Meet Larry Marcello: 'Had a bad day? Swim'


Nickname: "Larry is my nickname. My real name is Lauretto."

Years in Real Estate: "Many. More than I admit to on paper. I am an active, full-time real estate broker —  the principal broker at RE/MAX Patriot Properties in Bristol."

Family: "I have a wife and two grown children, one in Warwick and one in California, and we have three grandchildren and two wonderful daughters-in-law. I have been married for 57 years. To the same lady, too!"

Hometown: "I was born in Barrington — actually at home, in Barrington — and raised there. Now I live in Riverside."

Education: "I graduated from Barrington High School, nothing after that. That was typical for kids from working families back then. But I have never stopped learning. If there was something I wanted to know about, or I needed an answer to a question, I found out. Sometimes I couldn't even go to sleep at night. I would go to the library, call an expert, ask around. My wife worked for Stanley Kaplan and had access to a lot of people in academia, so that made it easy for me."

Previous careers: "I started out with Rhode Island Lights Works — it was a big mill in Barrington at that time. Then I started my own jewelry company, Baycrafters. We made jewelry with tiger eye, wampum, scrimshaw. We went under, along with half of Rhode Island, when the price of gold went through the roof in the late 1960s  Then I went into construction. I worked for Campanili Builders, in Braintree, Mass. I started out as a night watchman and before I knew it, I was an assistant superintendent."

Why real estate: "When I was with Campanili, I noticed that real estate agents seemed to make a lot of people happy. I was interested, found the coursework and tests easy enough. I ran Independent Realty Associates for 16 years before joining RE/MAX.  The way they are structured, it's like having the freedom of owning your own company, yet under a bigger umbrella. It's like no other franchise."

Hobbies: "Golf, basketball — I used to play, now I just watch. Same with football. I like to swim when I can. The thing about swimming is that when you have a tough week, and everything's going wrong, you could go out and get drunk, but that's not going to change anything. But you get in the water, let your mind go blank, let the water cascade over you, and all you think about is your stroke count, how many strokes until the wall. When you get out of the water, you feel like you can deal with it. Can't afford a therapist? Go for a swim."

Professional development: "Realtors are always having to take courses on the changing face of the profession, though those of us licensed before 1978 are grandfathered and exempt. But as the principal broker here, I don't think it makes much sense for me to not keep up with what is going on, the trends and technologies. We all learn from each other, and I think that one of my biggest jobs is to make sure that the new agents don't step in any holes. That doesn't happen often — there is paperwork for every conceivable action — but Errors and Omissions Insurance doesn't cover stupidity."

Proudest moment in my career:  "Any time an agent who I've been mentoring comes to tell me that they have passed their broker's test, then a few years down the road that same agent owns a brokerage. They've outstripped me. I think it's great, and I can say, 'I knew you when you knew nothing!' "

On mentoring: "I've been around a long time, and I am used to answering questions from colleagues, even competitors, who are just starting out. They ask a question, I'll give an answer. They may not like the answer, but if I can help someone save time, money, or face, I will. I treat everyone the way I would if they were my own kids."

On real estate today: "One thing that really pains me is the short sale. The banks are willing to sell properties for less than they are worth, but often won't let the current owner prevent foreclosure by offering the same lower payment that the bank would get from the short sale. It's case by case, and often at the mercy of bank personnel."

Favorite sports team: "Celtics, Pats, Sox, in that order." The Celts go all year long, the Sox ... not much to say about them right now."

Move that makes you cry: "Well, there was one. That one about the girl from Boston? What was it. ... 'Love Story' ... Just starting out, and she was dying. That one got me. Best movie I ever saw, though? 'El Cid.' About the Moors."

Dream house: "We used to own it. A condo on a golf course on Boca Seaga Bay, in St Petersburg Beach. You could get flights for $99 round-trip, and spend the weekend. We ended up selling it after our son in California had his first baby and we had to choose between flying to Florida or California."

Best quality: "I consider being responsible for your actions the greatest asset any person can have."

Death-row meal: "Calamari and dungeness crab with a glass of chianti. And then you can kill me."


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.