Personal experience compels Erving man to change careers

  • Realtor Cyd Scott in his office at Cohn & Company Real Estate in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 11/5/2020 3:42:46 PM
Modified: 11/5/2020 3:42:33 PM

GREENFIELD — After several decades in the entertainment industry, a lifelong resident of Western Massachusetts found himself making quite the career change.

“Sometimes there is no great time,” said Cyd Scott, who was recently hired by Cohn & Company Real Estate on Main Street. “And sometimes you have to listen to the tea leaves.”

For 30 years, Scott worked with bands from around the country while running his company, Custom Entertainment — a DJ gig that started in high school and slowly evolved into him booking bands nationally. Before that, he spent several years playing music in Northampton.

“That was my thing for years, and as I got a little older the physical wear and tear was definitely rough,” he said.

About 20 years ago, Scott moved from Northampton to Erving, where he has lived ever since. It was at that point he became more politically involved at the local level, getting himself appointed to the Conservation Commission and later elected to the Board of Health. In both of those roles, he participated in site visits for existing and proposed housing projects.

In the midst of all this, his mother became ill, he said. It was during that time he realized the generational importance of the family home.

“(My parents) came from that generation that was like, ‘We’re going to save our money and buy a house,’” Scott said. “When we die, our grandkids will get all the stuff. That’s the way everyone thought.”

But things changed when she became sick.

“It was a pretty harsh reality coming to the realization that their nest egg, their dream of giving this to the grandkids, is going out the window, because we need to take care of them,” he said, recalling packing up a “lifetime” of memories at his mother’s house before moving her into a nursing home.

“It was this light-bulb moment for me,” he said.

That experience, he said, is what led him to consider a career in real estate.

“After thinking about it, I thought ‘I have all these years of experience in all these municipal things that really revolve around housing, so why don’t I do this?”’ he said.

Scott said it’s important to him to ease that transition for others, whether they intend to downsize, move into a health care facility or live with a member of the family.

“It’s hard,” Scott said. “It’s your life. Even in my house right now, it’s full of everything I’ve ever known.

“I want to treat people the way I would want them to treat my mom,” he added.

Scott said he would be “crazy” not to acknowledge some concern for such a big career change in the midst of a pandemic and a “turbulent” economy — but it isn’t about the money for him.

“I can try to make people as comfortable as I can,” he said, “while they’re making a really heavy decision.”

Mary Byrne can be reached at or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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