Mary Kelly, M.B.A. – Owner/Broker/REALTOR®
I am a Florida native. The only place I have lived in outside of Florida is Waycross, Georgia, where I presently live.
I was born, raised, and educated through two masters’ degrees (with emphasis in business, marketing, and computer science) in Florida. Most all of my life, I spent living in various rural and city locations in Florida. Today, I live in Waycross, Georgia.
During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, I took three graduate level courses to complete the Masters of Business Administration degree (with emphasis in international business/management) at Amberton University. (I had started taking courses at Amberton prior to retiring from my position as a professor at Pasco-Hernando State College in May 2017.)
For the last 21 years, I have continuously been working and studying in both the professions of teaching and real estate in some capacity. I obtained my first license in real estate in July 2000. I then began my real estate career the day after passing the test to get that license in a large real estate company in West Palm Beach, Florida. My teaching career had begun prior to that in 1977 at Matthew Gilbert Seventh Grade Center in Jacksonville, Florida, where I taught career exploratory classes in marketing. Fast forward to the mid-1980s. While pursuing a teaching career at Palm Beach State College (where I was an Assistant Professor of Office Systems/Computer Science courses for 11 years), I started acquiring homes and became a landlord. This is what lead to my interest in getting a real estate sales license so that I could pursue real estate as a career.
My own experience as a landlord helps me help you better if you want to stop being a tenant and become a home owner. My experience as a landlord (and a tenant for a period of time in my life) also helps me help those who want to be landlords buy homes that tenants will want to rent.
Kelly Property Expert, Inc., was created in 2015 and operated part-time from my home in Port Richey, Florida, while I was teaching full-time. I moved to Waycross, Georgia, after retiring from my then current full-time teaching position and brought my company with me. Today, my office is located in Jacksonville, Florida, but I still live in Waycross, Georgia. At the present time, I am working my real estate business on a full-time basis and not teaching.
My philosophy how it helps you
My philosophy in life, which can’t be separated from where I live and work, is to always strive to have both a home and a career where I can pursue my passions. I have been true to my philosophy all of my life and have always felt a calling from God to be living and working wherever I was during the time spent in my various homes and jobs. And since July 2000 when I got my real estate sales associate’s license, my career passions have been that of teaching and real estate!
I believe that “Home Is Where the Heart Is” and that real estate is the best investment one can possess. We all have to live somewhere, and where a person lives is one of the most important decisions one will ever make. As a REALTOR®, I go ABOVE & BEYOND to help buyers and sellers with their buying and selling decisions.
My experience as a REALTOR®
July 2000 to present
I became licensed as a real estate agent in 2000 and licensed as a real estate broker in 2002. (I gave up teaching in 2001 for full-time work as a REALTOR®.) During my first 2-1/2 years working as a REALTOR®, I worked for a large independent real estate company out of a West Palm Beach office. In 2003, I started my own company. In my own company, I closed about 900 sales transactions in six years (2003-2009).
In 2008, I moved to Waycross with plans to get licensed in Georgia and to move my office to Waycross, but a I had a calling to go back into teaching to a job that literally fell in my lap. I wasn’t really planning to return to teaching, but the position in Waycross opened right after I moved to the area, and it felt like a calling back into the teaching profession.
Fast forward. I left Waycross in 2011 and returned to Florida for a different teaching position, which was at Pasco-Hernando State College. However, I still did not abandon real estate. I kept up with my real estate credentials and even added to them during those teaching years. Then in 2015, while still teaching, I started Kelly Property Expert, Inc., from my home office in Port Richey, Florida.
Fast forward another couple of years. On May 3, 2017, I retired from my position as a Professor at Pasco-Hernando State College and then returned to Waycross, Georgia. In moving back to Waycross, I moved my company, Kelly Property Expert, from my home in Port Richey to a small office in the Historic Rail Depot in Downtown Waycross, where it was located until December 31, 2019.
Upon closing my office in Waycross, I moved it to the Arlington Profession Building in Jacksonville, Florida, about 75 miles from my home.
Because some municipalities are more accepting of licensing businesses from homes than others, I have found it best to rent office space outside my home to keep my company legal – even though I have actually always worked my real estate business from my home.
And for me, since I am licensed to sell in both Florida and Georgia, having my office in Jacksonville, Florida, and my home in Waycross, Georgia, this gives me a physical presence in both states.
When Covid-19 changed our lives in March 2020 and a lot of people started working from home, I did not have change my work place. I was already mostly working from a home office, because I am actually much more productive working in this manner. However, I did change the way I show homes in that I started requiring everyone to wear a mask and gloves when we are touring properties. Wearing a mask and gloves became a safety policy of my company for the protection of both the seller and the prospective buyer. (I provide the masks and gloves for free.) In addition, I started doing more virtual tours so buyers could preview the homes before actually scheduling an appointment to physically tour a home.
My Code of Ethics and promises I make to you
As a REALTOR®, I approach my work with both buyers and sellers as a consultant/teacher offering guidance as it is needed. I am available by phone and appointment 7 days per week.
I adhere to the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and to my motto: To go ABOVE and BEYOND for you!
My speech on doing what you love
To get a glimpse into my philosophy of life and work, check out my speech on passion given on the day I retired from teaching (May 3, 2017) at Pasco-Hernando State College Commencement.