Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team

If You're Happy and You Know It

When you were little, if you were happy and you knew it - you clapped your hands.

Now, if you're happy and you know it - you tell someone about it!

As a REALTOR®, the best compliment you can get for providing great service isn't a gift card, flowers, or a free lunch (not that we don't appreciate thanks in all of its forms) - it is when you share your experience with others.

To know that we've done our best and our best has resulted in another happy client is why we come to work every day. We sincerely appreciate when you provide referrals and share your experience with your friends, family, neighbors and networks.

And it's never been easier if you're happy and you know, and you really want to show it, to share it with others. Send us a quick email, give us a call (781-645-0505), write a quick review on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or right here in the comments section of the blog.

Here is the feedback from a recent seller in Arlington. Many thanks!

happy2

Seller on George Street in Arlington

"I think Steve is a terrific leader and we were impressed with his professionalism and sincerity. Steve led our family through the home selling process during a difficult time. From securing contractors for home repairs, to a stager, to finding charities to donate items no longer needed - Steve & The Home Advantage Team handled every aspect of the preparation and selling of our home.

His knowledge of local real estate is unprecedented - he knew how to price and market our home for the current pool of buyers. We had more than 100 people come through the open house and it sold immediately.

My family has moved many times throughout the years, and I am familiar in working with real estate professionals. Steve & The Home Advantage Team are a cut above the rest. When he says he'll get back to me, he does. He was always there to help every step of the way and we never felt alone.

I would recommend Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team to anyone with real estate needs."

Downsizing: When Scaling Back is a Move in the Right Direction

Downsizing can be a very personal and emotional decision. It is a time to reflect back on many memories, but also a time to look forward to new beginnings.

While it usually means cleaning out, cleaning up and making tough decisions about who gets what at what goes where - downsizing does not need to be daunting!

With the right help and a plan tailored to suit your needs, you can make a seamless transition to a new chapter of your life.

Post_DownsizingImage2

Here are the top 5 things to consider when downsizing.

  1. Family Meeting. Discuss the idea of downsizingwith your family and friends, as well as your advisors including attorneys and accountants. Understand your options and the potential changes to your estate planning and tax implications.
  2. Rely on a Professional to get you started. Contact a trusted REALTOR® to prepare a Custom Market Analysis (CMA) on your home. A great REALTOR® will give you an insight on the true value of your home (not just what Zillow tells you), potential expenses, the best timeline as well as a comprehensive overview of the market conditions.
  3. Timing is Everything. Change is hard, procrastinating is easy. Unfortunately many are ultimately forced to move for either health reasons or other personal reasons. It is important to be proactive and understanding the time it can take to downsize - which can be up to two years depending on certain physical, financial and emotional situations.
  4. Think About Your Next Move. Start your research early in the process. Understand why you are moving - is the maintenance and care of the house too much? If that's the case you may want something with little or no maintenance, such as a condo or townhouse. Do you need everything on one level? Maybe not immediately, but look to the future and decide if you might need a bedroom and bathroom on the main level. Whatever your lifestyle and decision is; take your time and consider all your options.
  5. Cleaning Out. Packing up a lifetime of memories is often the hardest part of downsizing. A professional stager and organizeris invaluable in helping you prepare your home for sale, as well as knowing where you can donate certain items or the proper place to discard them. When you work with Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team, the will cover the costs of a stager in most cases.

If you feel apprehensive about downsizing you're not alone. The good news is, there is help. Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team will handle every step of the process and more - providing a smooth transition and ensuring that you well cared for throughout your move.

 

Image via: Philhol, Dollarphotoclub

 

New Look... Same Great Team!

The Home Advantage Team

In case you missed it, Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team have a new look, some fresh color, and a new logo to reflect our personal, hands-on approach to real estate.

But you might find yourself wondering: Why, Steve? You’re already the #1 team in Arlington, why bother?

Good question. And one we thought some of you might have, so we’re going to tell you the story of our mission. 

Our Story: The Home Advantage Team.

