By Shay Moser
In 2006, Holly Henbest, a proven corporate sales and marketing executive, chose to start a new journey focusing on her career dreams and passion for real estate all despite considerable obstacles, including friends and family who thought it was a risky move for a divorced single mother.
Sixteen years later, Henbest is a noteworthy leader in the Arizona real estate space. You may know her as a real estate agent for The Henbest Team with Realty ONE Group. She’s also known for her previous role as a segment host for trending real estate topics on the local NBC News station – 12News, for ranking on the Phoenix Business Journal’s Most Productive Real Estate Agents List for the past several years, and for being a best-selling author.
The Road to Real Estate
While Henbest is a real estate success story, the road to her achievements in the housing market first took honing her skills and experience in sales, marketing, negotiation, and customer service.
Henbest graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in business management. She enjoyed a career in sales and marketing with the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, La Jolla Marriott, and La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. Henbest also worked for Remedy, a temporary staffing firm, where she managed a sales territory in San Diego and relocated to Arizona in 1996 to manage the Phoenix market.
After 10 years in the temporary staffing industry, Henbest was ready for a change and had always wanted to be a real estate agent. “Even when I graduated from college, I wanted to be in real estate, but it was never realistic. You have no guaranteed paycheck or benefits, but you have expenses.”
“In 2006 I was at a point where I had saved enough money and thought, ‘If not now, then when? I’m going for it!’ But, of course, everyone thought I was completely insane,” she explains. “I had this cushy corporate job, made decent money, and life was good.”
So why did she risk it all to go into real estate?
Henbest wasn’t happy. Although she was about to get a promotion in her corporate role, it would have required much more travel, and Henbest didn’t want to live her life on the road with a toddler.
“I wanted to be able to pick my son up from school,” she says. “I wanted to go to all his school events. I wanted to be the mom who was home so his friends could come over for playdates. I couldn’t do any of that living a corporate life.”
The Real Estate Learning Curve
Upon completing real estate school and passing the licensing exams, Henbest became a Realtor in 2006 and formed The Henbest Team, which her dad joined in 2007.
While she was excited about a more flexible schedule, she explains, “I quickly learned that real estate is flexible, but it’s flexible to what your clients need.”
Working from home had its perks and Henbest became the kind of parent she aspired to be for her son saying, “He probably has more memories of me on the phone than I’d like to admit, but at least I could be at home making those calls.”
“It was still a huge risk, especially because I did it in 2006,” Henbest says, “which if we have any recollection of the real estate industry at that time … My timing couldn’t have been any worse.”
But Henbest looks at the silver lining. “It was a great training ground to go through, as awful as it was,” she says.
Henbest sat across the dining room table from clients whose lives were falling apart during the years from 2007 to 2011.
“It drove home for me the importance of people’s homes and their investments and how the two go hand in hand, unlike anything else. Not only were people struggling with their investments, but it was the place that held all their memories. So, to have it be in jeopardy was an emotional and difficult situation. It was a humbling experience, and I felt honored every time we were there to try and make a client’s life a little bit better.”
Although the market has recovered since the Great Recession and even from the slow-down in March 2020 and subsequent price surges during the pandemic, Henbest knows how important it is when people make decisions to buy and sell their home, no matter the situation.
“It’s a huge responsibility to partner with people on the biggest investment of their lives.”
From Rookie to Real Estate Expert
The Henbest Team has continued to set itself apart and grow from client relationships based on trust, integrity, and timely communication. “We have clients who have done three to 10 transactions with us, and many have come from referrals,” says Henbest, who adds that they’ve also represented multiple generations.
Henbest says she’s never been a one-woman show. “I’ve always had a team, but we operate it differently than others,” she explains. “Most teams grow because they want more real estate agents to bring in more business. Our team members work to provide a better experience and better results. They each have a responsibility as it relates to the business that has nothing to do with bringing in clients.”
There are three Realtors on The Henbest Team, including Henbest, her dad, and her friend of 15 years, Courtney McEuen, who joined the team in 2016.
This team approach includes always having a team member available to show a house or meet with a client. The Henbest Team also has a staging team, videographers, and photographers who help present clients’ homes with a proven marketing strategy.
“It’s a full team effort to showcase our listings,” Henbest says.
As a long-time resident of the Phoenix-Scottsdale area, Henbest also provides valuable insight into the community and its neighboring regions with videos and articles on her popular blog and social media channels, as well as author/co-author of three best-selling books.
Henbest’s chapter in the book “How to Buy & Sell Real Estate in Today’s Market” focuses on practical tips for selling your home while living in your home. She followed it up by participating in the book, “Real Estate Game Changers.” Henbest also wrote a chapter for the book, “Shine,” which includes 14 inspirational stories from women who chose success over adversity.
Henbest has received numerous awards and recognition for her real estate results. Just last month she was awarded as one of the Top Women in Real Estate for 2021 from the Scottsdale Women’s Council of Realtors.
As 2022 draws to a close and people are thinking about New Year’s resolutions and goals, Henbest says, “We’ve never once had a financial or an activity goal. Instead, we ask what we can do to provide a better experience for our clients. For example, what can we do to market homes better or how can we better educate our clients? We are always striving to do better, and if we do the right things, we’ll always have the right results.”
Reach Holly Henbest at 480-266-8785 or email@example.com. Visit henbest.com for listings and more.
This content is sponsored by The Henbest Team with Realty ONE Group.