Meet the Team: Stephen O Johansen

In Boston’s fast-paced and competitive real estate market, Stephen’s collaborative spirit and creative problem solving skills have been a great asset to his clients. When he’s not negotiating deal, you’ll find him supporting local non-profit organizations or enjoying the great outdoors. Stephen shared a bit more about himself and his experience working with our team at Compass

You’ve been with the Ellen and Janis Team for 8 months now. What do you like best about working with the team and at Compass? *
The collaborative spirit is something that is unique about working at Compass. There are so many resources Compass offers but at the end of the day, it’s really our colleagues willingness to take time out of their busy schedules to share their experience and knowledge, to offer a helping hand or a sage piece of advice, that makes Compass a truly special place to work. It also makes us feel interconnected, like we are part of a team working toward a common goal instead of a group of disparate folks working for themselves. Working on the Ellen and Janis Team is similarly collaborative. Everyone’s willingness to share their time and energy to help you with what you are working on has been invaluable. The guidance of team members to avoid pitfalls and employ best practices has been vital. We may not always be able to be together in person, especially now, but it truly feels we are a team working together toward our common success. That is a rare thing to find in real estate.
Can you tell us about a purchase or a sale that has caused you to think outside the box or apply a skill in a new way? *
I had a purchase recently where my buyers were looking in an extremely competitive market. They didn’t have a lot of cash to put down, so we had to get creative with the offer. After a few letdowns we finally got them an accepted offer, out of multiple, employing an escalation clause and a very high inspection contingency. A lot of critical items came up during the inspection. I was able to keep my first-time home buyers reasonable about the many issues while also negotiating over $20k in work to be done to the home by the seller. If you had told me a year ago that in one of the most competitive markets we’ve ever seen I was going to get my buyers low-cash offer accepted in a multiple offer situation and still get the seller to do a significant amount of work to their home, I would have been doubtful. But here we are.

Ellen and Janis believe in giving back to the communities where we live and work. Can you tell us about some of the organizations you support that are making a difference on a local level? *

There are several initiatives that I support that are making huge impacts locally. Christmas in the City is an organization that is devoted to helping Boston-area families experiencing homelessness and poverty. It gives children and families the opportunity to have a Christmas experience like no other including a winter wonderland with rides, games and attractions, a feast of a Christmas dinner, gifts for each child and a one-on-one with Santa himself.

City Year is an organization that I was part of for two years. It is centered around engaging community in service, civic leadership and social entrepreneurship. Its many initiatives include helping a diverse group of children and young adults develop the skills and mindsets to be able to contribute to and create strong, vibrant communities by focusing on education, empowerment, diversity and social justice.

What do you like to do for fun when you are not working? *

​​​​​​​When not working I enjoy hiking, skiing, mountain biking, kayaking and most anything else outdoors. Some of my favorite sports to play are football, basketball and golf.


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