Laurie Cadigan

Congratulations Madame President

Our very own Laurie Cadigan was joined by over 200 supporters including 30 fellow Barrett and Company agents and staff, family, and colleagues at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in honor of her installation as 2011 President of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

This is the most recent highlight of Laurie's distinguished career in real estate. Her life is that of a true American dream where anything is possible and her beautiful acceptance speech touched everyone in the audience. Laurie inspires us everyday and we couldn't be prouder!

Laurie's story is the feature article in this month's Bay State Realtor Magazine:

The Membership Connection 12/28/2010

MAR's incoming president, Laurie Cadigan, is hard to keep up with in every sense of the phrase. She's a diligent working REALTOR® and brokerowner whose passion for the business and the association is apparent in every move she makes. She's a dedicated volunteer, almost to a fault, who wants only to work hard on behalf of the association and represent, in her view, one of the best organizations in existence today.

Cadigan doesn't favor the leadership connotation of "president" and wants the membership to understand her role as something of an avatar, one who sees through another's eyes. "I take this oath to be your ambassador," she stated at her installation. She is eager to work on the members' behalf to improve the association, the industry, and homeownership rights.

Path to Success Cadigan, "a city kid" as she calls herself, was raised in Somerville. Her parents separated when she was a child, and her initial involvement in real estate began as a young girl experiencing the trials of rental housing in the city with her mom. "We lived in eight rental apartments in ten years," she explains, "and I witnessed discrimination at its finest watching my young, single-parent mother face a mountain of rejection trying to secure a rental on her own with a young daughter."

Her dad was also a strong influence when it came to the industry and entrepreneurialism. He opened his own welding shop in their home's garage. Cadigan explained that he also remodeled and renovated three-deckers, and she spent most of her life helping him.

But Cadigan's first career moves were not in real estate. She ventured to western Massachusetts to pursue a college degree from UMass Amherst and thereafter worked in marketing in high-tech. Although her career was thriving, she decided to move in a direction that would better accommodate her then young and growing family. Cadigan and her husband, John, have three children, and when the first was born, she thought she'd try her hand at real estate on a "part-time" basis so that she could spend more time at home.

The part-time only lasted for six months, but "I loved it," she exclaims, "and we all know there's no such thing as part-time real estate!" Cadigan had moved to Concord so that she could give her family a more suburban lifestyle, and she felt that her relocation helped her business in the early days of real estate. "I wasn't afraid to travel to the neighboring towns to sell a home, and I knew the neighborhoods," she stated.

Yet, given Cadigan's drive and ambition, part-time soon became more as she took the position of loan officer for DeWolfe and grew the department from five loan officers to 30 before leaving that department. By the time her third child arrived, she was manager of the Concord DeWolfe sales office and successfully ran that office for several years.

After years of management, Laurie hoped to return to sales and a little more flexibility to accommodate the family's schedule and eventually found herself at Barrett & Company in Concord. After a few years of selling for Barrett, company owner Jane Barrett presented Laurie with "an opportunity of a lifetime," she explains. Laurie was offered a partnership at the company. "Partnering affords you the free time you need for your family while following your career goals. Jane raised four kids as well. We found we could help each other through the partnership, and we made a good team," Cadigan explains.

In 2007, Barrett transferred full ownership of the firm to Cadigan after running the business for 30 years, although she still comes to the office daily to work in real estate. "I thank my mentor and friend Jane Barrett for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to become a broker-owner of a prominent independent real estate company."

The Common Goal Cadigan believes that part of being a successful company owner is one's community involvement and industry involvement. "When I left a large company, I felt like my finger was not on the pulse of the industry and that I needed to be more involved to know what was going on." She began her community involvement in the Concord Chamber of Commerce and in the schools while her children were young.

Then, when a fellow Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® member talked about needing someone on the Finance Committee, she dove headfirst into association volunteerism. Cadigan served two terms as resident of the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® in 2005 and 2006; was involved on several committees throughout the years; and for her tremendous volunteerism was named GBAR REALTOR® of the Year in 2007. Furthermore, Cadigan's local volunteerism and her impressive resume of involvement on the state association level earned her the MAR REALTORS® of the Year honors that same year.

Throughout Cadigan's career in real estate, she's had "a passion for elevating the image of this profession." She's made it her full-time career to be involved in the association, and as she looks to her presidency in 2011, one of her main goals is to engage more members in the organization.

A Mission to Connect Cadigan has experienced the benefits of involvement in the association and will work in 2011 to elevate member participation to a higher level. "Through my 23 years in the business," she states, "my commitment with this association at all levels has been so incredibly rewarding. All of us have the opportunity to be successful, to have our own company if we choose -- there are no glass ceilings," she says.

She strongly believes that the education, resources, and motivation that members receive from the local, state, and national associations keep REALTORS® focused, profitable, and connected. The association leadership will continue to bring new programs and services to the state association level for the members and will seek help in spreading the word on these programs through its membership.

