BY ETHAN FORMAN
---- — BEVERLY — More than five years after she received her real estate license, Danvers resident Amy Wallick has become the next president of the North Shore Association of Realtors.
She came into the profession via a somewhat circuitous route at a time when it was not easy to sell homes. The Hamilton native, whose father, George Wallick, is a pressman for The Salem News’ sister paper The Eagle-Tribune, earned a degree in marketing at Suffolk University in 2006.
It was not her “game plan” to become a real estate agent. She worked in the mortgage industry for a year but had a desire to sell real estate. She got her license in 2007 and started selling property full time in 2008, about when the market was in a free fall. Undeterred, she became involved with the North Shore Association of Realtors and continued to sell homes. Now a broker with J. Barrett & Company of Beverly, Wallick was installed as the association’s 2013 president along with other officers and directors on Thursday in an event at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem.
What was it like selling houses when the housing bubble was bursting?
The learning curve was really very steep, it was very challenging. It is still challenging now, but I think that I had surrounded myself with some really excellent mentors, and I was able to learn a lot. With my background in mortgages, that was very helpful, as well. And that has certainly made me a stronger Realtor, having come in when things really started to get tough.
You are 28. Isn’t that pretty young to be the president of the North Shore Association of Realtors?
I’m one of the younger ones. In general, if you look at the makeup of our board, the average age of a Realtor is in the 50s, so I’m certainly on the younger end of it, but I got involved with the board early on in terms of attending meetings, and then doing committee work, and they asked me to chair a committee, and then serve on the board of directors.
What was it that attracted you to doing that kind of work, being on committees? That’s a lot of work.
It is a lot of work. When I originally started coming to membership meetings, I saw the value in this association for its members and the community. I had originally gotten involved in our community advocacy committee, which that year, we had started a financial assistance database that is available to the public.
We were one of three associations nationally to get a grant for this program. And so we basically worked collectively with all the local cities and towns to get all the pertinent information for their down payment assistance programs, whether it be for first-time homebuyers or any sort of programs and grants that are available through the city that are promoting homeownership. We now have a database, and there’s a link to it from our website, www.northshoremahomeprograms.com.
Where are you now?
I’m with J. Barrett & Company. I started with them in June. And I had worked for Re/Max Advantage for 31/2 years prior.
It’s good of you to take on a leadership role, and also have a day job. It’s difficult.
A day job that is nights and weekends also, so.
Do you like the job?
I love it.
What do you like about selling houses?
I love working with people. I love helping them achieve a goal. Every transaction is different, so it’s very unpredictable, but you are learning something new every day, you are meeting new people every day, and it’s just exciting. It’s challenging, but exciting.
What is the market like now?
Real estate is extremely hyperlocal, so it does vary from town to town. If you are on the North Shore, if you compare October 2011 to October 2012, with single-family homes, there has been a 29 to 30 percent increase in sales. The median sales price is up 14 percent, and the days on market is down about 12 percent here on the North Shore. With that being said, the market has definitely stabilized, with interest rates, they are at a historic low. We are also finding there is less inventory than there was in the previous year. With that, there is an increase in demand, and in some areas, you are finding multiple offer situations and homes going for over the asking price. It’s becoming common in some cities and towns.
What do you hope to accomplish? What are your goals?
My goals are to continue what we started this year with (2012 NSAR) President (Jason) Parisella. Our focus is really connecting Realtors and creating communities. We want to strengthen our membership, our educational offerings. We are constantly trying to connect with the members, focus on their needs.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.