Duane Boucher, of Boucher Real Estate in Woonsocket, recently was chosen as the 2017 Rhode Island Realtor of the Year. As statewide winner, he was selected from the Realtors of the Year nominated by regional organizations in Rhode Island. A graduate of Nichols College, he spoke to the Providence Business News about highlights in his career.
PBN: You were a top producing Realtor in northern Rhode Island in 2009, 2011 and 2016. Two of those years were during the Great Recession, some of the worst years for real estate. How did you manage to get sales during that time, what was the secret to that?
BOUCHER: Both 2009 and 2011 were definitely very challenging years in the real estate industry. While a lot of agents decided to exit the business during that time, I doubled down and committed to guiding my clients through the storm. Becoming adept at negotiating short sales and foreclosure sales helped to provide a steady stream of activity. Convincing buyers that the deepest, darkest down market was the best time for them to buy was more difficult than it seems it should have been in hindsight, but those who bought at that time are thrilled with the increase in value they have now realized. Thinking outside of the box and always looking for the opportunity in every situation served me well during those years.
PBN: How do you advise Realtors to manage their businesses for the long haul, through ups and downs in the economy that will impact sales?
BOUCHER: I think it’s important for successful Realtors to recognize that although the market will have its ups and downs, there will always be an ongoing need for people to purchase and sell real estate for a variety of personal reasons. By establishing and maintaining strong relationships and being ready to serve their clients’ needs, agents will always have a steady source of business.
PBN: You are active in raising funds for the Wounded Warriors. Why is that nonprofit of particular importance to you?
BOUCHER: It’s because of the brave men and women who serve our country and protect our freedoms that we are able to enjoy the comfortable lives we have. I’m thankful that I can raise my family and pursue my dreams in the greatest country in the world and we owe a great deal of debt and gratitude to those who stand in the line of fire to ensure our safety. There are many great causes to support, but I feel that injured soldiers have earned and deserve our support.
PBN: You have a degree in finance and real estate. How did you settle on a career in real estate and why did you choose residential over commercial real estate, if that was a choice?
BOUCHER: From sales to new construction, and also property management, my family has been involved in the real estate business since I was a kid. If I wasn’t in school, I was working to help out in some way and grew up around the business. Because I started at a young age, I found building a residential practice easier than trying to establish a commercial clientele. After forming more and more business relationships over time, the demand for commercial services came, and in 2001 I recruited a commercial practitioner to join my firm. We now handle both residential and commercial transactions and have agents that specialize in each segment of the market.
PBN: You’ve continued to seek education in various types of real estate transactions, i.e. short sales and foreclosures, through certification programs. Why is that important for a Realtor?
BOUCHER: Even after 20 years of selling real estate, there is always something new to learn. It’s an ongoing process that never ends and I love having the confidence to represent my clients by knowing the fine details to avoid all the potential pitfalls that are out there. I’ve received specialized training for representing sellers, buyers, negotiating short-sale approvals, handling bank-owned property sales, assisting seniors and more. There are so many nuances to this business, such as understanding the new construction process and being aware of different municipal regulations, that making education a regular part of your business plan is a must for staying sharp.
Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at email@example.com.