Please stop by a Sereno Group office in Los Gatos, Los Altos or Soquel / Santa Cruz to take part in a FREE e-waste, e-recycling
collection event on Sunday April 21, 2013 9:30AM- 1:30- PM.
A FREE e-waste collection event is being held in 3 area Sereno Group offices on Sunday, April 21, 2013 from 9:30am to 1:30pm:
Where to go to drop off the approved items?
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd.
Los Gatos 408-335-1400
Los Altos/Palo Alto
369 S. San Antonio Rd.
Los Altos 650-947-2900
2407 Porter St. #150
What to Bring, what’s accepted:
CDs & DVDs
Please note that in the past, they didn’t want to take small kitchen appliances but seems that this year, they’re ok!
Service provided by Metech Recycling who will securely shred all data containing devices, so no one can access your personal information. Over 95% of all materials will be securely recycled for manufacture.
People’s Choice: Real Estate’s Most Influential – Inman News – Please vote! Mary Pope-Handy nominated!
Each year, Inman News sponsors a “people’s choice” voting for the most influential person in real estate. Inman nominates 100 strong candidates but voters may also write in someone not listed. This week, I was very deeply honored to have been included on such a prestigious list of real estate leaders nationwide, and I’d be thrilled if you would consider voting for me.
Where to vote: follow this link and the fields for entering your desired winner’s name and info will be about 20% of the way down (midway through the article and just after a large ad) – deadline is Dec 1, 2011:
Halloween is almost here and it is time to get creative! Sereno’s in on the spirit too. Each year, Sereno Group Real Estate offices in the San Jose and Silicon Valley area have a Halloween pumpkin decorating contest for kids. Winner’s pumpkins (and names of winners if parental permission is received) will be advertised in our local papers after the contest is finished.
Decorate your own small pumpkin, or pick up a complimentary pumpkin at one of our offices in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Soquel/Santa Cruz, Los Altos, or Palo Alto.
3 age groups: toddler, early elementary, late elementary
All contestants will receive a gift goodie bag
One grand prize per age group, per office, will be awarded
Any carved or punctured pumpkins will be disqualified due to rotting
All entries must be dropped off at your nearest Sereno Group Office by Friday, October 21st at 5pm. Judging will happen the week of October 24th during our regular real estate marketing meeting.
Where and when can you drop off a pumpkin? Please find the office locations and hours below. We are looking forward to seeing some wonderful kids’ creations!
The “Top Places to Work in the Bay Area 2010” has named Sereno Group as #1 for companies of its size (they ranked companies by small, medium and large sizes – 60 firms are named in all) . With about 130 people on staff and working as real estate agents, Sereno Group is considered a small size company. We are very proud to be listed as top in our group! We are also proud to be the only residential real estate brokerage on any of the three lists. Congratulations to all the winners!
The “Top Places to Work” list comes as a result of an annual survey done by the Bay Area News Group (community papers).
Several people, companies, and systems assist me in my work with buyers and sellers in Silicon Valley. Most often, my clients will not see or speak with many of them much (if at all), but they are all part of the package, if on the “back end” much of the time.
My daughter, Clair, assists me about half time. She is unlicensed and does not usually interact with my clients. Most of her work is computer related or errands-running: tagging disclosures for electronic signing, duplicating keys, dropping fliers off to listings, research for my blog posts, help with the monthly newsletter, and driving me while I videotape neighborhoods are some of her tasks.
Within My Brokerage:
At my brokerage, Sereno Group in Los Gatos, my escrow coordinator, Sonia Sisto, makes sure that the paperwork is complete. With a myriad of places to sign and initial and papers not to forget, it’s helpful to have a second set of eyes on the file. Additionally, other agents also review the file on behalf of Sereno management. When there are legal questions, which can come up from time to time, we have a legal counsel available through Ryan Iwanaga, my manager, or Chris Trapani, the CEO of Sereno Group, and we get answers back within a business day, if not a few hours. Finally, there are several agents who assist me in some cases (vacation, sickness, family emergencies). So I’m well supported on the office or firm level. When you hire me, you get a full staff behind me.
