BOSTON – This is an interview with Tori MacDowell, one of a series featuring members of the Advisors Living team of residential brokers in the Boston area.
Tori, what is your title?
I’m a Residential Sales Vice President. I made the President’s Club last year [an internal Boston Realty Advisors and Advisors Living award for residential sales].
What do you actually do?
Help buyers and sellers with their real estate needs. I got pushed into getting my real estate license by Wil [Catlin, Managing Director and Senior Partner] and my dad [Roy MacDowell, a real estate professional with long experience in the Boston area] in 2007. In 2010 I moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, with my husband, who got a job coaching with the University of Nebraska. It made me a different person – I loved it. Everyone is so nice. We were there for five years – it is still my favorite place. Then we moved to California for three years, and I returned to Massachusetts in 2019.
How long have you been at Advisors Living?
I had been with Coldwell Banker. I started at Advisors Living on Jan. 1, 2021.
Where is your office?
In Weston. Our new office opened in the center of town.
What communities and neighborhoods do you work in?
The pandemic pushed me to places as far as Berlin and Plymouth, but primarily I work in Weston, Boston, Lincoln, Wayland, Wellesley, Lexington, and Sudbury. I’ve sort of stretched across Massachusetts. I didn’t know there was a town called Berlin. But with everything accessible to us now, it takes about 10 minutes to become a market expert in a town. You go where the business sort of takes you. If you stick to one town, I think you’re missing out on a lot of business. Now I’m in many different towns. In fact, I’ve had a lot of business in downtown Boston. I have been lucky to have the opportunity over the past couple years to work with a few professional athletes in the Boston area, which is amazing because I love sports.
How long have you been in the real estate business?
Since 2007. When I started I was working strictly on developments my dad was doing. Wil and my dad pushed me into this whole thing. I ended up loving it.
What do you like about the real estate game?
I love that it’s fast paced. I sort of have a hyper edge to me. People say, “She’s the fastest talker I know.” I really like the quickness of how things move. I thrived during the pandemic. I love jumping and getting offers in early. I love the competition. Mostly, honestly, I love when my clients are happy. I’ve worked with people for nine months. They write me these letters and give me these gifts. Really, it’s a great thing for me. Since my return I have tripled my business. It’s because of the company and the support they give me to succeed. They truly want me to succeed, and I’m so comfortable with everybody here. I’m happy.
Where do you live now?
When we moved back, before the pandemic, we didn’t know where we wanted to live. We rented a unit at Avalon and currently still live in Metrowest. We haven’t left yet. The thought of moving was daunting, and nothing was available. The only house I even considered was in Lincoln, 4 1⁄2 minutes from my office. I really did want it but missed my opportunity. I’ve been kicking myself.
OK, tell us about the real estate market.
Honestly, it’s one crazy thing after another. Very unpredictable. You can put something on the market and have no one come in. And it’s priced right. Or have four offers the first day. But it’s slowing down. I was supposed to have five closings in August. I had one. Everyone had some sort of financial change or issue.... It’s in flux. The markets are very scary to people. There’s a lot of uncertainty now, not just with mortgage rates, but liquid assets and investments have become much more involved in buyers’ decisions to proceed or sellers’ decisions to sell. There’s a lot of hesitation. You must price the house correctly. It needs to be approachable to buyers – not just what the sellers hope to get. That prevents the sale.
How do clients find you?
Word of mouth, a lot of referrals. Past and current clients – which is great. I’ve done some advertising, but it’s really been word of mouth referrals. I knew I had to do something different than other agents were doing. People need to “prep” their house. I launched this whole staging thing, to get it picture perfect. It’s time-consuming, but it has set me apart at times.
What was your last deal?
I had a great summer of closings, on- and off-market sales. In June I closed on a few high-priced homes that have stuck in my head as some of the most unusual I’ve sold, ranging from $1 million to $8 million. One of the most incredible houses I’ve ever sold, in Sherborn, was an old farmhouse that was modernized and added on to. Hands down one of my most favorite ever. Absolutely incredible.
I don’t. I have no life. Real estate to me is fun. This is literally what I’ve been doing for two years. I took one day off when my son got engaged and one day off when my other son moved to D.C. My hobby is real estate. I grew up in that household. We talked about it at the dinner table – a lot. I don’t watch TV too much. I’m a little bit of a sports junkie. I’m Commissioner in three fantasy football leagues this year. I don’t know how, but I love playing fantasy football. I love baseball the most.