Concepts x Bulfinch

 “The ability to bring to life someone’s vision, to make a concept a reality, that is what is most fulfilling.  That’s why I do what I do”

– Ismail Guessous


It’s apparent when someone has a true passion for something.  When they talk about it, you can hear it in their voice, see their face light up, their gestures are more animated, and you can’t help but be drawn towards their energy.  This is exactly how I felt when I spoke to our agent Ismail Guessous about his recent projects with Concepts, an international footwear, street and skate culture retailer returning to its Boston roots. 

Concepts is more of an art gallery than a regular store, showcasing limited-edition sneakers and clothing and exclusive collaborations with some of the biggest brands in streetwear.  The entire idea behind the business is heavily influenced by the museum/gallery model, from brand-specific stores (such as Adidas x Concepts on Newbury Street) to the pieces chosen to go to retail.  Stores are curated based on current collaborations, new releases, and anything Concepts feels fits its clientele.  Not many retailers have this level of selection control, and it is partly what gives Concepts their edge and what makes them so highly respected among both the high street and high fashion crowd.  It’s a genius business model, and welcomed proof that “fast-fashion” has not completely taken over. 


Stemming from a long-term relationship between Ismail and Concepts’ CEO, the transition to business relationship was a seamless one, built on a mutual appreciation for the artistic process.  The same care that defines Concepts’ business model is of the utmost importance to Ismail when it comes to finding the right space for a business client. 

“Understanding the business [you are representing] is very important.  Location is fundamental to a business’s success, so knowing the city and areas where the business will thrive is critical.”


It’s not just the location that is a key factor in a successful commercial real estate deal.  As Ismail explains, “both the landlord and business have their own wants, needs, and expectations.  It is the agent’s job to marry these differing perspectives and produce an efficacious relationship.”

The third fundamental piece of a fortuitous commercial real estate deal?  The space itself.  While location determines whether people walk through the front door, space determines whether or not they will stay.  For Ismail, this is where the creative part of his job comes into play.  He feels the greatest fulfillment when he is able to find a space that matches the vision of the client, when he plays a part in bringing an idea to life.  “I did my research, visited other stores, learned the business, talked to the employees.  Eventually I felt like I was part of their team because I had become so involved.”


So what advice does Ismail have for newer agents looking to expand their knowledge of real estate and explore the commercial side of the business?


“Jump in with both feet.  Enjoy the challenges.  The best way to learn is to be involved and have the experiences.  Spend time shadowing someone who has done commercial real estate.  Pay attention to the whole process, specifically the negotiations.”


Concepts is located at 73 Newbury Street and 350 Boylston Street (temporary location; flagship will be located on Newbury St), with stores in New York and Dubai, and is headquartered in Boston


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Bulfinch 2019 Summer Season Kick Off: Part 2

.........Because why have just one celebration when you can have two?

Just a few days after the marathon, Bulfinch participated in ArtWeek 2019, this time appealing to a very different crowd - of the miniature sort.


On April 27, super heroes descended upon Newbury Street to welcome children of all ages for face painting, make your own super hero sketches done by Lionel Blaise Jr, cookie decorating and a meet and greet with Batman himself. 


The office was once again transformed, this time giving us all the sense of walking into a comic book.   


By the end of the day frosting may have covered most of the office's surfaces, but a slew of tiny tykes were walking around the city feeling like the super heroes Lionel and his team had made them into.  


A special shout out to our Caped Crusader's helpers: Susan Cook for her cookie baking skills, Justin Grammer for getting the kids hyped up watching Avengers, Nick Hailer for snapping the shots, and Lionel's incredible team for the face masks and temporary tattoos.




Until next time everyone, Up Up and Away!


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    Bulfinch 2019 Summer Season Kick Off: Part 1

    "And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow fast in movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."

