Philadelphia councilperson and renowned real estate developer Allan Domb visited Chestnut Hill College this week to speak about the ins and outs of real estate and the ways he is working with City Hall to better the lives of citizens and small businesses.
Domb, who spoke at the College on Feb. 6, covered an array of subjects in an hour-long speech, detailing everything from his work experiences to the initiatives and programs he and Philadelphia City Council are implementing to create a fiscally responsible and efficient government. The College invited Domb to campus to generate a dialogue between the councilman and students, particularly those majoring in business and political science. The event, “The Allan Domb Experience: From Successful Businessperson to Effective Political Thought Leader,” was sponsored by the College’s Business Department.
In his speech, Domb provided an overview of his career in both real estate and government. He discussed the value of hard work by discussing his employment experiences, beginning when he was 11 years old and worked as a paperboy for two newspapers. Hard work, more than anything else, he said, is what leads to success.
But success without failure is impossible, Domb said. In one of his many tips for students, he emphasized the importance of overcoming failure and, rather than letting it undermine one’s abilities, using it instead as a pathway to success.
“I will say this about successful people: Everyone has failures and successes in life, but successful people are those who don’t dwell on failure,” Domb said. “Don’t dwell on failure — think about your successes.”
In 2015, because of his extensive experience in real estate and his in-depth knowledge of business, Domb was elected as an at-large member to City Council. Since then, he has worked to promote job growth, lower the poverty rate, collect delinquent property taxes, increase high school graduation rates and strengthen the local economy with a focus on growing the tax base and instituting reforms that will further advance Philadelphia’s competitiveness in the 21st century. He currently serves as the chairman of the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development and the Homeless. He is donating his entire city salary to support initiatives that benefit Philadelphia public schools.
Domb, who has lived in Philadelphia for almost 40 years, was once ranked as the top residential real estate broker in the United States for nearly 20 consecutive years. Once referred to as the “Philly Condo King,” Domb has served twice as the president of the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors, advocating for the rights of private property owners and working with City Hall to bring new residents and businesses to the city. He has developed numerous properties in Center City, such as the Parc Rittenhouse, The Barclay and The Warwick.
As for other advice for students, Domb said that no matter the area in which they are looking to succeed, they must always be aware of their reputation.
“Business, government — it’s all about reputation — and you can’t buy your reputation,” he said.
Joseph A. Bucci, Ed.D., assistant professor and chair of the College’s Business Department, said the opportunity for students to listen to Domb speak on business and government is invaluable to their education.
“I believe Councilman Domb clearly demonstrated through his own personal experiences how hard work and commitment can lead to success,” Bucci said. “I also believe he showed the important role that effective financial analysis should play in making government expenditures of taxpayer dollars.”
In closing, Domb gave students what he believes is the most important advice of all.
“If there’s one thing I should leave you with today, it’s this: If you find that one thing in your life that you love, you will excel at it,” he said. “Because when you find that one thing that you love to do, it’s not work.”
For more information, please visit phlcouncil.com/AllanDomb.
- Kevin Dicciani