Former Chief Transportation Planner for Greater Boston Area Forms Westwood Based Realty Company


After completing 30 real estate transactions even while employed as a Chief Transportation Planner, Westwood resident Grace (Jieping) Li has started her own Westwood based realty company, PlanSmart Realty.

Sponsored by PlanSmart Realty

After fourteen years working for the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Westwood resident Grace (Jieping) Li is bringing her special set of planning skills and expertise to the local residential real estate market with the formation of her realty company, PlanSmart Realty. In the last five years of a competitive market, and while working full-time as Chief Transportation Planner, Grace still managed to complete about 30 real estate transactions in the greater Boston area. She formed her company PlanSmart Realty because she wants to help more people with real estate needs. The website of her business is

When Grace left her transportation planning job to concentrate on PlanSmart Realty, her colleagues fondly created a farewell piece of artwork for her, wishing her luck.

“Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait,” says Grace. She believes a home is not only a place to live but an investment. It also builds future fortune for the family. It is important to “plan smart” and do sufficient planning and researching before a property transaction.

Grace’s local knowledge and analytical skills in transportation and urban planning enable her to identify the valuable opportunities fit for a family in the greater Boston area’s real estate market. A property transaction involves lots of planning activities both before and after it is listed on the market. Grace is happy to help her clients with getting the property ready for sale or managing the rental property after the closing. She makes the real estate transaction smooth and less stressful.

After getting her Ph.D. degree in transportation planning from Boston University, Grace worked for MPO beginning in 2008. She resigned from MPO when she decided to become an entrepreneur in real estate. While at MPO, Grace maintained and improved the MPO’s travel demand model sets that are applied to assess the impacts of regionally significant transportation projects on travel behavior as well as air quality. One of her transportation projects is Assembly Square Station in Somerville. The subway station opened in 2014, transforming the Assembly Square into a lively district with transit accessibility. The multi-million dollar project offers substantial benefits to the people who live in the neighborhood by providing better public transit to jobs and economic opportunity. 

Grace presents a poster describing her work on Assembly Square Station in Somerville, a mixed land development project successfully connecting the transit station to people, employment, open space and shopping.

Grace brings her unique planning background to real estate, by recognizing areas with amenities meeting her clients’ needs and predicting potential growth based on the real estate market, economic policy and population change over time. She analyzes the property’s location from a different perspective, relating it to regional commuting patterns and traffic conditions, in addition to evaluating its surrounding neighborhoods.

Grace enjoys volunteering for community activities. She is the principal of Westwood Chinese School (WCS) which serves more than 200 families in Westwood and neighboring towns. The goal of WCS is to give students an opportunity to learn about the Chinese language and culture through learning programs and extracurricular classes in the fine arts, performing arts, and more. WCS’s website is WCS’s registration for the fall opened on May 15th, 2022.

Grace has been living in Westwood with her husband and two boys for more than 8 years. Growing up in a village in the northeast part of China, she loves gardening, cooking, traveling, skiing, and all kinds of other sports. You may see her in the neighborhood since she plans to bike all the local roads in Westwood. 

Grace enjoys biking and plans to bike all the local roads in Westwood.
Along with her passion for real estate, Grace loves to garden, play sports, cook and travel.

This article is sponsored by PlanSmart Realty and is published by Westwood Minute.

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