South End

Tales from the Field: Selling a Penthouse During a Pandemic

By Manuel Davis | Sr. Vice President of Advisors Living | Inman | April 21, 2020

What’s it like selling a penthouse during a pandemic? One agent shares the process — from penning a soft-launch email to receiving five offers in one day of showings and finally closing the deal.

In early March, our clients were calling my business partner (Kristy Ganong) and I on a daily basis. The cadence of every conversation was consistent. It began with talking about fear for our collective health, followed by how the global pandemic was affecting the economy and shared concerns about the value of real estate as a result.


We’ve been at this for 25 years and know how to navigate the normal anticipatory fears of when the right time to list is. During pre-COVID-19 times, we would have been confident that our marketing introduction to our clients’ rare and stunning sun-filled duplex penthouse would be well-received. However, the pandemic unraveled the norm, leaving buyers, sellers and agents speculating what to do next.

We still don’t have all the answers, but we were confident that listing a home seemed impossible without the human touch and interaction necessary to experience and close. We spent hours discussing if and how we should list. There’s no formula for the unprecedented predicament, other than a value derived from a report produced weeks prior to our country sheltering in place.

Scared, uncertain and in full acceptance that there might not be a safe way to do this, Kristy and I relied on our longevity in the business and the technology we had at our disposal to prepare the listing. Our priority was to do this safely, while remaining vigilant — one step at a time.

We spent the next four weeks preparing the marketing material with the overtone that once complete, we would reassess it, with no expectation to actually list.

Our clients, Kristy and I were in uncharted waters. When the custom marketing materials were ready, we leveraged our personal database to test our virtual platform and sent a “coming soon” email. The creative pointed to a Matterport tour, floor plans and a comprehensive website. We coupled the creative and professional photography with descriptive copy:

“Coming soon … A tastefully designed and impeccably cared-for penthouse duplex. Located on Braddock Park in the South End and steps from the Back Bay — with an absolute emphasis on its superior location. Boasting a new rooftop deck with panoramic views of the Boston skyline and a large back deck off the dining room. Offering 1,662 square feet of opulent living space with a magnificent blend of transitional finishes, anchored by high-ceilings and over-sized windows. This urban top-floor sanctuary offers ample natural light, 2 levels of living, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, deeded parking, a custom chef’s kitchen, custom finishes, gas fireplace, new bathrooms, new systems, in-unit washer and dryer and the luxury of living above it all while maintaining the irreplaceable tangibility of this exquisite neighborhood.”

Our soft launch email was well-received and gave us the confidence to consider the next step. After several weeks of advising our clients, we decided to list on Thursday, April 9th.

We realized that the news of the pandemic wasn’t so new anymore, and now, people are, for the most part, accepting the gravity of our times. In lieu of a better reality, we took all precautions to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

We listed our clients’ penthouse for $1,985,000, which resulted in an entire Saturday of back-to-back showings. We had 17 total showings in half-hour intervals — with masks, gloves and a requirement of “absolutely no touching” in place.

We left all closet doors closed and supplemented with a photo gallery on the property website, providing straight-on pictures of each closet and storage interior. This worked brilliantly.

I have been home with my family for 30 days until Saturday, April 11th. There was a sense of angst before the showings commenced. Kristy and I split the day, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. Each buyer was calmed by the controlled environment.

The day concluded with our clients returning home at 6:30 p.m. to help ensure the unit aired out for 2.5 hours after receiving a disinfection on all “potential” touch points. By 8 p.m., we fielded our fifth and final offer. With the work of several dedicated agents and a protocol that made everyone feel safe, the day was a success.

We are now under agreement for well over asking, but we did not accept the highest offer. We advised our clients on accepting the offer with the largest down payment (in this case 65 percent down). With the uncertainty of our financial future, we could not afford to risk accepting the highest offer with only 20 percent down.

The entire turn of events on Saturday was an eye-opening experience. We were back in the field, engaging in a much different, socially distant way — but an effective one, nonetheless. Along with the successful turn of events, we realized that our industry will be faced with many new norms. We might not always know our next move, but our commitment to excellence and dedication remains invaluable and unchanged.

Manuel L. Davis is a senior vice president with Boston Realty Advisors in Boston, Massachusetts.



