Robin Blass ~ Bringing Real Estate & Family Together!

by Audra Anders for The Aha! Connection

Robin Blass

Robin invited me over for a chat at her Ashford-Dunwoody office last week and it was so nice to just sit and catch up for a while in person.  I had not been to her new office in Harry Norman’s Dunwoody location … they are in such a convenient location at the dead end of Ashford Center Parkway and Ashford Dunwoody Road.  I had never even crossed the road there in my 20+ years in Dunwoody but I’ll be back!

I learned a couple of interesting facts about Robin that I didn’t know before.  First, she’s related to one of my son’s very best friends and I had never put that connection together before…and I’m ALL about making connections!  Secondly, after high school graduation she moved to Atlanta from Jacksonville, Florida to pursue a career as an X-ray technician.  While studying at Emory University, she changed her career path, obtained her Real Estate license, and has been a Realtor since she was twenty years old!   

Robin and her husband David have three grown children, Jennifer, Lauren and Matt.  She also has a 6 year old granddaughter, three year old twin grandsons, another three year old grandson and a 7-month old granddaughter.  All the grandchildren live in Atlanta and Robin spends as much time as possible with them.  She’s lived in the same Sandy Springs house for more than twenty years and loves it.  The grandkids love it too…especially the pool!

Colleen Papciak, Director of Operations/Listing Manager
Lorena Theiler, Transaction Coordinator

Both of her daughters have worked with her in the past.  Lauren has continued to work with her and now they are part of the same team at Harry Norman, The Robin Blass Group.  The rest of their team consists of Colleen Papciak, Director of Operations/Listing Manager and Lorena Theiler, Transaction Coordinator.  Robin is extremely complimentary of her staff.   Their excellent camaraderie creates a great work environment.

Robin seems to have found the perfect work/life balance.  She admittedly likes to be “in control”  and “stay busy” but the great relationship she has with her staff means they experience a lot of positive give and take.  Robin truly loves her job and doesn’t mind working 7 days a week because she knows she always makes time for friends and family each day. 

Robin’s Family Captured at Palmetto Dunes on 18 Aug, 2022 by Amia Marcell


Because her job makes her happy, she prides herself on being an excellent problem solver and making sure her clients are happy.  This can be tricky since in a down market, some real estate agents say the only real motivators for people to sell or seek property are the three D’s: death, divorce and debt….which are not happy occasions.  Regardless, Robin’s goal is for everyone at the closing table to be happy.  Most of her business is from referrals and past customers…which is a good sign she’s keeping her clients happy!!!

The Robin Blass Group
Harry Norman, REALTORS®
4848 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30338
(404) 495-8233


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Discover Dunwoody ~ Thinking Ahead for OUR Community

by Audra Anders for The Aha! Connection

We have City of Dunwoody, Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce, the PCID, Create Dunwoody, Discover Dunwoody, and so many countless other  organizations with similar names.  Does the average Dunwoody citizen have any idea what all these organizations do?  Since Discover Dunwoody has almost an entirely new staff, Peggy and I visited their offices to meet the new folks and gain a better understanding of their mission.… Read More »

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The Whitney Agee Team from zero to Chairman’s Circle Gold in 18 months!

by Audra Anders for The Aha! Connection

The Whitney Agee Team is the #1 medium size team in the Dunwoody Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices office!

Whitney resides in Dunwoody and has built her team from zero to Chairman’s Circle Gold in a  year and a half!   Chairman’s Circle Gold is top 3% out of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nationally.   When I learned about this, I was intrigued so decided to stop by and meet her.  As I approached Whitney’s glassed in office, I noticed she was meeting with a beautiful young pregnant woman that literally appeared to be about to POP out a baby!  I waited outside for them to finish their conversation and overhead so much sweet concern from Whitney as if she was herself, about to be the grandma (she’s way too young BTW!)  As it turns out, the beautiful mom to be was Audrey Lane, and her C-section was scheduled for two days later.  She had just stopped by the office to fill in her mentor on last minute work and plans for the baby.

Whitney seems to be in her element when helping mentor new agents.  She says all of her team has great nicknames for her all centering around her being like their “Work Mom”.  She’s relatively new at Real Estate herself, having obtained her license towards the end of 2018.  She briefly worked in Fayetteville, Georgia where she accumulated $3.3 million dollars in sales during her FIRST year as an Agent.  In October of 2019, she moved about 40 miles north to be near her family in Dunwoody.

