Real Estate News and Profiles

Bill Gaffney – Change Realty

Bill Gaffney – Portland Broker of the Week –

When it comes to selling in Portland, sometimes listing the home is all it takes. Let’s face it, this market is hot. It doesn’t take much to get a house sold these days.

This is something Bill Gaffney of Change Realty knows all too well. “Anything under three-hundred fifty [thousand] is going to go quick,” he says.

The Method

Working in a fast-and-furious market allows Gaffney’s team to pursue an unorthodox method. Their main draw lies in a one percent seller’s listing fee.

After moving to Portland from San Francisco 20 years ago, Gaffney started out working for both Windermere and Coldwell Banker. As he made the big commissions, Gaffney began to ask himself why five or six percent commission was the standard. It was then that he decided to strike out on his own and use the one percent listing fee as his catch.

According to Gaffney, anything past one percent is pure profit. “We’ve pulled the curtain back on the fact that the cost to list the house is not that much.” Even so, some may ask: Is this too good to be true?

Service and Technology

“We try to show our strengths on the service side, in order to balance out those initial doubts,” Gaffney explains. “It’s about experience. Nobody has listed and sold more homes this year than my team. It’s an experience that comes from getting every transaction to the finish line.”

Using the one percent listing fee as their draw isn’t the only marketing tool Change Realty employs. “We create a custom website for the property,” Gaffney says. “It’s my job to get to get as much information to as many people as possible.”

Change Realty knows that meeting the needs of the buyer and seller requires special care. Getting information out requires technological adeptness. Demonstrating the ability to operate in digital mediums is essential to succeeding in today’s technologically advanced real estate market.

“If we are setting up a showing, it’s usually through text. Paperwork signed is through DocuSign,” Gaffney says.

Even with the novelty of the one percent listing fee, it’s important to note that on the buyer’s side, Change Realty is still operating under a traditional business model. They have adjusted their internal costs on the seller’s side.

Is this a bad thing? Maybe not. According to them, they’ve saved their clients $4,459,457 in commissions and moved over $200 million worth of properties.

The Markets

Regardless of their model, Gaffney’s team of eight has an expansive reach. Change Realty operates out of Beaverton, but has a reach that stretches to Clark County. While Gaffney “doesn’t think it’s an easy decision for someone to say they are done with Multnomah County and heading to Vancouver,” he does acknowledge that it’s a much more affordable prospect.

“It’s really the same as Portland, where anything outside of three-hundred [thousand] is gone,” he says. Beyond affordability, it’s hard to forget about Washington’s favorable tax structure.

“If people have got their own businesses, they’ve got to look really hard in Clark Country,” Gaffney asserts. “Same if you’ve got land, you’ve got to look hard in Clark County.”

Just as Gaffney admits Vancouver’s appeal, he acknowledges one of the main reasons people keep south of the Columbia. “It’s a trade-off,” he says, “because if you work in Portland, it’s a long drive.”

Gaffney has no shortage of opinions on long drives and traffic. When asked how Portland will adjust to the massive influx of people, he deadpans “the first thing I thought of was traffic.”

Traffic aside, Gaffney believes Portland has a unique ability to absorb and expand while retaining its charm. “Everything will figure itself out, as far as the influx of people,” he says.

The Expansion

In fact, he believes people should be streaming from California in droves, despite the one thing they complain about the most once they get here. “I know the rain bothers some people, but the cost of living is half of what it is in the bay area,” he says.

Whether they come from California or not, Gaffney knows what neighborhoods they’ll be moving to. “Anything close in on the east side is always hot,” he says. “The schools out in Bethany drive that market, as well as Intel and Nike.”

Change RealtyPortland’s growth has fueled The Change Team’s growth; a town’s appeal Gaffney doesn’t look past. He may be from the land to the south, but he doesn’t hesitate to say that he’ll “be buried here.”

For more information on the services Bill Gaffney’s team at Change Realty have to offer, visit their website or contact them at 503-622-8202 (Portland Metro) or 360-975-4445 (Clark County).


William Bessette – Contributor

William BessetteBIO: William Bessette is a social media strategist, blogger and journalist. With over ten years of experience covering a wide range of topics, from entertainment and politics to technology and real estate, he specializes in writing in a variety of tones and styles.

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