Agent Spotlight: Josh Lagasse

JLagasseThis month, RE/MAX of New England is proud to recognize Josh Lagasse of RE/MAX Realty One in our Agent Spotlight. Josh is fairly new to the RE/MAX family, but has found his background in business and marketing to be extremely helpful in developing personalized online strategies for each of his clients.

I recently had an opportunity to visit with Josh in Ogunquit, ME. Here’s what I learned.

Stacy: How did you end up in real estate?

Josh: When I graduated from the University of Maine I was facing a really tough job market, but was fortunate enough to have an offer in the insurance industry. I spent a few years doing the 9-5 but felt like I just had a job – not a career. When I started looking to buy my own home I became really interested in real estate. After I bought my house I earned my license and started doing part-time work with another company.

When I first got into real estate I was looking for a company with strong brand recognition. When clients see the RE/MAX logo it speaks volumes for itself in terms of the level of support offered. Being able to cobrand myself with RE/MAX has been really powerful. I started training with RE/MAX this winter and it’s been busy ever since. I appreciate the online tools offered by RE/MAX that embrace a new way of doing business and really speak to first-time buyers.

Stacy: Tell me about the community you work in.

Josh: I’m currently splitting my time between the Greater Portland and Wells/Ogunquit markets and they are two very different scenes, which I love. In Portland I have a lot of contact with my sphere of influence; people my age looking to buy their first home. It helps that I can relate to their situation and answer their questions as I just went through that process myself. The Wells/Ogunquit market really has a hometown feel. You develop personal connections with the clients you work with.

Stacy: What do you love about being in real estate?

Josh: I really love that things change on a day-to-day basis. You’re not doing the same things over and over again, which has been a refreshing change for me.

Stacy: If you could offer any words of advice to other agents, what would it be?

Josh: As a new agent it can be difficult in the beginning. You can feel like things aren’t moving fast enough and you’re not making it. But if you stick with it and don’t cut corners, you’ll get there. I’ve found that taking the sales aspect out of the equation and focusing on being more of a resource is really effective. If you follow that mentality the rest just falls into place.

Get in touch with Josh:

Agent Spotlight: Leon Lopes

Leon Lopes

This month, RE/MAX of New England is proud to recognize Leon Lopes of RE/MAX Spectrum in our Agent Spotlight.  Leon is a Hall of Fame Career Award recipient, has been in the RE/MAX Platinum Club for the past two years and recently earned his Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) designation. Leon is married with two children and is very involved in his local community.

I recently had an opportunity to visit with Leon in Plymouth, MA. Here’s what I learned.

Stacy: Have you always been in real estate?

Leon: I actually used to work at the corporate headquarters for a department store. I decided to get into real estate because I had young kids at home and was looking for something with more flexibility. Because of my background, I naturally approached real estate as a customer service business, not as one based on heavy sales.

In 2002 I decided to join RE/MAX. I felt my business had reached a jumping off point and that joining RE/MAX was the best way to get to the next level.

Stacy: Tell me about the community you work in.

Leon: Plymouth is America’s Hometown. I love doing business here because of the wide range of variety in terms of clients and properties. We see a lot of first time buyers here but there are also 55+ communities. I have worked with new construction opportunities like The Pinehills and have a new listing coming for Downtown Plymouth. There is a lot of diversity in the market and that allows you to work in of different areas.

Stacy: Now that you have been in real estate for a while, what keeps you happy at work?

Leon: I enjoy being able to inform and educate, especially with first time buyers. They really need education and direction. When I’m working with a client that is relocating, they might not need as much information about the home buying process, but will probably look to me as the expert in the community.

I also enjoy managing the process that is involved with working with sellers. It’s important to develop a good working relationship with your seller because you really do end up working as a team.

No two people or transactions are the same. Everyone has different wants and needs and it is my job to find out how I can best deliver on that. One of my clients described me as a chameleon and I think everyone needs to be able to adapt to customer needs in their own way.

Stacy: If you could offer any words of advice to other agents, what would it be?

Leon: For newer agents trying to grow their business I would say don’t be afraid to tap into your existing networks and let people know what you are doing now.

My other piece of advice would be to never underestimate the power of listening to your buyers and sellers and other parties involved in a transaction. Each transaction has its own unique twists and turns and you need to always be prepared for that. Being willing to learn, no matter how long you have been in the industry, has proved invaluable to me. There are always opportunities to learn new systems or processes and it pays off to embrace them.

