What did you do before real estate and how did you get started in the business?
Tom: I was just shy of 24 when I graduated from UMass-Amherst with a degree in Italian Literature and Political Science. My dad wanted me to go to law school, but I needed a break. My uncle, Jack Matthews, suggested real estate. I marched down to the local real estate office in my hometown and handed the owner my rsum. She said, "You have a rsum? You are hired!" Her son was friends with Joanne, who I met when she was a Junior at Boston College. She was studying communications and marketing. I was so impressed that she was a varsity swimmer, had a job, was doing well in school and still had time to have a good time. I had been thinking about a male/female partnership because I like the dichotomy. I asked my four sisters and they all turned me down. I had a vision to build a business, but everyone thought I was crazy, including Joanne. However, fate dealt her some misfortune which included marketing jobs that paid less than her last year at BC, and from there the door was open. I always had the knack of knowing when to strike the deal, but lacked other skills, marketing being one. We launched our team in January of 2005!
What is something your clients find comfort in that makes them turn to you for their real estate needs?
Tom: When I was starting out, my personal goal was to build a business where I would treat people the way I would want someone to treat one of my four sisters. No matter what, we would always put the needs of our clients first and our goal was to build Clients for Life. This, coupled with the Great Recession of 2008, caused us to have painfully slow growth, but we built a rock solid foundation that now 17 years later is supporting our exponential growth. We have done over twelve transactions with one family, having helped all three sons and their father buy and sell real estate. They have referred us to over twenty clients. This is the business Joanne and I dreamed of building when we first met at a Starbucks back in the winter of 2005.
What are some of your favorite local hobbies, activities or organizations that you participate in?
Tom: For 15 years, I have been a member of BNI-Minutemen, which meets at the Tri-Con church in Concord. Every Wednesday at 7am, I attend a meeting to help other business owners grow their businesses and, along the way, earn a few referrals for the Tom and Joanne Team. One of the best referrals I got from this group was from a credit card professional in 2009,when he introduced me to his niece who was looking for a home. He told her I was single and President of the organization. That referral was my now wife Amanda, and we have been together ever since. I enjoy hiking with Amanda and our three children at the local Musketaquid club.
What do you love most about where you live and work?
Tom: I grew up in Maynard, went to high school at Acton-Boxboro and now live in Concord. I love having intimate knowledge of the local towns and being able to help buyers relocating to the area to make a great lifestyle purchase. I can help them best understand the pros and cons of the different communities. Joanne and I are creeping up on 600 career sales and have a wealth of knowledge of the communities in our marketplace.
What are three sources of joy in your week?
- We love as a family to walk into Concord Center for a hot chocolate and spend that valuable time together.
- The Tom and Joanne Team Tuesday meetings, which, pre-pandemic, began at 7am (we now meet at 9am over Zoom). We discuss team business, catch up on deals, and plan for the future. I look forward to thesemeetings every week. They represent a simple structural move that has changed our business.
- My BNI meeting on Wednesdays, which I've been a part of for 15 years. I value my relationships with people and this format has allowed me to make so many lasting relationships.