Real-estate firms close city offices

NASHUA – Partly because of the economy, partly because of industry changes, two real-estate offices in the city have either closed or will close this month.

One is The Masiello Group office at 216 Daniel Webster Highway.

“We’re going to be winding down the use of the facility over the next several weeks,” said Chris Masiello, company president.

No agents will lose their jobs, but one office staff position will be eliminated, Masiello said. The other agents will be transferred to the company’s offices in Hollis, Amherst and at 436 Amherst St., he said.

“For existing customers, this will not disrupt our service,” he said, adding the company has about 110 agents in the Nashua area.

Meanwhile, The Masiello Group is searching for a site for a new office in Massachusetts just over the border from Nashua, Masiello said.

The location will allow agents to assist buyers in Massachusetts and businesses looking to come into the Nashua area, he said.

Another real estate company in May did something similar by consolidating its Nashua offices and laying off two staff members, but no agents.

On May 12, Re/Max Properties closed its office at 230 Amherst St. and moved all its agents to the 169 Daniel Webster Highway, said Rick Stoudt, company Re/Max’s sole Nashua office, Stoudt said. The company also has an office in Hollis, he said.

The economy was a factor in the consolidation, Stoudt said

“We’re tying to keep our veteran agents in the business,” Stoudt said.

“There’s definitely business out there. But it’s a go-getter environment and you’ve got to dig it up,” he said.

The former Re/Max office is at 230 Amherst St. just in front of the building that once housed The Bahama Beach Club nightclub. Both properties are now being marketed as a potential site for a hotel or automobile dealership, Stoudt said.

The 11-acre former nightclub site has no direct access to Amherst Street, while the 1-acre former real-estate office has 130-foot frontage on Amherst Street, Stoudt said.

The economy certainly played a role in the decision to close The Masiello Group’s office in south Nashua, Chris Masiello said.

But an equal reason was change in how buyers shop for properties, he said.

“We just didn’t need 18,000 square feet to serve Nashua properly,” Masiello said of the combined size of the company’s two offices.

The office the company hopes to open in Massachusetts “will be like a Starbucks for real-estate,” he said.

Rather than a large office housing many real-estate agents, the office will be more of an “information center” where buyers can use technology to research properties, he said.

“In the Internet world, customers can search for real estate easily and anywhere,” Masiello said.

The result has been to broaden the territory in which agents can help find properties that match their customers’ needs, he said.

Opening a smaller office in Massachusetts near Nashua “follows more in the footprint of how people are shopping,” he said.