Molly Miller is both my friend and past client—in fact, she’s one of the first Realtors I connected with in my creative journey as a brand designer for this industry. She’s a luxury-focused agent in New Hampshire and the founder and owner of Mountainside Properties, a private, boutique-like agency that “handles real estate differently.”
More than her professional accomplishments, Molly’s kind-hearted, let’s-keep-it-real approach to life and business has always impressed me. She and I have often chatted about the importance of creating an engaged tribe of followers/clients by simply being (wait for it) YOUR ACTUAL SELF…it’s a refreshing message for the real estate world, from an agent who is also a free-spirited writer, nature-lover, and advocate for reflective + intentional living in the midst of a demanding career.
I wanted to share my Q&A-style chat with Molly to encourage you in your real estate journey. We talk a lot about scripts and strategies in this industry, but rarely do we pause to share heart-centric, everyday profiles of agents with stories worth hearing. Stories that share about productive habits, work-life balance lessons learned, and encouragements for other Realtors trying to walk out the personal side of real estate with clarity and grace.
Below, Molly describes her real estate path, commitment to the power of intention to achieve big goals, and inspirational agent approach in her own words.
Describe your path to what you’re doing now. How did you get into real estate?
Truthfully, I had no idea what I wanted to do or be at 24 years old. I had tried my hand at many jobs including temp positions in offices, working 9-5, as an aesthetician, in sales, etc. My husband (then boyfriend) thought I would be great in real estate, so I took the class. That was in 2004. I started at Coldwell Banker, quickly earning a “Rookie of the Year” award in my first year.
I learned a lot that first year, way before social media or even having email available on my cell phone. In 2010 I reached out to this new, small-time real estate company named Monarch Realty Group. Ruth, the owner, was a godsend to me. I was her first agent. She helped me grow and I will always be indebted to her for her kindness and inspiration.
I soon became the queen of short sales during that season of market crash. I helped a lot of people dodge the foreclosure bullet, helped people stay in their homes by offering advice on loan modifications.
How did you move from primarily working short sales, to breaking into the luxury market?
The key is in deciding on what you want, holding it in your heart and imagination, then letting go of any outcomes. Why not dream big? That’s exactly how the law of attraction works. Look it up. Research It. Read books about it. It will change the way you think and the way you do things.
Once the market started to shift again, I decided I wanted to target a different audience and do more luxury home sales—just like that—one single decision I made within myself. A desire that came to be! It wasn’t butterflies and roses all the time…it took practice and dedication.
I was so nervous when I miraculously got my first phone call for a million dollar buyer. It was the brother of someone I had sold a house to. He was referred to me by his brother and I had no idea he was a professional athlete. And just like that, we closed on a million dollar home. $1,175.000 to be exact. And it was cash.
That was the beginning of my luxury home division, at least in my own mind! I have had many more since then, but I certainly don’t discriminate. People are people and I love them all. I have since moved one state over and opened my own real estate brokerage in New Hampshire, while still working at Monarch in Massachusetts. After all, my loyalty runs deep and I would never leave Ruth, nor do I want to. It all seems to be working out just fine.
What’s the biggest lightbulb moment you’ve had about your business?
Realizing that I can choose my audience. Most people don’t think it’s possible, and I myself never thought I would be selling homes in the million dollar range. I didn’t realize that I was my only road block. The more I learned about setting intentions and using my imagination to create what I wanted, the more I created I wanted. I started trying new things and taking risks.
For example, I started advertising on Zillow in 2012. I realized how many new clients that I could meet paying for leads through Zillow. I started spending more per month, buying into new areas and testing the markets. Then I started buying into more higher end markets. Some were epic failures that didn’t produce a good ROI, and some were amazing!
What’s the smartest thing you’ve ever done for your business?
I would say Zillow, because it represents a good portion of my business and creates more relationships that usually last a lifetime (if nurtured, of course).
Secondly, I have learned to allow people (my clients) to have their own experience. So often, I can see the writing on the wall and KNOW that a particular set of buyers will not buy in a specific price range, usually on the lower end. They need to experience the house hunting without my input. I have learned to hold my opinion to myself and allow people to learn, as they go. It’s a process. Be patient and let them have their own experience.
You’ve never fit the “standard agent model” in my opinion (especially for the luxury niche), and I love that about you. You’re so incredibly down-to-earth. What choices have you made to run a business on your own terms?
I have never fit the standard of anything, even as a child. But like anyone else, I have become aware of my insecurities and what drives me. BE YOU has always been my motto, although, in my early days I wanted people to like me, to “choose” me so I would not always be myself. I wanted to be successful and thought by “acting the part” of what I thought people wanted, then they would choose me. This is not the case. When you are authentically YOU, it gives other people permission to do the same.