Cadigan will extend the work she began in 2010 to gain 100% participation in the Broker Involvement Program, a system for broker-owners to alert their agents to key REALTOR® issues through NAR Calls for Action. She traveled to many broker offices last year and will continue the outreach to inform brokers on the benefits of the program. One of the key attributes of the REALTOR® association is the lobbying efforts on behalf of the industry and private property rights. REALTOR® activism is essential to the success of those lobbying efforts.

Additionally, a key initiative of the association is to relay the value of membership and to communicate what members gain as a result of their membership. Membership at all three levels of the association reaps many benefits and discounts, such as free online continuing education courses and the soonto-be-launched free electronic forms platform. Membership to the REALTOR® association is integral to successfully doing business in real estate, and the association brings members services and products that will help them succeed.

Cadigan is looking for members to help spread the word on the many attributes of REALTOR® membership and to continue supporting the main priorities of the MAR leadership. "I understand my priority," Cadigan concludes, "it has always been this association's priority, and will continue to be -- it's all about the members."

Porches Patios and Decks on Pinterest

"'A picture is worth a thousand words.' refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly," according to Wikipedia. The phrase, in various forms, first appeared in print beginning around 1911. Over 100 years later, Pinterest has become one of the most popular social media sites and it revolves around pictures, pinned every minute by the thousands. Pinterest.com's About Us page says it is "a tool for collecting and organizing things you love." The format of "pinning" pictures to a "board" allows you to gather images online that speak to you, however you'd like to categorize them and then share those pictures and boards with your friends, both real life and online ones.

Barrett Sotheby's International Realty has a collection of Pinterest boards with a variety of titles such as "Architecture", "Kitchen Inspirations", "A Room with a View" and many more. From time to time, we will share those boards here with you and invite you to follow along with us on Pinterest to see what's been catching our eye and perhaps find some inspiration for your own home and garden. As we head into summer here in New England, there is no better place to start than with Porches, Patios and Decks. Whether screened in or wraparound, flagstone or cedar, we hope you find these outdoor spaces to be inviting, lovely to look at and worthy of a second glance.

Barret SIR Named One of Top 100 Women-Led Businesses

Barrett Sotheby's International Realty is pleased to announce that the company has been named to the 12th annual list of Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts by The Commonwealth Institute, a Boston-based nonprofit devoted to aiding women in business. Since 2002, the institute has compiled an annual list of for-profit women-led companies, based on revenues. This year for the first time, the Globe Magazine partnered with the institute to publish the list. There are nearly 200,000 women-owned companies in Massachusetts, employing more than 175,000 people, according to The Boston Globe.

"Each of the women on our Top 100 list," says The Commonwealth Institute's executive director, Aileen Gorman, "has made a significant impact on the Commonwealth's economy and has established herself as a visionary leader of a successful company."

Laurie Cadigan, CEO and Owner of Barrett Sotheby's International Realty, purchased the company in 2007 from Jane Barrett, who started J.M. Barrett & Co. in 1977.

It's Time to Prepare your Home for the Winter Ahead

As homeowners know there is always something around the house and yard that needs tending and maintenance. The fall and spring seasons are especially busy as you prepare your environment for the months ahead. I found this checklist helpful and thought you might as well.

Fall Maintenance Checklist By John Riha

You'll be ready for winter's worst and head off expensive repairs when you complete this checklist of 10 essential fall maintenance tasks.

1. Stow the mower.

If you're not familiar with fuel stabilizer, you should be. If your mower sits for months with gas in its tank, the gas will slowly deteriorate, which can damage internal engine parts. Fuel stabilizer ($10 for a 10-ounce bottle) prevents gas from degrading.

Add stabilizer to your gasoline can to keep spare gas in good condition over the winter, and top off your mower tank with stabilized gas before you put it away for the winter. Run the mower for five minutes to make sure the stabilizer reaches the carburetor.

Another lawn mower care method is to run your mower dry before stowing it

1. When the mower is cool, remove the spark plug and pour a capful of engine oil into the spark plug hole. 2. Pull the starter cord a couple of times to distribute the oil, which keeps pistons lubricated and ensures an easy start come spring. 3. Turn the mower on its side and clean out accumulated grass and gunk from the mower deck

2. Don't be a drip.

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temps hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Make this an early fall priority so a sudden cold snap doesn't sneak up and cause damage.

Turn off any shutoff valves on water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets. That way, you'll guard against minor leaks that may let water enter the faucet.

While you're at it, drain garden hoses and store them in a shed or garage.

3. Put your sprinkler system to sleep.

Time to drain your irrigation system. Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads.

1. Turn off the water to the system at the main valve.

2. Shut off the automatic controller.

3. Open drain valves to remove water from the system.

4. Remove any above-ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out of them, then replace.

If you don't have drain valves, then hire an irrigation pro to blow out the systems pipes with compressed air. A pro is worth the $75 to $150 charge to make sure the job is done right, and to ensure you don't have busted pipes and sprinkler head repairs to make in the spring 4. Seal the deal.

Grab a couple of tubes of color-matched exterior caulk ($5 for a 12-ounce tube) and make a journey around  your home's exterior, sealing up cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive -- and most important -- of your fall maintenance jobs. You'll also seal air leaks that waste energy. Pick a nice day when temps are above 50 degrees so caulk flows easily.