Get to Know Them

Sandrine Deschaux and Maria Perez answer each the Proust Questionnaire.

Sandrine answers the Proust Questionnaire.

What are your most precious possessions? Certainly a few photos taken while traveling in Africa in my 20’s, particularly the portrait of a content young girl in her traditional costume the day of the harvest celebration in her village -, all my photos from my travels actually, then the jewels I was gifted by my grandmothers and my mom for my 18th and 20th anniversaries. I also keep all the love letters written by my daughter Juliette for the many occasions from Mother’s day to birthdays. What do you like the most about your job? There’s no better satisfaction that happy faces at closing. The excitement, the project, the vision that a home embodies makes it all worthy of the sometimes-tenuous road to ownership. As far as running a business, I really like going outside my comfort zone, challenging myself, finding new creative ways to market a property, and anticipating trends. Has always be my forte to sense shift in lifestyle. What's your favorite design style? oh gosh I would be as impressed with a minimal interior as with a maximalist interior, colorful and eclectic. I certainly value cohesive interiors that reflect people individualities with their own heirlooms. I do not like fake, overstated, impersonal. When did you start real estate? I started real estate in 2004 after a year as a marketing assistant to a top broker downtown Boston, and realized that my marketing, sales and advertising background had incredible value to the job, so decided to jump into the core of the business. What is your usual Starbucks order? Café Latte, only at Starbucks. What does your workstation look like? A bit messy with post-its, To-do lists, a collection of deco magazines, etc First thing you do in the morning? As many, way too fast to check my messages and emails. What were you doing before? I spent 10 years working as an account executive with McCann Erickson, developing advertising campaigns for consumers and b2b clients, managing efforts, and the greatest satisfaction was to be surrounded with critical thinkers and creative minds. Favorite spot in Cambridge? Probably the Charles River and driving along Memorial Drive. Favorite restaurant in Cambridge. The little donkey has been a favorite for a while now. I like the setting, the cocktail bar, the casual after work stop, and the small plates are creative and tasteful. Spring or fall? I bloom with Spring : ) What is your greatest regret? I do not have regrets. I very much live in the present, day by day, and build upon my mistakes. What or who is the greatest love of your life? Tough questions. My parents anchor me, my relatives stimulate me and are a strong source of joy for me, my husband – a story book - is a phenomenal companion of the everyday, and my daughter gives me hope, and the reason to better myself. When and where were you happiest? Interesting question. I am full, mindful and calm when on a road trip exploring new territories and cultures. I have traveled off the beaten track destinations, and those travels have been eye opening and allow me to put perspectives on everything. I am content waking up at sunrise anywhere in the world. Being happy is and has actually never been a goal to me. I just want to be able to be in the moment. What do you do to decompress? Traveling is the best escape for me. Which talent would you most like to have? Public Speaking skills. What's Always in Your purse? A credit card. Boring. Which historical figure do you most identify with? None. However, always had questioned whether I would have been a collaborationist or resistant during WW2. And strangely always try to read what people would have been or be in times of wars. You're having a party, who do you invite? Friends, family, Genuine people. What do you serve? I am not a cook but I can cook because it is part of my French DNA. What do you talk about? My curiosity have me questioned rather than speak and tell stories. Which living person do you most admire? I have a thoughtful admiration for the persona of Winston Churchill, his spoken words, his leadership, his love for life. That’s the man that saves Europe after all (for trusting De Gaulle to lead resistance from London and partner). You asked for “living person”, none comes to mind but perhaps Obama just because he was able to make us believe society could evolve in a hopeful way. It was a beautiful period of time in the US history. Last country you visited? Well I just went in September to the far Eastern coast of Canada, in Newfoundland for a brook trout fishing expedition. Movie that Made you cry? I cry very easily while watching movies. My daughter always caught me with a tear and laughs at me. Italian or french food? Italian in Italy, French in France. All of the above. What do you see happening in the market? There are bumps on the road at times and right now an excessive inflation which the Feds is trying to curb by raising interest rates, and the associated fears it triggers, but the market always recovers. Real estate is still the best investment anyone can make and the dream of anyone. Best client interaction? I love collaborating so really enjoy easy-going, long-lasting, genuine relationships. I have made good friends along the way, find mentors, mentor myself. Each client interaction is a positive and always pleasant relationship. And if that is not the case, I simply terminate or do not stay in the relationship. What's the best learning experience you had? The power of saying no. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Probably when feelings align without efforts. What is your greatest fear? Right now a polarized America that shows resentment and favors isolation, the loss of the notion of truth and the rise of inconsiderate men or women to power. Freedom is at stake. What is the trait you most admire in yourself? A strong sense of justice, fairness, and its opposite injustice. I am an Aquarius and get annoyed with stigmas, dogmas and misconceptions. What is the trait you most admire in others? I married a storyteller and I am fascinated with great speakers. But all in all, kindness is probably the trait that is under valued and most admirable. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Success. Or Go-getter. What is your current state of mind? Well I am now in my 50’s. We raised a grounded and wise daughter about to go to college. My husband and I formed a wonderful and solid nucleus family, and we really had fun over the years building and developing it. I have a beautiful real estate career which now spans soon over 20 years. I question what the future holds for me. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Allow more time for self care. I am working on it. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Wars. The killing of humans to serve power thirsty individuals. Would you recommend this interview to someone else? I do. I am a big fan of the Proust Questionnaire, and has always been my go to page in Vanity Fair. It makes you think. 

November 2022