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30 January 2009

There’s something about Mary Holder

There's something about Mary Holder

If you want an escape from today’s industry and economic naysayers , talk to anyone at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Mary Holder at the New Jersey shore.  I have had the distinct pleasure of working with this team over the past few days who have refrained from airing any negatively about the market.  They clearly recognize the challenges of the times and they are anything but blind to the effects the economy has had on their customers, their market and the industry as a whole. They deal with them daily but in a manner which is actually both uplifting and very glass half full.

So is there something in their drinking water? What’s going on at this organization that keeps their spirit up and their penchant for innovation alive despite the hard times?  How does Mary Holder stay positive, motivated and energized?

I’ll let the answers she gave to some of my questions provide you a clearer window into how she thinks.

Q. What are some of your past experiences that lead to realizing that panic and negatively lead nowhere?

A. Well, I never deal with them from a place of fear. I see challenges for what they are – obstacles for me to find my way around. There’s always a work around. It’s actually to fun to find them and prove to yourself you can do what others fear.

Q. What are some the proactive measures you have taken as a leader to instill positivity in the work place?

A. It may sound simple but a smile in my voice is always my go to measure. I make sure to always correspond with my agents with positive feedback and appreciation for the things they do and the success they have. Lately I have put a lot of effort in retraining agents and resetting their skills to manage in this new market. For a long time agents became order takers which is what they had to be then. Today it’s about conducting business. It’s nice to dust off some of those old fashioned skills and put them back to good use.

Q. How do you handle agents who fall off the wagon and get despondent?

A. We all fall off that wagon. Even those who on their game. They just need to know that it’s ok. Being despondent over a lost deal or missed opportunity is a lesson learned. Besides, most agents who fall prey to the times or unhappy circumstances tends to close themselves off to the things they’ve done correctly or excel in. So I find those things, point them out, and get them smiling. And of course, it never hurts to unhook yourself, take a holiday and clear your head. – Seems that as soon as you make personal plans, business starts to pick up. Murphy’s law I suppose.

Q. What if any daily or weekly exercises do you do with your agents and/or managers to keep them focused on the glass half full way of thinking?

A. Managers hold weekly staff meetings and I hold monthly manager meetings that include market penetration, problem solving through braintrust/brainstorming and ways to grow business.

Q. What conferences, speakers, blogs, or any industry destinations do you frequent that keeps you motivated and energized?

A. I read Jeff Otto (the real estate wizard for the state of New Jersey), and I attended the NAR and Triple Play (NY, PA, NJ) Conferences.  And all my agents. They really do keep me motivated.

It’s easy to fall prey to negativity.  We are challenged by it every day especially if that’s what we focus on. Mary will tell you its all in your perspective and your attitude. If you fuel it with enthusiasm and encouragement the rest is easy. And she sure does make it look easy.

There’s something about Mary Holder and I’m glad I got to experience it and think I’ll come back often for more.

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