February 18

Holly Parker on How to Get Back on the Market


New York, NY—-Holly Parker first made her mark as a highly successful realtor.  An industry leader with the prestigious Douglas Elliman firm in New York City, she has sold over $8 billion worth of luxury real estate. 

Now she has turned her golden touch to writing.  In her breakout new book

“Back on the Market:  A Realtor’s Guide to Love and Life,” Parker cleverly shows that real estate is a lot like life…and life is a lot like real estate…”  Her theme is looking for, then finding, love and keeping it—a hard scramble but something to …build… on just like the best real estate.  But if she were to do an … addition… she’d tell you the most important thing is to fall in love with yourself and be your own best friend.

After all, Holly would say that there are foundations to both mansions and marriages, and that contracts are signed between home buyers and realtors as well as wedded couples.  Sometimes those marriage contracts are broken but there’s always the chance ahead of a … new deal.

This book is Holly’s own story told with humor and wit.  She was married seven years before she found herself “falling out of contract.”  Then divorced …. She …closed… that old deal and found herself “back on the market” … and it was bearish to begin with.  But no fear, after many market fluctuations in her search for romance, she met Mr. Right, is now happily married and the mother of twins. 

Parker hilariously describes the perils of life, love and dating.  She classifies some of her old (would-be) beaux in terms only a realtor could use:  there were “fixer uppers,” “forever renters,” and “guys with good bones,” just to name a few.  And then, of course, she can apply some of those very same terms to her real estate clients.

Her ultimate theme is “renewal”—either personal or… in real estate.  Buying a new house is an American rite of passage, emblematic of “starting over.”  Making a house into a home is a personal mission…. One that Holly would say can be …accomplished.

Parker’s pursuit of happiness was also a mission accomplished.  And she leaves readers with the message that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.  Like any good realtor, she’ll gladly tell you that the … key … to life is to continue to forge ahead, take the next step and … close the deal.

Holly is truly the ultimate romantic realtor. The book will be published in December and can be pre-ordered now.

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.

Umar Hameed 0:35
Hello, everyone. Today I have the pleasure of having Holly Parker. She's a realtor, an author and amazing person who's going to share her ideas about how to get back on the market. Holly, welcome to the program.

Holly Parker 0:47
Oh, thanks Umar, thanks so much for having me.

Umar Hameed 0:50
Did you like the way I kind of got your book title into the introduction?

Holly Parker 0:54
I did. Thank you for doing that.

Umar Hameed 0:56
One of the reasons I wanted to chat with you is this oftentimes is hard to tell somebody something because they have their own preconceived notions. And if you can use a metaphor that's important to them, all of a sudden they get these deep concepts. And the thing I love about your book is you use dating as a good way to explain real estate and vice versa.

Holly Parker 1:17
And vice versa. That is true. That is true.

Umar Hameed 1:20
So how did a nice girl like you get involved with real estate? When did you start in the industry?

Holly Parker 1:25
Oh, gosh, I had just graduated from college. And I moved to Boston and lived in Beacon Hill with my two best friends. And we all did temp jobs because we had to pay for our rent right away.

Umar Hameed 1:40

Holly Parker 1:41
And one of my temp Jobs was working for Waterstones booksellers, right on Newbury Street. And I was in charge of relocating executives from London, and I loved it. And so I got my license, and I became a broker.

Umar Hameed 1:59
Brilliant. So when you started, you know, you were quite young, were you comfortable stepping into it? Or did you have any thoughts of you know, hey, I need to be older or none of that nonsense in your head?

Holly Parker 2:10
Well, no, I had a lot of that nonsense in my head. And so, you know, I was meeting brokers when I was when I was working for Waterstones and I was kind of interviewing them, and what they liked about it, what they didn't like about it, and, um, you know, it was very strange for someone my age to start in the business back then. I mean, we didn't even have cell phones back then. We had pagers. And so you know, it was very strange. But, you know, I've been sort of counterculture my whole life. So that was that was okay. What about you? How, when did you get into real estate?