    - F. Scott Fitzgerald

    So it's been a hot minute since Bulfinch hosted and event, and this past month we had TWO to kick off our summer real estate season.  Outside of real estate, I don't think there's anything we like more at Bulfinch than an excuse to throw a good party.  Just call us Jay Gatsby, old sport. 


    As the snow melts and the cherry blossoms begin to bloom, hibernating Bostonians begin to gear up for our dear commonwealth's own "Winter Has Ended" holiday, officially known as Patriot's Day.  However, if you happen to reside anywhere near a certain famous 26.2 mile strip running from Hopkinton to Boston, you only know it as Marathon Monday.  What do you get when the summer season kick off coincides with our city's most pride-filled day?  An epic marathon party at our office complete with Sam Adams 26.2 beer, Gatorade margaritas, and running bib raffle tickets.  


    This year, we decided to dedicate our efforts to our friend Christina Medina, who ran this year's marathon for Team Brookline.  We chose Christina because, in addition to being a close friend to our office, she truly exemplifies our company's core values.  Strong, hardworking, determined individuals who make the rest of us want to push ourselves harder, and make us believe that we are capable of more than we realize, deserve our thanks.  So thank you Christina for being that person in our lives.


    And thank you, as always, to EVERYONE who comes out to spend their evenings with us!  The dance parties would be a lot less fun without you there. 


    With our support, Christina raised $8,698 for Team Brookline and we were able to contribute $600 of that.  Special shout outs to our donors: Down Under School of Yoga, La Morra, Ace Ticket Brookline, Boston Olive Oil Company and 47 Brand, as well as DJ O for the tunes and Nick Hailer for snapping the pics




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      Celebrating a Legacy

      “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”

      – Benjamin Disraeli

      Dear Mark,

      This is an open letter from all of us that you have touched over the years.  While you may be retiring, you will forever be the co-founder of Bulfinch Boston Realty, and your legacy will never be forgotten.

      Thirty-three years ago, alongside Alicia Ingalls, you decided to rent a tiny, front facing one-bedroom apartment on Newbury Street and turn it into a real estate office.  Thirty-three years later and that tiny, front-facing one-bedroom apartment on Newbury Street is still the home of one of the most well-respected real estate offices in Boston.  Mark, you created more than a business.  You created Bulfinch, and all that name implies.  Through sheer tenacity and moral fiber, you and Lissy stayed true to your values.  Because of this, Bulfinch Boston Realty is synonymous with honesty, integrity, and veracity.

      Everything that you and Lissy are is everything Bulfinch is today.  More than just owners, managers, bosses, you both instilled your own principles into everyone that worked with you.  Despite this, you remain one of the most humble people we know.  


      Mark, thank you for motivating us to keep going every time we wanted to give up.  Thank you for treating every client with the same amount of respect, no matter their background, age, or budget.  Thank you from all of us who learned from you, who got our starts at Bulfinch, who have since started our own companies but still refer back to the advice you gave us 10, 15, 20 years ago.

      Thank you for all the opportunities you’ve provided us by keeping Bulfinch’s doors open, despite the changing business and economical landscapes that Bulfinch faced over three decades.  Thank you for the laughs, the wisdom, the kindness, the time, the advice, the jobs, the chances, the life lessons. 

      We truly would not be who we are today without you



      Thank You Mark Pardes




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        Happy BulfinchGIVING



        It’s true what they say about that tryptophan coma, I haven’t been the same since I ate my weight in turkey.  Now that I’m finally awake (just in time to start preparing for more holiday meals), I’m getting around to this blog post.  As many of you know, Bulfinch had another event at our new office, this time to raise money for the Greater Boston Food Bank.  Thanks to an overwhelming amount of support, we were able to more than triple our goal donation amount!  So here’s the recap of what can be considered a truly epic night of food, music, and great company


        Strips of raffle tickets were snaking their way across the floor while guests shimmied around the gift table.  Why buy just one when gifts such as weekend stays at the St Butolph Inn, Patriots tickets thanks to Ace Tickets, a Tea Forte tea assortment, and a certificate for two at Grill23 were just a few of the options?!