Agent Spotlight: The Ellen, Janis & Josh Real Estate Team

Picture1RE/MAX of New England is happy to welcome the Ellen, Janis and Josh Real Estate team to our family! Ellen Grubert, Janis Lippman, and Josh Muncey, all formerly of Coldwell Banker, have joined the RE/MAX Destiny team in Jamaica Plain. This new team brings more than 35 years of local, combined real estate experience. In 2013, they successfully completed 98 transactions and posted more than $42 million of volume in the Jamaica Plain area.

I recently had an opportunity to visit with the team in their beautiful JP office. Here’s what I learned.

Stacy: Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got to where you are today

Josh: I grew up in Newton, MA and was surrounded by real estate growing up. My grandfather managed properties and my mother and uncle were both in real estate. I spent time doing apartment upkeep and maintenance while I was in college, and that helped me become more educated about the physical attributes of buildings. After a brief stint in banking, I knew I was just not cut out to sit at a desk all day. I wanted to be engaging with people and have more autonomy. A few years after I got my license, I did a deal with Ellen and Janis and there was a lot of synergy in terms of values and respect for our community and clients. We kept working together over the years and finally realized we needed to be working together more formally.

Stacy: What is the best part about your job?

Janis: Buying or selling a home is extremely emotional. From a business standpoint, it’s often just seen as a business commodity, but it is so much more than that. A new home signifies starting a new phase in your life; it becomes part of your legacy. It is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. I love being a resource, guide and partner in that experience. Helping buyers and sellers realize their dreams is extremely satisfying for me.

Stacy: Can you tell me a little bit about your community?

Josh: We live and work here and love getting to know the people in our community. The people of Jamaica Plain are so inclusive and civic-oriented; they really care about each other. We are lucky that JP and Roslindale have so many nonprofits and opportunities to give back. Community service does tie in to work, but it’s also a great way to have fun with your neighbors. I truly believe it’s a great community to join.

Stacy: Why did you decide to join RE/MAX?

Ellen: We were looking for a place to grow and guidance on how to create the right team. There is a certain excitement about being in a new office in a new location. RE/MAX combines the tools of a corporate brand with the independence of local office. It feels like a family.

Janis: We saw RE/MAX as a company that supports its agents by offering amazing resources that go above and beyond anything we had seen before. It was a wonderful opportunity for us. We will be able to better serve our buyers and sellers by having RE/MAX resources behind us. RE/MAX is an incredible brand name with international reach.

Stacy: Do you have any words of wisdom for other agents?

Ellen: Stick to the basics: don’t make promises you can’t keep, be kind, be ethical, and be upfront. The client’s needs always come first. Follow this formula, and you’ll be successful.

Agent Spotlight: Hona Longstaff

Hona Longstaff of RE/MAX By The Bay is our Agent of the Month! She has been with RE/MAX for 12 years, and an agent of over 30 years. What she loves about real estate is that it opens doors, literally. In addition to Hona’s exceptional work ethic, she is a remarkable Agent who truly believes in giving back. “It is not about how much you have, it is about how much you give,” commented Hona. In the past, Hona has been a member of Team RE/MAX at the Portland Race for the Cure raising money for the ME Affiliate and a Miracle Agent raising money for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. Thank you to members of our RE/MAX family, like Hona, who give back.

To contact Hona, please see below.


Office: (207) 773-2345


Agent Spotlight: Joy Baker

RE/MAX of New England would like to congratulate Joy Baker of RE/MAX Insight in Salem, NH as the Agent of the Month!

Joy has been a Real Estate Agent since 1987. In 1990, Joy discovered the RE/MAX advantage, and it is also when she handled her first short sale – at this time that was a rarity. Her background of mortgage banking, title and real estate has helped many clients through this trying process. Joy commented, “I specialize in working with those people who have determined that they can no longer keep their home and wish to minimize the emotional and financial damage to their lives and move forward to a better place; a place with a healthier financial future through a successfully executed short sale.” She loves how you can make a positive difference in the lives of people by helping them accomplish their goals; with short sales, you make an even larger impact in their life.

For many, buying a home is the largest financial transaction they’ll make in their life, which is why Joy believes it’s important to be a consultant of real estate, not a sales person. It’s her personal and professional duty to help people make an informed decision.

In parting, Joy would recommend, “If you are an agent interested in working with distressed homeowners to plan on doing a lot of research. You need to put your hands on the actual Fannie and Freddie guidelines (which are changing on November 1st, by the way), the HAFA guidelines, the Fannie appraisal guidelines and you need to be willing to take the time to read and understand them. Knowledge is power and puts you in a much better position to fight for your client.” Thank you Joy for staying informed and making such an impact on your local market and community!

