Team Spotlight – Francis Fernandez de Castro


Francis, our in-house Buyers’ Agent at Rice Properties Group, works closely with clients looking for a new home. Whether first-time buyers or clients in search of something larger, Francis takes the time to learn what they need and guides them into the house of their dreams.

With a longtime career as a timeshare agent, Francis brings a great deal of knowledge and experience in service to our RPG team. He takes his responsibility in helping clients make one of the most important investments of their life, very seriously.

His compassion and care for our clients, as well as his willingness and determination to negotiate the best possible deals for them, are just a few of the many reasons why we love having him on our team.

When not showing homes or working with clients, you can find Francis, who speaks four different languages, spending quality time with his family, traveling across the globe, reading a book, or catching the latest soccer game. Francis aspires to one day retire from real estate to travel the world and perhaps even coach a college soccer team or two.

Full Spotlight Article: Francis Fernandez de Castro (RPG’s Buyers’ Agent)

Meet Francis Fernandez de Castro, our in-house Buyers’ Agent at Rice Properties Group. Francis works with our amazing clients on finding that perfect home. With his patience and people-first attitude, clients can count on the honest advice and coaching Francis brings to their journey in search of a new home. 

Today, we would like to share more about Francis, so you can see why we are so fortunate to have him on our team

The Role of Buyers’ Agent

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest, most significant decisions you can make in your lifetime. Whether you’re experienced in real estate transactions, or you’re a first-time buyer, working with a Buyers’ Agent is highly recommended. Instead of browsing through listings that aren’t right for you, working with a buyers’ agent will save you time, and in the long run, money.

By working for you as the buyer, a Buyers’ Agent will have your best interest at heart always, not that of the seller. And that’s particularly important when making a long-term financial investment as big as purchasing a home.

When RPG looked at adding an agent to our family, we wanted someone that held the same beliefs that we did. Someone that puts people first with the desire to provide exceptional customer service. In competitive markets, sales personnel can often be transaction-oriented, with their only goal being landing the sale. But that isn’t who we are, and it wasn’t the kind of person we were looking for either.

At RPG, we have a people-first attitude. After all, we are your neighbors and friends, and when we reach out to professionals in our community, we want to be treated the way you would treat a friend. That’s why we emphasize people first always. It’s just who we are and how we run our business.

That’s why when we met Francis, we knew we found someone that could fill the role of Buyers’ Agent for RPG. With a calm demeanor and a competitive desire to succeed, he was perfect for the job.

“Francis fits culturally with us perfectly. He truly believes in giving our clients the next level of service. His actions show our clients that he knows this isn’t just a transaction, this is the biggest investment of their lives, and he treats it that way. He provides excellent service to our clients and is always there when we need him, and for that and more, we’re grateful to have him on our team.” – Lindsay Rice, Managing Partner at Rice Properties Group shares about Francis’ role as Buyers’ Agent.

Francis’ Life Before Joining The RPG Family

Having been in sales his entire career, it should be no surprise that Francis enjoys working with people. From selling corporate hospitality to being licensed in real estate selling timeshares, Francis had a diverse background that was perfect for RPG.

Francis, who was born and raised in the DC area, comes from a large family with international roots. With family in Europe and South America, he spent summers traveling from one continent to another, which enabled him to become fluent in four languages. Francis tells us that the primary language spoken in his home was Spanish, which helped him later learn Portuguese, French, and English.

Francis pursued his athletic talent at Kean University with a love for soccer, where he played on the Men’s Soccer Team as a defender. He tells us he never really loved school but recognized the value an education provided, something he learned from his father, an attorney and engineer.

Francis continued his education while playing soccer at Keystone College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in international business and economics. He tells us he learned numerous valuable lessons in those years from his coach. This approach to working hard–as well as smart–has stuck with him all these years.

“My coach told us ‘Work harder than the guy across from you and harder than the guy behind you, and you’ll never lose your spot’, Francis shared.

When the covid pandemic hit, Francis was furloughed by the company where he sold timeshares for a living. With an immediate cutback on vacation travel, his sudden lack of work was not surprising. Francis tells us the time off allowed him time to make many upgrades and improvements to his home. While he wasn’t a contractor by any means, he did learn to DIY many of the projects on his own.