Umar Hameed 2:47
Actually, I did not. I did actually the first house I purchased, there was this fictitious thing called buying a house with no money down. And it was like, Hi, sure. So the house was sitting in actually was one of those houses, it was like, we were looking to buy a house and borrowed a little bit of money from family and just kind of stepped in without any deposit from our end and been a great homeowner, but kind of my area of expertise is very much changing human behavior, like what beliefs inside our head, create our behaviors outside. And that's been a life's passion for me is to understand human beings, and more importantly, helping them break through the barriers because there's so many people that you can see, I can see that that person could be a star, why can't they see it themselves? So let's talk about that. Holly, you've got a team right now. When did you start your team?

Holly Parker 3:34
Yeah, I'm sorry. What was your question?

Umar Hameed 3:36
When did you start your team when you really have to work with people and lead people?

Holly Parker 3:40
Um, well, the team started about eight years ago, in anticipation of, you know, my trying to have kids kids didn't come easily for me. So I did a lot of IVF and ultimately had to get a surrogate, but I was I and I needed help even then, because I was flying all over the country, to different doctors to help with that

Umar Hameed 4:08

Holly Parker 4:09
Now, I just needed more help and realized that if I was going to be able to be a mom, in the fashion that I wanted to be because I really worked before that 24 hours a day. Well, you know, obviously I slept but um, you know, I work seven days a week, and it wasn't conducive to having a baby and I ended up having two babies at the same time. So you know,

Umar Hameed 4:39
what, the surrogate had twins?

Holly Parker 4:41
This surrogate had twins. Yeah. Mm hmm.

Umar Hameed 4:44
So tell me when you finally you know, had your children in your arms and it's been such a long journey. What was that experience? Like?

Holly Parker 4:52
You know, the brain it's hard and this is a little bit what the book is about letting go of pain. Right? Because

Umar Hameed 5:01

Holly Parker 5:01
I have had 10 IVF. I don't even remember six with me and four with her. I had a miscarriage, she had a miscarriage. So you know, when you have so many disappointments, you start putting on the armor.

Umar Hameed 5:21

Holly Parker 5:21
And so you know, I don't think I could believe it. I mean, I still kind of pinched myself. But but especially when they were born, they were two months early, it took a long time for for that armor to come off. And for me to say, hey, the pain is over. They're here, and they're healthy, the pain is over. You don't have to hide anymore.

Umar Hameed 5:46
Brilliant. It's kind of interesting how that process no matter what you're doing, where you've got, like a was a hard fought victory that just letting go of everything and enjoying what you've got is so important. So tell me about when you got the team together, you probably made some great choices for people to join you and probably ones that weren't as great. Tell me about one of those decisions, getting someone on your team that seemed like the right decision, but later turned out to be not as amazing as you thought.

Holly Parker 6:16
Mmm, that's a great question. I think that the major thing where I went wrong at the beginning was I thought if someone's going to step in for me, I want to train them to think and do everything the way that I do it.

Umar Hameed 6:32

Holly Parker 6:32
And so the rule for me was they had to become my assistant for two years. And then they could become an agent. So I called it Holly boot camp. And it was a lot like I've ever been a trainee, a seal, trainee or marine trainee, but it I mean, it was hard. And a lot of people didn't make it through a couple made it through three people made it through. But what what the why that didn't work is I was putting new people in an assistant position all the time.

Umar Hameed 7:10

Holly Parker 7:11
And you know how we all learn, we learn by screwing things up. So that took years off my life. I think it was a great opportunity for them. And they we had to sort of get through those two years. But I wouldn't suggest that.

Umar Hameed 7:28
No, this very much, you know, Devil Wears Prada kind of thing.

Holly Parker 7:32
Yes, yes. Because when there's so much going wrong. And you're and you're the team leader, of course, it's your fault.

Umar Hameed 7:42

Holly Parker 7:43
Oh, your concept, and then then you start not really liking your job. So,

Umar Hameed 7:49
So tell me now, you know, as you've got more experience, and how do you hire the right agent to join your team? Like how do you know that the right fit?

