For Mary-Alice Brown of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Don Johnson Co, there is nothing more gratifying than coaching clients through the process of buying or selling a home. With a background in education and academia, her passion for teaching others has translated into a career in residential real estate, working in the neighborhoods of San Antonio she loves most. Brown shares on her career journey, her non-aggressive approach to achieving success in her industry, and how she draws strength and inspiration from historical creative icon Frida Kahlo.
On her career journey:
I have always had a passion for homes, especially historic properties and urban neighborhoods. But I had no idea an interest would actually become my career. I attended Trinity University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, thinking I would end up in Education or Academia someday. After working as a college advisor for a few years after college, I knew I wanted to continue advising people in some capacity, but education wasn’t the right fit for me. The idea of getting into real estate came to me out of nowhere. I never considered myself a salesperson and was reluctant to go for it, but I finally took the plunge. While it has been a challenge to my typically introverted personality, I have loved helping my clients through the home buying and selling process. Nothing is more rewarding than helping someone achieve their goal of homeownership.
On what makes her unique in her industry:
I mentioned not feeling like a salesperson and I stick to that. While at times it could be beneficial for me to be a bit more ‘sales-y’ I am always more interested in what is the best fit for my clients versus getting ahead personally in the business. I have made a habit of working in areas I am passionate about and with people that I like in an effort to be as genuine and excited about my work as possible. I am also a worrier by nature, so my goal when working with a client is to take on any potential stress they might feel, to ease their thoughts and allow them to enjoy the experience and let me focus on the details.
On her passions outside of real estate:
Growing up, our family always adopted pets and took in strays. I think pets do so much good for their owners, and I know coming home from a hard day is always made easier when you can open your front door and squeeze your pets. I am passionate about protecting the large stray community we have in San Antonio. Both of my cats are strays we have taken in, and I have partnered with local non-profits in the past to make sure that as many animals as possible can be sheltered, spayed, vaccinated and adopted into loving families. This spring I had the opportunity to sponsor a fundraising event at my office for SNIPSA, a San Antonio non-profit that rescues, vaccinates, spays, and helps stray and high-kill shelter animals find families. It was a great event and I look forward to many more in the future.
On her personal female hero:
It may be a San Antonio cliché, but Frida Kahlo has always been an inspiration for me. If I can develop half the fortitude Frida had, I would consider my goals met. In spite of a life filled with pain, whether physical or personal, the girl just rolled with the punches and became a world-renowned artist. Frida seemed to tackle her problems with careful introspection and creativity, living a bold, unapologetic life. Anytime I feel too tired, too sick, too overwhelmed, whatever it is, I think about what she endured and that she never stopped creating.
This profile was (Em)Powered by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Don Johnson Group.
Edited from an interview by Eleanora Morrison.