Who is Drena Hollingsworth?

(From Broker/Agent Magazine)           

Drena Hollingsworth is a Southern belle on a mission. Her ability to put herself in the position of her clients and advise them on their best interest no matter what the cost has landed her on Realtor Magazine's list of the "Top 30 agents...nationwide" and made Hollingsworth Realty Group, with its innovative marketing tactics, one of the most talked about residential brokerages in Atlanta.   

While most real estate companies steer clear of out of the box thinking, Drena embraces it with ads that engage readers by prompting them to supply words, a la the popular word game, Mad Libs.

Drena grew up watching and learning from an entrepreneurial father, and began at a traditional brokerage, eager and looking for inspiration. “I knew I wanted to get to the top and I knew I had a lot to learn. They told us to reach out to our sphere of influence and I did but I was 22 and didn’t know anyone who could afford a house. I had to bridge that gap in knowledge so I began to take every class available, anxious to absorb the various perspectives on success within the industry and to build my confidence to go after clients". Drena earned her GRI, ABR, CRS and eventually her broker’s license as well as the methodologies behind motivators like Brian Buffini, Craig Proctor, and Star Power.

 It isn’t just big name motivators Drena takes lessons from. When lender Shannon Bradshaw of Brand Mortgage Group took notice of Drena’s direct and clever marketing pieces, she phoned Drena for a lunch meeting. “The moment Drena and I sat down to lunch we began brainstorming about how she could expand her reach to customers and improve her marketing even more. I was impressed by how open she was to my ideas after only knowing me an hour, said Shannon . “Drena puts a lot of thought into every decision she makes on behalf of her clients and her business. She realizes each client has unique needs and further, that listening is the most direct route to understanding those needs and then realizing them. She can handle any challenge with grace and sees obstacles only as challenges. She’s not afraid of doing her homework or putting in the hours. That’s why she’s built such a strong base of clients and referrals."

After four years spent building a client base, Drena decided to move into the driver’s seat and open Hollingsworth Realty Group. “Through my educational pursuits I had taken a little bit from here and a little from there. I wanted to put a lot of new ideas into play without having to get upper management approval.  I wanted more control over advertising messages and mediums so I knew I had to open my own company.  Fortunately for Drena her husband, a former promotions and advertising executive at CNN decided to come along for the ride. “He is a tremendous asset. He designed our web site, and breathes life into our marketing concepts. I couldn’t be who I am without him. When our primary focus became property management, he has really put his talent to work setting us apart from the other property managers in the area."

In building her business, Drena is quick to dole out gratitude. “There are a lot of people who have made huge contributions to my business and life including my Arizona mentor Debbie Yost, life coach Grace Smith, supporting parents, and former broker Harryette Altman.  Drena has a habit of surrounding herself by advisors and vendors who help each other learn and grow."   

When it comes to Drena’s credentials, her peers and clients are quick to return the compliment. Natalie Yozo, a Media Planning Supervisor for Media Solutions, lived near Drena and saw first hand the difference a skilled Realtor can make. “Drena shined in a neighborhood that was having a tough time selling. She is completely real and supportive throughout the entire process. In our case we had to evict a tenant before we could sell the property. Though Drena was getting just a small amount of commission, it didn’t stop her from going to court with us and counseling us about our concerns. She’s a star."

Even those with a lot of exposure to Realtors opt for Drena’s no hassle approach to service. Delaine Pierce, who has worked with Realtors for many years and is now a partner in Mercer Creek Investments LLC, knew just who to turn to when she needed help selling her personal properties. “Drena is like no other agent. She’s outgoing, believable and professional. She goes out of her way for you and is always very quick to respond. In addition, her marketing techniques are great. She offers things a lot of places wouldn’t dare."

Long after the sold sign has come down or the keys to a new home have been handed over, Drena keeps past clients on her mind. “When you work so closely with people, you learn their goals, get to know their family members and it’s hard to let that go, so I just don’t. I stay in contact with clients through phone calls and notes and, on the one year anniversary of their closing date, I send my buyers a gift to let them know they’re in my thoughts, said Drena. Laura Weiss who owns Dolce where many of Drena’s gifts come from works with a lot of Realtors, but none as thoughtful as Drena. “Drena goes above and beyond, said Laura. “She is creative and kind and knows the importance of saying thank you. That goes a long way with people."

While Drena can be all sugar and spice at times, she is ambitious and is determined to build her business to house a large staff of competent Realtors. “It’s my vision to have a group of people under me who are passionate about real estate and want to work. I will supply education and advertising and leads but what I can’t offer is motivation and drive.  I’m someone who likes leading, who enjoys the risks of entrepreneurship. I’m okay with taking losses here and there because the reward for reaching beyond yourself can be huge. My company is proof of that. It takes an understanding of people and the business and a desire to always be better to become the name people think of when they think about real estate.