A Local Luxury Agent Answers Your Moving Questions

By Jessica Dailey By Jessica Dailey | December 1, 2023 | Home & Real Estate Sponsored Post

Welcome to Real Talk Boston, a three-part series wherein luxury agent Ryan J. Glass pulls back the curtain on the city’s real estate, sharing his insights into one of the nation’s most competitive markets. In Part One, Glass shares everything you need to know about relocating to Boston.

Copy_of_IMG_9870-HDR.jpgGlass has sold this property in Back Bay on three separate occasions since 2015. Each owner made a substantial profit!

Thanks to its rich history, world-renowned universities and thriving global industries, Boston is continuously one of the most sought-after cities for real estate buyers, attracting everyone from new families and young professionals to seasoned investors and second-home owners. This makes for a competitive real estate market that takes savvy, experience and know-how to navigate. Nobody knows this better than lifetime Bostonian and vice president at Gibson Sotheby's International Realty, Ryan J. Glass.

“Boston is an expensive city, and you have to be strategic with your search to afford living here,” says Glass, who has spent his whole career serving Boston and its suburbs. We sat down with Glass to learn how his local roots give him an edge—and his secrets to finding success in the competitive market.

You were born and raised in Massachusetts and went to college and grad school here. How does being a native Bostonian serve your work as a real estate agent, particularly in regards to working with relocation clients?

Massachusetts is an expensive state, and many have sticker shock upon arrival. I’ve lived every stage of my life here—from family life in the suburbs, to pinching pennies as a young professional, to owning multiple properties in Boston and Provincetown. My personal experiences allow me to help any type of relocation client or move, and strategize with any budget, large or small.

How do you help people relocating to Boston find the right neighborhood? What are some of the questions that you ask buyers to zero in on the area that’s best for them?

Budget and commute are typically the driving factors for buyers. I provide the neighborhoods with their ideal commuting time to their work, and share what their housing requirements would typically cost. This narrows down the search very quickly. There is usually a compromise of either reducing property requirements, increasing commute time or increasing the budget.

Copy_of_MFC01377.jpgGlass will be listing this two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom property with a parking garage in the South End for $2.295 million this spring.

Everyone has a favorite neighborhood—what’s yours? Why?

Back Bay and South End are my two favorite neighborhoods to sell in due to their beauty and charm. At heart though, I’m a Southie guy. You don’t really hear the Boston accent downtown, but in Southie, I hear the accent I grew up with. I feel my heritage there. The neighborhood reminds me of my hometown.

Beyond finding a place to live and physically moving, what are the biggest challenges people relocating to or within Boston face? What are the top concerns you hear from your relocation clients?

Relocating to a new city is an overwhelming process. It often involves selling an existing property, satisfying short-term housing requirements, and coordinating the logistics of the move itself. These clients often aren’t sure how long they will be in Boston for, so they’re very focused on resale and ensuring that they are making a smart investment.

Copy_of_MFC05695.JPGThis Back Bay penthouse sold by Glass was a tremendous value and located just one block from the Public Gardens.

How does working with the right agent solve those challenges and concerns?

An excellent agent knows how to educate the consumer quickly about the housing market, as well as the different neighborhoods. They also guide the consumer at every milestone in the transaction. Moving is stressful, and buyers often just want their hand held. The reason for the move usually takes priority, so they need the housing search to be easy so that they can focus on the greater task at hand.

For buyers at the higher end, “luxury” is about more than just the home they’re buying. It’s also about the experience. How do you provide your clients with a top-tier relocation experience?

Luxury isn’t a price point, it’s a service. A luxury agent takes as much initiative for the consumer as they can, and removes as much thought for the consumer as possible. This is especially true for professional referrals—i.e. movers, home inspectors, lenders, lawyers, contractors, painters, etc.—essentially any professional that the consumer may need during the transaction itself or after closing. They depend on the agent’s rolodex, as they often have no contacts here.

DSC00685.jpgGlass sold this Back Bay penthouse for $2.05 million—$75,000 over asking price.

If you could give your clients only one piece of advice about moving to Boston, what would it be?

Start learning the market right away. I always tell clients to prioritize their dream location first and then learn each neighborhood market individually, rather than trying to grasp all the different areas at once. Buyers learn quickly if their dream location is out of reach, and when they come to that conclusion on their own, they don’t feel like they are settling if they choose a more affordable area.

You’ve been with Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty for a decade now. How has the Boston market changed in that time? How do you see it evolving in the next 10 years?

The growth has been incredible to watch. Neighborhoods like Back Bay and Beacon Hill will continue to see strong appreciation gains because there is no land available to develop. The areas that do have room to build will be completely transformed. The remaining parcels of the South End and Seaport district will likely be fully developed in a decade. South Boston will also see significant growth; the number of new developments happening in between Andrew Square and Broadway will make the area unrecognizable.

How does the global network of Sotheby’s International Realty help you serve your clients better?

The power of the network is incredible. If my clients leave Boston, I will find them a professional in the market they are moving to. If they are looking for a second home elsewhere, I work with my referral partners to provide them with the market data they need, as well as an expert they can speak to. I have a trusted advisor in every major market worldwide.

Follow Glass on Instagram for more insights and stay tuned for Part Two in February, where Glass talks numbers, diving into the data to reveal the key metrics buyers and sellers need to know about the Boston real estate market. If you would like an update on the market, Glass can be reached by phone at 617-721-2143 or email at [email protected].



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