Holly Parker 7:57
You know, I would say that they need to be very likable. To me now. Yeah, yeah, they need to be very likable. They need to have high energy

Umar Hameed 8:12

Holly Parker 8:13
as need to have this intrinsic desire to please people. And I think all of us on the team have that where we just want to make people happy. It's our nature. And when you get a lot of people like that, then it works. If If one person is in there going, it's all about me. And everybody else, then you know, tries to make that person happy. And then and then it ultimately will kind of break and fail. So because we're a bunch of people pleasers. if everybody's the people pleaser, then it's um, it's a wonderful village.

Umar Hameed 9:00
Brilliant. So what made you decide to write the book back on the market?

Holly Parker 9:05
You know, I had thought of it for so long. And like you say that that intrinsic? Sort of what makes people go there's so many things parallels in how we finally get a listing sold, right? I'm sure. You know, you've had so many tales of stories of challenges that come at you, we tend to be professional problem solvers, but

Umar Hameed 9:32

Holly Parker 9:33
Yeah! Psychiatry, so you spend a lot of time examining yourself and and your clients and, and like you say, how do you simplify an act? So that people understand it when people say I do not want to clean this place up people can see but beyond it, I'm too busy. I have kids. I say okay, but you're Beautiful person, but but would your husband have still wanted to go on a second date with you if you showed up with wet hair? halitosis and a dirty sweat shirt? Is he really going to say, you know,

Umar Hameed 10:15

Holly Parker 10:15
I passed this?

Umar Hameed 10:16
This for me?

Holly Parker 10:17
Because, as we know, we make an impression between four and seven seconds. And it's really hard to redo those first impressions.

Umar Hameed 10:29
Absolutely. And that's something everyone can relate to. Right?

Holly Parker 10:32
I think so we all are, you know that the laws of attraction are happening all day long, whether it's, you know, with the meal that you're selecting the home, you're buying, the person that you're dating, it's the smells, right, something can look so good. But if it smells weird, you don't want to go near it. That's attraction.

Umar Hameed 10:53
Definitely. And kind of going back to I think the latest numbers on neuroscience is that, you know, it's like point eight seconds is when we make our assessment of someone new. Yeah, exactly. And I rocked that point eight seconds after that, it goes downhill, but that point eight, I'm spot on. So tell me about some of the other chapters in the book, how you take dating, and can apply it to a deeper understanding of real estate.

Holly Parker 11:17
So it takes you through the process really exactly how you would list a property, you know, you would go and you would talk to the sellers, or if it were your own property, you have to look at the Foundation, you got to fix your foundation. And for me, in the story, I my foundation was cracked, I just separated, I had a lot of anxiety, and I was scared about the future, because I didn't know what the future was, it was it was very dark for me. And then you know, you do that through going to a therapist, or a Reiki person, or yoga, or meditation, and then staging, of course, fixing up your home and getting rid of a lot of stuff that isn't serving you anymore, right?

Umar Hameed 12:10

Holly Parker 12:10
Clothes, furniture, magazines. And in life, that can be people, that can be a job, that can be things that are holding you back. So it's really that process of what we do with a home and then turning your lights on. Knowing how to create that passion in the home, lighting candles, cleaning the windows, making sure all the lights work well what is turning your lights on as a person. It's finding your own passion again. We're out connecting to your property.

Umar Hameed 12:50
So you're talking about letting things go. This would have been about 10 years ago, my business was stalled. And it was like What on earth is going on? Like nothing is closing. And that's really unusual and of course, financially devastating. And then I'm on Well, how would I advise a customer, I'd advise a customer if there's anything dead in your house, get rid of it. Then I went Is there anything dead in my house and sure enough, there was a paradoxically a hemlock tree that had been poisoned by the next door neighbor because they were putting weed killer on their lawn. And that afternoon, I dug it up and got rid of it. And sure enough, a day later, three or four of the deals that were stalled for like months, all of a sudden opened up and started closing. So cleaning stuff up and organizing stuff physically helps you do it in your head and with the law of attraction also helps with the universe.

