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Home Expert of the Week: Jan Augenstein

Are you a Dayton native, or do you have an interesting story about how you got here? 
Augenstein: I was born at Grandview Hospital, where my grandfather, Dr. Lowell Augenstein D.O., was both a founding member of the hospital and a doctor. I grew up on a 40-acre horse farm between Enon and Springfield. I raced harness horses, both trotters and pacers, for several years; worked as a lifeguard and swim club manager; waited tables; owned a tanning salon; sold artwork...all while putting myself through school at Wright State University. I graduated with a degree in fine arts, which really comes into play with the staging that I do in houses now. After college I married my Air Force sweetheart, and we moved to Europe for eight years. We eventually bought a home in Yellow Springs, and I spent the next 14 years renovating it, putting in gardens, koi ponds, etc. There is nothing like the Dayton area -- I truly love it here. 

Can you tell me about the Kindred Hearts Transport organization and the role you play with it? 
Augenstein: A few years ago, I ran across a Facebook page looking for volunteer drivers to transport dogs and other animals from state-to-state. The all-volunteer organization works to transport animals across the USA. We all donate our time to run a leg of a trip. I have done several drives, often picking up in Indiana and driving multiple dogs in my SUV to Columbus. It’s a lot of fun, and you meet the nicest people who really care and do what they can to help animals. It is an honor to be part of the group. 

Tell me about being a realtor. What are its core components?
Augenstein: I have been a realtor for almost 15 years, and I absolutely love it. For me, the core components are honesty and integrity, passion, and structure (having systems in place). Coldwell Banker has been extremely valuable to me as a realtor in that they have a well-defined infrastructure, all the tools I need to be successful and grow my business. They also provide amazing services, such as websites, document management systems, marketing, materials, and support, that provide me with vision, the ability to wear many hats and multitask, networking, and a positive attitude. 

Who has inspired you in life and why? 
Augenstein: My family inspires me. My late grandmother and grandfather, Mary and Edward Sabol, always supported and encouraged me to do whatever I set out to do. Nothing was off-limits or gender-specific, like racing horses or playing on the boys’ basketball team, starting a business or rescuing a horse destined for slaughter. They always had a hot meal, kind word, good humor, and really listened to us and shared in our lives fully. My mom, Joanne Augenstein, who was a realtor and is a stand-up comedian, has always believed in me and encouraged me in every way. I spend time with my mom every day and love all that we do together. We laugh a lot and are great friends. I appreciate my brother Jason, for his immense drive, focus and willingness to collaborate, and his unending kindness to all. And my brother John, for his brilliance -- there isn’t anything that he can’t build, create or invent; he is amazing.

How has Dayton’s real estate market changed in the past five years? 
Augenstein: Five years ago, it was extremely tough. After the bubble popped, real estate slowed to a trickle. At the time, I specialized in HUD, foreclosed and investment properties. Now the investor market has become a bit more crowded. We are finally seeing foreclosures hit the market from over two years ago -- they have been backlogged, holding them and slowly returning them to the market. The rental market is really booming, and new construction has a pulse again. In the past year, we have been busier than ever -- the market is definitely coming back. We also are influenced heavily by military rotations, base closures, and reassignments at WPAFB. We have had a surge of military personnel moving to the area and buying homes, which has been a nice shot in the arm for the Dayton market. 

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If a movie were produced about your life, who would you want to play you?  
Augenstein: Well, I’d like to say Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Aniston, but my life has been a comedy so I’d have to say a combination of Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy. They speak their mind, laugh, aren't afraid to make fun of themselves…and sometimes they blow things up.

What keeps you motivated?
Augenstein: Life, the natural beauty of everyday, joy, creating beauty, art, wonderful spaces, happiness, gratitude, helping people, nature, compassion, random acts of kindness, and seeing improvement every day. It’s an internal drive. I love real estate because of the interaction; it’s always new and different helping people fulfill their dreams. My real estate partner, Kyle Thacker, is also very motivating. We have a great synergy to get things done, support each other, and provide excellent service. 

To learn more about Jan Augenstein or to contact her, visit the Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors website.

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