Once upon a time, a long, long, time ago (say, about 30 years), it was just Steve and his real estate dream. After a lot of working, networking, weekend open houses and many sold signs later, Steve created a successful business that required him to hire people so he could focus on providing the best possible client service.

Along came Erika to help with buyers and developers, Mitzi, to help with transaction coordination, additional agents Annie, Tracy, and Mike, Kristen for marketing, Donna for property coordination, and Carolyn for content and social media development.

Today, the business is not the one person show of 30 years ago, but a well-oiled team that has evolved to list and sell more homes than any other team in Arlington.

Such an evolution requires some freshening up. Could you imagine if Steve used a profile picture from 1985? We can’t either. 

Steve McKenna: The Early Years in Real Estate

 

So we got together and brainstormed. 

The Home Advantage Team brainstorming session.

We talked about where the team has been, where it is now, and where we want it to go in the future. We drafted. We designed. We laughed.

The Home Advantage Team: Sometimes you just have to LOL.

We revised. And then we went for lunch because it was noon and we were hungry.

The Home Advantage Team: Lunch Break.

Many, many, (many) emails and iterations later, we have a collective visual for who we are, and what we represent.

*THE LOGO:

The Home Advantage Team: Logo

The hands in the shape of a home. We really wanted to show that we care for our clients, and beyond that, we are truly protectors of their best interests – whether it’s buying, selling, downsizing redesigning, or building. The hands in the shape of a home convey just that. Which naturally led us to…

THE TAGLINE:

The Home Advantage Team: Tag Line.

Your Home is in Our Hands. Quite literally. We take the aggravation, stress, thousands of tasks and to-do’s that go along with buying or selling a home and we handle it all.

*THE COLORS: 

The Home Advantage Team: Design Colors.

Our main color is a navy blue (#21455 if you’re a design nerd like us) and it represents us in the truest sense:  trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence. The green (#BDCC74 ) is tied to safety, freshness, and energy.

Our true colors, shining through.

**THE SELFIE

The Home Advantage Team: Selfie Pic.

Yes, we have a standard team picture (see below): five standing in back, four sitting in front – say cheese! But we’re just not a standard team. We’re more dynamic than that. We like to work hard and have fun. The selfie pic is us. Sure, you’ll see the traditional team pic in some of our materials, but the selfie says, ‘The Home Advantage Team.’

Speaking of ‘The Home Advantage Team,’ we all know there’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team’, you’ll also notice ‘Steve McKenna’ is not part of the official logo name. Whaaaaattt???

Back up the bus.

Fear not, friends and clients. Steve isn’t going anywhere. He is still the master of all things real estate, and still our fearless leader. But back to one of the reasons why we have gone through this exercise -  to emphasize the team

The Home Advantage Team: Team Pic.

We are always surprised when people don’t realize that whether you’re listing or just looking, you get the whole team - and all of the support staff - as part of the deal. All of that expertise, knowledge, and know-how, at no extra cost.

So that's where we are – full circle (also part of our theme, by the way). 

The Home Advantage Team: Just Sold postcard.

Personal, professional service has been the foundation of our business for more than 30 years – and will continue now, and in the future.

We hope you like it. 

 

Many thanks to our design and photography partners who helped us through this process.

*Design development and branding direction credit go to Anjehlina Marsh.

**Team photo credits go to Kristen Chalmers Photography.

 

This is YOUR Team in 2018.

The real estate idea that started 30 years ago has turned into one of the best real estate teams in Greater Boston, and the #1 team in Arlington -- from Steve and his real estate dream, to Steve and his real estate team.

We might be real estate agents and support, but we’re also volunteers, parents, local consumers, business partners, and enjoyers of all things Arlington and beyond.

Bet you didn’t know we had so much in common!

And there’s more to us than transactions, negotiations and open houses - just take a look and see the people behind the For Sale Signs...