Whether buying or selling a silicon valley home or investment property, good inspections are critical. I don’t have one list for buyers and another for sellers – no matter which end of the transaction you’re on, you want excellent information. Surprises tend to sour escrows, so part of the plan in helping you avoid trouble is to avoid surprises. Only with excellent information can you make good decisions and have more control of the way your real estate sale progresses.
1. Home or Property Inspectors. It is crucial that your property inspector be exceedingly well trained, experienced, careful, clear, and through. In California, there is no license for home inspectors. However, there are a couple of trade groups which have a very high standard of practice. One is ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and the other is CREIA (California Real Estate Inspection Association).
There are many good home inspectors in the San Jose area, but my #1 choice is Duane Serrano of Tri Star Home Inspections. Duane is an ASHI member with 15 years experience. I have not found him to either miss or over call issues (I have sometimes had inspectors who say a chimney or roof is bad, have the clients hire more experts, only to find out that it was fine – that aggressive over-calling is expensive, time consuming and upsetting). Duane also provides my clients with suggestions as to solutions and how to make the home last longer with proper care. He gets the reports out, with digital photos, on a same-day basis. Duane’s website is http://www.tristarinspections.com/ or he can be reached by phone at 408 266-2706.
I am a full-time, second generation, award-winning & enthusiastic Silicon Valley Realtor. (My mother, Pat Pope, was a highly regarded & successful Realtor in the San Jose, Santa Clara, Cupertino and Saratoga areas from 1956 until her death in 1996.) Real estate was my second career after I’d worked happily in the area of religious education (in Catholic high schools) & ministry for several years. Economics necessitated an employment change, and real estate was a natural fit as it really is a “helping profession” and I’d grown up with it. I like to joke that my first words were “raised foundation”.
An area native, I was raised in Santa Clara and Saratoga, attending public and Catholic schools, and graduated from Saratoga High in 1977. As an adult I lived in several parts of the valley, including 10 years in Cambrian Park, and since 1999, in Los Gatos.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts from Gonzaga University in Spokane (a Catholic university run by Jesuits – in Religious Studies, 1981) and thanks to my parents’ generosity, was able to enjoy a fabulous Junior year abroad at Gonzaga-in-Florence, Italy (1979-1980), which cemented my love of travel and all things Italian. (With some refreshing, I can still manage a simple conversation in Italian – which is fun!) After some teaching, I earned a Master of Arts (in Systematic Theology, 1986) from The Graduate Theological Union/Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.
Afterwards I returned to teaching religion in Catholic high schools, a very rewarding career, for a few years, until our children came onto the scene. I did a lot of related volunteer work too, with my favorite being as a volunteer chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital in the early 90’s. Additionally, I worked in the Rainbows Program at our parish, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Los Gatos. Rainbows is a peer-to-peer ministry/support group for kids suffering from any major loss, such as the death of a parent or divorce.
My enthusiasm spilled over into a book project; I co-authored a book, “Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Home In Silicon Valley”, which came out in late December 2004. (You can find it at the San Jose library, on Amazon.com and select bookstores.) I’m passionate about this field, but mostly about every client’s happiness, which is why I’m highly referred.
Awards: Real estate has been a good career for me and I have many awards for sales production as well as for service – normally I am in the top 5 to 10% of agents in the county (true also through the downturn!). You can read about those in more detail on my profile page at one of my two main websites, popehandy.com. I’m consistently a top producer and in January 2013 learned that I was a top 1% agent.
Internet marketing and blogging: I was an early adapter to web marketing on the web, and because I found it rewarding (in every way), I followed with also embracing blogging several years ago. That, too, has been a fun thing to do and it has helped me to market my listings and to grow my business.
