Bowes Real Estate

The Home Advantage Team Featured in The Patch as Part of Small Business Saturday

In case you missed it, Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team were featured in the Arlington Patch as part of an ongoing series focusing on small business owners in the city.

See what Steve has to say about some of the best things about Arlington, what he sees as the biggest struggle, and where he sees Arlington in the future.

For the full article, click here.

*Note: our Small Business Saturday promotion is still happening! Hop over to our Facebook page and leave your name in the comment section of the Charlie Brown Christmas post and we'll leave two free tickets for you at the Regent

Will you do anything special or have any special promotions on Small Biz Saturday? 
As a real estate team (and a small business ourselves), we support our local Arlington businesses and organizations in a number of ways. We are a proud sponsor of the Regent Theater, and for Small Business Saturday we will be hosting a Facebook promotion. Anyone who likes our page on SMB will get 2 tickets to The Boston Children's Theater production of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at the Regent on December 9 at 1 p.m. We have a limited supply, so will be on a first come first serve basis.

When did the business open?
Steve has been associated with Bowes Real Estate, Real Living for nearly 30 years and Bowes Real Estate has been a part of the community for over 70 years

What made you decide to go into this type of business? And why here? 
Steve is originally from Allston and believes that being sincere and honest are the key to success in any industry. But real estate in particular is a business where a positive attitude and strong work ethic goes far. Steve lives and works in Arlington, has a deep understanding of home values, neighborhood dynamics, schools and all the critical factors that come into play when making important real estate decisions.

What do you like best about it?
Arlington is a town unlike any other, and its mix of social and cultural capital have made it one of the most sought-after suburbs in Greater Boston. As a densely populated town that enjoys many benefits of being close to Boston and public transportation, it also has a thriving business community of its own that makes it vibrant place to live and work. Young working professionals move here from the city because it's more affordable yet still has that urban feel. Families move here because of the good schools and kid-friendly amenities. Downsizers move here because of the vibrant arts scene. As we like to say, come for the city-like vibe, stay for the family-like atmosphere.

Biggest struggle?
Right now inventory a big struggle. There are so many buyers who want to live in Arlington, but there are a limited number of homes available on the market. This isn't unique to Arlington, in general, housing availability in Greater Boston is relatively low. So if you live in Arlington and are thinking of selling, this is a great time. Buyers on the other hand need to be savvy about the real estate process so they are prepared when something does become available that suits their needs.

What do you see for the future?
I think Arlington will continue to grow and evolve, but its identity which has diversity and culture at its core will always be there. We have so many smart, talented people in town with great ideas and a vision to make the community a strong one – both now and in the future. 

Politics and business - how does it affect yours?
It doesn't, really. Buying or selling a home is such a personal endeavor. It does not really cross the realm into politics – unless you're talking interest rates. But even so, it generally stays under the political radar.

The Envelope, Please.

Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team were honored to have received a number of awards from Real Living Real Estate in 2016, including:

While we are grateful to have received this recognition, it also brought to mind a Jerry Seinfeld speech about awards, “…it’s just that, awards are stupid. Every real estate office has some framed five diamond president’s award thing by the desk, every hotel check-in has some gold circle service thing….”

Well, it’s true. While we are honored and grateful to have earned these awards from Real Living because it’s a validation that we’re doing a good job, like Jerry, we don’t come to work every day in hopes of having a ‘platinum jubilee bowling trophy on our desk.’

Our greatest reward does not come with a trophy. We do what we do because we love what we do – helping our clients buy and sell their homes as smoothly as possibly, and for the best price possible.

Steve McKenna Marks 30 Year Anniversary in Real Estate

It's a different world out there than it was 30 years ago. The Internet was in its infancy, we held Hands Across America, which is good because That's What Friends Are For, there was Game 6 and the Super Bowl Shuffle (yikes to both), and we conducted our daily lives without Google, Amazon, Facebook or Instagram - or an iPhone to access them all while waiting in line for a Cabbage Patch Kid.

Times sure have changed, but there are some things that have remained steadfast and reliable.

Steve McKenna of Bowes Real Estate is celebrating 30 years in the real estate business. Not many people can say they've been in the same career, at the same company, in the same town for 30 years. Especially in an industry as fickle and unpredictable as real estate.

But it didn't happen by chance and it didn't happen by luck. A lifelong career in real estate takes work, reinvention, determination and love for what you do.

There is no other REALTOR® in Arlington who has helped more people buy or sell a home. That is a lot of lives touched, dreams realized, and peace of mind provided.

In 2016 we are kicking off a celebration of the work and contributions Steve has had in the industry and the community.

We'll take a walk down memory lane, and look ahead at what's to come. 30 years of gaining experience, building networks, establishing relationships, growing a team and fine-tuning the real estate experience to accommodate the unique needs of each and every client is worth celebrating.

