What was your first job in the realty industry? When I started out, I did whatever/whenever. A former broker gave me the BEST advice I have ever received: “Keep throwing it up against the wall, and something is bound to stick!” I held open houses, cold called and called on FSBOs. You have to get up, suit up and show up – no matter what.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I really enjoy walking with my husband at night, decompressing and debriefing about my day. We also love quick trips to Highlands or New York to escape the madness!
Where did you grow up? Nashville, Tennessee, but I have lived in Atlanta for more than 18 years.
Growing up, what did you want to be? Something in geriatrics. I relate to an older generation, and I absolutely love stories of the past and lessons learned. I watched my grandmother deteriorate in a nursing home, and I always felt there could be so much more care and tenderness given to the elderly.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? That’s a difficult question! I really enjoy reading, and there are several poignant authors I’d like to take to lunch – Ayn Rand, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Donna Tart, to name a few. Keeping industry related: I’d certainly LOVE to take John Portman to lunch. He has had such a huge impact on the Atlanta cityscape. He is innovative, creative and a genius, in my opinion.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? I really love my neighborhood (Chastain Park) because there is SO much to do. Tennis, swimming, walking/running the park, golf, concerts, and one of my favorite restaurants, Horseradish Grill.
What do you love most about the industry? The relationships I make and the thrill of making a deal happen. I love creating relationships that last a lifetime.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I am kind but firm. Even though I don’t like delivering tough information, I do. I have seen too many agents afraid of telling their clients the truth, and that only hurts everyone in the end. I am willing to take a listing off the market and wait the market out if necessary in order to preserve the property. I am also ALWAYS available to my clients at all times. I go the extra mile. I have put on my sweatpants and scrubbed floors to get a house ready to go on the market. I do whatever it takes to help the property shine and get it CLOSED.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? I really don’t like being the bearer of bad news. It is sometimes uncomfortable to have to tell my clients that we didn’t move quickly enough, that we’ve lost out or that the market isn’t bearing what we had hoped, and we are going to have to come up with other options to sell their house.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I have been in Atlanta for more than 18 years, and I am lucky to have an incredible network of friends and family. I keep in touch with my sphere of influence and keep asking, “Do you know anyone who is looking to buy or sell real estate?”
What has been your greatest accomplishment? I think, hands down, my greatest accomplishment is raising two daughters on my own for a very long time. They are my greatest gift. And professionally, in my first year I was awarded outstanding new sales associate and rising star. I sold over $3.5 million in my first year in the down market. What a ride!
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? The Hundred-Foot Journey. Not only am I a book snob, but I am also a foodie, to boot. This movie was quiet yet exciting, sensual yet naïve. The cinematography was spectacular. Bravo Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon and director Lasse Hallström.
What is your favorite restaurant? I recently had dinner at Better Half on 14th Street. The place really blew my socks off. The atmosphere is quaint and the service sublime. Fresh, innovative and a culinary delight! Some tried and trues: Miller Union, St. Cecilia, Taquiero del Sol, the Optimist and JCT.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Atlanta? I suppose many wouldn’t consider The Swan House a “building,” but I adore the elegance and classical style of this home. Oh, to be a fly on the wall when the Inman Family lived there!
What kind of car do you drive? BMW X3 with a trail of open house balloons and “For sale/sold” signs falling out of it!
Smartphone or paper? Paper.
What is your favorite city after Atlanta? Stateside – Seattle, San Francisco or New York; Europe – Paris, Madrid, Pamplona and Tenerife, Spain.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Don’t be close minded. DO NOT GIVE UP!
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Openhouses.com, GoFMLS.com and realtor.com.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Some of my favs are: WSJ, NYT Dining & Wine, Zagat, and of course, DorseyAlston.
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