Please see below to contact Joy Baker:
RE/MAX Insight
(603) 952-4655

Agent Spotlight: Pam Gray

Pam Gray, from RE/MAX Coast to Coast in Portsmouth, NH, became a real estate Agent after buying her first property. The Agent she was working with left such a positive impression on her that she knew this was the right career path for her. Pam’s desire to also make a positive difference in someone else’s life has made her the Agent she is today.

Pam is a competitive person as well, which motivates her and helps her clients. In fact, her clients, the Agakian family, won the RE/MAX, Recognize & Remodel contest, which was a RE/MAX of New England contest where individuals created videos telling us why THEIR RE/MAX Agent is the best! Fans of the RE/MAX of New England Facebook Page voted on their favorite video, and the video with the most “Likes” won the contest. Pam and the Agakian family had nearly 800 “Likes”, far more than any other video submitted.

Pam has been instrumental in helping the Agakian family, especially in planning the RE/MAX, Recognize & Remodel dedication, taking place this Wednesday at the Agakian’s home. She has not only orchestrated the family receiving $2,500 of brand new windows, she has also asked that everyone attending the dedication bring a flower or herb to donate to their family garden. Pam’s genuine care and devotion to her clients is what makes her such an exceptional RE/MAX Agent.

Agent Spotlight: Larry Lawfer

RE/MAX of New England would like to recognize Larry Lawfer from RE/MAX Landmark in Wellesley, MA as the Agent of the Month!

Larry joined RE/MAX 18 months ago. He previously owned a marketing and video production company: YourStorys. Larry has always been an involved and contributing member of his communities. As a REALTOR, Larry uses his skill sets in marketing on a daily basis. Since joining RE/MAX Landmark, he has completely immersed himself in what RE/MAX has to offer, taking advantage of all of the resources and technology suite tools. He mainly uses the Design Center and LeadStreet – two fundamental branding and lead generating tools that support his business.

One of the many things that Larry does to grow relationships and establish himself as an expert in the industry is sending out a personalized monthly e-newsletter, which is hosted within the Design Center. This resource helps his brand image look clean, clear and consistent. He writes about intriguing market trends and opportunities available for buyers, sellers and investors. This e-newsletter is an engagement tool for potential and past clients; it’s all about sharing valuable information to build long-term relationships.

Please feel free to reach out to Larry if you’d like to share ideas about tools, techniques and content. We know Larry will continue achieve amazing milestones with RE/MAX, while successfully branding and marketing himself to build his business clientele!

Larry Lawfer
RE/MAX Landmark
462 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02482
(781) 235 – 5590

Agent Spotlight: Karen King

On June 1st, the town of Monson, MA was devastated by an unexpected tornado that destroyed 240 homes and left the rest of the town heavily impacted.  The town’s only supermarket was ruined, and the library suffered heavy damages as well.  As Monson started to rebuild, Karen King, Agent at RE/MAX Prestige in Wilbraham, MA, instantly jumped into action and led 800 volunteers in bringing relief to the community.  She worked with both FEMA and MEMA relief agencies closely to facilitate monetary assistance for the community.  Karen also graciously opened her home to 13 people left homeless, who lived with her for three weeks.  Karen gained the help of her fellow RE/MAX offices, who were generous enough to bring truckload after truckload of food, water, Gatorade, and more to the local church, which provided 2,500 meals a day. 

She also took the initiative to call sellers whose homes were listed for sale and were also vacant, and solicit their help.  “No one was looking to move to Monson after the tornado so I asked if they could be so kind to take their home off the market  and rent to a family in need.”   She was then able to successfully move fifteen families into a home for temporary shelter.  She worked with their insurance companies, and enlisted the help of more volunteers to fill these homes with furniture, food, and clothes.  Karen’s office donated the paper and printing to make posters that her “Street Angels” brought door-to-door to increase awareness of the help and supplies that were needed for the affected families.

 Karen has already spent over 400 hours since June on a strictly volunteer basis to give as much as she can to those who need it.  As a leading coordinator in the Monson Tornado Relief Efforts, Karen is still helping a great number of families support themselves.  Anyone looking to help can donate to the Monson Savings Bank, at or to ABMen.  ABMen is a ministry group, cutting wood of the fallen forestry to pick up the town’s appearance and move the trees out of many parking lots.  ABMen donations can be made to VT/NH ABMen Disaster Relief c/o Karen King 11 Longview Drive Monson, MA 01057.