Once moving to Dunwoody’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices office, she was excited and ready to meet new agents.   She loves to collaborate with others and kept meeting agents and thinking how great it would be if they were on a team together.  While based in Dunwoody, she had clients all over metro Atlanta and was so busy she was afraid many of the leads she collected would be lost.  So at the very end of 2020 she approached Sally Moore, her boss/Broker, with what she was afraid would be a “crazy idea”.  Sally loved the idea and the rest is history.  Whitney’s team has typically consisted of the newer agents in the Dunwoody office.  In 2021, her team accumulated $23 million in sales.  They are projected to reach $50+ million dollars for 2022.  Whitney is in the top 3% of a network of 55,000 agents worldwide.

Whitney’s role is to provide leads and guidance to the members of her team.  She practices going through homes with her teammates and teaches them how to be educated on everything to do with the sales/purchase processes.  She even helps them with their paperwork!  The joy she experiences watching her agents become successful is extraordinarily fulfilling.  In fact, Whitney mentioned she loves the hard and difficult situations and seeing her agents and/or new homeowners reach their goals after turning hard situations around.

I laughed when Whitney mentioned she may as well be a contractor.  She apparently wants to know the ins/outs and corners/crevices of every single square foot of any home she’s working with.  Even if there’s a tiny crawlspace, Whitney dives in to investigate and inspect.  Why does she does she do this?  Because she would never let someone buy a home that she wouldn’t personally purchase herself.  In fact, she told me about personally finding a “wood destroying fungus” in the crawlspace of a home one of her clients wanted to purchase.  Because Whitney found the problem early, she was able to have the seller get it fixed without her clients having to pay! 

One of her favorite types of clients to work with are first time home buyers.  She loves being a part of making their home ownership dreams come true.  Watching the light bulbs go off in their heads when they finally do the math on renting vs. buying is satisfying.  Whitney loves to share these happy experiences with her agents and their clients.

Not just anyone can join Whitney’s team.  They have about 10 people now and Whitney suggested her team is best only for motivated new agents who really want to learn and be successful.

When I asked Whitney why homeowners would want to hire her team she responded; “We provide focus on whatever the clients’ goals are.  That is the single motivator….working hard behind the scenes while focusing on and helping clients reach their real estate goals.”  She really cares more about getting you in the right home than anything else.  Want to meet her team?  Click here to see the people Whitney loves working with every day!  Fun fact:  Apparently you can also find most of the team working out together at Onelife Fitness Perimeter.

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services The Whitney Agee Team
5481 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

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Here’s why EVERBODY I know goes to Briggs Vision Group for their Eyes!

by Audra Anders for The Aha! Connection

I met Dr. Erick Smith while we were both students at Auburn University and we have remained lifelong friends.  Fast forward and I now find myself in that stage of life where my arms are suddenly not long enough to allow me to read the fine print especially if the lights are dim. … Read More »

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How Atlanta Academy Started and How Awesome it is Today!

by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection

In 2000, right about the time I was becoming a mom for the second time, Angela Naples didn’t realize it, but she was about to be one of the founders of Atlanta Academy. My family moved from Brookhaven to Dunwoody right before the start of the school year in 2002.… Read More »

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Audra’s Chat with Kerry Arias about Cooking, Sneaky Dogs, Moving Kits, Finding her Dream Job and more!

by Audra Anders for The Aha! Connection

Sitting down with my friend Kerry Arias is always a joy.  You may remember last year when I made the connection: From Cutie Pies to Residential Real Estate with a stop or two in between – Audra’s chat with Kerry Arias.  

Last week I had the pleasure of dropping by her office right in the middle of Dunwoody Village (think walking distance to NFA, Fresh Market, Bar{n} and more!) and so obviously we eventually detoured from real estate to food. Before we jump into some of Kerry’s favorite recipes, let me tell you about the rest of our conversation.

So many people I know, including Kerry, are dropping their first kids off at college.  Her daughter just began her collegiate career and her son is a junior at Blessed Trinity.  Empty nesting is close at hand for Kerry and she’s about to celebrate her 60th birthday.  She doesn’t look a day older than 41!  Last year when we chatted she was just starting her real estate career.  Now, a little more than a year later the first thing she said to me was “I should have done this ages ago!”

I can see how much she loves her job all over her face and in her body language.  She’s a people person in the people business.  She loves helping people!  Whether it is investing, buying, selling or renting that her clients are looking for she’s all in.  Actually, Kerry is the first realtor with whom I’ve discussed renting.  Over the past two years she’s helped several executives relocating to Atlanta and they often want to rent first to get a feel for Atlanta before purchasing.

