Attention to detail and caring for people defines Francesca C. Parkinson’s life and business. Ms. Parkinson, who is 101 years old, began her real estate career in 1984 at the same company she eventually purchased from the owner, Ermine Lovell. With the decision to sell the firm, Ms. Parkinson continues the legacy of passing the torch to two employees.
Last month, Katie Collette and Kimberly Stockwell became the new owners of Ermine Lovell Real Estate.
“Francesca ensured that the company would remain a locally owned, women-owned business as it has been since the doors opened in 1935,” Ms. Collette said.
The new business partners both worked at the real estate company for years. Ms. Stockwell began in 2008 and Ms. Collette in 2011.
“We both worked really hard over the years. There is a tradition here that we will continue of going above and beyond for client. Fran taught us that. That means thorough researching of the property, of the market data, finding out additional information for the client. It’s helping them through the stressful process of buying a home,” Ms. Collette said.
As for Ms. Parkinson, she stepped back from the business a few years ago, but Ms. Collette still calls upon her weekly.
“She’s still sharp as a tack at 101. She remembers every property, every name of every property owner. She’s an incredible woman,” Ms. Collette said.
In an interview with the Falmouth Enterprise in 2014, Ms. Parkinson said the business philosophy was to make customers feel appreciated and respected, as exemplified by the previous owner, Ms. Lovell. She and her husband would invite customers from out of town to stay in their home while considering a purchase. Ms. Parkinson said people took notice of the level of service and would later become clients, as well.
Ms. Collette is a lifelong Falmouth resident. She obtained her broker license in 2016 and now works “behind the scenes” managing the operations and implementing new technologies. Ms. Stockwell spent her summers in Falmouth and moved here year-round in 1990.
Ms. Stockwell has real estate in her blood. Her father worked in commercial real estate. She remembers him taking the family out on weekends to look at the latest industrial park he was looking to buy, sell or rent. Before coming to her current position, she worked as director of sales at Ballymeade Country Club and Estates.
“We have in-depth knowledge of Falmouth, its villages, neighborhoods, and how unique it is as a coastal community, which has proven invaluable to our clients,” Ms. Collette said. “We know there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to open permits and conservation regulations, as well.”
The name of the company—Ermine Lovell Real Estate—will remain as a tribute to the woman who started the business, and the business will continue from the same office on Palmer Avenue.