Real estate experience

I started as a kid, helping my parents restore our old house in Standish. I was just about old enough to realize that working on homes was something to enjoy.

Real estate, and repositioning properties, has always interested me. I bought my first house when I was 18; restored it and sold it, then bought my second, in Portland, three or four years later. Bringing back a neglected property is very rewarding, and it fascinates me.

Business background

I worked at Barber Foods for years, starting when I was in college, and rose to management positions. But my robust interest in real estate and restoring homes never waned. It was a natural move to get my (real estate) license, and the skills developed at Barber – organization, time management, marketing – carried over well.

Benchmark’s beginnings

A college friend and I founded the company 17 years ago. I didn’t want to join a big chain or a franchise. From the start, the philosophy was to keep our focus very local, with deep and direct knowledge of Portland neighborhoods, for example.

We have five offices now – East End and West End, and two in the Old Port, in Portland. And a new office in Yarmouth. They’re all in neighborhoods, purposely, so we can tell people not just about a particular street, but even one side or end of it.

Community involvement

Ten percent of our profits are donated to local nonprofits. This year, Benchmark is sponsoring the first Portland Kids Duathlon, to benefit the Portland Education Foundation. My wife, Amy, is the race director, and we’re working with CycleMania to produce the event, on Sunday, July 15.

Tom Landry can be reached at 775-0248, 939-0185 or at [email protected].