David Orso may be the only real estate agent in Severna Park ever to sell more than $1 billion of real estate. However, for the 20-year business owner, it hasn’t always been easy.
David went broke in the real estate recession of 2008. His wife, Dawn Orso, fought breast cancer in 2015. He then battled throat cancer in 2020-2021.
“With each challenge, my perspective shifted, my heart grew bigger and my faith grew stronger,” David said.
David believes part of being in business for two decades means there will be tough seasons.
“I have found breakdowns are breakthroughs,” David said. “I’d hope to encourage anyone going through a dark season to hang in there and keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
Amongst the lows, there have been many highs. David has been ranked among the top 10 agents in America. He has won many industry awards, is commonly referred to as the GOAT (greatest of all time) among his colleagues, and he is asked regularly to speak about residential real estate. He has represented more than 2,000 clients.
What truly sets David apart from other agents, though, is his commitment to philanthropy. Despite David having a career that is known for high stress and long hours, philanthropy remains at the core of his business. The David Orso Team has donated more than $500,000 to hundreds of local charities.
Dawn helps David with the couple’s philanthropic efforts and the business, which is located at the corner of Evergreen Road and Riggs Avenue. They share children Max (age 22), Olivia (age 17) and Mia (age 14). This year, Olivia is interning at the real estate office after school. She has committed to playing lacrosse at Ohio State University next year.
“When Dawn and I started our family foundation and thought through giving strategies, we agreed we could make the largest impact by donating our wealth, wisdom and work to small, local nonprofits,” David said.
The Orsos have supported the Severna Park Community Center, Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center, Sarah’s House, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the Severn River Association, the Magothy River Association, the Annapolis Light House shelter, Bello Machre, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Stef Ripple and Hospice of the Chesapeake.
“We feel these nonprofits make daily contributions, which are so immediate to our community, and the majority of our contribution goes toward the respective cause,” David elaborated.
David credits his parents, Don Orso and Mary Ann Orso, for laying a foundation of a service-first mindset.
When reflecting on the most important lesson learned in 20 years of real estate efforts, David said, “Each day I get to use my profession to enhance a community I love and help connect the community.”
His space has become a community hub for events such as a shredding day in the spring, bleachers for the Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce’s annual Fourth of July parade, a costume collection site for underprivileged kids at Halloween, and toy collection site during the holidays for sick kids spending Christmas in the hospital.
What is David’s advice for success?
“If you really want to be successful, then life needs to be much bigger than yourself,” David said.
Looking ahead to the next 20 years, David knows it will be incumbent upon him to teach the next generation about leading with a giver’s heart.
“The world is starving for leadership currently, and we need leaders who bring people together with a clear vision to bond communities,” he said.
To work with the David Orso Team of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, call 443-372-7171 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.davidorso.com to learn more.
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