 

Steve McKenna – The Master. Steve’s insight is as close as you’ll get to a crystal ball in real estate. He has been with Bowes Real Estate since 1986 and has represented thousands of sellers and buyers throughout his career. Steve lives in Arlington with his wife Heidi and has been the #1 agent here for more than 25 years. If he is not working, which is rare, you’ll find him on the golf course reading the fairways just like he does the real estate business – with patience, persistence, dedication and drive.

 

Erika Pereira – The Cambridge Girl. Street smarts meets real estate savvy – with this winning combo, you definitely want Erika on your side. Erika lives in Cambridge and knows all the hottest places to eat and drink (and she can navigate local neighborhoods and the real estate market without getting lost). She has over 20 years of real estate experience and has worked with Steve since 2005. She is loyal to her clients and passionate about protecting them through the entire home buying/selling process. 

Erika Pereira

 

Annie Kelly – The Soccer Mom. She’s got kickin’ real estate skills and can juggle it all.  No one can multi-task and negotiate like a mom of four kids. Annie’s got the inside scoop on local schools, best neighborhoods, sports programs and places to shop or meet up with friends. She lives in West Medford with her husband Mike and family, and has been a real estate agent for more than 14 years. Annie knows that family is at the heart of a home, and she puts her heart into helping each and every one of her clients.

 

Tracy Wallace – The SubURBANite Whether she’s strolling the streets with her pug Miles, or dropping in to one of her favorite Arlington spots, Tracy ‘gets’ the urban/suburban lifestyle that so many people desire. As a former Bostonian, she’s been there done that, moved here, loved that. Tracy lives in Arlington with her husband, David, and raised their daughter who is an alumni of the Hardy School, Ottoson Middle and Arlington High. Tracy has been through the process of building a new home from the bottom up, knows the beauty of the multi-family home and appreciates Arlington’s walkable streets.

 

Mike Pallotta – The Rising Star Mike is a native of Arlington and the newest member of the team. He brings a fresh perspective and understands the needs of young working professionals, and millennial home buyers and sellers. Let’s just say, he’s really good at SnapChat. Mike is a graduate of Roger William University, has his B.S in biology, and had a prestigious internship at the New England Aquarium. Mike has already made a mark in the real estate community, and his skills can find you Nemo and your new home.

 

The Support Team

Mitzi Pallotta – The Commander. As the Lead Transaction Coordinator for the team for 12 years, Mitzi ensures every process is seamless and well-executed – and does it with a smile. She facilitates the transaction paperwork and coordinates every step. Communication is the key to a successful sale, and Mitzi makes sure everyone has their marching orders, with a skip in her step. The Pallotta family has a strong community presence, raising money for charities and helpings local organizations. Mitzi is as committed to helping our clients as she is her community.

 

Kristen McKenna – The Master Marketer As the Marketing Coordinator for the team since 2014, Kristen’s goal is to get maximum exposure for your home. Kristen’s creativity sets your home apart and ensures all the marketing bases are covered and accounted for. She is meticulous, she is organized, she is thorough – she is Steve’s niece after all. Kristen has a B.S in Marketing from Johnson & Wales University, and is also involved in her community through her advocacy for animals and the environment.

 

Donna Agostino – Six Degrees of Donna. Everyone in town knows someone who knows Donna. Donna has worked with Steve for 15 years as a Property Coordinator. If you’re a seller, she coordinates and meets our cleaner, stager and photographer to prep your home for sale. If you’re a buyer, Donna meets, greets and coordinates the access to your new home with inspectors, contractors and your family. Donna is the team’s calm, cool, coordinator, and her pleasant personality and kindness will put your mind at ease.

 

Carolyn MacNeill – The Word Girl. Carolyn is the Social Media and Marketing Manager with more than 20 years of experience in these fields.  She writes the words that make the whole world sing the praises of your home, and ensures the social media world knows it, too. Not only is she part of the team, she was a client first. Carolyn works from home and lives with her husband, their two children, and her two trusted cat-sultants. Word up.