In fact, just this month she held a two-hour open house for a rental property in Alpharetta near Avalon.  After the open house she received 12 applications!  The current tenants are paying $1,650/month but the new lease negotiated by Kerry is for $1,950/month!

Kerry is constantly finding ways to learn and improve.  In fact, she told me every morning while getting dressed and ready for the day she listens to podcasts.  Some of her favorites are Ninja Selling, Institute for Luxury, and Sherri Johnson.  I can just see Kerry walking around getting ready, brushing her teeth and stopping to write notes on her note pad as she hears things that pique her interest.

She told me a funny story about clients recently relocating from Savannah.  They were touring a townhouse in Buckhead but had their two big dogs with them.  It was a hot day so they decided to leave the car running with the dogs in the car while they toured the home.  They were inside the gated community so not worried about car theft.  The humans all went inside and Kerry left the couple to tour on their own.   Kerry looked out the window of the home and the dogs were having a big time playing and running around in the yard!   They had rolled down the electric windows and escaped the car!  Kerry quietly opened the front door and ushered the dogs inside.  As the couple descended the stairs from touring the top floors, they were greeted happily by their sneaky doggies…It’s a good thing Kerry “met” the dogs on this tour date because she was able to quickly realize that her new canine friends were a bit over the HOA’s weight limit for dogs.  Kerry proactively worked out a dog meeting with the HOA president to get a special stipulation approved for her clients and they are now happily residing there!

Kerry does a few things for her clients that I’ve never heard of….If they have pets, she brings a goody bag for the pets on move in day.  She also purchases all the moving boxes for her clients and includes a moving kit with a box cutter, tape, markers, etc.  How cool is that?  She says it just helps take one more thing off her client’s to do lists and she loves to help.

Kerry recently sold a beautiful home in the Branches.  Side note…Kerry told me this house has a paper towel drawer and now both Kerry and I covet one.  Kerry looked so sad when she told me how much she was going to miss these particular clients.  Apparently they’ve moved to Amelia Island.  But Kerry won’t have to wait long to see them because she and her husband plan to visit them this fall.  I wonder if they have a paper towel drawer there?

Kerry told me she is having fun working everywhere…not just in Dunwoody/Sandy Springs.  She’s recently sold 4 houses in Cumming, discovered a neighborhood on a “beach” in Villa Rica, and she’s helping a friend’s cousin connect with a realtor to sell an estate in Notasulga, Alabama!  I believe that finding her dream job later in life helps Kerry have a fresh and new perspective.  She realizes that buying and selling homes is typically a large and emotional transaction.  She treats every client experience as a luxury experience…hence providing the moving kits and pet goody bags I mentioned before.  Her goal is to always provide a seamless experience while protecting her clients’ best interests.

Finally, she loves to cook!  This of course got my attention so I asked what she had cooked recently.  As promised, below are three of Kerry’s must make recipes.  I think I need to head to the grocery store now 🙂


Kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 ounces white truffle butter (see note)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (8.82-ounce) package Cipriani tagliarelle dried pasta or other egg fettuccine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 ounces Parmesan, shaved thin with a vegetable peeler

Add 1 tablespoon salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large (12-inch) sauté pan, heat the cream over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Add the truffle butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper, lower the heat to very low, and swirl the butter until it melts. Keep warm over very low heat.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, exactly. (If you’re not using Cipriani pasta, follow the directions on the package.) When the pasta is cooked, reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the sauté pan and toss it with the truffle-cream mixture. As the pasta absorbs the sauce, add as much of the reserved cooking water as necessary to keep the pasta very creamy.

Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and garnish each serving with a generous sprinkling of chives and shaved Parmesan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve at once.


1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. Mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons of White Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 large tomato from Nell’s Produce Stand on Jett Ferry, cut into large cubes or wedges and salted
1/2 hot-house cucumber, sliced
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chiffonnades of fresh basil leaves
1/2 tray of garlic toast rounds from Fresh Market, broken into bite size pieces
Mix all ingredients with vinaigrette and serve. This is also delicious with homemade croutons using 2 cups of day-old French bread cubes sautéed in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkled with garlic salt and pepper. 


Pork Tenderloin (from Shirley O. Corriher’s CookWise cookbook)
I love this cookbook!  You can tell how often I make this dish from the stains on the recipe page!

