Agent Snapshot: Greg Kiely, Sales Manager, Century 21 Commonwealth, Newton

Greg Kiely

Greg Kiely is a sales manager with Century 21 Commonwealth working in Newton.

What was your first job in the realty industry? Scouting development sites to build storage facilities in the mid-Atlantic region immediately after college.

Where did you grow up? Southern Connecticut and Newport, R.I.

Growing up, what did you want to be? A Naval flight officer (think Goose from Top Gun). I’ve seriously seen that movie more than anyone else alive, I think. As a kid, I was racing sailboats in the summer and my first two boats were named Top Gun and Top Gun: The Second. I never had the eyesight to be Maverick, but I eventually took this passion all the way to the Naval Academy for college.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I’m a former professional sailor, so anything on the water relaxes me instantly. When I can’t be on the water and I need a quick break from stress, I follow all sorts of chefs and restaurateurs on social media and love discovering new places to eat or new concepts in the food industry. I travel a fair amount, and take pride in being the go-to restaurant expert in the group.

Where is your favorite place to hang out? We’ve got a special place in Newport, R.I. overlooking the harbor, but outside of downtown. When I can’t be in Newport, my wife Sarah and I will find a new craft cocktail bar and sit and converse with the bartenders to learn a little bit more about what goes into their creations.

What do you love most about the industry? I get a completely new challenge every day. I have my own business to manage and build, but I also get to work with 30 great small-business owners in vastly different phases of building their own businesses. I get to be a part of hundreds of transactions per year, but in a slightly different way for each one. More than that though, once we’re all settled into the business, it’s the camaraderie that makes our business really unique. We really need our “competitors” to help us succeed. So unlike what I imagine other sales businesses to be, ours is a cooperative and connected business. Some of my closest friends work for my biggest “competitors.”

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I’m an open book. I’m really not afraid of giving the difficult answer, because being upfront will help us all get to our goals faster.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Recruiting. It’s the only thing that keeps brokerage doors open, and agents don’t love being recruited constantly by every office in the area. I’m a pretty competitive person though, so it keeps me on my toes.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I volunteer a lot for GBAR and MAR. My clients are agents, so it makes sense for me to be around agents as much as possible. I’m on a ton of committees and boards. These all help me stay connected to what’s going on outside of the walls of our office, and keep a greater feel for the challenges agents are having in markets around the commonwealth.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? We all have our own challenges, and I think every day that we wake up and make the choice to keep going in the business is a great accomplishment. If I had to pick a single accomplishment, it would be walking away from a really great role that was being designed for me because I had the passion to run an office. At the time, I was likely trying to be the youngest manager at any major brokerage in Mass. and had no track record to know I’d be successful. I didn’t even have a job to go to. I hit the streets for six months searching for opportunities, and have been fortunate to be able to build something really great since then. It wasn’t always fun, and there was a ton of self-doubt, but so far, so good…

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I try to read a new book every week, so it’s hard to identify one. I’m currently reading a biography of President Reagan, and the last movie I saw was Pitch Perfect 2. If that doesn’t describe my personality in a nutshell, then I don’t know what else can.

What is your favorite restaurant? Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square. I can’t tell you the name of the chef (and I can usually rattle off chef’s names pretty easily) and the food isn’t the fanciest food you’ll ever eat, but the hospitality there sets the bar that all other businesses should study and emulate. If I could hire their entire staff to work in our industry, I’m sure they’d be amazing, because their business approach, their connection to their guests and the learning that goes into their process is outstanding.

What kind of car do you drive? I’ve driven Volvos my entire life (my first 240 Wagon is still on the road in Conn.) but I’ve temporarily taken a break and am currently drive an Audi Q5. I’ve already got my sights set back onto the newest generation of Volvo XC90s, though. Unless, of course, one of those Aston Martins I saw outside a Mike Ferry conference last year become available at 10 percent of their retail price!

Smartphone or paper? I’m a Millennial, so I can do most things with a tablet and a smartphone. But I’m old-school and think paper is still the way things really get done.

What is your favorite city after Boston? Washington, D.C. (the city, not the politics!). I think you have to be dead inside if walking around that city doesn’t inspire you. The building of our nation still gives me chills and to see the monuments to those who built, ran and sacrificed for our way of life is awe inspiring.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Challenge yourself every day to meet a new potential customer in any way you can. Also, never email if you can text, never text if you can call and never call if you can visit someone face to face.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Honestly, I don’t use any of them.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I mindlessly follow a lot of random people on Twitter, but mainly for sports news.

I’m way more of an Instagram person, and there are quite a few lifestyle brands being built there. If you look what personal trainers, chefs and fashion designers are doing on Instagram, you’ll see where some really savvy agents could step in and dominate.

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  • Bill Luther says:

    I own and manage Weichert Realtors – Channing Real Estate in Cambridge at 1776 Massachusetts Avenue. I’vebeen in the business since 1985. Would love to be interviewed!

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