Downsizing: When Scaling Back is a Move in the Right Direction

Downsizing can be a very personal and emotional decision. It is a time to reflect back on many memories, but also a time to look forward to new beginnings.

While it usually means cleaning out, cleaning up and making tough decisions about who gets what at what goes where - downsizing does not need to be daunting!

With the right help and a plan tailored to suit your needs, you can make a seamless transition to a new chapter of your life.

Post_DownsizingImage2

Here are the top 5 things to consider when downsizing.

  1. Family Meeting. Discuss the idea of downsizingwith your family and friends, as well as your advisors including attorneys and accountants. Understand your options and the potential changes to your estate planning and tax implications.
  2. Rely on a Professional to get you started. Contact a trusted REALTOR® to prepare a Custom Market Analysis (CMA) on your home. A great REALTOR® will give you an insight on the true value of your home (not just what Zillow tells you), potential expenses, the best timeline as well as a comprehensive overview of the market conditions.
  3. Timing is Everything. Change is hard, procrastinating is easy. Unfortunately many are ultimately forced to move for either health reasons or other personal reasons. It is important to be proactive and understanding the time it can take to downsize - which can be up to two years depending on certain physical, financial and emotional situations.
  4. Think About Your Next Move. Start your research early in the process. Understand why you are moving - is the maintenance and care of the house too much? If that's the case you may want something with little or no maintenance, such as a condo or townhouse. Do you need everything on one level? Maybe not immediately, but look to the future and decide if you might need a bedroom and bathroom on the main level. Whatever your lifestyle and decision is; take your time and consider all your options.
  5. Cleaning Out. Packing up a lifetime of memories is often the hardest part of downsizing. A professional stager and organizeris invaluable in helping you prepare your home for sale, as well as knowing where you can donate certain items or the proper place to discard them. When you work with Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team, the will cover the costs of a stager in most cases.

If you feel apprehensive about downsizing you're not alone. The good news is, there is help. Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team will handle every step of the process and more - providing a smooth transition and ensuring that you well cared for throughout your move.

 

Image via: Philhol, Dollarphotoclub

 

If You're Happy and You Know It

When you were little, if you were happy and you knew it - you clapped your hands.

Now, if you're happy and you know it - you tell someone about it!

As a REALTOR®, the best compliment you can get for providing great service isn't a gift card, flowers, or a free lunch (not that we don't appreciate thanks in all of its forms) - it is when you share your experience with others.

To know that we've done our best and our best has resulted in another happy client is why we come to work every day. We sincerely appreciate when you provide referrals and share your experience with your friends, family, neighbors and networks.

And it's never been easier if you're happy and you know, and you really want to show it, to share it with others. Send us a quick email, give us a call (781-645-0505), write a quick review on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or right here in the comments section of the blog.

Here is the feedback from a recent seller in Arlington. Many thanks!

happy2

Seller on George Street in Arlington

"I think Steve is a terrific leader and we were impressed with his professionalism and sincerity. Steve led our family through the home selling process during a difficult time. From securing contractors for home repairs, to a stager, to finding charities to donate items no longer needed - Steve & The Home Advantage Team handled every aspect of the preparation and selling of our home.

His knowledge of local real estate is unprecedented - he knew how to price and market our home for the current pool of buyers. We had more than 100 people come through the open house and it sold immediately.

My family has moved many times throughout the years, and I am familiar in working with real estate professionals. Steve & The Home Advantage Team are a cut above the rest. When he says he'll get back to me, he does. He was always there to help every step of the way and we never felt alone.

I would recommend Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team to anyone with real estate needs."

New Look... Same Great Team!

The Home Advantage Team

In case you missed it, Steve McKenna & The Home Advantage Team have a new look, some fresh color, and a new logo to reflect our personal, hands-on approach to real estate.

But you might find yourself wondering: Why, Steve? You’re already the #1 team in Arlington, why bother?

Good question. And one we thought some of you might have, so we’re going to tell you the story of our mission. 

