semi-professional soccer, but several injuries sparked his return home to Maryland. Before founding his company, he worked in residential improvement and custom home-building before switching his focus to mixed-use properties and self-storage facilities.
Giving back is important to Fernando Guedes, Jr. as evidenced by the several charities in which he is involved. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is high on his list of priorities. He was nominated for the organization’s Man and Woman of the Year Award in 2020. In October, with the Dobre Brothers and Garage Charity Car Show, he helped raise $16,700 for a child fighting cancer.
In a nod to his Brazilian soccer background, Guedes, Jr. founded the Brazilian Soccer Training Academy where he remains the Director of Training. A black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, he also runs a number of training programs there for underprivileged children in the DMV.
Forum Properties, Inc.
Paul E. Biciocchi, the owner and principal broker of Forum Properties, Inc., has been involved in all aspects of residential real estate for his entire adult life. The Bethesda native attended Walter Johnson High School and during his summers away from the University of Maryland, he worked construction building houses. The experience ignited his passion for the world of real estate. Biciocchi went on to secure his real estate license in his senior year at Maryland and began selling properties on the weekends.
In 1984, Biciocchi founded his own residential brokerage, Forum Properties, Inc. It operates as a “boutique style company” consisting of “extremely knowledgeable and highly service-oriented agents.” He adds, “We are not striving to be the biggest of anything, but rather the best at what we do.”
Biciocchi’s perseverance has served him well. He has secured more than $1 billion in sales over the span of his career. Clients seek Forum out for skilled contract negotiations, intricate market knowledge and unparalleled service. His realty background includes condo conversions, new home sales, general brokerage and property management. He works primarily on the western side of Montgomery County and in the District.
As a keen observer of the ever-changing real estate market, Biciocchi says “Today’s market is very visual. Data is flying across the internet through hundreds of marketing apps that buyers really have no way of verifying.” Biciocchi believes that experienced brokers, like himself, are needed now more than ever, noting that it’s very easy to make a “bad buy” in this market. He implores buyers and sellers to think beyond the information in front of them. “Who is the source of this data? Is it factual or just out there to make an agent’s phone ring?”
Community is of the utmost importance to Biciocchi. Since the mid-1980’s he has been a member of the Lido Civic Club of Washington, DC where he served as the Club’s president in 1996. The Club, founded in 1929, has a stellar reputation for assisting Italian-American men and women obtain college scholarships. More than $1 million in scholarships have been awarded through the years. As past president and chairperson of the Club’s annual black tie event, Biciocchi also works to assist with the organization’s Wounded Warrior Program, Homes for Heroes and the rebuilding of the Casa Italia Church in Washington, DC. He believes, as the old adage goes, “It’s better to give than to receive.”
Jarvis Commercial Real Estate
Few residents in the Washington, DC area can claim long-held ties to the region as Ernest (“Ernie”) Drew Jarvis. A well-known DC commercial real estate broker, Jarvis is a proud fifth-generation Washingtonian. His mother, Charlene Drew Jarvis, was the president of Southeastern University and served six terms with the DC Council. His grandfather, Dr. Charles Drew, was a noted surgeon who gained international prominence as inventor of the blood bank.
Jarvis chose to leave his mark on commercial real estate in the District. Through the years he has represented office clients ranging from corporate companies, financial institutions, non-profits and foundations. At CBRE, he served as their Washington, DC Market Leader, heading up one of the firm’s largest offices. There, he supervised more than 60 brokerage professionals across 10 different specialty groups. Following his CBRE stint, he served as Senior Vice President/DC Market Leader at First Potomac Realty Trust for four years.
Six years ago, with his fully established relationships in the commercial real estate market and deep knowledge of the metropolitan region intact, Jarvis decided to go out on his own. He launched Jarvis Commercial Real Estate, which focuses on office leasing for corporate clients, law firms and non-profits. Of the current state of the market, Jarvis is optimistic that once things stabilize, we will be entering into a very robust economy. He forecasts more individuals and families moving out of the city and into Potomac. In preparation, he plans to hire more brokers, bringing the total to 10.
Jarvis Real Estate’s success has far exceeded initial expectations. “The key to our business is our relationships,” Jarvis says. His deep ties to the area were developed by serving in leadership positions for a number of well-known organizations. He was president of the District of Columbia Building Industry Association (DCBIA), a member of the executive committee of The Greater Washington Board of Trade, and served on boards for The Washington Performing Arts Society, Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund, Landon School, and Project REAP’s Advisory Board– an organization designed to expose minorities to careers in commercial real estate.
Ernie’s passion for community blossomed in tandem with his wife Debbi’s altruism. After working as a reporter and anchor for NBC4, she headed up philanthropy for Pepco, where she stayed for 14 years. In 2019 she joined Howard University as Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations. Debbi has served on 10 nonprofit boards.
Despite their impressive professional and philanthropy efforts, Ernie and Debbi are most proud of the work they have done raising two exemplary sons, one a sophomore in college and one a freshman. The couple has instilled humility and the value of giving back to the boys. “As a family, we try to do as much together as possible in the community,” Jarvis says. “We tell our sons that we are very lucky to live in an environment like Potomac and we try to keep them grounded.”
Hoffman & Associates
For nearly 30 years, Monty Hoffman and his team at Hoffman & Associates have played a major role in neighborhood development in the DMV. Theirs is a community-first approach focusing on building spaces that deliver value while bringing people together.
A native of Johnstown, PA, Hoffman developed an interest in building early, working alongside his father on construction sites. He put himself through the University of Pittsburgh, earning a degree in civil and structural engineering. In 1984 he arrived in Washington, DC, with a van and a dream.He immersed himself in the development trade as a project engineer for Donohoe Construction Co. Ten years later he decided to venture out on his own. After landing a big condominium development project, it wasn’t long before he and his team were building across the region.
Currently, Hoffman & Associates is preparing to break ground on West Falls, a 10-acre development located in Falls Church, VA’s. Beyond the DMV, they recently broke ground on Seaboard Station in Raleigh, NC.
The most-widely recognized endeavor in Hoffman’s portfolio is The Wharf, a $2.5 billion mixed-use development on DC’s waterfront co-developed with Madison Marquette. Phase 2 is set to deliver in Fall 2022. Completing the second phase is the iconic waterfront residence Amaris which will begin sales in June. The 96-unit condominium residence is designed by world-renowned architect, Rafael Viñoly.
Throughout his career, Hoffman has taken the time to give back to the community. He is a founding board member of the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation, which provides at-risk youth with vocational training. Additionally, Hoffman has served on the DC Public Schools Engineering Advisory Board and is currently a board member of the Federal City Council and Southwest Business Improvement District.
The developer is optimistic about the region’s future and its ability to overcome last year’s challenges. “COVID made us all appreciate what it means to gather together more than ever,” Hoffman says. “I’m hopeful that the community will continue to support our city’s social economy, which means so much to the area’s fabric and to all of us who live and work here.”