Karen Benvin Ransom, an associate broker with Houlihan Lawrence Inc., doesn't mince words when it comes to the Town of Bedford, N.Y. She's its biggest fan, as anyone who has read her blog about Westchester and the homes she sells can tell you.
Karen credits her blog, for which she won Leading Real Estate Companies of the World's top blogger award in 2011, with putting her at the top of website searches relating to real estate in northern Westchester.
"My articles set me apart from other people who are waiting for things to happen," Karen says. For every house she lists, Karen writes an editorial-style article giving an overview of the immediate area and highlighting historical information about the property. "My articles shine a spotlight on my listings," she says, "and that gives sellers more value."
Karen's loves telling newcomers to the area about "The Great Katonah Move," which took place in 1897 when the entire town was relocated to make way for a new fresh water reservoir for New York City. "The whole town was condemned," Karen says. The residents hired Frederick Law Olmstead, the landscape architect who designed Central Park in Manhattan, and asked him to design a new town.
The plan involved moving 55 buildings three miles down the road. Homes and businesses were lifted off their foundations and pulled along soap-covered shaved pine trees by horse-drawn carriages. Residents continued living in the homes as they were moved. School children would come home at the end of the day and find that their house had moved - again. "My church was one of the buildings that was moved," Karen says.
Karen feels that her stories and high internet visibility give her an edge on her competition. "I had a strong year in 2011," Karen says. "I sold six homes, including one that went for more than $1 million, and rented two properties."