Vitals: Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty
Years in Business: 12
Size: 8 offices, 233 agents
Regions Served: Boston, Cambridge, Eastern Massachusetts
2017 Sales Volume: $1.75 billion
2017 Transactions: 1,776
No. 126 in sales volume in RISMedia’s 2018 Power Broker Report
With more than three decades of experience in establishing real estate franchises throughout New England, Larry Rideout, co-owner, chairman and founder of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, has earned his stripes as a real estate veteran.
A dozen years ago, Rideout acquired Gibson Domain, which has transformed into Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty. The Boston-based firm is a consistent leader in Massachusetts.
What do you love most about the real estate business?
Larry Rideout: I’ve been in real estate since 1984. I love that every day is different and that there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.
How would you characterize 2017, and what are you experiencing in your markets so far in 2018?
LR: 2017 was our best year ever in both sales volume and sides closed. That success is due to having experienced associates who stay focused in all types of markets. So far in 2018, we’re seeing inventory issues, but we’re again having our best year ever, which is exciting for me. There’s always some sort of disruptor, but we’ve stayed focused on closing deals.
Do you have any plans to grow the company in 2018?
LR: We recently appointed Colleen Barry as our new CEO, and she’s taken over running our office. We’ve made the decision to grow our company strategically both vertically and horizontally, and we may add a couple of offices. We believe that our greatest opportunities lie in growing into our feeder markets through mergers and acquisitions.
Define the company’s strategy.
LR: Our firm has a philosophy of providing “white glove service” to all of our clients and customers. Although we excel in luxury properties, we’re dominant in all price points.
How do you find the right people to join the firm?
LR: We recently added a full-time recruiter, something we’ve never done before. We have a very strict culture here—people must fit into our company. We don’t just look at production; a new employee needs to match our culture. There are a lot of good associates that we would like to invite into our family.
What do you look for in an agent?
LR: We want people who will be collaborative and work together. We hire agents who are about “us,” rather than “me.” We want everyone winning, and that starts with someone willing to grow with the team.
What attracts agents to the firm?
LR: Our leadership team doesn’t compete; our job is to support the agents. We also have a marketing department that handles almost everything. We let the agents do what they do best—listing and selling—and we take care of the rest.
How is your firm handling the needs of millennial buyers?
LR: We’re very aware of our consumers’ needs in our marketplace. We also bring on associates that can and do connect with their peers. We have a fairly young team that understands millennials, and we recruit to that, as well.
How do you stay current on the latest and greatest tools to help your firm stay on top?
LR: My team and I go to a lot of conferences so that we can see what’s going on and find out what others are having success with. We bring that back to our marketing team and implement different strategies to see what value they have and whether they fit our model.
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