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Celebrating Fifteen Years of Gibson Sotheby's International Realty with Larry Rideout and Paul McGann

We honored to announce that this December, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty proudly celebrates its fifteenth anniversary. 

Since Larry Rideout and Paul McGann opened our doors in Boston’s South End in 2006, Gibson Sotheby's International Realty has expanded into new regions, attracted top talent, and evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients and the industry. With experts throughout Massachusetts, we are local everywhere, allowing us to walk alongside our clients at every stage of their journey and ensure your home is connected with buyers, locally and worldwide. 

Looking ahead to the next fifteen years with steadfast commitment, our co-owners Larry and Paul discuss resilience in uncertain times, their passion for agent success, and the core values they have maintained every step of the way.

This December, we celebrate Gibson Sotheby's International Realty's 15th anniversary. What thoughts and emotions come to mind when you think about that?

Larry Rideout: My first thought is how quickly the fifteen years passed. Then I think of the many special and challenging moments that made that up those fifteen years. 

Paul McGann: My first thought and emotion is pride. We are so proud of the company we've built and the people that were along for the journey.

When you started Gibson Sotheby's International Realty in 2006, did you think you’d be here fifteen years later? What were your visions and how have you met or even surpassed those visions?

LP: I never expected that it would all be such a wonderful and fulfilling journey. 

PM: Yes! However, I had no idea what the journey would have been to get here. It was full of ups and downs, lots of hard work, and risk. All worth it!

What do you see as the biggest achievements since the company's inception in 2006? What are you most proud of? 

LP: I believe our biggest achievement was growing our company as we have but still retaining the family culture that is so important to us. 

PM: Holding the company together through challenging times and reaching this level of success.

 

Can you talk about the value of having those key early hires — Barbara Cowley, Brian Back, Brian Perry, Cathy Marotta, Fulani Butler, Kyle Kaagan, Laura Spence, Moshe Elmekias, and Ted Pietras — still with the company since its inception?

LP: That group of loyal associates were the foundation that we built our company on. I call them our Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty founders! They are that intangible glue. 

PM: They are the glue and the culture of this company — honest, hardworking, and ethical people. We are so proud of them and grateful for their loyalty.

A fifteenth anniversary is a big milestone. Can you talk about where you hope the company will be at its 30th anniversary? In what ways do you expect to grow?

LP: Fifteen years is an amazing milestone. I can’t speak for the next fifteen but we will always seek out like-minded associates and continue to grow strategically in the best interests of our agents. 

PM: My hope is that the company will be in great hands with someone who carries on our vision and values. 

How will you set yourself apart from your competition over the next fifteen years? 

LP: What will make us different from our completion is what makes us different now. We treat our associates as friends and clients. Our goal is to provide all of the support they need so that they can do what they do best: list and sell. We provide the most effective environment to accomplish that. 

PM: We will keep doing what we are doing—our real secret is that we view our agents and support staff as our clients. We give them what they need to succeed at what they do.  

Do you have a moment that you keep looking back to, or a favorite memory that stands out?

LP: I have many favorite moments, but the two that stand out and touch me emotionally are when our markets changed essentially overnight with the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 and the pandemic in 2020. Both times, we had several associates offer to hold off on receiving their commission checks until we were sure the company was on good footing. It’s moments like that that make you love where you are, who you are with and what you are doing. 

PM: There was a moment during the recession that sticks with me.  There were a couple of Boston businesspeople who wanted to take advantage of the financial situation and take over our company because they thought we were desperate (which we were). We rolled up our sleeves and the company came back stronger than ever, and that became my favorite moment.

What’s been most surprising about the journey so far?

LP: I feel like we all are are family, but what is especially meaningful to me is having my daughters help lead our company, doing what we love together. It’s the best feeling of all. 

PM: To me, it has tested our fortitude and ability to stay focused on our vision. In tough times, you discover more of what you're made of than you do in the good times.

What is the best piece of leadership advice you have received?

LP: My first inclination is the adage "the harder you work, the luckier you get," but the most appropriate advice I received from a mentor is that all real estate businesses are growing. They are either growing larger or growing smaller. 

PM: Work hard in silence and let your success make the noise.

What’s one piece of company trivia that few know or no one knows?

LP: I suppose a bit of trivia would be our company’s original name: Gibson Domain Domain. 

PM: Early on, for a short period of time, we signed on to be the official real estate company of the Boston Red Sox.

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