This edition of the MAR Report, the official podcast of the MAR, features a roundtable interview with MAR members Michael Dimella, David Kres, and Jessica Ye, who were recently selected as a REALTOR Magazine “30 under 30”. Learn more about this year's winners from Massachusetts:
DAVID KRES, 29 - Broker-Owner, Buyers Brokers Only LLC in Haverhill, Mass.
When Kres obtained his law degree, he determined that real estate was the best place to establish his client service-centric roots. In 2005, he partnered with another attorney, Richard Rosa, to form Buyers Brokers Only LLC. When area sales began to slow, Kres and Rosa were unfazed. They recruited four more attorneys to the firm, carving a distinctive niche in the Boston-area market.
Through his law firm, Rosa & Kres LLP, he provides legal representation to his real estate clients at no extra charge. It’s especially helpful in Massachusetts, a state where transactional documents can be particularly complex. “We don’t see ourselves as salespeople,” says Kres. “We consider ourselves trusted advisers.” Clearly, the team can close a deal, tallying $9.1 million on 33 transaction sides in 2007, up from $5.3 million in 19 transactions the year before..
XIAO HUI (JESSICA) YE, 28 - Broker-Owner, Keller Williams Realty Cambridge in Cambridge, Mass.
When many 18-year-olds are relishing their first taste of grown-up freedom, Ye, then straight out of high school and newly married with a baby on the way, decided that real estate investing would help fill her free time. She and her husband bought their first home in Malden, Mass., in 1997 at a foreclosure auction for $82,500 and flipped it three months later for a $30,000 profit. She has yet to slow down. After investing in 10 other properties during the next three years while earning a college degree in business management, she decided that getting a real estate license made sense. “The salespeople were having all the fun,” she quips. Her background as an investor and developer gave her terrific experience when she decided to open a Keller Williams franchise in 2006. She now manages more than 30 associates, but “my passion remains in sales,” she says, noting her sales volume of $12 million last year.
To spread the word about open houses, she’s more likely to call 200 neighbors than send 200 postcards. “Everyone does postcards. I believe in the personal touch,” she says.
Ye is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, having emigrated to the United States from China at age 7. Her language skills have enabled her to win many Chinese clients. She advertises her business on the cover of a local Chinese real estate publication. She’s laying the groundwork for her own real estate development company in Macau, China. “After that, I want to create an MLS for all of China.” ”
MICHAEL DIMELLA, 28 - Managing Partner, Charlesgate Realty Group LLC in Boston
DiMella started in real estate at 20, scrounging business wherever he could and trying to make enough money to pay for graduate school. So in 2003, when he and a partner started their own company, he was determined to help other young salespeople. “I wanted to create an environment where you could have great customer service and still have balance in your life,” he says. His hockey-playing years at Boston University taught him early on that “personal achievement is impossible without being lifted by team success.” Indeed, Charlesgate has grown from three sales associates in 2004 to 15 today, with more than $30 million in sales last year and another $26 million in leasing volume.
Being involved with the community is a key part of his commitment to a balanced life. He’s a board member for the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® and volunteers with a program for inner city youth.