November 29, 2022 - By Tom Palmer
BOSTON – This is one of a series featuring members of the Advisors Living team of residential brokers in the Greater Boston area.
Janice, what is your title?
How long have you been at Advisors Living?
About a month and a half. I came over in September, and I’m really happy.
Who does all your marketing?
Advisors Living puts up their signs. And the “pointer” signs [on nearby streets, directing interested passersby] are mine. My husband helps me put them up. My ads are designed by my daughter and the Advisors Living marketing department.
Where is your office?
In Wellesley, on Linden Street.
What communities and neighborhoods do you work in?
A lot in Natick. I grew up in Natick. Of course, I’ve sold houses all the way down to Duxbury. Also in Wellesley, Framingham, Holliston, all the surrounding Metrowest towns. I sold a house in Wakefield this year. You go where the business takes you. I do more listing than working with buyers. Most of my listings are in Natick. I’ve sold a lot of condos in Natick.
How long have you been in the real estate business?
Well, I was licensed in 1978. I just got it for getting it. I worked at a lab at the Army labs in chemical protection, and the guys were talking about real estate a lot. I went to college at Boston College, majored in biology and economics, and I got a job at the labs. They couldn’t make my job permanent, and one of my friends said why don’t you sell real estate while you’re looking for work. I sold for six months and then interest rates went to 18 percent, and I got a job in finance. After I got married and had kids, I stayed home 20 years, and I got back into real estate 12 years ago. First at Fortini & Wilcox, then William Raveis, then Coldwell Banker for five years, and now I’m here. Merit [McIntyre, Chief Executive Office of Advisors Living] was president of Coldwell Banker New England when I started at Coldwell Banker. Then I left and came over to Advisors Living. I’m excited about it. Actually, a young builder I worked with came to visit me at the new office. He said, you know, this is much more modern and forward thinking.
What do you like about the real estate game?
Mostly the people. You wouldn’t do it if you didn’t like the people. Clients, and other agents you deal with. Why would you sell houses if you didn’t like people? And I like houses. I’ve been around new construction a lot of my life. My husband is a builder. It’s a fit. Who knew? I didn’t want to do it, but I said I’ve got to go back to work now that the kids are grown. I thought working in home goods might be fun but not practical. But selling real estate would mean working most weekends. I was hesitant. I knew what it was going to take, how much you need to put into it. You’ve got to like it. It’s been a good fit for me.
OK, tell us about the real estate market.
It’s slower than it was but certainly not dead. I have three listings right now. Two I just put on this week. I have an offer on one, and I’m getting one on another. The market is not what it was. People are more cautious. They’re not jumping in with offers. But houses are selling, and inventory is low. The next interest rate hike is coming. Buyers will have to get used to the new climate and rates. They need places to live. Hopefully this won’t last too, too long. It was crazy last year.
How do clients find you?
A lot of clients find me through word of mouth. I’ve been in Natick for a long time and worked for a lot of people. Referrals from people in Natick – that’s my biggest way. Today a lot of people go on line. I am on Zillow, have my ratings there. Some maybe come through that. A lot of it is advertising and word of mouth in town. I’m pretty local. I was advertising on carts at Stop & Shop, but they stopped the program. I was on receipts at Roche Bros., but they stopped the program there too. I have an ad on the back of the local newspaper, and a lot of people see that. There’s still a place for print. Signage is always good. I leased some commercial property and had signs in the windows. That works when you’re pretty local.
What was your last deal?
My last closing was on a condo on School Street extension in Natick. It came from people that bought through me and called me to sell it. They bought it for her parents maybe five or six years ago. It was a unique situation. There was an existing house zoned for two units. A builder bought the house and renovated it and added a new-construction townhouse attached to the existing house. Buyers bought the townhouse, and their parents bought the renovated house for the grandparents. Also, I’m closing on one house next week -- the buyer is a guy and his wife who graduated from high school with my daughter. She just turned 33. I’ve known him and his parents since he was in elementary school.
What do you do when you are not showing houses?
For fun? My husband and I own summer house. We go there sometimes. I play a little bit of golf. I used to play a lot of golf. We like to entertain friends and family. We also go on our boat, which is on Lake Cochituate. I like to shop too and travel. I haven’t done a lot of either lately. I love the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics -- and Bruins at times.