Holly Parker 13:39
Yeah, exactly. And bringing in life, right. I've always been a big proponent of flowers, tree branches, a single Fern, whatever it is, I put them everywhere for myself, because like a person, a home that looks so loved is attractive, who wouldn't want to be in a home or make that their home when somebody loved it so much. And sometimes people think that that's having lots of, you know, little memorabilia around. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about making a space for someone else to come in and see and attached to that home so you know, turning on their

Umar Hameed 14:28
See their possibilities in that home

Holly Parker 14:30
Yeah, exactly. It could clearing it a little bit right not too many of your own photos around. candles, burning wonderful smells beautiful flowers, and probably getting rid of almost half the stuff.

Umar Hameed 14:47
and that's the hardest thing for homeowners to do. Because you know, I've been through getting my home staged when we sold it and it was like, we took all of our stuff out and they just brought in their furniture and just laid it out like a model home. Um, and it made a big difference in moving that house really quickly.

Holly Parker 15:04
Yeah, exactly, exactly. And you know what so many owners say to me afterwards, they say, Oh, my gosh, this place is amazing. I feel like I've already moved to a new place, because I'm very stringent on painting the walls and doing all of these things and really sorting through their stuff. Because they're going to have to move anyway, if we're going to be successful, they're going to have to move anyway. So the sorting is inevitable, why not do why not step out your homework, right? This is this month's assignment, this is the next month's assignment, instead of waiting for it all till the end of the term, and then kind of getting overwhelmed by what you have ahead of you. So in the dating world, it's everything, it's people that don't serve you, it's books that you know, you didn't necessarily connect to. It's a really, I think it's an amazing process. And I love helping my owners through it, in the sense of, I really push them because I know how they're gonna feel on the other side. And that's fresh and new. And with a lot of energy.

Umar Hameed 16:15
Brilliant. So where can people find your book,

Holly Parker 16:18
You go to Holly parker.com. And you can learn a little bit about me, and you can order right there, it'll take you right, right to the ordering site.

Umar Hameed 16:27
Brilliant. And we're gonna put that link on the show notes. So dear listener, go to that. So Holly, how long did it take you to write the book? And what was that experience? Like?

Holly Parker 16:36
Oh, gosh, it took me for I started exactly two years ago. And, you know, I had the idea in my head for so long, because of because I've been in the business for 25 years. And because I filled my days with, when people would ask, Well, how many people have seen this, this apartment? Or, you know, why is it falling out of contract? It would remind me of people asking me, how many how long have I been single and how many dates I've been on.

Umar Hameed 17:10

Holly Parker 17:10
Same thing. So I really had it organized in my head, but the process of writing your life really, and your mistakes, and your wins. And what were the books, the quotes, the travel, the inspirations, the pivoting moment, the aha moments that a brick at a time helped you build your business, or castle or penthouse all over again. And I was, although my business was still thriving, when my life fell apart. I was not as a person, I really, really, really was not. And so this brings you how I how I built up my person again. And, you know, now I, you know, have the things that I visualized and that I wanted in my life, and I'm, I make no mistake in the book, it, I haven't gotten to the place where I've stopped doing the work, I still refer you the work. Still, we still have to do a lot of the work meaning in relationship and my business, your I I'm not done. But I have certainly gotten to a place where I look around. And it feels like I'm dreaming because I did dream it. I did dream this all of it my farm, my apartment in the city, my husband, my dog, my children, my family, my friends, I I built it, and I take you through how I built it in the book.

Umar Hameed 19:01
That's important because starts with a dream, knowing what you want. And that's not enough. I was actually interesting conversation today on one of the earlier interviews, and one of the concepts that Cameron, he was the COO of got junk, said, you know, hey, here's a formula. It's f times f times E equals success. And this is how he outlined it. The first step is focused, you need to be focused on what you're doing. The second F is faith, you need to have 100% faith in what you're doing. And then it's the amount of effort you put into it. And that formula leads to the success. You have your thoughts on that?