As the pandemic lingered on, Francis recognized a need to work harder than the next guy. It was then that he met Ryan Rice. With similar interests, goals, and values, working with RPG seemed like the next natural procession in Francis’ career. And we couldn’t be happier that he joined our team.

What Exactly Does A Buyers’ Agent Do?

“I admire the fact that Francis has learned to speak 4 different languages, and is always learning new things. He’s incredibly articulate and does a great job with every one of our clients, as well as our entire team here at Rice Properties Group.” – Ryan Rice, Owner, and Lead Sales Agent at Rice Properties Group shares about Francis’ role as Buyers’ Agent.

According to Francis, every day is different, who tells us his role as a Buyers’ Agent ebbs and flows with the market. Since his main priority is helping buyers search for a home, finding clients looking for a house is his main focus.

From having showings or open houses to making calls, introducing himself to prospective buyers, or even knocking on doors, his days are filled with a variety of tasks. No matter which task he’s doing, Francis finds helping people achieve homeownership the most rewarding part of his job.

As a buyer’s agent, Francis provides coaching so new homeowners can make educated decisions regardless of the market. Whether prices are increasing or remain the same, he helps guide clients to make the best decision for their future. With a relatable, patient personality, the care for people shines through in all Francis does. You may not be the only client Francis has worked with, but you will feel like it.

“Francis is an amazing guy and a talented buyer’s agent. He’s great with our clients, and he brings a lot of strengths to our team. When it comes to Francis’s skills, he brings the best of both worlds, being both humble and caring while also competitive and talented. Francis is always working to push himself to the next level, and personal development is important to him.” – Ryan Rice shares.

What’s in store for Francis this year? As always, Francis focuses on our amazing clients and helping them find that perfect house they can make into a home. With an extensive knowledge of the DC area, you’re likely to find him there. But don’t worry, he can also help you find a home in Virginia, Delaware or Maryland, too.

“We’re grateful to have had Francis complete his first rookie year in real estate with us this past year, where he sold more than $14-million dollars in real estate. We see that as a promising start to what will hopefully be an incredible future,” Ryan Rice shares.

The RPG Difference

One of the reasons Francis chose to join our team was because of our people. After meeting Ryan Rice, he knew RPG was different than other agencies. RPG teammates will do whatever it takes to get the job done with a common goal of having happy, satisfied clients. Whether in a sales or support role, our team works together, helping one another achieve this same goal. According to Francis, this ability to count on each other makes a huge difference and is unique to Rice Properties Group.

“When other agencies focus on transactions, their environment changes to one that is competitive, uptight, and power-driven. They may remain professional, but the lack of personal touch affects how they interact with each other, and with their clients. But at Rice Properties Group, we put people first, ahead of everything else. It’s that care and that personal touch that sets us apart. And our clients see that.” — Francis Fernandez de Castro shares about the RPG difference.

What “Home” Means To Francis Fernandez de Castro

The meaning of home can vary from person to person. Since we are in the business of helping clients find their perfect homes, we wanted to ask our teammates what “home” meant to each of them. Here’s what Francis had to say:

For Francis, a home is a place where he can relax–kick back and watch a soccer game, spend time with his family, or enjoy a video game after a long day of work. Home is somewhere safe, comfortable, and happy.

Home can also be a source of pride—an achievement homeowners can be proud of. And it’s something Francis hears from his clients fairly often.

“When I’m working with first-time homebuyers, one thing they always say to me is that they are proud of their accomplishments. They are happy they were able to do that, to purchase a home that’s theirs,”  Francis shares.

And helping people achieve their American Dream makes Francis’ job even more rewarding.

Francis’ Life Outside Of RPG

When not showing homes or working with clients, you will likely find Francis spending time with his fiance, Toby, their eight-month-old son, and their Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, Keeper–which is appropriately named in the spirit of Francis’ favorite sport.

Francis considers himself a foodie, having tried many new dishes, some he’s thoroughly enjoyed, while others… not so much. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, reading sci-fi books, or catching a soccer game on TV. While his days playing soccer professionally have ended, he has high hopes of coaching someday. Perhaps he’ll begin coaching his son one day, or a college team when he retires young.

Coming from a large extended family, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear Francis wants a large family himself one day. With another son due soon, he’s already on his way to reaching that goal.

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