Her gutsy, assertive style seems to resonate with buyers and sellers at this end of the market — self-made men (for the most part), a few lawyers, a sprinkling of doctors — people who work hard like her and don’t enjoy getting ripped off. They take comfort in knowing that beneath that taupe linen jacket and pastel scarf lurks a street fighter, a mercenary who’ll come out swinging when someone’s trying to haggle them out of $50,000 or won’t budge on an inflated asking price. When Campion warns me to keep certain details off the record, she chases the comment with “I know where you live,” and I’m not entirely certain she’s joking. What I do know is that I want her on my side.
Campion, like her listings, never stops moving (with her black BMW SUV stuck between two trucks in the alleyway behind her office, she’s just about ready to pop someone). She’s always got to be selling, even to me. A few minutes into our first meeting, at her office overlooking Newbury Street, she asks, “Are you a homeowner?” When I answer yes, she says, “Where is all your money? Your money is all tied up in your home. It’s the most important thing to you, it’s the most important thing to most, and I don’t forget that. Whether it’s $300,000 or $30 million, it’s your whole life, you worked hard for it, and I treat it that way.”
THAT THIS IS A BANNER YEAR, a record-busting year, for Number One seems odd considering the country’s economic malaise. But there are certain kinds of people around here — empty-nesters, suburb-weary young families, divorcées, Europeans — who covet a piece of Boston, even when it means more stairs, less land, fewer windows, and parking torture, and they’re willing to pay for it, frequently in cash. By mid-September, the average sale price of a Campion-brokered single-family home this year was $4.87 million. The condos, which at an average of $1,160 per square foot fetched New York–like prices, were mostly in the Back Bay or Beacon Hill. Some were so private they didn’t make it on to the MLS.
That Campion has thrived where others have stumbled is due in large part to the fact that she’s no mere broker.
Tracy Campion is the matador to the city’s real estate bull market — drawing it forward, always moving, and knowing just when to jump. She doesn’t just swoop in for the big one-off scores — she plays a huge part in setting them up. Campion, in fact, is integral to almost every residential development in the Back Bay, bringing the “right” people together to make things happen the right way — the Campion way. Her territorial fervor, vision, and determination help turn potentially problematic properties into gold mines of luxury. If she sniffs out an opportunity — or, more often, gets the sense that a mismanaged development on her turf might drag down the local housing stock — she’ll weigh in on everything from the marketing strategy to the paint job. When people are smart enough to listen, who wins? Well, Campion’s bank account. Developers. And just about every homeowner in and around the 02116 ZIP code.
Campion is as much a “steward of the neighborhood” as she is a real estate broker, says Rob Silverman of Silverman Associates. Campion caught his attention back in 1993, when he’d been tasked with unloading 13 of the Back Bay properties owned by Emerson College as the school prepared for a move to the Theater District.
Below: Sold! Tracy Campion’s Real Estate Triumphs