Author: Charles Souza, BSU student
If you have lived on the South Shore for some time there is a chance you have seen some of her signs in front of a house here and there. Carolyn Cleveland is a local South Shore woman running a small real estate business and also a single mother of two. In a constantly changing economy the real estate market has taken all kinds of turns and she has survived all of them.
Carolyn is a South Shore native, she grew up in the small town of Rockland, as a young adult she moved away for 20 years to Cape Cod then Rhode Island and returned to the South Shore in 2000. I asked Carolyn why she decided to go into this line of business:
“I enjoy the business, I love working with and meeting new people and the challenges that come along with it. I got into this line of work after I left a management job because I wanted a new exciting challenge and a career that would allow me to have a more flexible schedule so I could make sure I was around for my two sons when they needed me to be”
When did you decide to start this business and why?
“We opened Compass Realty Brokerage Services in March 2006 in Hanover MA. After working as an agent for 9 years I decided it was time I should try to start my own. My business partner and I decided to open the company after we had both worked for other companies for several years. Real estate can be very cut throat, and we wanted a company with a culture of personal service, and a team of agents that would support and encourage each other, while delivering a high level of service to our clients.”
What was the toughest thing you went through and what inspired you to keep going and not give up?
“The first couple of years we had a great team of agents and the market was very active. The toughest part was in 2008, when the great recession affected property values. Many people, even if they had put 20% down, were underwater. Their homes had lost more value than what they owed on their mortgage. In the event of a job loss, death, divorce, or other unfortunate event people who needed to sell their home, couldn’t sell it for what they owed.
This of course resulted in people either short selling their home, letting it go into foreclosure, or having to bring money to the table to pay off the mortgage when they sold it for less than what they owed. It resulted in fewer sales and income for the company and agents, and many of the sales were for hardship reasons. I was inspired to keep going because even though we made less money than before, it was still our career choice and we knew eventually the economy had to turn around again.”
I then asked Carolyn that when someone is looking to purchase or sell a home, why should they choose your company over so many others in the area that offer the same services. What makes you company different?
“Myself and the agents in my office come with many years of experience and offer a very high level of personal service. We do keep up on the latest technology, such as electronic signing of documents, etc., but are still willing to meet personally with older clients that don’t even have email. We all have good reputations and are respected by the other agents, which make them want to work with us. We are also experienced negotiators.”
After my talk with Carolyn I feel confident in my choice to work with her anytime I’m in need for the services her business offers and I hope that the readers of this article will consider contacting her for any of your real estate needs.