Social Stylate is excited to be working with Atlanta-based real estate powerhouse Ally May Associates on her social media strategy.
A native of Atlanta, Ally May studied Hospitality Management at the University of South Carolina. After several years as a Catering Manager for high-end hotels in Atlanta and then Charleston, S.C., Ally returned home and redirected her career into real estate.
During Ally’s first year, she was honored as Rookie of the Year with a production of more than $7 million. The momentum has not stopped and neither has the fun! Ally has been in real estate for over a decade and calls the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood home, but her area of business covers greater Atlanta, GA. We asked Ally to share some insights on being a successful woman in the real estate market.
When did you realize that real estate and homes were your passion?
I believe the passion has always been there. Growing up our family would always drive around for hours looking at neighborhoods and exploring the city we lived in or were visiting. I still drive around trying to find streets I have never been down with my 2 dogs in tow and a podcast playing.
You got your start in Catering and Hospitality Management. How has that helped or related to your career in Real Estate?
One goes hand in hand with the other. After college I worked my way up at a luxury Buckhead hotel, Swissotel, first working at the front desk, to head concierge then catering manager. I then moved to Charleston, SC and was on the opening team of another luxury property, Market Pavilion Hotel. I handled all of their social and corporate catering business. I was 29 when I moved back to Atlanta and assumed I would continue in the hospitality business there then had a realization that I loved the client personal interaction but did not love the late nights. It was easy to handle a hospitality schedule in my 20s but couldn’t maintain the late hours till midnight and 1am anymore. I realized real estate was really not that different. If I was handling the planning of someone’s wedding or helping purchase/sell a house is was essentially the same. It was a highly personal, highly emotional experience and one of the biggest financial decisions or their lives. The commonality of the two was uncanny. It literally was the perfect segue of career.
Tell us about your first job in real estate.
My very first listing was in Midtown Atlanta. It was the most kind and patient seller who was moving out of state. He heard of me through word of mouth of a friend and was somehow under the impression I had a few years of experience. Once we met and he realized it would literally be my first listing, he still had faith in me. Once listed I received an email from a seasoned agent telling me I was listed too high and I would never sell at that price and clearly, I wasn’t familiar with the neighborhood. I literally put my heart and soul into that first listing personally planting flowers out front and helping re-arrange and stage the interior. We went under contract actually quite fast close to list price and the buyer’s agent was an angel and still a friend. I told her it was my first transaction and after closing she wrote a letter to my broker telling her what a good and professional job I had done. The magic doesn’t stop there… At the closing table, I met the buyer for the first time and we became instant friends. Fast forward and I have had the pleasure of watching her marry a fabulous & kind man, have 2 phenomenal children and even re-sold that same house about 10 years later.
What do you enjoy during your downtime, if there is any?
I spend any downtime I have walking and hiking in the woods. My sister and I have always believed in the power of Shinrin-yoku, a meditative experience of being in the woods. I also love to paddle board and when the weather is nice always have my two inflatable paddle boards in the back of my car. I literally disconnect from my phone and just immerse myself in nature.
You post a weekly Monday Mantra. Do you have a personal mantra or saying you use to center yourself?
What do you love about your hometown of Atlanta?
What’s not to love… I was born and raised in Chastain Park and went to Westminster from pre-first through high school. Some of my closest friends are from my childhood and I always say Atlanta is essentially a small town. There has been a lot of change and development with the booming economy lately but I love seeing how the city has preserved and is even growing all of the green space. Chastain Park, Piedmont Park and now The Beltline are gems.