Keep working hard until the clients are beyond happy!
Mary Helen Davis of Helen Adams Realty
Written by Heather Pluard
Photos by Kelly Klemmensen Photography
Her nickname is “Teeney,” but REALTOR® Mary Helen Tomlinson is a colossal warrior when it comes to helping clients. She puts her blood, sweat, and tears into making them happy, and they love her for it. Since launching her real estate career in 2015, most of Mary Helen’s business has come from thrilled clients recommending her to friends, family, and co-workers. In turn, she treats every one of their referrals as a gift.
“I love my clients all the same, whether they are looking for a $100,000 home or a $3-million home,” Mary Helen says. “I’m the youngest of four, so I grew up learning how to advocate for everyone. I never refer smaller businesses out or pass off the work to an assistant. My clients know I will stay with them through the whole process and not stop until they get what they want. Some of my most challenging deals are first-time homebuyers, but they’re always so thankful and happy in the end. Their testimony and feedback have helped fuel my business from the very beginning.”
With a reputation for making the real estate process easy and successful, Mary Helen sold $16.3 million last year. This year, she’s on track to do even better. “I like setting a goal range between achievable and audacious and then landing somewhere in there,” Mary Helen smiles. “The key is to fully believe you can do it. The first year is always the hardest because people don’t know if they can trust you. I was lucky to have friends and family give me a shot to be their REALTOR®, and that’s how I got to where I am today.”
A Charlotte native, Mary Helen was born in Presbyterian Hospital and attended Meyer’s Park High School, where she started dating her husband, Justin Davis, in their junior year. Then Mary Helen earned a degree in Fashion from the University of Alabama. After spending a year in Atlanta leasing apartments, she returned home to Charlotte to work in a made-to-measure clothing store.
“My dream job growing up was to be a celebrity stylist,” Mary Helen recalls. “I loved clothes and putting outfits together, but I realized through years of working in stores that I loved sales and working with all different types of people. All of my friends were at that age where people started to look at buying homes, and I wanted to help them find their dream spot.”
But Mary Helen’s first client was herself! “Buying my home was the best learning experience I could have asked for,” she says. “I used what I was taught in class, but I also learned from my co-workers at Helen Adams Realty, where I started in 2016 and have happily stayed the whole time. I’ve never wanted to change brokerages because I feel fully supported here. Our agents are helpful and responsive, and my Broker In Charge, Cara Shields, is amazing. I’m always covered, and there is always someone I can call.”
In addition to earning her license, joining Helen Adams Realty, and buying her first home in 2016, Mary Helen also got engaged – all within about three months. After a quick honeymoon at the lake, she was back at it in real estate, earning the Silver Level Sales Award the following year, winning consecutive awards every year after, and reaching Diamond Level in 2021.
“My best advice for new agents is to be confident, market yourself, show how knowledgeable you are, and work for a broker you can rely on,” Mary Helen says. “Everybody needs help getting started. Then, make sure you stay in the flow with people, go to lunch, start conversations, and ask for referrals. Creating happy clients should be your goal, not making a sale. I like to find the sweet spot for clients. In addition, I want them to be comfortable throughout the process, so I bear all the weight for them. Dealing with people’s money and lifestyle can be a lot of pressure, but seeing them get the house they want, love it, and live in it is extremely rewarding.”
While Mary Helen is passionate about keeping clients happy, her favorite thing is spending time with Justin and their 10-year-old fur babies. Boo is a Lab mix, and Chief is a Lab. The couple enjoys taking the dogs to parks in Dillworth, where they live, and visiting a wealth of nearby friends and family. “The people I love are very important to me,” Mary Helen says. “Plus, I’m very social, so I enjoy getting out and catching up with friends and family over drinks or dinner whenever I can!”
Mary Helen also enjoys shopping and putting her eye for fashion to good use. “I do love a cute outfit,” she smiles. “But I showed up in workout clothes to my last client meeting because I was in a rush to submit their offer. The market is still crazy, but I always remind people that things will work out in the end. And I’ll keep working hard until my clients are beyond happy!”
Follow Mary Helen’s adventures on Instagram: @teeneysellscharolette.