GEORGE T. HOLLER, ESQUIRE
Growing up my mom was a teacher and dad delivered bread for a living. I started working at 14 as a dishwasher at the Bar-B-Q Restaurant in Milford. While the owners were very gruff people their son Howard managed the kitchen. He taught me that a manager leads by example; that if you worked hard and respected your team, they would give you their very best. I soon learned to cook and moved on to Scribner’s Restaurant where the owner taught me an incredible lesson: “Sure we can do it!” That was Scribner’s motto. At 9:00 pm on a Tuesday night in January when we hadn’t served a dinner in an hour and a couple called to say they’d be there in 15 minutes to eat, he said: “Sure we can do it, come on down.” He’d keep three people on staff just to serve dinner to two customers. He loved to make customers happy.
My mother went to law school later in life, and when I was admitted to the Connecticut Bar I joined her firm. Her words to me: “Real estate is boring but it pays the bills; it’s yours.” Fortunately for me I never found it boring. Closings are like puzzles that need to be put together. Lots of moving pieces: buyers, sellers, realtors, lenders, the other attorney, a title company, the water company, the tax collector and the list goes on. Somehow, someone needs to get them all to cooperate to make the closing go smoothly. I loved the challenge then and almost 20 years later, I still do.
Today I rely on the hard-working team Howard taught me to build and I live by the can-do attitude that Scribner taught me. Our office is a great place to be—I love the people, I love what we do for our clients and I love the challenge of getting it right, day-in and day-out.
Founder George Holler opened the firm in 2009 with one goal—survive the Great Recession! After having built a very successful multi-state law firm and title company, then, having watched it be swept away in the bursting of the real estate bubble, George knew he needed to reinvent himself. So many people had made their living in real estate before the crash, and most would be gone within a year. Only those with a vision for the future would be able to make it.
Like the coastline after a major hurricane, the financial crisis left a vastly changed real estate market in its wake. The mortgage business became more concentrated among larger national lenders, and the title agencies that supported those lenders increased their market-share. Compliance with new regulations became paramount. Anticipating these changes, the firm acquired the most advanced business process software in the industry and built its business around disciplined management and strict internal controls.
In the last year the company has undergone an incredible transformation. As a group we took a hard look at ourselves—where were we making others wrong, trying to control everyone, justifying ourselves or just trying to look good instead of serving our customers? We honestly discussed these issues, and cleared out all the things that were holding us back. In looking at the ugly, we saw that if we carried on like we were, we’d be living into the same future we always had—stressed out, overworked, and underappreciated. We made a commitment to a new way of being and the results have been amazing. In the last six months we have doubled our business and our staff. We moved to a new office, recreated our website and expanded into new areas of business. We’re excited about our future as people who love what they do, and as a company that does it right!