We’re happy to share the Boston Voyager article on our Chris Raveis, our president of residential sales. Chris speaks on his journey into the business, challenges and what sets William Raveis Real Estate apart.
Chris, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started in the family real estate business directly out of school in ‘93, then left to pursue commercial real estate in Atlanta, came back to the northeast to work on a tech startup during the .com era, then rejoined the family business in 2003. Joining the family business was a big decision, and one my father, my brother Ryan and I took seriously. We ultimately enlisted the help of a family business consultant and worked to identify our passions and how those would align with our respective roles in the company.
My passion has always been around growth and being an entrepreneur. I wanted to grow the company outside of Connecticut and help build a northeast company for the next generation. Boston and its MA suburbs were a compelling and exciting new challenge. The biggest obstacle at the time was to find companies that wanted to be acquired. Ultimately there was no choice but to build locations “de novo”.
Starting offices from scratch without acquiring a known entity was heavy lifting when you were 2.5 hrs away from your home base. It required really digging into the local communities, getting to know the right people, understanding local and neighborhood cultures and working hard to build trust with many people who would share the vision of creating something special together.
Ultimately, growing our business comes down to people— hire great people, get to know them personally, inspire and empower them to grow their careers, and enjoy life with them along the way!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Building a business is unpredictable. There are no guarantees for success. Unless you remain adaptable to ever-changing markets and a highly competitive landscape, you are vulnerable. The key is making sure you have the right management and people in place locally to help work through any issues that may arise.
Please tell us about William Raveis Real Estate Mortgage Insurance.
William Raveis is a family owned residential real estate sales, mortgage and insurance business providing one-stop shopping around the home buying or selling process. We have 130 branches and 4,000 sales associates across the 8 northeast states and Florida. We closed $9B in annual sales this past year, making us the 8th largest residential company in the US.
What sets us apart from others?
I am extremely proud of our culture. We are a company with “soul”. We have built our business around people first, company second. It is about doing the right thing, honoring commitments, showing gratitude and building trusting and lasting relationships. I am also proud of the money we’ve raised for charities.
Of note, The William Raveis Charitable Fund (headed by my brother’s wife Meghan) has teamed up with Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation to raise just over $1.5 million in three years. 100 percent of the money raised helped fund nine of the brightest young scientists researching ways to eliminate all forms of cancer.
Lessons Learned. What would you have done differently?
A lesson learned for anyone who finds themselves having to travel to and stay in Back Bay for work over the course of many years: If you love steak, Abe and Louies may be the place to go. But, I say take a walk to the North End from time to time – it is a great walk through the public garden and Boston Common, and the food is amazing. If you eat too much, you can always walk back and feel better about yourself.
- Address: 18 Arlington Street, Boston (Back Bay)
16 Clarendon Street, Boston (South End)
707 West Broadway (South Boston)
- Website: raveis.com
- Phone: 617-266-5200 (Back Bay – Manager Dan Walsh)
617-426-8333 (South End – Manager Dan Walsh)
617.268.7600 (South Boston – Manager Beth Rooney)