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (this is a Chinese barbecue sauce, you can find it in most grocery stores)
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
3 tablespoons sugar
2 pork tenderloins, 3/4 to 1 pound each
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons butter
6 cups cooked rice, long grain or brown
6 green onions sliced thinly

In a plastic freezer bag, mix your soy, hoisin, oil and sugar. Add the pork tenderloins and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour and overnight is better. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Line a small roasting pan with foil, spray a roasting rack with nonstick spray, set the rack on the pan and lay the tenderloins on the rack. Place in the oven and roast for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn the tenderloins over and roast 10 to 12 minutes more. Check the temperature in the thickest portion. The center internal temperature should be above 148 degrees.

Pour the marinade from the plastic bag into a small sauce pan, add the water and bring to boil over low heat. Boil gently for several minutes, then add the butter and bring back to a boil. Let the cooked tenderloins stand for at least eight minutes before slicing. Slice thinly at a angle across the grain. Arrange slices overlapping on a bed of rice. Pour the marinade — butter mixture over the slices and sprinkle on the chopped scallions.


Kerry Arias, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties
770•605•7545 (cell)
770•393•3200 (office)

Audra Explains How You Can Get Paid to Give Your Opinion About What Goes on Store Shelves!

by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection

Yes, I realize the title of this article in and of itself sounds like a scam.  Too good to be true?  NO!  I visited the Consumer Innovation Center (CIC) and can show you my pictures and verify this is true!

First, let me mention the convenient location next to Dunwoody’s HOBNOB. … Read More »

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Meet Jennifer & Quincy – They get PAID to give their opinions to the Consumer Innovation Center

by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection

Last year I visited the Consumer Innovation Center for the first time and told you all about How You Can Get Paid to Give Your Opinion About What Goes on Store Shelves!  Today I took Peggy along with me and now she’s already signed up to be a possible tester! … Read More »

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Meet Rebekah Daniell and learn how she can help you with the College Admissions Process – Giveaway Included!

by Audra Anders for The Aha! Connection

My youngest fell in love with Chemistry in 8th grade.  I would never ever have guessed this would happen in a million years.  I credit Brad Daniell, Walt’s 8th grade science teacher at Peachtree Charter Middle School.  Walt loved Mr. D’s class so much that when he found out Brad and his wife Rebekah were tutoring kids outside of school, he signed up for biology tutoring in the SUMMER. … Read More »

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Arje’ & Jim of Keller Williams’ McCarty Group love helping people find homes through all the ages and stages of life!

by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection

Jim & Arje McCarty

In 2002 when I was looking to move from Brookhaven to Dunwoody, my husband would swear we toured at least 1,000 houses.  I was very thorough in my search which included a great Cape Cod style home in The Branches.  Guess who showed it to me?  Arje’ and Jim McCarty!  I enjoyed meeting them so much but ended up purchasing my Meadowlake home from the original owners with no realtors involved.  My family joined Dunwoody United Methodist Church shortly after moving to Dunwoody and I was thrilled to run into Arje’ and Jim and have loved seeing them at DUMC for all these years!

They recently invited me to their office at The Terraces in Dunwoody a few weeks ago and I was thrilled to catch up with them…plus it was my first time ever in The Terraces building.  I just LOVED it.  There are fountains and streams INSIDE and so much sunlight and a putting green and lots of places to sit and be in the nature INSIDE.  I’m surprised everyone doesn’t want their offices at The Terraces.

We had a lovely conversation in their conference room where I learned so much more about the careers of both Arje’ and Jim.   Both started their careers in technology for the banking/finance industry.  They eventually started a family and were both working full time.  Arje’ had a 14-state territory to manage so after their daughter was born, they decided a career change was in order.  Because of the advice of friends and co-workers, Arje’ decided to obtain her Real Estate license and started working with Harry Norman in 1988 where she continued for 12 years.  To help Arje’ out “on the side”, Jim decided to obtain his real estate license in 1997 and joined Arje’ at Harry Norman.  Business was booming and both were busy so eventually Jim started working in real estate full time.  In 1999, they heard about Keller Williams coming to Atlanta.  The timing was perfect for a change, so they made the switch and were two of the first agents with Keller Williams in Atlanta!  By 2001 they were ready to open a Dunwoody KW office and did so in the building that now houses the City of Dunwoody and Dunwoody Police.  Now they are in the beautiful South Terraces building.

They have loved being a part of Keller Williams.  They mentioned the “good office energy” to me several times and I could feel it.  KW agents from all over Atlanta choose the Perimeter office as their home.  Jim and Arje’ have been the top team in their office for several years and have served on the Agent Leadership Council.  Both of their faces light up when discussing how much they love mentoring new agents.

