April 2016: Guest Essay

Connecting education with business, industry

Tracy Gyoerkoe

Tracy Gyoerkoe

Career and technical educators have been connecting education with business and industry almost since their inception. In today’s world, it’s even more important for these connections to remain strong, and more and more, all educators are working to connect learning to the real world of work. [Read more…]

March 2016 Feature Story: Real Estate

A commitment to community

Mary Adair, broker/owner of Exit More Real Estate, Watertown and Clayton, in her Watertown office. Mrs. Adair bought the Watertown real estate franchise in 2011 and has since expanded with a second office in Clayton. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

Mary Adair, broker/owner of Exit More Real Estate, Watertown and Clayton, in her Watertown office. Mrs. Adair bought the Watertown real estate franchise in 2011 and has since expanded with a second office in Clayton. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

Real estate the perfect ‘second act’ for Exit More broker-owner

By Karee Magee, NNY Business

Only five words are needed to characterize the owner of Exit More Real Estate: “Mary Adair is always there.”

Mrs. Adair has taken the phrase, designated by her employees and customers, to symbolize her open door-style of business.

“Our backbone is the service we give our customers,” she said. “We show them that we care. You have to show them how much you care before they care.”

Making herself available to her customers is the first step to showing that, Mrs. Adair said, whether it’s dealing with home inspections and appraisals or overcoming obstacles with her customers.

Mrs. Adair includes not only her customers under her open door policy, but for her business, the same policies start at the office.

“Mary is top of the line,” said Karen Jorden, administrative assistant and agent at Exit More. She’s just like a mother figure. She’s got that way about her.”

Ms. Jorden said Mrs. Adair has made the office environment more like a family culture because she’s always able to listen and help resolve problems.

Mrs. Adair goes out of her way to provide training and resources for her employees as well, Ms. Jorden said, limiting out of pocket costs for her staff.

“I love helping the agents grow and I love watching them grow,” Mrs. Adair said of her job as a mentor to her staff.

For Ms. Jorden, this support from Mrs. Adair meant the world to her when Mrs. Adair recommended her for the job as administrative assistant to their former broker.

“It brought tears to my eyes,” Ms. Jorden said. “To be appreciated the way Mary appreciated me is beyond the ability to put into words.

Despite her success, real estate wasn’t a career that Mrs. Adair envisioned for herself, though, while she was an accountant until 2003.

She was convinced to pursue a career as a real estate agent who was working to sell an old house for her and her husband.

“I was tired of sitting behind a desk,” Mrs. Adair said. “I wanted to do something different.”

By the fall of 2003, Mrs. Adair was licensed and working for a small independent real estate company before joining Exit Moore in 2007.

“I’ve found it to be not just a rewarding career, but a challenging one,” she said.

Mrs. Adair said she found her passion in helping people fulfill their dreams, whether it was buying a house or selling one. A passion that led her to be named 2009 Realtor of the Year by the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors.

To her surprise, though, her journey didn’t end there. Four years after joining Exit More Real Estate, her broker, Debbie Moran, announced she was retiring and asked Mrs. Adair is she would like to buy the business.

“I was very happy where I was,” she said. “I never envisioned this.”
Mrs. Adair said she had decided not to buy the business, but her husband, Jerry, changed her mind.

“He said ‘If you don’t buy it, who will buy it? And will it still be Exit,’” she said.

The Exit More Real Estate name symbolized a great deal to her, Adair said, because the word “more” depicted what the business was about.

She bought the franchise in 2011, and two years later she expanded into Clayton, opening an office on Riverside Drive.

Those decisions, though, were the most difficult for another reason.

“Exit was fairly new, only five years old,” Mrs. Adair said. “No one had heard of it.”

It was during that time that she developed her reputation for always being there with a campaign of consistent community involvement.

She decided that the best way to make Exit More Real Estate stand out would be to show the company’s commitment to the people and their community by participating in a coat drive, WPBS-TV auctions, Habitat for Humanity and the North Country Festival of Trees.

The policy was continued in Clayton in 2013 with the Clayton Christmas Parade and the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival parade in Watertown.

“I felt that was a good way to get across who we were,” she said. “We work so hard and we do a good job for people. They remember that.”

The Mary Adair file

Hometown: Lowville

Professional: Broker and owner of Exit More Real Estate

Family: Husband, Jerry Adair; daughters, Tracy Moody and Lorri Norris; two grandsons

Education: Jefferson Community College

Community: Treasurer, Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors

Recommended Read: “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson

Karee Magee is a magazine associate for NNY Magazines. Contact her at kmagee@wdt.net or 661-2381.

Report: Homeowners healthier

Lance Evans

A report about homeownership recently caught my eye. Canada’s national housing agency, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., partnered with Habitat for Humanity to see how the lives of Habitat families changed after they purchased and moved into their homes.

As you may know, Habitat helps low- to moderate-income families buy a home. Part of the purchase includes about 300 to 500 hours of “sweat equity” by the families. The houses have affordable, interest-free loans with monthly payments based on the cost of materials and the land. [Read more…]