Retire? Bah, humbug! says Davis Chant

People magnet, real

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  • Davis Chant works the phones at his real estate business (Photo by Marilyn Rosenthal)

  • At Davis Chant's surprise 80th birthday party at the Silk Mill in Hawley (from left): daughter, Tamara Chant; grandson, Jacob Saltzman; Davis Chant (who was totally surprised), and wife, Judy Chant. Sixty people attended the event and offered many loving tributes. (Photo provided)

His professor couldn’t challenge his decision to switch majors from civil engineering to real estate when he learned what Chant made in one summer — more than the academic made in an entire school year.

By Marilyn Rosenthal

— Davis R. Chant just turned 80 on Dec. 15 and isn't slowing down. He gets up at 5 a.m. almost daily, works seven days a week, and is involved in just about every new development in Pike County, whether it's residential or commercial real estate, or community organizations.

When asked if he would ever retire, he said, "What would I do? I love this business and I love Milford."

Indeed, Milford has ample reason to love him. Chant is on the board of the charitable Greater Pike Foundation and active in the Pike County Chamber of Commerce almost from its beginning. He's been a financial supporter of the Milford Music Festival, the Black Bear Film Festival, and the Milford Readers and Writers Festival.

In the summer of 1958, a young Dave Chant got his first job at The Sagamore resort, now Sagamore Estates in Shohola, as an office boy. He ended up making $5,000 — a lot of money in those days — selling lots. When he returned to Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, he told his advisor that he wanted to switch his major from civil engineering to real estate. The professor couldn't challenge this decision when he learned what Chant made in one summer — more than the academic made in an entire school year!

$2 billion in 15 yearsChant has been astoundingly successful. In business for 54 years, Chant Realtors is the number one company out of 72 in the Pike/Wayne Board of Realtors. Since 2003, Chant Realtors has led the way in sales volume, selling more than two billion dollars worth — $2,184,694,677, to be exact.

In 2017 alone, the business sold properties worth $256,741,426. You can't take a ride in the area without running into a Chant office. They're located on East Harford Street in Milford, Hemlock Farms in Lords Valley, Lake Wallenpaupack in Hawley, and Willow Avenue in Honesdale.

Chant Realtors is also a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World which collectively sold $55 billion more U.S. home sales than competitors like Re/Max, Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, and Sotheby's International Realty. And it's not just residential sales. Chant Realtors has represented over 56 percent of all commercial transactions in Pike County so far this year, though only about 25 percent of its total sales are commercial. His latest commercial deals include the sale of Milford Professional Park ($1.85 million) for a range of professional, medical, government, and non-profit offices, and a seven-plus-acre development in Westfall called Pike Health Properties, LLC, which will be a 70-bed nursing home and a separate 50-unit assisted living facility.

The Chant offices have 80 real estate agents (sales associates), and 20 people in staff and management. The offices are run like a family. Carly Longhenry, Chant's efficient executive assistant, keeps things humming while reflecting the welcoming atmosphere in the office.

The offices operate in teams, with more experienced agents helping newer agents. Half of the agents have been with Chant from 20 to 45 years. Four agents have been with Chant less than five years.

"We do everything we can to make their lives successful," Chant said of his agents. "They do staff training, provide leads, spend money on ads, including billboard, use the latest technology, have aggressive web sites."

One of the newest agents is his daughter Tamara Chant, who has worked mostly for non-profits and in event planning in London, Paris, and Monaco. She's a perfect fit for the Chant office, and clearly shares the real estate gene with her dad. Tamara is a people person and loves the both the Milford and Port Jervis communities. Davis is thrilled that she has joined the office and wants her to be involved as much as possible. He expects her to be a team leader in the years to come.

Davis Chant is an intriguing mixture of quiet self-confidence and sophistication and local Milford boy. His maternal grandmother, Myrtle Davis, was related to Jefferson Davis, which explains his first name, which he uses in official and formal settings. But in true Chant hominess, he always says, "You can call me Dave!"

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