        DJ King H set the mood with energetic beats while Patricia Gallagher from One Hope Wine and Down the Road Brewery kept glasses full


        While adults conversed, the kids had their own party going on, complete with caramel apples (because FALL) and dance circles

        Zechariah Cook, Co-Owner of Bulfinch Boston Realty, and Morgan Franklin, an agent, are always on the clock

        Alicia Ingalls, Co-owner of Bulfinch Boston Realty, catching up with old friends

        Lauren Hammer, an agent at Bulfinch, posing with friends and family


        Mark Pardes and Alicia Ingalls, the original owners of Bulfinch, discussing how much real estate has changed in Boston over the last 30+ years


        Taryn Smith, Director of Operations at Bulfinch Boston Realty, leads the raffle while Morgan Franklin realizes he is a jack of all trades as he winds up the crowd during the auction


        From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to our friends, family, and clients for helping make this event such a success.  Every dollar donated feeds three meals, which means that thanks to all of your donations, we helped the Greater Boston Food Bank give 10,800 meals to those in need in our community.  Special thanks to the following individuals and companies that made all this possible:

        Rogaris Law

        Ace Tickets

        Maverick Empire

        St Botolph Inn

        Tea Forte

        DJ King H

        Patricia Gallagher of One Hope Wine



        Jeff Chalmers

        UMass Dining Club

        Down The Road Brewery

        Visions Restorations

        Heather Prohaska Photography

        All of the winners and contributors to the raffle and auction

        2017 Holiday Events Around Boston

        Boston MABoston is a wonderful place to celebrate the holiday season! There are lots of holiday festivities and events going on in the area. Here are some of the holiday happenings to enjoy this year.

        Faneuil Hall Marketplace
        November 29 - January 1

        This show will light up the Marketplace for five weeks beginning November 29th. Faneuil Hall Marketplace has the largest tree in the northeast at 85 feet tall and beautifully decorated with sparkling lights that dance to music. Click here for more information >>

        Frog Pond Skating Spectacular & Boston Common Tree Lighting Celebration
        Boston Common
        November 30

        The Skating Club of Boston presents a free figure skating ice show at Boston Common Frog Pond featuring national and international competitive skaters. After the show, join the Mayor for the tree lighting ceremony with refreshments, music, and a special fireworks display. Click here for more information >>

        Commonwealth Avenue Mall Tree Lighting
        November 30

        Enjoy this festive gathering and beautiful white lights with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and The Committee to Light Commonwealth Avenue and residents of Back Bay. Click here for more information >>

        Harvard Square
        December 1 - December 31

        The Harvard Square Sparklefest is a five-week holiday celebration with beautiful holiday lights decorating the trees and street lamps. This is a festive place to shop and dine through the holiday season. Click here for more information >>

        Boston’s First Night
        Copley Square
        December 31

        Boston’s First Night is the biggest event in December with up to a million people joining in the festivities. Copley Square and Back Bay will host most of the entertainment and special attractions featuring ice sculptures, light displays, arts, music, a family fireworks show in the evening, and the famous Copley light show at midnight. Click here for more information >>

        A Bulfinch Evening with Brigitte Livet de Sautels

        Thank you to all that came to Bulfinch Boston Realty’s very first event at our recently renovated space!  On Thursday October 12, 2017 we hosted “An Evening With…” our very first art show dedicated to a featured artist.  Since July, we’ve proudly showcased paintings by Brigitte Livet de Sautels at our office on Newbury Street.  Brigitte’s art is based on impressions of images, unique objects, buildings, and unusual faces all rendered, recast and recreated through her talent as remarkable works of art.  She is well recognized for her unique sense of color and her innate ability to translate “from mind to media”.  To see more of Brigitte’s work, feel free to stop into the Bulfinch office located at 255 Newbury St Boston MA or Brigitte’s studio located in the Bradford Mill on 43 Bradford Street in West Concord MA.


