A familiar narrative of growth and change, the story of Donna Charpentier echoes sentiments of the city she has called home for over 20 years. The stand-out GSIR associate works methodically for her clients, drawing from her extensive bank of Boston knowledge. Like knowing the twisting streets of the North End or the jutting cobblestone paths in Beacon Hill, Donnas level of Beantown expertise is unmatched. Read more about Donna in our agent spotlight feature here.
One word to describe Boston at this moment in time: growth. From the otherworldly Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing to The Hub being built on Causeway, new developments have electrified Boston from the ground up. Few felt the sparks as well as those living in the heart of one of the most gentrified neighborhoods in the city: South Boston. While vast commercial space and industrial lots transformed into luxury condos, Donna Charpentier sat in her beloved Cafe Arpeggio on West Broadway, taking diligent mental notes.
For awhile it was very slow, Donna says of the transformations to Southies landscape. Really over the last five years it changed dramatically.
She sites a wave of real estate development as the start of this chain reaction, as high-end retailers and restaurants cannot thrive without a solid customer base to frequent them. Arpeggio, however, was ahead of its time. The quaint, family-run caf was largely undiscovered in its early years. Only those with a keen eye for quality knew to go there. Cue Donna. Having moved to the neighborhood in 1997, around the same time of Arpeggios opening, she sipped micro-brewed coffees and indulged in homemade ice-cream as the neighborhood flourished before her eyes.
This ability to observe and appreciate change has served Donna well in her career. Though forever loyal to her beloved Southie sandwich spot, where she still takes clients regularly, Donna has experienced significant change in her own life. Tracing back to the days when South Boston was still largely undiscovered, she sites the purchase of her first condo as the start of it all.
I caught the real estate bug, Donna recalls, reflecting on how that simple Southie condo brought her into the world of real estate. She knew she was in deep when she began going to open houses and showings for fun. Though at this time she was established and highly successful in the field of marketing and public relations, Donna realized it might be time for a career change. She got her real estate license and never looked back.
Though real estate can be a challenging field at any time, Donna began her career in a down market. As if doing a complete 180-degree career switch wasnt enough, poor market conditions posed an increased challenge. However, Donna was more than up for it. She completely immersed herself in her work. Jumping into her position full time, Donna made the most of all her resources; from day-to-day learning experiences in the office to casual conversations with peers, she became a realty spongeand found great success. In just her first year during the worst economy since the Great Depression, she made 10 sales.
Fast forward to now and Donna can be found traveling from Brookline to Charlestown to the South End all in the same day. For her, the excitement of doing something new is the best part of each day. In real estate, every day is different, she notes. In such a fluid industry, Donna finds, you have to be able to move along with the current yourself. From changing bank regulations to architectural trends to home inspections, each situation brings a new challenge and that is just what Donna loves most.
However, her favorite part of being in the real estate industry is working with clients: this job wouldnt be satisfying if you werent helping people achieve their goals. Donna reminds us how fortunate we are for all the serendipitous changes around us.
To learn more about Donna visit her associate profile here.