Holly Parker 19:39
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Every day, every single day and this is one of my chapters about manifesting and writing down your goals, what they are in business. I call it 30 6090. Yes, what business am I gonna do? How am I gonna do it? Everything you get you dial down to the details. And like my business because I was always good at the business and I wasn't good at the relationship part, I started mirroring my relationship part. So your question about focus plus,

Umar Hameed 20:29
times faith

Holly Parker 20:30
times Faith is the big one, that you have to believe in your property. I mean, how many places have you sold that you really didn't think that you were going to sell or that you really, you know, felt sorry for the person buying it, you got it to a place a price, or you perfected the property, so that you really could get behind it and sell it. And the faith is I I, for me, I almost think the faith is the most important aspect of that equation.

Umar Hameed 21:06

Holly Parker 21:07
When have you had to have faith?

Umar Hameed 21:09
Actually, when my wife passed, I'd always had a 30 some odd years guy heard this concept of when we die, what happens and the thinker was saying, there's only three things right? We think either this heaven or hell and who but a good person is going to believe that in which case, go to heaven. And number two, everything stops. So the sufferings gone, or number three, reincarnation, you come back as a housecat, which is the highest form of life. And since I had that thought it was really having faith that my wife had gone to a better place. And that allowed me to miss her, but not fall into grief, because it was like celebrating her journey to the next level. And that helped a lot because it could have crushed me, but it allowed me to kind of go on and help more people and faith. And no matter what you do, whether it's business, or being the best parent, for your kids, or for your community, that's what it takes, right? Because it's all about knowing what you want, and knowing you're gonna get it and then working hard to do it. And sometimes there's no science behind it. There's no reason behind it. But if you got those two things, it happens.

Holly Parker 22:13
That's beautiful. And I'm so sorry about your wife, Umar.

Umar Hameed 22:17
Ah, thank you Holly, I really appreciate that.

Holly Parker 22:19
So so

Umar Hameed 22:21
Do I not a bum out a party. But anyway, before we part, I want you to help me help other realtors that are working really hard in their business and their personal life is suffering. And what they tell themselves is I'm doing this for my family. What advice would you give them to kind of still have a good business but still be there for the family? How did they do that?

Holly Parker 22:42
You know, I felt like the reason one of the pillars for my success is because I was I am who I am, entirely.

Umar Hameed 22:56
Is that a quote from Popeye?

Holly Parker 23:00
But then I am that they could see me as a daughter,

Umar Hameed 23:04

Holly Parker 23:05
that is see me as a mother that they could see me as a single person hurting. I didn't shield, I shielded my pain from them that I did. But when I was going through IVF, I was more willing to share that I mean, it wasn't crying in front of them. But I said I'm struggling through IVF. But But I wanted them to see me as human, it was very important to see me as human because not to share your problems. But just to say, a little like a touch on it a touch to let them know who you are. Because so the end of the other end of the spectrum is that people think that you're just trying to do a deal to stick it whatever it is the deal together. And that's it and you don't care past that. That's the the most negative view of a broker, right? Oh, you're just in it for your commission.

Umar Hameed 24:09

Holly Parker 24:10
And our job is to humanize what we do. to care about our clients to put our clients always first. And you can only do that the whole premise of my book is you need to self love. You need to fall in love with yourself, marry yourself, and be your own best friend. And when you do that, when you grow your roots down into the earth, it sounds like that's what you did. When you lost your wife. And you had faith that things were gonna turn out you grew your roots down, started helping other people and I'm sure you helped yourself. Before that. Then you can weather the storms. And that's a critical thing. I mean, I think that's the best skill that we can learn to do is how do we take care of ourselves? And how do we weather the storms so that we can be there for our families? Because if our if the family falls apart, because we're working all the time, or we're bringing home this stress, then there's really no point to it, in my opinion,

Umar Hameed 25:31
Word slip by Holly. Holly, thanks so much for being on the show. Really, really enjoyed our conversation.

Holly Parker 25:36
Okay, Umar, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. Take care.

Umar Hameed 25:47
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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