Karen was awarded the prestigious Realtor of the Year for 2008 by the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley. The Karen King Realty Group has been licensed since 1985, and averages 100 homes sold each year, the #1 team in the Greater Springfield Area.

If you would like to contact Karen, she can be reached at:

Karen King

RE/MAX Prestige

Office: 413-596-3566

Cell: 413-348-3948

Agent Spotlight: Steve Banks

Steve BanksThis month, RE/MAX of New England awards Steve Banks of RE/MAX Bayside in Meredith, NH as the agent of the month!

Steve is never one to shy away from a challenge. He stood up, willing to take on the 30 day listing challenge before even hearing what it was. The 30 day listing challenge was Jay Hummer, Executive Vice President and Regional Director of RE/MAX of New England’s challenge to agents at the RE/MAX & You in Portsmouth, NH to gain eight new listings in only a month’s time. One month later, he had gone above and beyond the call for eight additional listings and gained more than any other agent in New England.

The most important aspect of Steve’s success was his mindset during the challenge. Keeping the big picture in mind, and imagining how rewarding the future results of his commitment would be, he persisted through each and every listing and the obstacles that arose.

Competition with other agents is always a challenge for any real estate agent looking for listings. Steve utilized the RE/MAX brand and together with his own persistence and dedication he ultimately won these listings over the rival agents. The support and encouragement Steve received from his entire office and the cutting edge RE/MAX technology, including the new edition of LeadStreet, were always optimistic confidence boosters as Steve continued to walk through his office door with listing after listing.

Steve’s success in the 30 day listing challenge can be attributed to a combination of good timing, revisiting old prospects, a willingness to compete and the support of a premier international brand. But ultimately his ability to see potential and harness incentives into outcomes were what propelled Steve above and beyond his fellow agents to a personal accomplishment only the hard-working elite can attain.

Steve has been a licensed realtor since 1992 and joined RE/MAX in 2005. He specializes in both residential and commercial real estate and services the communities of Meredith, Alton, Laconia, Moultonborough, Center Harbor, Sandwich, Gilford and Wolfeboro, NH.

If you would like to contact Steve, he can be reached at:

Steve Banks
RE/MAX Bayside
(603) 387-6607

Agent of the Month: Linda DeRosa

Linda DeRosa
This month, RE/MAX of New England awards Linda DeRosa of RE/MAX Alliance in Branford, CT as the agent of the month! 

Linda is a 36-year real estate veteran who has weathered multiple market swings as well as consolidation and reorganization in her previous company to become successful. In the month of April, Linda cracked the top 25 top producer’s list! 

Prior to joining RE/MAX Alliance, Linda’s biggest challenge was trying to stay in the game when her company at the time was shuffling offices due to consolidation and reorganization.  As a loyal worker, Linda stayed on with that company for 5 volatile years.  Soon, she realized that she needed to make a change.  Linda explained “I came to the realization that if I was serious about my business, I needed to make a change and surround myself with other top producers and finally get the support I needed.  Thanks to Alison [Barbaro] and Phil [Carloni], my current Broker/Owners at RE/MAX Alliance who believed in me, I was able to get my feet on the ground, refocus my business and do what I do best – Sell real estate!” 

When asked what Linda’s secret to her success is, she replied “It has been a combination of efforts that I have been able to find my stride and maintain steady business.  I think the key factor is my ability to network and doing plain old fashion hard work – keeping to the basics.  That ability combined with the unbelievable professional and personal support of my Broker/Owners and the name recognition of the RE/MAX brand has put me in the best possible situation for me to succeed.” 

After years of experience in the real estate industry, seeing both the good and the bad and not only surviving but thriving, Linda offered the following advice “Stop whining and come out swinging.  It’s all about a positive attitude, you can never give up.  If you don’t give up it’s a wonderful, rewarding business.”

Linda became a licensed realtor in 1975 and joined RE/MAX in 2009.  She specializes in residential and commercial real estate and also gives back to the American Cancer Society, Children’s Miracle Network and Habitat for Humanity.  Linda works in Branford, CT and also services the surrounding areas such as Milford, Orange, Wallingford, West Haven and Woodbridge, CT.

If you would like to contact Linda, she can be reached at:

Linda DeRosa
RE/MAX Alliance
(203) 314-4439