Type of Business: Real estate broker

Owner: Matt Lumsden

Website: mattlumsdenrealestate.com

Phone: 565-SOLD (7653)

Whether at one of the various community events he has used to collect donations for the food shelf, or perhaps pasted on the moving van parked outside of his new office at the corner of Pearl and Summit Street, those paying attention have probably already seen realtor Matt Lumsden’s face somewhere around Essex.

That’s partly by design – real estate is a business in which name recognition goes a long way, after all. But it’s also part of Lumsden’s main goals for his new brokerage firm.

“It’s where we live. It’s where we work,” Lumsden said of Essex. “To be involved in the community is really important for our real estate company.”

So far, those efforts have included a 5,000-pound food donation to the Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf, a 1,000-pound donation of turkeys to the Heavenly Food Pantry and what he calls “pop-bys,” or random acts of kindness, like handing out treats at the local dog park. He also lets people buying or selling homes with him use the moving van for free (or, as was the case last week, a neighbor who needed to go buy a new couch).

Lumsden began his real estate career nearly 15 years ago, working in central Vermont prior to Chittenden County. He opened his own brokerage firm last year, which he and his “client care manager,” Erica Sherrod, now operate out of the Essex location.

Lumsden said homes priced right and in good condition sell quickly in Chittenden County’s “hot market,” often within a few days of being posted, making it a challenging time to buy a home in the area. Still, he said, “you could essentially own a home for the same price you’re paying in rent.”

“We want to be involved in educating our buyers and letting them know that with good credit, they can obtain equity as opposed to helping their landlord pay their mortgage,” he said.

As for why he thinks someone should choose to use an experienced realtor, Lumsden likened selling a home to open heart surgery. “You don’t want to go to the doctor who’s only performed one or two,” Lumsden said. You want to go to someone that’s been seasoned and understands the ins and outs of what it takes to navigate to get you to closing.”

Experienced realtors also know how and when to protect homebuyers with contractual contingencies, he added, ensuring that “the house you’re getting, and what you’re paying for, is worth its value, and something that you really want.”