We take pride in the tremendous support we receive from our community, and especially cherish our relationships with our corporate partners. Director of Development Lori Correale recently spoke with Karen Hanson at Engel & Volkers to dig deeper into the company’s view on corporate philanthropy and building partnerships that have a lasting effect on the Cape Ann community.

From your perspective, what is Engel & Volkers’ role in the Cape Ann and North Shore community?

First, we endeavor to exceed expectations for our real estate clients of the North Shore every day. We work hard to truly elevate the experience of purchasing or selling a home, so that it is a joyful and satisfying time emotionally and a beneficial choice financially, and then to welcome our new friends into the community in the way they need it most. It is important to us that our community can trust us and rely on us for any need related to their home. In a broader sense, I believe that the depth and beauty of our communities come from the roots we lay down together as residents and businesses, how passionately we collaborate with each other and our ability to support worthy causes through contributions or volunteerism—all of those things come together to see our communities thrive. We always want to be a part of that.

Karen Hanson

Why does Engel & Volkers consider Rockport Music to be a valuable partner and an important and worthy organization to support with E&V’s corporate philanthropy?

The joy of music is one of those threads that bind humankind, transcending all age, race, social or income status, or anything else that pulls us apart from one another. It speaks straight to the heart. There is no doubt in my mind that the world needs more music today than it ever did, to inspire us and to do the good work that it does in bringing us all together. Even before we were involved with Rockport Music as a partner, I was so impressed with how invested you are in bringing new music to Cape Ann and how you involve the local kids to participate and celebrate that music. Bravo! We are thrilled that we can participate in some small way.

A great deal of the success of any real estate firm is based on their success in building relationships. How has that relationship building, as well as the whole process of showing homes to prospective clients, changed in this new COVID environment?

Showing homes has evolved a bit to ensure everyone’s safety while still delivering an informative and robust experience. First instance, you may need to make an appointment for an Open House rather than go at your leisure. We have embraced cutting-edge video technology for many years, and that has become more important than ever as buyers explore their options in addition to, or instead of, in-person showings. More often than not, the buyer’s first introduction to a home isn’t through us personally, but our video marketing. Like everyone else, we miss seeing people’s faces when we meet.

But even as disrupting and isolating as this time has been, I think a beautiful thing has also happened. Our clients are even more open with us than ever before, sharing deeply personal reasons for buying or selling in 2020. Our connections are deeper because the COVID experience was a first for everyone, and it created an environment where we are all more honest and vulnerable with each other. It isn’t just buying a new home, it becomes about securing your family’s ongoing safety through more space or a bigger yard, wanting to welcome your parents home to live with you, or realizing there is no reason to wait to get your water view. The reasons for change have been more meaningful. We’ve always felt privileged to be introduced to people during a time of transition, but our advisors say they have never felt closer to their clients than today.

What is your favorite spot or getaway in Cape Ann?

I almost couldn’t choose! We are so lucky to have so many beautiful ways to be on the water. Two places are particularly special to me: Wingaersheek Beach at dusk and at the lowest tide and then on Mussel Point looking over the entrance of Gloucester Harbor, watching all of the morning boat traffic. Heaven 🙂


Top Photo: Engel & Völkers team