Their structure is a bit of a family affair.  Typically, Arje’ is the listing agent and Jim is the buying agent.  Their son, Burke, was their internet and media coordinator and now acts as a consultant while also attending Medical School!  The family met Clare Weaver while Arje’ was team manager of the Branches Swim Team and she has continued to work with them as their design and staging consultant since.  Rounding out their team is Sandi Walker, who keeps things on track as the administrative manager and Kaleigh Malloy, their media coordinator.  Their daughter, Payton, doesn’t work on their team as she is a choreographer and managing director of a dance studio on Holcomb Bridge. She’s currently re-starting a charity, Dance Upon Injustice.  They are working on a production to educate about and raise funds to fight Human Trafficking. 

Clare, Jim, Arje’, Burke, and Sandi

Peggy Smith….my friend/coworker is one of the team managers of the Vermack Swim Team so when Arje’ mentioned she took on that job for The Branches Pool back when she moved to Dunwoody in 1996, I KNEW what a big deal that is.  Business really started booming for the McCarty’s in The Branches after getting to know everyone through swim team!

Arje’ and Jim both love being a part of so many people’s stories.  They have so many examples of working with couples for as many as 6 transactions over time.  They’ve helped empty-nesters downsize, they’ve helped children maximize the value of their parents homes to take care of them in older stages, they’ve seen clients children grow up and have children of their own and worked with them to make room for their growing families.  Being in the business since 1988 has rewarded them with seeing multiple generations through various ages and stages and they love all this extended family so much.  They really want to be the “third call” after you let your family know you plan to move.

Jim previously lived in Kentucky, so the McCartys have an annual Derby party for their clients every Spring which also benefits a charity.  In the fall they have a Thanksgiving event to thank clients, referrers, painters, plumbers, see babies, engagement rings, etc. They really do take great care of their clients/family!

Another event they regularly host is a “Right Sizing Seminar”.  Covid cut down on these seminars, but they are about to start again.  During these seminars they invite experts such as lenders, designers, estate planners, clutter cleaners etc.  I loved hearing about one couple who attended one of their Right Sizing seminars in 2018.  This couple left the seminar and immediately started doing everything Arje’ and Jim suggested.  They used the McCartys resources to rid their home of clutter and did renovations they could enjoy that improved their home value.  This couple’s long-term plan was to sell in 2023.  However, their financial planner said “go” in March of 2022 due to this year’s insane market.  Because they had been slowly doing all the appropriate “rightsizing” steps, they were able to move quickly and maximize the sales value of their home.  Click here to see their Rightsizing Brochure.  I’ll be sure to let everyone know when the next one is scheduled!

A few final tidbits I picked up from our conversation:

  • Arje’ and Jim view their job as consultants.
  • When helping you purchase a home, they want to make sure it is re-sellable.
  • They typically focus on homes in Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Roswell and across North Atlanta.

They love the Keller Williams national network and really enjoy the seminars and educational classes because they are always wanting to learn and grow!

The McCarty Group
Keller Williams Atlanta
115 Perimeter Center Place, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30346


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Meet Jodi Halpert ~ Trusted Realtor and Friend

by Peggy Smith for The Aha! Connection

A few years ago my family was on a glass bottom boat in Jamaica and the family that boarded after us looked familiar but I couldn’t place them.  It was driving me crazy and I’m sure the mom thought I was crazy since I kept staring at her!  Finally my husband and I realized the mom was realtor Jodi Halpert who advertised with Aha! but I had never met in person and had only seen her photo on her ads.  So, of course, I introduced myself and she was just as kind as I imagined she would be from her photos.  Fast forward a year and I was in the middle of going through chemotherapy for breast cancer when I get a message from Jodi that she too has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Our treatments were both similar and different but we were able to be a support to one another. 

The next year my husband and I kept tossing around the idea of moving locally … we had long wanted a home with a basement on a street that wasn’t a cut-through.  We were overwhelmed with the idea of how to sell our house and then buy a new one, knowing we couldn’t afford to buy without selling first.  The only person I even considered reaching out to was Jodi.  Was it because we kept running into each other?  Perhaps.  But from those life overlaps, I knew that Jodi was both kind AND strong.  I knew she was super connected, savvy and would get the job done while also supporting us throughout the process.

Jodi has been in the real estate business for over 21 years.  She lives in the Ashford Chase neighborhood in Dunwoody with her husband Ben (you may know him from Savvy Cyber Kids) and three kids … Ellie just graduated from Dunwoody High and will be heading off to UGA, Ava is at The Weber School and Ethan is at The Cottage School. 

