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.
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.
Our two children, Brian & Clair, are now teenagers. Real estate is inescapable for them, as it had been for me, and when Clair was in second grade she said, “uh oh Mommy, we have termites!” and had correctly spotted the telltale drywood termite pellets on our hardwood floor; I suspect she was the only second grader with the ability to correctly identify termite activity. So, real estate is a little contagious! The kids do some assisting for me in summers and are a big help.
Like their parents, they love to travel and together we’ve been in much of the US, plus parts of Mexico, England, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Japan. Brian is now a freshman at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, having graduated from four happy years at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose. Clair is currently a senior at Notre Dame High School in downtown San Jose.
I hail from a large and loving extended Irish-Catholic family and it’s a very tight-knit group. In my free time, I enjoy keeping in touch with them and with many old friends (who feel like family) – and actually many friends and relatives become my clients, just as my clients often become my friends. In recent years, that’s meant a lot of time with older family members. My grandfather, Col. Michael Buckley, died in 2006 at 104 years old and lived about an hour away at a Catholic nursing home in the east bay. My father, John Pope, passed away at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara in late June 2008 after a lot of heath problems and a terribly prolonged battle in the ICU. I was honored to be able to spend a lot of time with both of them in recent years.
I try to put a priority on family visits and reunions. (And I have spent a lot of time at relatives’ retirement homes so earned my designation as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist). My siblings & many other relatives come here to visit often and I’m happy that usually they stay at my house. As one cousin said, “sometimes it’s as if you have a revolving door at the front of your house: just the way you like it!”
Other hobbies of mine, besides traveling at every opportunity and staying in touch with family & friends, include photography, brushing up on the Italian language, reading mystic, spiritual, theological & church books and articles, enjoying walks in my neighborhood at the base of the foothills, listening to all kinds of music, cheering on the New England Patriots (the quarterback, Tom Brady, is my second cousin) and devouring information related to real estate. Although I went into Real Estate because it pays better – and Silicon Valley is certainly an expensive place in which to live – I do love it.
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!
Mary Pope-Handy named “best real estate agent in Silicon Valley” by the San Jose Mercury News in 2011 annual “Best of Silicon Valley” list
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!
Live in Los Gatos
My blog about Los Gatos: neighborhoods, shopping, dining, history, events, Los Gatos real estate, and more.