Meet the FrenchEntrée Property Team

Meet the FrenchEntrée Property Team

A property in France represents much more than an investment. For a majority of buyers, it also means a change of pace, a fresh start, a new adventure, or the culmination of a lifelong dream. That’s why FrenchEntrée Property doesn’t just offer one of the most comprehensive online databases in the industry, it also offers the power of experience with a human touch. They are a dedicated team that assists buyers through every step of the search and answer any questions about buying a property in France. Listening attentively is the first step to a successful French property search.

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Laura Ray

Born in a suburb of Paris, France.  Laura spent her career in marketing/sales roles working in Canada, USA and Australia.

After working overseas relocated to Australia initially working for the French company Michelin as a bilingual French/English national marketing and sales role.

Laura changed career to become a real estate sales agent working in the Brisbane area and then converted to a Buyer’s Agent opening own company.  Working in Sydney for two years and then returning to Brisbane.  Laura’s buyers’ agent company specializes in buying properties on behalf of buyers located in Australia or overseas.

Laura has a passion for researching properties for sale in France and visits her family in France frequently.  Her dream role is working for FrenchEntree as a Buyers Agent for clients based in Australia/New Zealand looking to purchase a property in France.

FrenchEntrée works in partnership with a very large number of established and reliable local estate agents in France and therefore is able to email you properties from different agencies, centralise all your questions, and help you put together a viewing itinerary. Having one point of contact will definitely help you save time and confusion. They must be doing something right, judging by what people have to say about the team!

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Katie Empson

Katie moved to France at the beginning of 2019 with her husband and three sons, for a lifestyle change.

With a background in genomics, academic cancer research and pharmaceutical research (respiratory disease), Katie moved to New Zealand in 2006, where her three sons were born. They returned to Hampshire in 2014, relocating to France five years later.

Katie and family live an hour south of Pau, in the Pyrénées, and run a successful Chambres d’Hôtes with five bedrooms. They hope to incorporate cycling into the business as her husband is a keen cyclist, and Katie tries to keep up.  She spent every Summer holiday camping in France when she was growing up and she and her family love it there. They were lucky enough to find their house on their first trip to France property hunting in August 2018, where they had a very busy ten days travelling the length of the Pyrénées to and fro viewing numerous properties (some accurately described by the estate agent blurb, and some far from accurately described!)

Katie enjoys sports, particularly running and cycling, and competed in the Bournemouth triathlon, Olympic distance, in 2017.  She also enjoys crafts, patchwork quilting, dress making, knitting, sewing, spinning and she is hopefully soon to learn weaving.  The family have just acquired three llamas along with an alpaca and Katie hopes to spin their wool, when she has learnt how to shear them, in the Spring! Watch this space!

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John Walker

An ardent Francophile for more than 35 years, John’s knowledge of agriculture, organic and conventional, and assisting farmers to diversify provided the perfect launch-pad for assisting mainly UK families establish farming and leisure-based businesses in France. Working in conjunction with a wide range of professionals including local and regional government bodies, notaires and property agents provided John’s clients the best mix of safety and timeliness.

John will be supporting FrenchEntrée clients looking to establish commercial operations – including vineyards, farms, eco-projects and carbon capture operations.

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Leslie Mow

Leslie comes from Hawaii where he was an architect designing homes. Having first started in interior design before plunging into architecture school, he is well versed in all aspects of design for living.

His love of France started when he was young and saw the movie the Three Musketeers. That was it for him and his love grew to the point of annual trips to Paris since 1991. He made the move to Paris in 2013 and is loving it! Walking the streets, photographing the buildings and parks, wondering what is behind the façades, inspecting hidden courtyards whenever possible.

With a critical eye towards renovation and re-use, Leslie loves transforming spaces into homes and finding the right apartment for you.

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Ray Jackson

Having spent a career in the motor industry, mainly in senior sales and marketing roles, Ray realised his dream of living in France in 2015. Having done all the research possible, Ray along with his wife purchased a rundown and neglected 18th century farmhouse in Normandy where the real experience began.

The project started, the learning curve was steep, but the experience has been tremendous. For someone who was more used to being behind a desk, the number of new skills discovered whilst renovating the building, have been countless. Understanding the French State system alone was a monumental task. Not quite on the scale of the TV series ‘Escape to the Chateau’ but just as challenging, especially for a London boy who has never lived in the countryside before.

Does he regret making the decision to move to France? Absolutely not!

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Adam Ross

Adam has worked in a variety of project and programme management roles in the UK nuclear industry and for the MOD. A confirmed Francophile, he has owned and renovated property in France for 26 years and is passionate about all aspects of property as well as France, French culture and lifestyle. He is an enthusiastic foodie and has studied and passed exams in wine and winemaking.

Adam loves conversation, great food and good wine, making France his perfect second home! Having spent many happy years holidaying in France with his family he looks forward to helping you embark on and complete your French property journey!

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Lara Fowler

Having lived on and off in France since 2004 as well at long stints in the U.S. and Asia, Lara now lives full-time in the Lot-et-Garonne region. She and her family have been renovating a property together and has learnt about the ins-and-outs of owning a French property along the way.

Never content to just stick to one thing, Lara has a background in marketing and has worked for several years in U.K. law. A big proponent of the self-employed lifestyle, she manages several different work projects and is also studying to become a Paralegal. She enjoys making the most of living in the beautiful South-West of France during the summer and visiting her family around the world in the winter months.

