The Cambridge Landscape with Lindsay Allison

Lindsay Allison is a Boston real estate heavyweight, selling properties in Cambridge, Massachusetts— a very important strategic city within the parking stratosphere. 

In this interview, we talked about the ways in which parking spaces effect real estate.

How did you actually get started in the real estate industry? 

I was a retail store buyer. I went to Middlebury up in Vermont. After working in stores, doing sales and management, I became a buyer and did some import programs and traveling around the world and that sort of thing. It’s a real burnout business. Once I learned, I decided to follow in the footsteps of my mother, aunt and cousins who were all in the real estate business. I got my license in 1981.

Interestingly, in 1981, they said that the average new bloke or coming into the business or new agent would make $10,000 a year, I made $100,000 that year. That’s a good lot of money.

 

What are you trying to do differently from other companies, brokers, and from the real estate space in general?

We will cooperate with other brokers and bend over backwards to do the right thing and the fair thing with agents who are bringing buyers to listings, for example. We do a lot more than many agents do in property for sale. Because of that, we tend to have shorter days on the market, a higher selling price. We make it easier for the sellers all around: we have a lot of resources that we can go to, to help older people get there, get themselves organized to move to assisted living, for example, or people who are young family wanting to do a few little years before they’re ready to move to their next property. So we do what everybody does, but then we do more.

 

The average sale prices of condos have been fluctuating over the years, do you think parking spaces have anything to do with that? 

Well, certainly in Cambridge. Cambridge is unique in that unlike Boston, it’s your yard, trees, parks and green space around. So it’s kind of the best of both worlds. It’s got interesting squares and activities and academic relationships, proximity for taking classes and all that sort of thing. Our houses, most 17% of the housing stock in Cambridge is single family houses. Most of those, or many of them, have parking. However, parking is tough in Cambridge. If you’re having a dinner party or company come, you’re taking up that parking so your visitors really need to have different access. There aren’t a lot of parking garages around. 

 

The difficulty in parking in the Cambridge area, is it primarily the shortcoming from the government itself or is it just the nature of the city? 

We weren’t able to resolve this or make it an easier access to people. Most of Cambridge is resident parking; there aren’t a lot of parts of town where there are meters. People coming to visit don’t have a lot of choices. If they can’t meter, they’re driving around and looking for a spot for a long time.

 

How can a service like ours have park days where you can book parking spots? How can it add value, not only for the realtor or for the agent, but also be a benefit for the home buyer?

Certainly, if you’re having company come or visitors or family coming back with a car, your service would allow them to find a parking spot nearby. Parking is really an issue in Cambridge, there just is not a lot. If you’re coming from away, and you don’t have a visitor pass for your neighborhood, it’s really difficult.

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