Barrett Sotheby's International Realty - Acton
I grew up in a small, rural village in the North of England where my friends and I felt safe enough to pursue daily adventures without the need for adult supervision. School was a girl’s prep school, followed by a convent – both designed to turn out the perfectly precious young lady! My last two years of high school were at a school that included boys, much to my fascination and delight. Many vacations were spent in the South of France with my parents and to this day, I love all things French, and I have a particular fondness for Provence. I used to be fluent in French but these days my vocabulary is a little rusty.
At University in Liverpool, England, I earned my teaching degree, majoring in English and French. I tend to pick up accents quickly and for a while I sounded like Paul McCartney! In fact, my English professor at Uni taught Paul in high school. After college, seeking a break from institutionalized education I went to work for a major international bank and eventually became a corporate trainer at their International Training Center in London. My background in training has led to me become a Massachusetts Real Estate Instructor (MREI) in 2016.
Arriving from England with my family, we landed in Acton, Massachusetts - the first time being in a January snowstorm - and I very nearly jumped on the return flight back to London! I had never been so cold! For the last sixteen years I have called Boxborough home. The small, close-knit community reminds me of the area where I grew up, although New England winters have lost their novelty value a bit these days.
For a while I had my own small company making window treatments and pillows for residential properties. I still enjoy sewing soft furnishings but mostly for myself. However, I do enjoy decorating which has given me skills to stage homes to their best advantage,
Twenty years ago, while living in Acton, my family and I were renting a home that was managed by the owner of Acton Real Estate and we became friends. When she offered me a job, I accepted and got my real estate license. My first sale was to a fellow English woman who came in to the office planning to rent and ended up buying the condominium that she finally sold this year.
Choosing Acton Real Estate was a conscious decision to surround myself with professional and successful people. A successful agency is a happy agency. We were recently acquired by Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty and I couldn’t be happier. I now have access to even higher quality resources and an even more amazing support system so the future looks bright and I plan to continue being a top producing agent. If I had not chosen real estate, I might have chosen psychology, focusing on becoming a therapist. Perhaps that is why my definition of a successful transaction is when I have helped facilitate a mostly stress free meeting of minds with happy clients.
I attribute my success to putting the focus on listening to my clients’ wants and needs. I feel that communication and empathy are essential skills in real estate (having moved several times, including an international relocation, I feel I have empathy in abundance!), together with a sense of humor. I take my job very seriously - because buying and selling property is a very important undertaking and I want to help you get it right - but I see no reason why my clients shouldn’t have a little fun along the way. After all, you should enjoy your new home – it should make you very happy.
Constantly looking to further my education and expertise I have earned the designations of Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), and Senior Residential Specialist (SRES). and I can now add Massachusetts Real Estate Instructor to my achievements. I have belonged to several volunteer organizations, the most recent being co-hosting DivorceCare, a spiritual program designed to help people heal after separation and divorce, and I am now a proud Board member of Acton Lions Club. My mother became blind in later years and the Lions Club fund-raising focus on eye research is close to my heart.
My sons are now young adults and one of them lives in Florida so I get to visit him from time to time, and when time allows I enjoy traveling to England to spend time with good friends and family. I have a yellow Labrador Retriever called Holly who sometimes acts as our assistant at the office, and occasionally features in my blog.
If you ever see a repeat episode of “Ask This Old House” focusing on insulation and draft control, the chances are that you will see me in it. It was recorded a few years ago but is repeated occasionally and I am still surprised by people saying they just saw me on TV! In fact, if you do see me around town, why not stop and say hello?
"I have known Frances for 19 years in the capacity of Real Estate ...she sold me my first property and recently sold it on for me. There have been many problems recently, but Frances was amazing in her handling of a very difficult situation involving a tenant, giving me unbiased advice on my options, and even finding a buyer for my condo. She is professional, kind, intuitive, very hard working and a friend. I highly recommend her." Ann Gray "Frances [...]