Stay tuned for some 1986 flashbacks, maybe a few embarrassing photos, and a look at what it takes to be a successful REALTOR® for 30 years and counting...

Off the Charts

"Actions speak louder than words but not nearly as often." - Mark Twain

We don't have to tell you that BOWES Real Estate sells more homes in Arlington than any other brokerage.  Nor do we have to tell you that Steve McKenna and the Home Advantage Team are the #1 local real estate team.

We don't have to convince you why people keep coming back to us for all of their home buying and selling needs. Or why they keep referring their friends, families and neighbors. We don't need to do any of those things because you can see for yourself.

Something that is 'off the charts' goes beyond expectations - and going beyond client expectations is just what got us off the charts in Arlington real estate.






Dollar Value

BOWES Real Estate Real Living


$ 56,263,800   

RE/MAX - Arlington


$ 19,401,100 

Coldwell Banker - Arlington


$ 20,332,700 

Century 21 Adams


$ 13,062,799 


YourHomeForSale Stats n' Facts

The numbers are in, and it was another successful year for BOWES Real Estate, Real Living, and The Home Advantage Team. According to BOWES, 2012 was its best year ever since being founded in 1945. That's an impressive stat given the ups and downs of the past 67+ years.

Steve McKenna and The Home Advantage team contributed to that success by posting the highest transaction rate of any other real estate agent in town. With 84 closed transactions this year, the next closest agent came in at less than half, with 34 closed transactions.

  2012 Arlington Closed Transactions*



Data Source:  Multiple Listing Service, *Agent(s) Closed Transactions For Arlington Only

So how do we do it? By maximizing the strengths of each individual on The Home Advantage Team we are able to provide a greater depth and breadth of experience for clients throughout the home buying and selling experience. There is no 'passing off' to a lesser qualified agent because each member fills a specific role in the process.

With more people on hand to address any number of concerns, we can ensure that you will receive the time and attention you deserve. In addition to our team, we have developed a wide range relationships and networks, so you get a slice of expertise from any number of reputable vendors and resources around town.

It's just as we've always said to potential clients, it doesn't cost more to use the number one real estate team, but it could cost you more if you don't.

We've Got Street Cred

It takes street smarts and savvy to negotiate real estate deals these days. And in a town like Arlington, if people don't like how you do business, you'll know it (and so will everyone else in town).


That's why the 2011 Arlington real estate numbers are a true testament to the YourHomeForSale team's credibility on the streets of Arlington. For over 20 years, Steve McKenna has outperformed other leading agents in town by wide margin.



These numbers also contributed to the overall success of the Bowes Real Estate office, which as a whole, closed 198 transactions, 108 more than the next leading office.


So what does this mean to buyers and sellers? In a nutshell, three things:


1.      Experience. You can't close 78 transactions in a year and not know what you're doing. Only a knowledgeable well-oiled team can keep deals moving along smoothly and seamlessly.


2.      Commitment.  It can be a tough market, and you can't close deals if you don't go to bat for clients. That means attention to detail from start to finish, and keeping clients' needs first and foremost.


3.      Credibility. Arlington is not as big as you might think. Word gets around pretty quickly about who's going to get the job done.


Numbers are hard to dispute, and the YourHomeForSale team's ability to handle a high volume of transactions shows a true commitment to the business. To the team, real estate is not a hobby, a side job, or a stepping stone to another career.  It is a business that is held accountable by its clients.


When choosing a real estate broker, buyers and sellers should look for an agent that can back up their claims of being the best. Testimonials, references, and referrals are all valid benchmarks for success, but take a look at the numbers before deciding whether it all adds up.


It's not bragging if you can back it up. --Muhammad Ali

Win a Pot O' Gold and Help a Good Cause

Everyone knows that at the end of every rainbow is a pot of gold. The trick is to find it. Here is a chance to find the elusive treasure and help a good cause. The Visiting Nurse and Community Health (VNCH) are holding its 6th annual "Pot of Gold" fundraiser. Join Bowes Real Estate committee member, Bob Bowes, for an evening of prizes, food and fun.
When: Thursday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Sons of Italy Hall, 19 Prentiss Road, Arlington, Massachusetts
What: The "Pot of Gold" is a fun-filled evening where participants have the chance to win $10,000!  A buffet will be provided to all guests, and a cash bar will also be available.
How: Tickets are $100 each and only 200 tickets will be sold. Contact Meredith Lambroff at 781-643-6090, ext. 1322,, or by visiting our website at   
In addition to the $10,000 pot of gold, there will be there will be a silent auction, and a host of prizes which include Bruins, Celtics and Red Sox tickets, hotel stays, restaurant gift certificates, handcrafted jewelry, a catered Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey dinner for 10, Sam Adams "beer for a year", and an after-work pool party at Jillian's in Boston.
Pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers - bring whatever happens to be your lucky charm and have fun!
 About VNCH
For over 110 years, VNCH, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has been acknowledged as the preeminent home health care provider in eastern Massachusetts.  It has a deep-rooted tradition of providing its patients and the communities it serves with compassionate, quality home care, and unparalleled health care expertise.  VNCH's response to questions and concerns is immediate and knowledgeable, and its medical technology is state-of-the-art.  To learn more about VNCH, visit the agency's website at