        Last Thursday’s event brought in a delightful mix of Back Bay residents and professionals, with the new and improved Bulfinch office (implemented by the extraordinarily talented Anthony Richardson, owner and creative force behind Visions Restorations) only happy to accommodate them.  Cortez Martinez lured art aficionados in with the smooth sounds of his saxophone, while Heather Prohaska of Heather Prohaska Photography was quick to pose them in front of the step and repeat created by Ansy Chevalier of Studio 24.  Beer and wine flowed freely thanks to Gianni Mazzotta and Bauer Wine and Spirits.  Since the artist we were all there to pay our respects to originates from Clermont Ferrand, France, it seemed only fitting to include macarons on a (silver) dessert platter.  


        Brigitte de Sautels stands next to her latest piece, Sensationnel


        The food, as always, did not disappoint


        Party goers and Bulfinch agents mingle over drinks

        Patricia Ranahan and Lucian Estevez discussing their latest listings, no doubt


        Zech Cook, co-owner of Bulfinch Boston Realty with Anthony Richardson, owner of Visions Restorations

        A guest filling out our sign in book in order to stay in the know of future Bulfinch events

        Cortez Martinez with Brigitte de Sautels and Zech Cook

        Our youngest art critic

        That's a wrap!

        Boston Fall Home Maintenance Tips

        Fall is right around the corner, so this is the perfect time to start thinking about preventative maintenance projects to keep your home in top condition. Whether you are buying, selling, or both, keep these important tips in mind.


        Late fall is one of the best times to trim trees. Trees start to enter a dormant stage in late fall, so you can keep your trees healthy and ready for future growth by trimming during this time. Fall is also a great time to fertilize your grass. In the fall, your grass is busy absorbing nutrients to prepare for the dormant winter months. If you need to plant trees or shrubs, add them to your to-do list. Fall usually has more good planting days than spring. The ground is still warm from summer, but the cooler fall temperatures are easier on the gardeners and the plants. And don’t forget to rake the leaves!


        Once the leaves have fallen, help protect your home from water damage by making sure your gutters are clean and clear of leaves, twigs, and debris so water, melting snow, and ice can flow smoothly. Clean gutters also help prevent critters from nesting in the debris and making their way into your attic.


        Change your furnace filter and schedule an appointment to get your heating system checked out by a professional. Be proactive with an annual cleaning and inspection to help prevent carbon monoxide leaks and other malfunctions. It can also help your system run more efficiently and help avoid those expensive winter furnace emergencies.

        If you want to buy, sell, or rent property in Boston, contact Bulfinch Boston Realty today!



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          Boston Real Estate Ranked 3rd In U.S. For Foreign Investment

          Boston skyline at night

          A recent study from the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), has Boston behind only New York and Los Angeles as the best cities for foreign real estate investment in 2017. Boston is up two spots from number five on the list a year ago.

          The Top 5 Cities For Foreign Real Estate Investment in 2017:

          1. New York
          2. Los Angeles
          3. Boston
          4. Seattle
          5. San Francisco

          About the Association of Foreign Investors In Real Estate

          AFIRE consists of many of the largest investors in real estate in the world. Members of this organization are not homebuyers, but rather investors in industrial, multifamily, office, retail, and hotel real estate. Boston remains a very popular city for residential buyers as well.

          Future of Real Estate Investment in Boston

          The future of foreign investment in the United State is a little bit uncertain according to James Fetgatter the CEO of AFIRE because of things like Brexit, for example. However, Boston is expected to remain among the top markets in the U.S. Also, experts suggest that investment from China could slow somewhat in 2017. Domestic spending is expected to continue at a healthy rate, especially in Boston which boasts one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.

          To learn more about real estate opportunities in Boston, contact Bulfinch Boston Realty today!