Five Questions With John Hodnett

John Hodnett | President, Lila Delman Real Estate

1. How has the company changed in direction, if at all, since you became president in 2018, following the death of the late Melanie Delman?
Melanie, Pamela [Delman] and I have always taken a collaborative approach to running the business. Since Melanie’s passing, we’ve continued to embrace this style of leadership, as we’ve always found that teamwork garners the best results for our company and our clients. … Our team has never been stronger, or more committed, to the business and our continued success after 55 years.

2. You have a background in finance and worked for several years in that industry before entering real estate. How has that helped you?
Residential real estate is often emotionally driven, however, having a command of financial trends, value analysis and an ability to interpret the … data available today are proving to be critical assets. … In both fields, I quickly realized the importance of an even temperament and the ability to remain factually grounded in emotionally intense situations.

3. Are luxury buyers asking more questions about climate change and how it impacts properties on the waterfront?
Luxury buyers are unique and come with their own questions and concerns, [but] climate change has not been a major topic of conversation in my experiences. Any discussions I have had related to climate change would be property-specific for homes that are directly impacted, such as a beachfront property that has experienced erosion.

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4. What trends are you are seeing in 2019?
2019 is shaping up to be another strong year in the real estate market. We are seeing buyers continue to pay premium prices for turnkey properties and an influx of interest [in] vacation homes from New York City, Boston and Fairfield County, Conn., residents. The demand for oceanfront property remains high, with buyers expanding their searches statewide. … Rhode Island luxury property continues to trade at a discount to properties located in the Hamptons [and Massachusetts’] Cape and Islands.

5. What is the national perspective on Rhode Island real estate?
On a day-to-day basis, we are seeing a growing appreciation for property in Rhode Island. … The proximity to the major markets of the Northeast, fine dining, cultural attractions, beautiful beaches and tremendous architecture continue to keep Rhode Island top of mind for people.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at