Jack Conway & Company
Years in business: 68
Size: 17 offices and 682 agents
Region Served: Eastern Massachusetts
2021 Transactions: 2,166
2021 Sales Volume: $1.3 billion
Jack Conway founded his firm in Massachusetts in 1956. His daughter, Carol Bulman, who knew early on that she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps, has spent more than three decades working in the housing and mortgage industries. She took over as leader of Jack Conway & Company in 2008 and has since acquired six real estate companies, established Conway Country Insurance, Columbia Title and Conway Move Management, and reinstituted Conway Financial Services. Today, Bulman is CEO and chairman of the board, and the firm is one of the largest locally-based independent real estate firms in Massachusetts.
How did the Massachusetts market fare in 2022?
Carol Bulman: It started off light, with the second and third quarters being strong. Then in the fourth quarter, we dropped off because of higher interest rates, concerns in the market and a listings shortage. But relatively speaking, we fared well. Compared to the “COVID years,” which I consider anomalies in the real estate market, we were down, but (at press time) expect to finish almost in line with 2019.
What makes Jack Conway & Company unique in the marketplace?
CB: We went through a rebrand last year, and that provided me the opportunity to analyze that question. I think it has to do with the heartbeat of our company. We’ve been part of the fabric of Massachusetts for years. People know our name and trust us. They knew my dad, they know me and my family, and as a result, the REALTORS® who join us share our value system. They’re committed to treating people with respect and honesty. We’re also very involved in the communities in which we do business.
What is your reset strategy for 2023?
CB: December was our reset month; I spent a lot of time on goal setting and assessing what we did during the year. I always enjoy the experience because it’s a time for reflection and celebrating what works. We offer mortgage, title and insurance, but we also offer home warranty, moving services, staging services—any service someone purchasing a home or who owns a home could use. This year, we’re going to make sure everyone knows we offer all of these services.
What’s the secret to making your agents happy?
CB: I believe if I treat people with respect, that’s what we will gain back. We have an incredible group of agents who have worked hard over the years, and even though they’ve been successful years, they’ve also come with a lot of stress. After gathering feedback from our REALTORS®, we’re reassessing our services and how we can package them better so as the market continues to shift, they will have all the tools in their toolbox to succeed.
How do you champion other women in the firm?
CB: I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to lead this company. Together with my husband, Mike, we have four children, and all four of them work with us in our businesses. Two are women, and two of my children are top salespeople. One of my daughters is our CFO. We have a lot of awesome women leaders in this company. I have always believed, and I hope the women who work here know, that there is absolutely nothing standing in their way from doing whatever they wish to do. Whatever their choices happen to be, we support them.
What do you look for in new agents joining the firm?
CB: Whether it’s a member of our staff, our management team, sales or anyone, it’s a commitment to giving their best. Passion. You have to be willing to work. We’re spread over a large area as a company, but I still consider us a small business. So, I look for a positive attitude, a sense of humor and good people.