With a detailed knowledge of the region, she is excited to finally put her hours of trawling estate agency listings and exploring quaint villages to good use and to help others to find their dream property!

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Michael LeClerc

Coming from a French Canadian family on the East coast, Michael grew up in a bilingual household and has always been fascinated with the French language. Listening to the Montreal Canadian hockey games in French with his grandfather was a highlight of his week.

After graduating from culinary school in New York, buying a one-way ticket, he found myself working in Michelin starred restaurants in Paris, Geneva and Frankfurt.

That set in motion a lifelong love of Europe and in particular France.

After returning to the States and continuing his chef passion in French restaurants in NYC, Hawaii, and Thailand he made his way west to Park City, Utah where he lives with his wife Fonda. After a long career in hotels and restaurants he currently owns and operates a property management and real estate company in Park City. As a certified investment property specialist he knows that any property purchase is part emotion and part financial. Michael works hard to find a balance between the two.

Michael and Fonda travel to France every year getting close to maxing out their 3-month visitor allotment and often move around the country dipping their toes in the sights, sounds and flavours of France.

Michael enjoys helping clients fulfil their dreams of finding the perfect maison in France with special emphasis on the right property at the right price. It can be a long process and he’s with his clients for the duration. Vive la France!

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Nina Woodwiss

Nina Woodwiss, originally from Essex, spent most of her childhood in East Anglia. Nina and her partner Peter never wanted to retire in the UK, and as both had renovated properties before, they bought a complete project in Brittany in January 2011. After working on it every holiday for 5 years, they moved out lock, stock and barrel to be in France permanently, and have never looked back!

Nina has managed teams for a number of blue-chip organisations including British Gas, Abbey National, Barclays, Aviva and BNP Paribas.

“I am a people person, very social and love chatting and getting to know everyone, and if I can help them and make their day, that’s what it is all about. I’m an avid reader, and spend any spare time I have in my garden, growing flowers, fruit and veg. I love DIY and renovating properties, enjoy cooking and try to keep fit with walking and cycling, which is not hard as we look out over a beautiful forest with tracks all around.”

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Lily Murdoch

Lily is a student, originally from Northern Ireland and now studying French and Politics at the University of Manchester. Having spent the last year living and working in Nice with the Luxury Estate Agents, Vaneau, Lily gained valuable insight into how the property market works in the South of France.

From a young age Lily has travelled to and from the South of France on family holidays, making it a dream of hers to eventually live there. While this dream came true, Lily also developed a passion for property and helping clients to find their ideal home on the French Riviera.

“During my time in Nice I worked with a range of clients, both French and International, and I thrived off finding the perfect selection of properties to fit the clients wishes! I luckily got to work with French Entrée while I was there as well, and so I feel I have gained a great understanding of the relationship between French agencies and French Entrée. I can’t wait to put into practise the knowledge I have acquired and join the amazing team at FE!”

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“Both myself and Lorraine would like to extend our thanks to Wendy for the effort, patience and persistence she has afforded us throughout the process. Moreover, we have every confidence in Richard to continue his excellent work with us as the process moves forward.”  Peter and Lorraine (July 2019)

“All ready for moving to France, sign contracts and move in on the 18 November so a busy time, thank you for your help to make our dream to move to France so uncomplicated” Kay & Peter

“We are very happy with ourselves we’ve negotiated the contracts for the château and paid the deposit yesterday so were all on track to finalise the sale mid September. 
Thanks so much for all your assistance and advice along the way. The FrenchEntrée website has been such a great resource for us and I’m sure will continue to be as we prepare for many holidays in our beautiful new French home.” Kate & Warren

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your excellent help & advice and it has been a real pleasure dealing with such a charming & efficient team.” Tony

“Thank you for all your help we were singing your praises saying how very helpful you were going beyond the call of duty. The house we picked is in Gouarec, I remember you saying what a nice place it was and you were right. I think you handled us really well and we were quite difficult as it was not a straight forward case. If you can handle us any other client should be as easy as a walk in the park!” Debbie and Paul

“Thank you so much – you have been amazing arranging all of this for us, we will not let you down and will be at the appointments for each of your agents.” Leigh

“We moved in our fantastic new house in the Var, Provence, two weeks ago. This after only a few months since we contacted FrenchEntrée! As we already knew which area we wanted to move to, we chose a selection of houses from the FrenchEntrée site and submitted the extensive list. We planned our trip, and visits were organised over three days. Most of the 18 houses we viewed met our requirements. Well done FrenchEntrée! But only one ticked virtually all the boxes, “un coup de coeur” as they say here in France. A few hurdles were “jumped” over, and we are now settling in our dream house.  We shall wholeheartedly recommend you to anyone who wishes to buy a house in France!” Mr and Mrs C

“Thank you for organising these appointments. You have been exceptional in your help and assistance with these arrangements. Looking forward to our visit to Brittany!” Jan

“One thing I didn’t want to do in our search is to complicate things by introducing too many properties into the equation. We want to have time to evaluate from a short list, those that most closely match our criteria and you have been invaluable in contributing to that end.” Neil and Desrie

“I would like to say a massive thank you for all your help; it’s been super-informative and you were actually the only person, who explained our mortgage options very well and were very helpful.” Blanka (August 2019)

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