Nancy McCafferty has always been a numbers person, beginning with her very first job: a paper route where she had to collect neighbors’ subscription fees and take them to the bank.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that the real estate bug bit her early on, when a company she worked for after college took on the task of imploding the building at 125 High St.
“I knew right then that I really loved real estate. It was just so amazing to learn about how a raw piece of land ends up being this amazing multifamily property or commercial property,” she said.
Over the years, McCafferty juggled school with myriad property management jobs, relishing every detail of her work, from paying the bills to signing off on expenses to managing the parking garage. Eventually, she found her way to Boston Capital, where she developed a specialty in tax credits, and ultimately to the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, where she’s spent the past 12 years.
“She has a lot of energy, she’s very thoughtful and kind. She’s always helpful and always appreciative when someone helps her out,” said Lisa DonFrancesco, founder and CEO of Saint James Real Estate Advisors.
DonFrancesco, herself a previous Woman of FIRE award winner, nominated McCafferty for the recognition and credited McCafferty for introducing her to a number of worthy nonprofits in need of her own firm’s real estate services.
McCafferty isn’t content to just kick up her feet when the clock hits quittin’ time, either. She’s also poured tremendous energy into helping others, volunteering with Rosie’s Place and serving on the board of the Women’s Institute Housing and Development.
Last year, she said she served on a panel at CONNECT, a Chelsea-based program that promotes financial stability. There, she said she spoke about her own career path and later sat down with audience members to talk one-on-one, help participants with their resumes and even carve out a little time for mock job interviews.
But she gets a little choked up when talking about two very special mentor-mentee relationships: those she has with her two nieces, who she guided and supported through the college application process and ensuing education.
“She’s now a senior at UMass and has a job and she’s just blowing me away with all this work that we’ve done together for about six years,” McCafferty said of her younger niece.
Now that her niece is about to graduate and strike out on her own, McCafferty said she may soon look to organizations like CONNECT for other mentoring opportunities.
“It’s stuff that you know like the back of your hand because you’re in it every day, working hard, being appreciative of who your leaders are, what the organization stands for,” she said. “I think it’s important to help other folks that really need the support to find the right place in themselves.”