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McKinley retires from First Realty

A longtime Greenville Realtor is retiring from the real estate agency she has owned and operated since 1992. Mary McKinley will maintain ownership of the business but will hand over day-to-day management to qualifying broker Glenn Cooper.

“The decision to transition into retirement has been an easy one for me”, said McKinley. “I know I can go home and relax considering the very capable hands in which I am leaving my company.”

McKinley said that she decided to become a Realtor after seeing an ad in the newspaper offering a real estate sales course.

“It was a one day trial course,” she said in her office on Thursday. “If you didn’t like it, you didn’t have to come back. But I was hooked after one class”.

McKinley closed her first residential sale in 1986.

“My first closing was both terrifying and wonderful because it made me realize that I could do it,” she said.

Both Cooper and McKinley have been in the industry since the mid 1980s. They both spoke of the changes that have taken place in the industry over the last 25 years. Technology has changed the industry the most. McKinley said that she remembered when the fax machine came about and when everything was done without computers. What hasn’t changed is the requirement for Realtors to continue their education once they become licensed.

“The real estate market has suffered from the recession but it is starting to show signs of life,” said McKinley. “Recent reports indicated that the market might be turning the corner and picking up with home sales showing an upward motion.”

“First Realty will remain the same. Our experienced agents will continue to assist buyers and sellers and continue to effectively operate the property management division,” said Cooper.

Cooper has worked with First Realty for the past three years, previously working at RE/MAX By the Bay in Baldwin County.

“I could not even begin to think that I can take Mary’s place,” said Cooper. “She has been a cornerstone in the real estate market in Greenville for as long as anyone can remember. I will say that I will do my best to emulate Mary’s work ethic and her attention, care and genuine concern that she gives her clients. She has been the ultimate professional and I am proud to be affiliated with her and the wonderful business that she has built”.