A-Town Celebrates

Arlington has a lot to be proud of. History, community, economy, lakes, theater, restaurants, and a host of other reasons why we like to call this town home. Town Day is our day to celebrate what we love most about Arlington.
There are more Town Day activities than you can shake a Spy Ponder hockey stick at, beginning Thursday night. Here's the gist of the activities from the Arlington Town Website to get you started:
Town Night is Friday, September 16, 2011 starting at 5:00 p.m. at the Spy Pond Field.
Town Night offers entertainment, children's activities, food, and fireworks at Dusk!
Town Day is Saturday, September 17, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Town Day takes place on Massachusetts Ave. from Pleasant Street to Mill Street.
There are booths offering craft exhibits, bake sales, educational displays, raffles, club membership information, games, food vendors, and/or other such "fair type" activities.
Bowes Real Estate is a sponsor of town day and the YourHomeForSale Team will be there in full force, with reusable shopping bags for all of your goodies, and bottled water to wash down the fried dough. Plus, Bowes is sponsoring FREE pony rides behind the Robbins Library. Complimentary photos will be uploaded to the Bowes website, so be sure to check the homepage next week for a link to download and print your photos!
The Bowes booth will be on the corner of Water Street and Massachusetts Ave., across from the library. Stop by to check out our listings and speak with our agents about all of your real estate needs. 
Finally, you should check out this digital scavenger hunt sponsored by The Computer Café. It's a great concept and looks like a lot of fun. Plus, you'll feel oh-so tech savvy! Here's how:
Go to The Computer Cafe Booth on Town Day with your smartphone, iPad2, or iPod Touch (camera). Scan the first QR Code and off you go. Each code will send you to the next. If you finish them all you will get a second chance in winning one of the two grand prizes.
Enjoy the day, and don't forget to stop by and say hi!

Keeping it Real, With Harley and Kaira Rouda

Bob Bowes and I were honored to have Harley Rouda, president of Real Living, LLC, and his wife Kaira Sturdivant Rouda, a nationally acclaimed author and brand expert, visit the Bowes Real Estate, Real Living offices yesterday.

In 2009 GMAC Real Estate joined the Columbus-based realty firm, Real Living, to create one of the country's largest real-estate franchise operations. The combined company operates under the Real Living name.  

Today, the organization has more than 10,000 agents and 500 offices. As part of the Real Living family, Bowes Real Estate, Real Living offers customers and agents an even larger global reach and referral pool, along with an expanded network of technology tools and training. Bob Bowes, President of Bowes Real Estate, Real Living, is excited about these opportunities. 

Harley kicked off the meeting and broke the ice calling himself a S.O.B. (Son of a Broker). He grew up in the real estate industry, literally, as the son of a broker, and has built his business on the principles of hard work, personal service, and attention to detail. Harley shared with us details on the direction of the company, both where it's been and the path for growth to fuel where it's going. 

Here are some of discussion highlights from the meeting:

The 'Cow Bell Analogy.
' As a native Midwesterner, Harley described the growth of his business in farmland language. The Cow Bell Analogy describes dairy farms in the Midwest that often have a lead cow with a bell that the group follows. A quick translation to real estate - capitalize on the assets you have and replicate what works

The Real Estate Market.
The end of the tax credit hit the industry hard. While the first six months of 2011 have been very difficult for the real estate industry, there are signs that things are picking up in the second half. We're only three weeks in, but if it keeps trending in this direction we could start to see an uptick in activity, and we could end up better off than the second half of 2010.

East vs. West.
An interesting observation is that real estate tends to flow west to east. For example, real estate in California rose sharply, but also was one of the first and fastest to decline. Las Vegas, Phoenix soon followed. Because we are in a relatively stable market, we eventually felt the effects, but not to such a severe degree. 

Why Real Living.
The Real Living brand is coming to a town near you. As the fastest growing real estate franchise, Real Living is coming east as well, and you'll notice more of the black and red For Sale signs not only in Arlington, but across the region

Real Living was one of the first real estate firms to capitalize on the Internet for real estate, and it also understood its market - making a concerted effort to market to women, who represent 91% of real estate-driven decisions. The company continues to build on its leading-edge approaches today.

All in all, it was an open and candid discussion about the franchise, the company and the market, and we all walked away with a unified approach for growing the business both on the local and national levels.