Carole Lynn Sharoff
Carole’s real estate business began when visitors to her weekend antique shop she operated in Gloucester would ask if she knew about any apartments or houses they could rent or buy. As it happened, she often did, so it dawned on her that this might be a better business than selling curios. Local real estate agents told her they were “too busy” to deal with rentals. Sniffing opportunity, she got her real estate license and went into business with an attorney with a real estate practice. In time, she got her broker’s license and struck out on her own.
At first, she thought she had invented the vacation rental business, but then a British company expanding to the U.S. recruited her, while continuing to run her own business, to find and manage rentals in New England attractive to British tourists. This was a period of great learning and laid the foundation for steady growth.
A Realtor, today, she operates AVH Realty, Inc. a residential real estate sales agency with a niche market, and Atlantic Vacation Homes, by far the oldest and largest vacation rental management company on the North Shore. With around 150 properties, her ten-person staff balloons to as many 30 in the busy summer months. Her company has been called the “rental agency to the stars” for providing location advice and housing for many A-list actors, directors, producers and film crews—yes, even some with Oscars. Interestingly, a few of these, falling in love with our area have quietly come back to rent our homes for their own get-aways.
Carole has been and is a leader in both her community and her industry. Locally, she has been on the board of Discover Gloucester, the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and chair of its tourism committee, secretary and president of the Gloucester Rotary Club, and co-president of Temple Ahavat Achim in Gloucester. Early in her term, the temple burned to the ground along with a neighboring apartment building in which, tragically, a life was lost. Moving the operations of the Temple to the basement of her office building, she managed Temple affairs and oversaw a major fund-raising effort and the first phases of the building of the new Temple.
She has cast an even longer shadow over her industry. She is currently a member of the board of her industry association, the Vacation Rental Management Association where she serves as membership chair and a member of the credentialing committee which is busily setting industry standards, an accreditation process, and educational programs. She chairs the New England Vacation Rental Management Association. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Carole holds a Master’s in Anthropology with a specialization in Historical Archeology from Boston University.
She lives in Gloucester, with her husband, Bill Fonvielle and has three children, two of whom are working at Atlantic Vacation Homes.
Carole continues to be active at the Enterprise Center as a member of the Million Dollar CEO Group. This monthly meeting of peers has been an invaluable tool toward her company’s growth.