Our Story: The Home Advantage Team.

Once upon a time, a long, long, time ago (say, about 30 years), it was just Steve and his real estate dream. After a lot of working, networking, weekend open houses and many sold signs later, Steve created a successful business that required him to hire people so he could focus on providing the best possible client service.

Along came Erika to help with buyers and developers, Mitzi, to help with transaction coordination, additional agents Annie, Tracy, and Mike, Kristen for marketing, Donna for property coordination, and Carolyn for content and social media development.

Today, the business is not the one person show of 30 years ago, but a well-oiled team that has evolved to list and sell more homes than any other team in Arlington.

Such an evolution requires some freshening up. Could you imagine if Steve used a profile picture from 1985? We can’t either. 

Steve McKenna: The Early Years in Real Estate

 

So we got together and brainstormed. 

The Home Advantage Team brainstorming session.

We talked about where the team has been, where it is now, and where we want it to go in the future. We drafted. We designed. We laughed.

The Home Advantage Team: Sometimes you just have to LOL.

We revised. And then we went for lunch because it was noon and we were hungry.

The Home Advantage Team: Lunch Break.

Many, many, (many) emails and iterations later, we have a collective visual for who we are, and what we represent.

*THE LOGO:

The Home Advantage Team: Logo

The hands in the shape of a home. We really wanted to show that we care for our clients, and beyond that, we are truly protectors of their best interests – whether it’s buying, selling, downsizing redesigning, or building. The hands in the shape of a home convey just that. Which naturally led us to…

THE TAGLINE:

The Home Advantage Team: Tag Line.

Your Home is in Our Hands. Quite literally. We take the aggravation, stress, thousands of tasks and to-do’s that go along with buying or selling a home and we handle it all.

*THE COLORS: 

The Home Advantage Team: Design Colors.

Our main color is a navy blue (#21455 if you’re a design nerd like us) and it represents us in the truest sense:  trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence. The green (#BDCC74 ) is tied to safety, freshness, and energy.

Our true colors, shining through.

**THE SELFIE

The Home Advantage Team: Selfie Pic.

Yes, we have a standard team picture (see below): five standing in back, four sitting in front – say cheese! But we’re just not a standard team. We’re more dynamic than that. We like to work hard and have fun. The selfie pic is us. Sure, you’ll see the traditional team pic in some of our materials, but the selfie says, ‘The Home Advantage Team.’

Speaking of ‘The Home Advantage Team,’ we all know there’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team’, you’ll also notice ‘Steve McKenna’ is not part of the official logo name. Whaaaaattt???

Back up the bus.

Fear not, friends and clients. Steve isn’t going anywhere. He is still the master of all things real estate, and still our fearless leader. But back to one of the reasons why we have gone through this exercise -  to emphasize the team

The Home Advantage Team: Team Pic.

We are always surprised when people don’t realize that whether you’re listing or just looking, you get the whole team - and all of the support staff - as part of the deal. All of that expertise, knowledge, and know-how, at no extra cost.

So that's where we are – full circle (also part of our theme, by the way). 

The Home Advantage Team: Just Sold postcard.

Personal, professional service has been the foundation of our business for more than 30 years – and will continue now, and in the future.

We hope you like it. 

 

Many thanks to our design and photography partners who helped us through this process.

*Design development and branding direction credit go to Anjehlina Marsh.

**Team photo credits go to Kristen Chalmers Photography.

 

This is YOUR Team in 2018.

The real estate idea that started 30 years ago has turned into one of the best real estate teams in Greater Boston, and the #1 team in Arlington -- from Steve and his real estate dream, to Steve and his real estate team.

We might be real estate agents and support, but we’re also volunteers, parents, local consumers, business partners, and enjoyers of all things Arlington and beyond.

Bet you didn’t know we had so much in common!

And there’s more to us than transactions, negotiations and open houses - just take a look and see the people behind the For Sale Signs...

