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Connecting with Mosaic Realty's Ward Caldwell

Ward Caldwell is human glue. That may be an oversimplification, but the man has a knack for getting people together — whether that’s through his meetup group, Asheville International Connections, or by simply pairing his clients with exactly the right tradespeople they need, Ward is extremely adept at finding commonalities and connections between folks. He took the time recently to chat with us about this skill and the throughline it’s created between his professional past and present.

Ward Caldwell Mosaic Realty

Share a bit about your background with us:

I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but I’ve lived in North Carolina for quite some time, about 12 years now. My background is in higher education, so I followed that work to a lot of great places, — Alaska, Pennsylvania, and Washington (Seattle), too. But when I got a job as the Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, I quickly succumbed to Carolina charm. I moved to Asheville a few years ago, and couldn’t be happier with that decision.

OK, but how did you make the jump from higher ed to being a real estate broker? Help us connect the dots!

Well, I first considered a career in real estate a long time ago. My undergraduate degree was in marketing, and I thought about putting those skills to use as a realtor then. (I even had a broker’s backing already.) But my wife and I were just starting out, and like most young couples, we were worried about money and needed a steadier paycheck, so I went into advertising instead.

While I was working in advertising, I got my master’s degree in sociology, and started moving my marketing skill set toward academic administration. Being responsible for residence life and assisting with campus master planning were frequently part of my job, and I found myself involved with large-scale construction and campus expansion projects (helping design residence halls, dining facilities, and mapping out the future footprint of the campuses) as part of making campus life better and more attractive to students. That kept my old interest in real estate alive. It’s not too different from what I do everyday as a realtor — that experience means I have a more thorough understanding of what features make some houses a better match for my clients, and if I’m working with a seller, I’ll know almost immediately how to market the property.

Ward Caldwell Asheville

What are your passion projects/subjects?

Back in August, a friend and I organized an international meetup group here in Asheville. It’s called Asheville International Connections and we already have close to 500 members from all over — Portugal, Ukraine, Brazil, the UK, France, Venezuela, South Africa — you name it! Gathering together with folks from the United States who have also lived abroad at some point or another, we do things like host mix-and-mingles, World Cup viewing parties, and field trips to the various global cuisine restaurants in the area. It fosters a sense of community for a lot of expats from some pretty far-flung places. I grew up with my parents owning a couple of travel companies over the years, so I guess that travel bug is genetic!

I’m also an avid backpacker/hiker, as well as a runner and kayaker. I’m always outside!

Ward Caldwell Asheville Realtor

What are your realty superpowers?

The ability to make connections and bring people together! I have a fine-tuned sense of empathy and understanding of others, and it allows me to better help my clients resolve any issues that occur in the process, whether that’s assisting in negotiations between buyer and seller, or simply helping a client not feel so overwhelmed by the steps in a complicated transaction. All my experiences have given me a strong and varied set of skills — I’m a well-honed problem solver!

What ways do you enjoy giving back to our community?

I’m really happy to support LEAF Global Arts. That organization sits at the intersection of my past experiences in arts education and my love of connecting people! I’m also involved in groups who help take care of the planet. The NC GreenBuilt Alliance and Asheville GreenWorks are near and dear to my heart, as is Blue Ridge Pride. Making sure that people are heard and seen is a constant in my life, professionally and personally.

Ward Caldwell Asheville Real Estate

Do you have certain neighborhoods/communities in which you especially love to work?

Oh yes, I love the walking communities, like Montford, Five Points, and West Asheville.

What is the most special thing about the AVL area?

Only one thing? Hmm, it’s gotta be the combination of the mountains, the wonderful people, and the vibrant art and food culture! That counts as one, right?

Connect With and Learn More About Ward Caldwell Here

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