2014-08-29 / Business Review

Townsend Real Estate holds itself to the highest of industry standards

Kathryn Townsend, is constantly challenging herself to set her company apart from the rest.

Townsend takes a progressive approach to real estate. Just because things have always been done a certain way doesn’t mean we have to continue with the same real estate model. Kathryn is constantly striving to set her company apart from the “model” real estate agency. Townsend and her agents deal with all aspects of real estate, from representing buyers and sellers, residential, commercial to investment and rental units across Southern Maine. In the Greater Portland area, the company also offers property management services.

And business is booming!

“This year is turning out to be one of our best years in a long time,” says Townsend. “Most of our homes are selling in under 30 days on my team, and as an office, in under 60.”

In fact, there’s almost more activity in the local real estate market right now that Townsend can handle. That’s why, in January, she took two of her employees, one working as a seller’s agent and one as a buyer’s agent, and partnered up with them to form Kathryn Townsend Real Estate Group — the team she spoke of above — to handle her own clients.

“I was so busy with daily real estate inquiries every day to buy or sell homes,” says Townsend, an admitted “Type A” personality who normally strives to return enquiries within a few hours. “I was getting way to overwhelmed. I just couldn’t keep up.”

As things go, that’s not a bad problem to have.

Although Townsend agents cover all of Southern Maine, her team are local experts in the Willard Beach area of South Portland, located just a stone’s throw the Shore Road office.

“Increasingly, people who once preferred to live in Portland are choosing Willard Beach, and not just because of the beach,” says Townsend. “People really want to be in areas where there’s not only a great sense of community, but where they can walk easily to areas. Willard has grown so much. Every year there is growth and change. It helps to live and work in the community. This makes is easy to stay on top of the market and the constant changes that effect the pricing in the community.

“And it’s not just in residential sales,” says Townsend. “So many businesses are coming in because they are realizing that they can do really well there with so many families moving into the area. Those families would rather shop and eat in their own neighborhood. People don’t want to have to go across the bridge.”

One other thing that separates Townsend’s office from other real estate agencies in the area is that it doubles as a Fine Art Gallery. It’s something Townsend, an art lover herself, began when her agency first opened its doors years ago on Portland’s West End in order to take advantage of foot traffic during the city’s “First Friday” art walks. Today, she continues the tradition as a way to integrate her office into the community and to support the local artists. People often visit Townsend Real Estate just to view the artwork, with no intention of buying or selling real estate.

“I’m not a really aggressive agent,” says Townsend. “I’d rather connect with the community on a different level, in a way that’s not just being in their face, trying to sell them real estate, although we do find people buying artwork for staging their properties, so there is a connection between fine art and real estate.”

A real estate agent since 1991, Townsend is Past President of the Greater Portland Board of REALTORS and a past recipient of the REALTOR of the year award. She currently holds a position on the Professional Standards Committee of the Greater Portland Board of REALTORS, where she’s been specifically trained to hear ethics and arbitration complaints against others in her field.

“Ethics has always been at the top of my list in terms of what’s important to me. It means everything and it’s why we have such as outstanding reputation. My clients know I’m there for them, that I’m on their side, and I think that makes the process less stressful, because there’s no doubt in their minds that we’re working hard for them.”

That may be why, in a rebounding economy, that Townsend Real Estate is growing. The firm has recently grown from nine to 15 agents, and is currently looking to hire more.

“I teach my agents that setting personal goals is important, but that representing people and making sure they are protected is our first priority,” says Townsend. “They need to realize that people come first and, if they don’t, they don’t fit in at my office.”

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