 

Steve McKenna – The Master. Steve’s insight is as close as you’ll get to a crystal ball in real estate. He has been with Bowes Real Estate since 1986 and has represented thousands of sellers and buyers throughout his career. Steve lives in Arlington with his wife Heidi and has been the #1 agent here for more than 25 years. If he is not working, which is rare, you’ll find him on the golf course reading the fairways just like he does the real estate business – with patience, persistence, dedication and drive.

 

Erika Pereira – The Cambridge Girl. Street smarts meets real estate savvy – with this winning combo, you definitely want Erika on your side. Erika lives in Cambridge and knows all the hottest places to eat and drink (and she can navigate local neighborhoods and the real estate market without getting lost). She has over 20 years of real estate experience and has worked with Steve since 2005. She is loyal to her clients and passionate about protecting them through the entire home buying/selling process. 

Erika Pereira

 

Annie Kelly – The Soccer Mom. She’s got kickin’ real estate skills and can juggle it all.  No one can multi-task and negotiate like a mom of four kids. Annie’s got the inside scoop on local schools, best neighborhoods, sports programs and places to shop or meet up with friends. She lives in West Medford with her husband Mike and family, and has been a real estate agent for more than 14 years. Annie knows that family is at the heart of a home, and she puts her heart into helping each and every one of her clients.

 

Tracy Wallace – The SubURBANite Whether she’s strolling the streets with her pug Miles, or dropping in to one of her favorite Arlington spots, Tracy ‘gets’ the urban/suburban lifestyle that so many people desire. As a former Bostonian, she’s been there done that, moved here, loved that. Tracy lives in Arlington with her husband, David, and raised their daughter who is an alumni of the Hardy School, Ottoson Middle and Arlington High. Tracy has been through the process of building a new home from the bottom up, knows the beauty of the multi-family home and appreciates Arlington’s walkable streets.

 

Mike Pallotta – The Rising Star Mike is a native of Arlington and the newest member of the team. He brings a fresh perspective and understands the needs of young working professionals, and millennial home buyers and sellers. Let’s just say, he’s really good at SnapChat. Mike is a graduate of Roger William University, has his B.S in biology, and had a prestigious internship at the New England Aquarium. Mike has already made a mark in the real estate community, and his skills can find you Nemo and your new home.

 

The Support Team

Mitzi Pallotta – The Commander. As the Lead Transaction Coordinator for the team for 12 years, Mitzi ensures every process is seamless and well-executed – and does it with a smile. She facilitates the transaction paperwork and coordinates every step. Communication is the key to a successful sale, and Mitzi makes sure everyone has their marching orders, with a skip in her step. The Pallotta family has a strong community presence, raising money for charities and helpings local organizations. Mitzi is as committed to helping our clients as she is her community.

 

Kristen McKenna – The Master Marketer As the Marketing Coordinator for the team since 2014, Kristen’s goal is to get maximum exposure for your home. Kristen’s creativity sets your home apart and ensures all the marketing bases are covered and accounted for. She is meticulous, she is organized, she is thorough – she is Steve’s niece after all. Kristen has a B.S in Marketing from Johnson & Wales University, and is also involved in her community through her advocacy for animals and the environment.

 

Donna Agostino – Six Degrees of Donna. Everyone in town knows someone who knows Donna. Donna has worked with Steve for 15 years as a Property Coordinator. If you’re a seller, she coordinates and meets our cleaner, stager and photographer to prep your home for sale. If you’re a buyer, Donna meets, greets and coordinates the access to your new home with inspectors, contractors and your family. Donna is the team’s calm, cool, coordinator, and her pleasant personality and kindness will put your mind at ease.

 

Carolyn MacNeill – The Word Girl. Carolyn is the Social Media and Marketing Manager with more than 20 years of experience in these fields.  She writes the words that make the whole world sing the praises of your home, and ensures the social media world knows it, too. Not only is she part of the team, she was a client first. Carolyn works from home and lives with her husband, their two children, and her two trusted cat-sultants. Word up.