In 2007 I won the Project Blogger Contest (sponsored by Active Rain and Inman News) together with my blog mentor, Frances Flynn Thorsen. In 2009 I was deeply honored to be named one of the Top 12 Women Real Estate Bloggers for 2009 by Joe Ferrarra and Sellsius.
My clients refer me enthusiastically. I was delighted to be named as “best real estate agent in Silicon Valley” in the San Jose Mercury News’ “best of Silicon Valley” list for 2011!
Speaking & teaching on social media, blogging and web marketing: I have taught courses and sessions on blogging, web marketing and social media. Additionally I have been a panelist at Inman News for the annual San Francisco conference Inman Connect, have twice been a panelist at my real estate board’s breakfast meeting (once for top producers and the other for bloggers). Additionally was a panelist also at a Realty World Convention in 2009, a panelist for the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors in 2010 and 2011, and in 2012 spoke at Get Wired ‘N (Bend, Oregon – Central Oregon Association of Realtors). I’ve been quoted in many articles and publications, both print and online, including the San Jose Mercury News and DeadlineNews.com. A San Jose radio station, KLIV, has interviewed me a few times too.
Links on my family & me
My Grandfather, Col. Michael Buckley, Jr., was in North Africa as an unarmed military observer with British Troops in Libya two weeks before Pearl Harbor when they were captured by German troops….
Article on Mary’s Grandfather, the first POW of WW2 for the US
You can find my book at the San Jose or Los Gatos public libraries, Borders in Los Gatos (check the Local Authors section by the cafe) and the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors Bookstore. The Santa Clara County Association of Realtors Bookstore carries it too. Or, order it online via Amazon: “Get The Best Deal When Selling Your Home In Silicon Valley”. Or call me for a consultation on selling your home and I will give you a copy!
Amazon Link to order my book
Jim, my better half, also wrote a book. I confess, though, that it is so high-tech that I only understood the dedication….
Jim Handy’s book, “The Cache Memory Book”
My brother, Steve (Prof. Stephen J. Pope), is a theologian/social ethicist at Boston College. He’s published one book (just finished a second one), edited several others, penned many published articles, and has another book about to be released. This one was the fruit of his doctoral dissertation.
The Evolution of Altruism and the Ordering of Love
My sister, Barb, is just awesome but she is somehow under the radar of the web. So it goes! Maybe someday she’ll write a book and I’ll publicize it here Goodness knows she’s smart enough….
When Jim married me in 1985 I liked football but didn’t follow it all that much. Now that I have a family member on the field, it’s all different (I’m not the woman he married – at least not during football season!). Truthfully, though, I’m as proud of my cousin for the way he handles himself off the field as on it. Good job, Tommy!
The New England Patriots
Another one of my second cousins, Ryan Slack, is helping to revolutionize real estate on a national scale. I’m so impressed and proud of him for his work in founding and growing Property Shark first, and now moving on to start Green Pearl.
Mary Pope-Handy Elsewhere on the Web
PopeHandy.com My personal, comprehensive website with hundreds of pages of information. Not to be missed: an “Organizer” for collecting MLS information. Not only can you get alerts (between once a week and 4 times a day, as you like), but you can mark properties as interested, or delete them, or make notes to refer back to on the properties later. Very, very cool.
Market Trends & Stats Newsletter for Silicon Valley: The Real Estate Report Monthly stats and trends for Silicon Valley broken down by city/town: San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, Monte Sereno, Sunnyvale, plus regions within San Jose such as Cambrian Park, Almaden Valley, Willow Glen and so on.
Belwood-Belgatos.com My small site on the Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont neighborhoods of Los Gatos. Tons of good info for residents and prospective residents, from Belgatos Park info (and whom to call if it’s closed and should be open, for instance), to the Belwood Cabaña and how to rent it for your next party to housing stats for the community and a neighborhood calendar of events. More is being added so check back often
HauntedRealEstate.comI like houses, but haunted ones are especially interesting! All about haunted and stigmatized properties, about selling them, about taking a ghost tour, and more!