It was 10 years ago, in the Spring of 2008: the country was enveloped in a financial crisis, widely considered by economists to have been the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The situation in the subprime mortgage market had reached full-blown, international crisis mode. Lehman Brothers collapsed. The government had begun bailing out financial institutions to avoid the collapse of the world financial system. The housing market was abysmal.
And Brian Molisse decided to start a one-man real estate brokerage on Boston's South Shore.
After 10 years of working as the Director of Facilities for the May institute overseeing 160 group homes across Massachusetts, it was time for a change.
“While overseeing so many properties I ended up getting my home inspectors license and when the May Institute purchased or leased a property, I would do the inspections on them. So I was around Real Estate a lot,” Molisse said. “I always loved looking at properties and I like dealing with people, so I thought real estate would be a perfect fit.”
It is the quintessential Hollywood-style script: the little guy wanting a change, walking away from the stability of a day job and taking a shot. This script started with a relatively common-sense idea, a simple logo, hand-sketched on a paper napkin and a lot of passion and hard work. That was, and continues to be, the Molisse Realty Group secret recipe.
"I wanted to start a full-service real estate office that was dedicated to the principles of honesty, integrity, and hard work," Molisse says sitting at a modest desk in his Manchester-by-the-Sea office, his newest office location. "We have never been about flashiness. We have been about doing the right thing for our clients, being creative and then later, I wanted focus on doing the right things for the agents who put their trust in working for me." Our reputation is everything to me.
Molisse got his start as a sole proprietor in May of 2008 in a small, 500 square foot office located on Rte. 53 in Hanover, MA. His dream started quietly, and recalls stories of people finding out. "My sister Kathy called me and said my cousin drove by and saw your name on the building and asked me if you started a real estate company," he says laughing. "No one knew what I was up to. I said ‘yes I did!’ Then I went home with my son Tyler and showed my family my first company sign & they were all surprised as well.”
Molisse knew that starting a real estate brokerage in the middle of the financial crisis was risky, and he knew there would be doubters, but he saw opportunity in the midst of all of it.
The risk paid off.
Today, as Brian Molisse approaches the 10 year anniversary of opening that very first office, he thinks the best is yet to come. Now with over 75 agents and 4 coastal, office locations in Marshfield, Scituate, Weymouth and Manchester-by-the-Sea, Molisse Realty Group is growing and evolving its business model to better address the changing needs of buyers and sellers.
“I saw our anniversary year as a chance to do a better job of telling our story – to get people to think of us differently,” Molisse says. “I think our reputation for honesty and treating people right is the cornerstone of who we are as a brokerage, but buying a home is very much about fulfilling a dream for most people. In a lot of ways, it’s like my dream of starting Molisse Realty Group 10 years ago.”
To assist in developing the evolution of the brand, Molisse enlisted the services of local brand strategist and marketer, Chris Langathianos, who is also a Molisse Realty Group client.
“Before we started the creative elements of the brand refresh, we spent 3 months doing industry research, speaking with Molisse clients and agents, analyzing our own market research and holding group brainstorming workshops. There is a reason for everything we did,” Langathianos said.
The most noticeable change to people will be the new logo. The Molisse Realty Group logo was updated to more accurately reflect the essence of the brand.
“Molisse Realty Group’s offices are all located in coastal areas of the state, so we brought in elements of the coast – the anchor icon as well as the light blue. Historically, the anchor represents home, the end of a long journey, and safety – all of the things that finding the perfect home represents,” Langathianos explains, “it’s not just about the nautical symbolism, it’s deeper than that.”
Molisse adds, “if you look at our new signs, the base color is black with our logo and information sitting on top of it in white. There is a real estate industry trend of creating premier or luxury divisions of brokerages for properties valued over $1 million. Every property is marketed differently, but we didn’t want to create a message exclusion. If you work with Molisse Realty Group, we are going to make sure your experience is the Industry’s best, whether your property is $300,000 or $3 million.”
Molisse also hopes that people will start to see some of the brand’s new campaign messaging that gets back to the core of the brand objective – fulfilling dreams.
“We believe in big dreams. Buying a home means building memories. And we know that the right home becomes the background for hearty home cooked meals, late-night conversations, and Netflix marathons. We believe that purchasing a home is an emotional experience. And it should be. Because finding the loving environment that surrounds your family, and all its moments, is a big deal. This is what drives us. We believe that the finest homes on Massachusetts’ North and South Shores should be within reach for our clients and that it takes a dedicated team to make it happen. It is our mission to make owning your dream home a reality.”
“Molisse Realty Group, my agents, and my staff mean so much to me – we are like family,” Molisse says. “We have grown in size over the years, but we will never lose our caring way and we will always be focused on helping our clients achieve their goal of home ownership. Our clients really become a part of our family.”