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For Lauren Holleran, vice president, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, a career in luxury real estate doesn’t just hold immense appeal because of the beautiful properties she gets to showcase. For her, the most fascinating aspect is helping people at different stages of their life.

“Getting to be part of people’s journey home, whatever that means to them, is a total honor,” Holleran says, “I love the concept of home — a place where we ground and surround ourselves with family. I’m so grateful to be a resource for people making big decisions at significant points in their lives, be it marriage, divorce, a first home, or downsizing. All of it comes with psychological excitement.”

It’s an excitement matched by enviable success as a luxury real estate agent; one borne from the close connections she’s developed in the market she’s served for 28 years. Holleran is deeply enmeshed in the Cambridge, Massachusetts community and in 2020, exceeded $100 million in sales for the first time. Here, she shares her thoughts on the crucial role community and Sotheby’s International Realty can play while developing both as a real estate agent and as a person.

Merging the professional and personal

Lauren Holleran and Michael George – Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

When you’ve served the same area for as long as Holleran, a blending of business and pleasure is inevitable. “Over the years, clients have become friends, friends and neighbors have become clients, and the whole web of community draws closer and closer by the day,” she says. “I have a handful of second-generation clients now, and it’s so fun to assist the children of past buyers.”

After more than two decades in Cambridge, Holleran has seen great value in honing in on a specific geographic area. “Being hyper-focused in one or two towns allows these complex and rewarding relationships to develop. I think of relationships like building up muscle — the more connected fibers you have, the stronger the muscle.”

The benefits of a strong team

Lauren Holleran and Michael George – Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

As a four-time All-American lacrosse player and former member of the US Lacrosse Team, Holleran understands the heights that can be achieved through trusting your teammates. Though it may initially seem easier to forge a path forward alone, this solitary approach doesn’t pay dividends when adversity arises.

“About 10 years into the business I had four kids and a healthy pipeline, and I felt I couldn’t manage both excellent parenting and excellent business practices,” she notes. “It was this stressful tension that drove me to create a team structure. My team is now probably the most rewarding part of the business for me — it allows me to be at my kids’ doctor’s appointments and teacher conferences, while also being able to provide an exceptional level of service to our clients.”

And it’s this “strength in numbers” approach that defines her career with Sotheby’s International Realty. “I’m a member of Sotheby’s International Realty’s Market Leaders, a group of 50 agents in markets across the world. We’re able to cross-market each other’s listings for incredible exposure to high-net-worth clients, nationally and internationally. If there’s such a thing as ‘ride-or-die’ work colleagues, these folks are it for me.”

Triumph through adversity

Lauren Holleran & Alberto Ovalle – Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Any ex-athlete is well aware that the occasional failure is to be expected. Before you win, you need to learn how to lose — and true success is a product of resilience, not an endless string of easy victories. As Holleran explains, “I’m proud of how I’ve responded to setbacks. While they were painful, they required digging really deep and finding another gear, and coming back stronger. Each of these setbacks fueled me up and propelled my business forward.”

The results speak for themselves. “When I came to Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in 2015, I was a $30-million producer, and our co-owner told me I could be a $100-million producer. I didn’t totally believe him, but I was exposed to a number of colleagues in Boston who were at that level. This network of agents showed me that $100 million wasn’t impossible, and we’ve been building on increasing that number ever since.”

Finding your people

Lauren Holleran & Alberto Ovalle – Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

For Holleran, discovering the group of real estate agents you want to align yourself with doesn’t solely involve identifying the highest producers. Instead, “focus on people you like who seem invested in learning and growing and think a lot more about how to give referrals. All of the people you know are referral opportunities.”

It’s also a great help when you have the power and resources of an iconic brand to leverage. “Find your Sotheby’s International Realty network,” says Holleran. “The culture of the brand is incredibly generous. It’s like introducing friends — it just feels so great to connect good people.”

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