The Davis Companies Selects Advisors Living As Exclusive Sales & Marketing Team For 100 Shawmut

138 New Luxury Condominium Residences with Unparalleled Views and Market Leading Amenities in Boston’s South End

Oct. 2, 2019

By: PRNewswire

The Davis Companies (TDC) announced the selection of Advisors Living as the exclusive sales and marketing team for 100 Shawmut – the newest luxury development in Boston’s South End.


100 Shawmut will include 138 new luxury condominium residences, complimented by breathtaking views, private outdoor spaces, a two level rooftop sky lounge with gas grills and fire tables, a full service 24-hour concierge, an exclusive fitness center, a club room with a caterer’s kitchen, a resident lounge, billiards room, library, children playroom, dog-wash station, bicycle storage, and 3-levels of enclosed, secure parking.

“The Davis Companies has a long track record of doing what’s right for Boston,” said Jonathan Davis, Founder and CEO of The Davis Companies.  He continued, “We are combining the best of the South End’s historic charm with the brilliance of contemporary architecture, ultimately delivering a diverse mix of living options for a wide range of Bostonians.”

Advisors Living, a division of Boston Realty Advisors, is a recognized market leader in the planning, design, marketing and sales of new luxury residential development throughout Boston.  In addition to Advisors Living, The Davis Companies assembled a star-studded cast to design and construct the full-service luxury building.

The Architectural Team – Design Architect

EMBARC Studio – Interior Design

Copley Wolff Design Group – Landscape Architect

Suffolk Construction – General Contractor

Jason S. Weissman, Founder and CEO of Boston Realty Advisors said, “Advisors Living has become a household name for luxury living throughout Boston.  I’m confident in their ability to market this unique opportunity in the South End and deliver top sales results at 100 Shawmut.”

The adaptive reuse and new construction redevelopment will transform an existing, early 20th century six-story industrial building and the site that surrounds it into a 138 unit, 13-story architectural marvel.  The project design will merge classic features from the existing prewar building together with sleek, modern accents, preserving the character of the 1920’s façade on the lower floors, while adding seven stories of unitized glass curtainwall.

As the eye-catching exterior powerfully lures people in, the interior will welcome its residents with high ceilings and a modern feel – utilizing a mixture of white oak and textural stone that conveys a warm and gracious experience.  The thoughtfully designed luxury condominium residences are sized to offer the ideal home for any family, offering studios, one, two, three and four-bedroom homes.

The overall development sits on 1.9 acres and will ultimately form a beautiful landscaped internal courtyard and an East/West public pathway for residents of the South End to access the Washington Street Corridor.

The South End is an incredibly versatile neighborhood that boasts a thriving restaurant and gastropub scene and a broad array of specialty shops and is recognized as a world-renowned art and design district.  100 Shawmut is ideally situated to leverage the best of the South End and is conveniently located minutes from the Back Bay, Seaport, Downtown, SoWa and South Boston.

Janice Dumont, CEO of Advisors Living said, “The definition of modern luxury has been elevated.  100 Shawmut will stand apart in the South End community, offering luxurious high rise living with a comprehensive amenity program.  We are privileged to be the exclusive brokerage firm for this exceptional property.”

Climbing 150 feet, in one of the most sought after Boston neighborhoods, 100 Shawmut is being marketed as, “One Address. Infinite Possibilities.”  The Davis Companies broke ground on 100 Shawmut in February 2019 and is scheduled to deliver year end 2020.  The exclusive Advisors Living team consists of Janice DumontColleen Daniels, Creign Carr and Matt Gilmartin.  For more information and to schedule an appointment, please visit


Advisors Living Tapped to Market 138-Unit South End Condominium Project

By: Connect.Media

Davis Companies has tapped Advisors Living for the sales and marketing assignment of 100 Shawmut, a 138-unit luxury condominium project in Boston’s South End.

The project will feature views of the Boston skyline, private outdoor spaces, a two-level rooftop sky lounge with gas grills, a full service 24-hour concierge, fitness center, club room, resident lounge, billiards room, library, children playroom, dog-wash station, bicycle storage and three-levels of secure parking.

The adaptive reuse and new construction redevelopment will see an early 20th century six-story industrial building redeveloped into a 138 unit, 13-story property. The design will merge features from the existing prewar building together with sleek, modern accents.

“100 Shawmut will stand apart in the South End community, offering luxurious high rise living with a comprehensive amenity program,” said Janice Dumont, CEO of Advisors Living.