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Todd Hudson, founder and CEO of Red Post Realty in Portsmouth, is the 46th president of the Seacoast Board of Realtors. PHOTO BY PAUL BRIAND

Hot market, rising interest rates, political uncertainty all factors

By Paul Briand
Originally published in
01/01/2017 | 02:26pm EST

PORTSMOUTH — As a real estate sales professional, Todd Hudson believes in the power of personalization and communication. He’ll take those beliefs into his new role as the 2017 president of the Seacoast Board of Realtors.

Hudson is a founder and chief executive officer, as well as a Realtor, at Red Post Realty, which has an office at 767 Islington St. in Portsmouth.

He was installed Dec. 1 as the 46th president of the Board of Realtors at an event held at Red Post Realty.

Hudson takes over as president from Linda Ruppe of RE/MAX on the Move in Exeter, at a time when the residential real estate market in the region has established a blistering pace of sales, when mortgage interest rates are beginning to creep higher, and when a new power base is taking root in Washington, D.C.

Hudson describes Red Post Realty as a “new-era real estate broker providing innovative services for home sellers and buyers.”

It started in June 2013, an evolution of a business he and his partners created soon after graduating from the University of New Hampshire.

Hudson, Nick Couturier, and Jackie Stamp had worked together at a vacation time-share business together in 2008. In looking at the business landscape, “we thought we could carve out a niche,” said Hudson, in residential real estate sales and Red Post Realty was created – and run for a time – in Hudson’s Portsmouth home living room. They’ve been on Islington Street for a year and a half.

With Hudson as CEO, Couturier is president and principal broker, Moreau is chief financial officer and Realtor, and Stamp is chief operating officer and owner of The Gravy Lab, a marketing company used by Red Post to help in the sales of its clients’ homes. “When someone lists with us, you get actual marketing,” said Hudson.

“We’re incredibly service oriented,” he added.

Hudson prides himself in the attention Red Post salespeople pay their clients and their needs as well as the teamwork of the staff. The Red Post Realty office, on the second floor at 767 Islington St., is open concept with no cubicles and few offices for the executives. Even what he called “the c-level offices” (CEO, CFO, etc.) are often used by salespeople needing privacy to deal with a call.

It fosters communication with each other, which then fosters communication with clients, according to Hudson.

That personalization – the ability to meet person to person, eye to eye – is why Hudson joined the Seacoast Board of Realtors in the first place. “I got involved because I wanted to meet the people and pick their brains as to why they’re successful,” said Hudson, crediting 2015 president, Marion Cheney of RE/MAX on the Move, for mentoring him on the board.

He wants to deepen that personalization during his term as president, getting members more involved through more networking events and expanding membership, especially among mid-career real estate professionals. He said he sees a lot of older members and younger members, but wants to see more in the middle.

“I want to get more people who are excited and interested in this,” he said.

Looking ahead to 2017, he can only guess how the new administration of President-elect Donald Trump might influence the economy, interest rates, and the real estate market.

Interest rates ticked up a little recently, but Hudson said even with slightly higher rates, the market remains good for both sellers and buyers.

“I think 2017 is going to be another gangbuster year,” Hudson said. “Sellers are getting good deals for their homes, and buyers are paying peanuts on their cash.”

He noted that someone buying a $400,000 home today is paying the same monthly mortgage as someone who bought a house many years ago for $280,000, all because of consistently low interest rates, especially the 15-year rates.

“The cash is so cheap right now,” he noted.

The volume of single-family home and residential condominium sales through 2016 consistently beat month-over-month sales from 2015 because of high demand for real estate in the Seacoast region, particularly Portsmouth.

“The demand to be here is incredibly strong,” Hudson said.

His clientele at Red Post is tilted strongly toward millennials – those born between 1982 and 1994 who are looking to buy property. And he noted they aren’t after starter homes.

“A lot of people are saving for their forever home,” Hudson said. “We’re seeing a lot of 25 to 35 year olds doing that. We capture a very large share of that group of people.”

Hudson believes that the popularity of Portsmouth is helping the markets in neighboring communities. “It helps the tertiary towns with their prices as well,” he said. And it’s a factor that will help Strafford County communities such as Dover and Rochester once the Spaulding Turnpike widening project is completed in late 2020. “Once that’s done, it’s going to play a very big part,” he noted.

Also installed as officers of the Seacoast Board at the Dec. 1 event were President Karen Kulberg, Better Homes and Gardens Masiello Group, Treasurer Harry Cheney, RE/MAX On the Move, Secretary Barbara Lemieux, Seacoast Board of Realtors, and Executive Officer and Past President Linda Ruppe, RE/MAX On the Move.

Installed as directors were Sandy Healy, RE/MAX On the Move, Exeter; Jim Lee, RE/MAX By the Bay, Portsmouth; John McCarthy, Better Homes & Garden Masiello Group, Hampton; Scott Moreau, Red Post Realty, Jessica Ritchie, Bentley by the Sea, North Hampton; and Joanna Rousseau, Bean Group, Portsmouth. Additional directors not present at the event include Adam Dean, Bean Group and Kaitlyn Whitcher, Great Island Realty, Portsmouth.

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