Mary Pope-Handy Education & Background

Education & Background

Mary's Real Estate Education

I have an extensive real state education - including 8 college level courses:

  • finance
  • appraisal
  • real estate law
  •  real estate practice
  • real estate economics
  • real estate brokerage
  • real estate principals
  • property management

I take non-required coursework to stay on the cutting edge, including classes on marketing, feng shui, negotiation, contracts, forms, cultural factors in real estate sales, and much more.

Each year I attend a seminar or conference, and often both. In 2010, for example, I attended the California Association of Realtors "Expo and Conference" in Anaheim as well as a two day class on distressed properties (primarily short sales).

All of the designations or certifications I have all required coursework too.

Of course, I wasn't always a Realtor.  And like many of my colleagues, I have a professional "first career" that is very different from selling houses.

Prior to Real Estate

  • Saratoga High School, 1977
  • Gonzaga University, BA, Religious Studies, 1981 
  • Gonzaga-in-Florence, Italy, 1979-1980
  • Graduate Theological Union/Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, MA, Systematic Theology, 1986
  • Prior to real estate, I grew up in Santa Clara and Saratoga, attending some Catholic schools and some public schools.  In high school I fell in love with writing after taking one class in journalism and another in advanced creative writing.  I went off to college convinced that a writing career was ahead of me. (Turns out I was partly right as I now meet a lot of clients via my websites and blogs.)

    At Gonzaga, I studied the liberal arts, including philosophy, Italian, English, art history, etc. In my sophomore year I switched majors to Religious Studies - I was thoroughly enjoying every aspect of that at about the same time I realized how much I disliked memorizing poetry, especially ancient poetry!  I loved spending my junior year abroad in Florence, Italy.  I finished up my BA and plotted my future, which was as clear as mud initially.

    The first year out of college I spent teaching religion at St Bernard's High School in Playa del Rey (next to Los Angeles, along the coast) for a year before heading north to further my theological studies and earn an MA in Systematic Theology.

    I married, taught a few more years (loved it!) and then we had kids.  I stayed home for about four years, doing some volunteer work in ministry-related areas (hospital chaplaincy, working with grieving kids) and eventually returned to the world of paid employment but decided that in the interest of the family good I should change careers so that we might better provide for our family.  I then followed my mom into real estate, the thing I'd said, as a kid, I'd never do.

    It has been a good career. I love the flexible hours, the wonderful clients, and the homes.  I loved my first career too and have found that some of the skills I learned there have been useful.  For instance, my background with hospital chaplaincy and working with kids who were mourning after the death of a parent or a divorce helped me with the stress factor that impacts so many buyers and sellers, especially if they are dealing with multiple issues such as sickness or death close to the same time as the purchase or sale.  And, of course, all the training in ethics is never wasted!

    Back to the prior career for a moment.... To make use of my love of blogging and my background in theology and ministry, I recently began a new blog called Silicon Valley Catholic.  So far it's off to a good start and has been warmly received.


    Contact Information

    Photo of Mary Pope-Handy Real Estate
    Mary Pope-Handy
    Sereno Group Real Estate
    214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road
    Los Gatos CA 95030
    408 204-7673
    408 335-1400
    Fax: 408 715-0243

    BRE #01153805