Each of one us has their own unique qualities that only we can offer. So, I choose to stay true to myself and listen to that internal guidance system that we all have. Also, I have learned to LISTEN more than I talk with clients. I can help them better if I have a clearer understanding of where they are coming from.
And I opened my own brokerage rather than working for someone else in NH. I want the freedom to make my own decisions and offer the community something different. A more intimate experience.
You recently sold your first “over two million dollar listing.” Can you tell me more about that journey to closing table?
This was my first over two million dollar listing, in a town where the average day on market was 2-4 years in that price range. All of the local agents told me that it was overpriced, would take at least two years. I would not accept their opinions as my own. I did everything top notch, in terms of marketing. Professional photography, video, floor plans, etc.
My husband and I write down our goals every New Years Eve. We set intentions and we write them down, then review them at the end of the year! (Lots of check marks next to them, by the way). This year, we added “Close on 65 Barrington Drive” to our goal list.
We didn’t get any activity into May, other than another broker open house. Some days were very discouraging especially with a seller who would always ask, “Did you sell my house yet?” I kept marketing it. I put focus and energy into it but more importantly, I literally visualized the buyer…I saw them in my mind walking around the front of the house and falling in love with the house. I generated the feeling of excitement within me. I visualized the seller at the closing table and everyone feeling so happy, as if the house actually sold..like it was a done deal and what that FELT like. Right after that visualization meditation, I received a Zillow inquiry of a buyer who wanted to see the house! I showed them the house. They didn’t like it enough to buy it. It was a little discouraging, to say the least.
A few months later (yes, months) I was showing a house with a client and we were discussing the law of attraction and the “mansion” house that she kept seeing on my FB feed. She reminded me of what to do. In my car, on the way home, I felt that feeling again and I put my thoughts into positive action. I KNEW this house would sell. I had faith in the power of intention.
One random day, I got another showing request. I kept my excitement limited, so as not to be disappointed. We showed the house. Nine days later, we closed. CASH. NO INSPECTIONS. Just like that. It wasn’t the easiest transaction I have ever had, but we made it happen in 9 days. The closing was in August of the same year, not 2-4 years.
The moral of the story? Create YOUR OWN vision with conviction. Do not take on other peoples opinions. Ever.
When you think about how far you’ve come since the “early days,” what stands out as the biggest highlight or lesson learned?
I have learned to not get attached to anything, like outcomes. LET GO OF MONEY. I learned to put money last. When you let go of outcomes and money, everything falls into place. Focus on the work, on the client.
Celebrate for yourself when all is said and done.
Was there a point in your real estate career when you decided to take a big risk to move forward?
Lots of risks along the way. Zillow was a big risk because it’s a committed monthly payment that I was afraid to spend. It’s hard to spend money when you don’t have any. So start small and build on that.
I took a huge leap to move forward when I left MA where I sold real estate for the past 13 years with a big clientele. I lived in a disgusting 2-car garage on our land while my husband built our current home all by himself. We lived like that for five months, meanwhile I was meeting new clients in a new state…it was humbling, crazy. I had to learn a whole new computer system, contracts, laws, where I was going everyday. Thank god for GPS!
The only risk in life is not taking risks.
Anxiety, overwhelm, burnout—the struggle is all too real, especially among agents. Do you have any strategies on coping with these uncertainties in the business?
Meditate. Read “The Power of Now” by Eckhardt Tolle. Treat yourself the way you would treat a client by taking time for yourself everyday. Twenty minutes is enough to slow your mind down and re-focus and relax. A focused and relaxed mind produces way better results than a noisy, monkey mind full of neurotic negative thoughts.
What habits or rituals are part of your daily routine?
I wake up an hour and half before I actually have to start my day. I have coffee and then I meditate, or listen to a guided meditation on Youtube. I connect with myself this way, which has done wonders for my overall well-being. I read inspirational books or watch inspirational videos during this morning time. Then I go and work out. I am not perfect…there are days when I get crazy but I know how to turn inward. If I am in the car for a long time, I listen to inspirational podcasts or good music. At night, sometimes I journal about the day and what I am truly grateful for.
What are three recent discoveries (people, places, or things) that are inspiring you currently?
- Eckhart Tolle brings me right back to my center.
- Wayne Dyer-videos on Youtube.
- The mountains + nature.
- Art (I am taking a pottery class next week).
- I gotta say—my husband inspires the shit out of me.
I loved what Molly had to say about building a real estate career that truly serves, and is truly yours. What wisdom did you take away from this Q&A? Let me know in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.