Five Questions With: Pamela Hogan

Pamela Hogan, a Rhode Island real estate broker who worked for The DiSpirito Team before joining its owners last year when they established an Engel & Völkers AG franchise, recently started her own business.

Pam Hogan Homes is a new brokerage based in Providence, formed by Hogan, who began her career in real estate in 2013 after a 20-year career as a legal assistant. Hogan called it a “bittersweet” transition to leave Engel & Völkers East Greenwich, and she expressed gratitude to her former firm.

Hogan, who has been dubbed the “condo queen” by colleagues, said the new brokerage will continue her condominiums specialty, with home sales at high rises in downtown Providence at places such as The Residences Providence.

Hogan is a member of the Kent Washington Association of Realtors, and she is a member of the Greater Providence Board of Realtors. Hogan is also a member of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.

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PBN: What influenced you to get into the real estate profession? Is there something in your background that inspired you to do so? Can you tell us about that?

HOGAN: Both of my parents were brokers in Vermont, so it’s in my blood. I worked as a legal assistant for 20 years. But nearly a decade ago I decided that I wanted to be my own boss and set my own schedule, so this was the obvious industry for me to dive into. And, of course, I wish I hadn’t waited so long.

PBN: Why did you recently start your own brokerage after working as a real estate adviser with Engel & Völkers? What details can you tell us about your new business?

HOGAN: Being part of the grand opening of Engel & Völkers inspired me to move forward with opening my own brokerage. It’s been a goal/dream for many years, but I didn’t ever put a strict timeline on it. My daughter Jillian, age 18, is in the process of becoming a third-generation real estate agent – a proud mom moment. So, it made sense for me to get systems in place before I start training her.

I worked on a team while at Engel & Völkers and I am elated that Derek Simpson and Tania Corsi came over to Pam Hogan Homes to start this journey with me. I intend to keep the agency fairly small. The family vibe is important to me.

PBN: You specialize partly in luxury condominium sales. What is the market like for luxury condos in Rhode Island right now and what’s it like to be more involved in this type of residential real estate?

HOGAN: Just like single-family homes, there is a shortage of condominiums available for purchase as well. As of the date of this interview, there are only 231 for sale in the entire state (all price points); 99 of those are $500,000-plus. To break that down even more, if you want a luxury condo in Providence, you only have 10 to choose from right now.

Condominiums became my niche about seven years ago. It’s really gratifying to help empty nesters downsize from a big house to the simplicity of condominium living. And on the flip side of that, we also love watching a family outgrow a condo and help them find their dream home.

Condominium sales require different paperwork than single-family homes, as well as knowledge pertaining to association rules, amenities, etc., so I enjoy that I am continuously learning.

PBN: How have you seen the COVID-19 pandemic impact the real estate industry in Rhode Island and how do you expect the local market to behave moving forward this year?

HOGAN: The pandemic definitely made people rethink their living situations. This meant the desire to upsize in many instances, or renovate, or perhaps live closer to the beach, or whatever would give them a better quality of life. All of this equated to a frenzied pace over the last two-plus years, but with interest rates rising, we have seen that slow down these last several months.

We are still not experiencing a completely balanced market since inventory remains low (only 943 single-family homes for sale when a “normal” market would be around 5,000). Because rates continue to rise, buyers cannot qualify for the same loan today that they could have six months or a year ago, so they’re finding themselves having to search in a different price bracket – but without having to pay inflated sales prices and/or waive contingencies, which was common these last few years.

Plenty of homeowners would sell if they felt they had more options as to what they could purchase. Until the supply and demand even out, we may continue to see a bit of this bottleneck effect in the coming months.

PBN: What’s your advice to new residential agents who are trying to break through and develop a successful career in this industry?

HOGAN: Network, network, network. Build your team of supporters so that as situations arise, you always know who you can call or where to send your clients. I grew up in Vermont, so I didn’t have a lifetime of contacts here in Rhode Island, and that is why I went to every event possible and shook every hand I could.

Over time, that sphere of influence becomes invaluable to you and will open many doors. Also, never stop educating yourself, even if you don’t receive continuing education credits, and don’t ever get discouraged by the status of the market because it is always changing.

Marc Larocque is a PBN staff writer. Contact him at Larocque@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @LaRockPBN.