2017-09-07 / Business News

Anthony Solomon

Executive VP/owner The Ronto Group Inc.


Anthony Solomon Anthony Solomon Empowering the team and creating winning partnerships

WHO AM I?

NAME: Anthony Solomon

TITLE AND COMPANY: Executive VP/owner The Ronto Group Inc.

YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 20

YEARS IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA: 20

NATURE OF BUSINESS: Real estate development

EDUCATION: B.A. – Concordia University, Montreal

HOMETOWN: Toronto, Canada

What is the most significant change you’ve seen in your industry over the last year?

The amount of “family buyers,” particularly first-time buyers, continues to grow. Builders are finally trying to reach that segment of the market after having abandoned it due to concerns over lack of financing and the employment market.

How are you responding to changes in the local economy?

We are actively developing communities aimed at family buyers. Orange Blossom Ranch & Groves is a great example. We’ve built an amenity package that is aimed at families with multiple resort pools, playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, a clubhouse with a great fitness center and it’s adjacent to an elementary, middle and high school. The floor plans are spacious and family-conscious, and it’s reasonably priced in the low $300s to $400s. Our goal for 2017 was to bring to market communities that serve what everyone agreed was the most underserved segment of the market — the $300,000 to $500,000 segment. Orange Blossom accomplishes that in a meaningful way.

Name the top elements or practices that have been absolutely critical in the success of your business?

Building a great team of employees and empowering them to get the job done right. Being disciplined when buying land and understanding its value to future homeowners. And listening to my father and other mentors. There’s a reason they’ve been in business for so long. I take that responsibility very seriously. We also make a point to build strong relationships with suppliers, contractors, landowners, and brokers. Treating them fairly and with respect is paramount to the success of both sides of the coin. They are your partners in various business ventures; they need to have confidence that you will close a deal or bring a project to fruition.

What are things you’d like to change about your industry now? Your organization or business?

The permitting process in general needs to be simplified and streamlined. There are too many permits, inspections and fees. Some of these things need to be amalgamated and assigned to one discipline, one inspector.

Within the context of your current marketing/promotional strategy, how do you differentiate your company from your competitors?

We offer a wide range of products from very high-end condominiums to popularly priced single-family developments. We also market more than other builders/developers and don’t lump all of our projects together. Each project has its own identity; you want to speak to that specific purchaser in that specific market.

What will you base your success on for 2018?

Delivering the Seaglass Tower in Bonita Springs and 624 Palm in Sarasota. Finishing those will be a great accomplishment. Seaglass Tower is a 26-floor, 120-unit high-rise tower being built within the Bonita Bay community. It’s a wonderful addition to an already beautiful Bonita Springs community.

How are you growing and developing your employee skills?

Giving my employees more latitude to make decisions. That independence and responsibility will build the skillsets that are most valuable.

Can you tell us about a new hire that will make a positive impact this coming year?

We’ve hired a construction manager and he’s been invaluable for quality control and identifying potential issues during the construction process.

What do you truly love about working here in Collier County?

I love that it’s a smaller community that offers so much. This quality of life is pretty spectacular. I really enjoy the people I work with, a lot of them have been associated with us for years and they’re like family. ¦

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