Anne Mahon thinks she has the best job in the world. There’s no 401k. No employer health plan. And she works almost every weekend. But she wouldn’t change a thing.
Anne is a real estate agent, and she is taking the market in her hometown area of Belmont, Arlington, and Cambridge, Massachusetts by storm.
A leader by choice
This is not her first job. In fact, Anne has been in venture capital, finance, high tech and human resources. She followed her father’s advice to change jobs nearly every three years. But it wasn’t until she became a real estate agent that Anne found a way to work that also allowed her to be an active participant in her community.
Participation is something that means a great deal to Anne. She’s been politically active ever since a personal experience at a job with the local children’s hospital. She saw parents going into debt over exorbitant healthcare costs. As a parent of a special-needs child herself, she felt compelled to help address the issues, so she decided to get involved in local politics. Anne was elected as a Belmont, MA town meeting member—a role that empowers her to preserve and promote community enhancing programs and services. She also works on local and state political campaigns to help promote candidates who she believes will make the most positive impact on her hometown.
Anne looks at her real estate business in a very similar way to being elected into office. Just as her constituents elected her because she shares similar values and is tirelessly committed to community improvement, Anne’s real estate clients work with her because they like what she represents.
It pays to speak your mind
It’s often thought that a neutral approach to politics and social issues is the right way to go when you’re in sales — don’t rock the boat with your own beliefs at the risk of conflicting with those of your clients.
But Anne has flipped this notion on its head. Her values and her opinions are what make her who she is, and that’s what resonates with her clients.
She even revealed to us that a major reason she got into real estate was to take an active role in shaping the type of community that she would feel proud to represent. That makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Why wouldn’t a client choose to be represented by an agent who is actually working to make the area where they are buying or selling a home a better place? And to prove it works, Anne’s clients often become her friends after the closing, and many of them are so inspired by her activism that they get involved in community building themselves.
The right marketing mix
So other than her community work, how does Anne go about marketing herself as a real estate agent? Many, many ways, as it turns out.
She uses postcard mailers and includes her listings on real estate portals like Trulia. She advertises on the back of grocery carts — a dream she’s apparently had since childhood. She is active on Facebook, and she runs several AdWerx digital ad campaigns. We actually met Anne at this year’s Century 21 global conference when she stopped by our booth to thank us for helping increase her exposure in the community.
How to get ready for what’s next
There’s been a lot of buzz about this year’s selling season. Anne sees it, too. She explained that in New England, several factors are contributing to increased activity in the real estate market. For one thing, the prolonged, harsh winter of late 2014 and early 2015 kept many listings off the market. Also, the older population is starting to downsize. Meanwhile, job security has rebounded and the young, professional population is growing — Massachusetts has the highest job growth in the US for $75k+. And finally, mortgage rates are projected to increase, driving young professionals to stop renting and start buying.
Anne offers a few words of wisdom for those considering or currently working in real estate: get to know your clients on a personal level. For example, don’t talk real estate more than 50% of the time, because it’s about the whole person and their plans for the future. And of course, get involved in something you are passionate about, and focus on seeing the good in everyone you meet.