Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty Soars Ahead with a Team of Well-Known Agents
“We have so many reasons to be grateful. Our Cambridge team is one of them,” said Larry Rideout, CEO and Owner of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty. His marketing team recently launched a “Thank You” ad campaign at his behest. Rideout and his business partner, Paul McGann, set audacious goals for themselves last year. In the midst of historic inventory crunch, they set their sights on Cambridge. “It was a market for which the Sotheby’s brand is a natural fit; it’s a prestigious community with an average sale price that is on the rise. But, we were going to have to do something that we hadn’t really done before,” said Rideout.
Rideout and McGann completed more than 30 acquisitions in their previous careers at Realogy, the parent company of several well-known real estate brands. So, naturally, when they launched Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in Boston, they set out to make acquisitions a big part of their growth plan. Since November of 2006, they have acquired nine firms and have grown the company from $247 million in sales to $1.3 billion in 2015. But Cambridge was going to have to be different. “There just wasn’t the opportunity for an acquisition in Cambridge. The market was entrenched with firms who had been operating in the same way for a very long time. So, we had to build from the ground up,” said Rideout.
They secured a space on the edge of Harvard Square and set about designing a bright and modern office. Then Rideout and McGann identified key players in the market; those with excellent reputations in the industry and strong sales histories. As they met with the agents, they shared what had made Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty so successful in Boston. One-by-one, veterans of the industry with 10, 20, and 30 years of experience joined the new office — creating a virtual tidal shift in the market. The group of well-respected, high-producing agents, includes The Lauren Holleran Team, The Dino Confalone Team, Anne Fantasia, Laura Palumbo Hanson, Lisa Godwin, the Lisa May and Lindsay Allison Team, Judy Carlough, Grace Liao Tannenbaum, Lizzy Flanagan, Susan Condrick, Laura Segal, John O’Neil, Max Dublin, and Lara Gordon.
“We were bowled over by the response from the agents in Cambridge,” said McGann. “Our original goal was to have six agents in that office by the end of the year. Our amazing team grew to 20 in only seven months! We couldn’t be more thrilled.” The new recruits joined a small team of rental agents and existing Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty agents. The total sales for those agents topped $175 million in 2015. While they are among the biggest names in Cambridge real estate, they also focus on Belmont, Somerville and Watertown — key areas of recent growth.
“The inventory has been so low in these areas that the pressure is on for our agents and their clients. Our Cambridge team brings with them decades of experience. They are trusted names in their markets. The company’s job is to do all that we can to support them and their clients in new ways,” said Rideout. His leadership team has been working hand-in-hand with many of the agents, including directors of the Marketing, International Initiatives, Relocation and Productivity departments. “These agents are so very successful. I feel like, all the while we are working hard to get them to the next level, they are making us better as a firm,” said Colleen Barry, Director of Productivity. “I am inspired by them — it is a pleasure and honor to work with them every day.”
Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty is making the most of its international network. Rideout traveled to Hong Kong in October to participate in the Sotheby’s autumn sales. In November, several agents visited the Sotheby’s Auction House and several luxury properties in New York City. A strong contingent is planning to join the Global Networking Event for Sotheby’s International Realty in Las Vegas in May. “The real estate world gets smaller every day,” said Nicole Rideout, Director of Relocation and Referrals. “It is imperative that we foster strong relationships, not only domestically, but internationally. Cambridge and Boston are truly international cities, and are deserving of an international firm.”
About Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty:
Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty is Boston’s largest independent real estate company. Founded in 1962 by Betty Gibson in Boston’s South End, the firm has eight offices throughout Boston, Cambridge and the surrounding areas. The Sotheby’s brand takes great pride in presenting to the world unique homes and their stories. Through this extraordinary network which extends to more than 60 countries and territories worldwide, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty has access to some of the most qualified buyers in the world and provides remarkable exposure for each home.