Lindsey & Jodi

Jodi has always considered real estate to be consulting rather than sales.  Despite attending countless sales seminars over the years, she’s never really connected with any of them until she took the Ninja Selling course this past spring. It spoke to her in terms of the focus being the people and the long term relationships, not the transactions.

She had long been considering ways to take her business to the next level while still maintaining the personal connection she values most with her clients.  She recently hired Lindsey Smith as her Director of Operations.  Lindsey had spent the previous five years managing operations on another real estate team and Jodi knew she would be the perfect fit.  Lindsey is able to focus on marketing, contract to close, paperwork and organization, thereby allowing Jodi more time to be with her clients.  They both liken the relationship to where Jodi is the visionary and drives her business while Lindsey is the integrator that keeps everything moving.  Interestingly this sounds much like Audra and myself (I typically prefer to stay behind the scenes though today I am the one out from behind my laptop to tell you all about Jodi!). 

While Jodi has always consulted with her buyers and sellers, post Ninja, she recently implemented a Buyer and Seller Consultation process to work with her clients most effectively by discussing goals and process from the start, so she can help them get to where they want to be. Jodi works diligently to control the process of buying and selling for her clients so they can make clear and stress free decisions.

She typically represents sellers and buyers about 50/50. In the current low inventory market she has a strong need for sellers, but Jodi truly loves creating relationships with buyers as well, especially when it comes to sharing what she love so much about this city.  In selling, you are telling the story of the house – setting it up to sell.  Jodi’s background is design and marketing so this has always been appealing.  On the flip side, buying is about learning the ins and outs of what a person or couple or family wants and doesn’t want and helping them get to their desired outcome. 

While you can list without an agent and save some commission dollars as some are doing in this market, working with an agent optimizes your dollars in the long run as it protects you, exposes you to the market as well as a network of agents and the pre-marketing done on a listing often results in quick, strong offers that net you more money.  It may be somewhat easy to find a buyer in this market but it’s NOT easy to get to the closing table. 

When we talked about what is most important to her in this business, we kept coming back to relationships – not just with clients but with other agents as well.  She thrives on mentoring other agents and works often with referrals and repeat clients.  She’s well connected in the community and her reputation among other agents is stellar.  People WANT to work with her.  If our closing was any indication, the sellers, buyers and other agent were all just genuinely happy to be at the table.  What I anticipated to be a stressful experience was the exact opposite. 

As we finished our conversation over coffee (which often digressed into anecdotes about recent trips, work experiences, kid activities), Lindsey shared her final thoughts on why you should hire Jodi:

– Jodi is real and authentic.  It ties into how she treats her clients and fellow agents.  She connects quickly with people and treats others the way she would want to be treated. 

– Jodi will fight for people like she has known them forever.  Her testimonials speak for themselves. 

– Jodi is a huge resource in the community.  Her connections, especially with other agents, and her likeability means people want to work with her.  They know and trust her.  Her reputation is one of being honest and ethical. 


Jodi Halpert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Dunwoody Office
5481 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338
Office Phone: (770) 393-3200
Mobile: (404) 513-5151


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Dunwoody Direct Primary Care ~ Dr. Casey Locarnini’s Revolutionary New Medical Practice

by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection

Have you ever wished you had your doctor’s cell phone number?   Or that you could stop in real quick to see your doctor to ask about a rash that developed overnight?  Or that your kid away at Auburn could phone his doctor from school to ask about how to treat the bee sting that keeps swelling? … Read More »

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Marlow’s Tavern: Audra & Peggy Try the New Menu + Marlow’s is Hiring and Loves Supporting the Community!

by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection with lots of help from Peggy Smith!

Back in the day when my boys were playing travel baseball, my husband discovered Marlow’s Taverns in Tucker and Vinings.   Then we found the one in East Cobb and then the one near Sugarloaf.  If we could find a Marlow’s near our games…we went. … Read More »

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Zurn Plumbing….their Apprentice Program is a great option for an alternative to college!

by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection

About this time last year, I sat down with Lisa Z Burns at Zurn Plumbing and wrote the following article…Zurn Plumbing – Did you know the owners are DHS grads/siblings?   I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Lisa and her dad.

Well, Lisa invited me back last week to talk about their Plumber Apprentice Program. … Read More »

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A Conversation with Jennifer Barnes and Dawn Young of Keller Williams’ Barnes/Young Team

L-R Jennifer Barnes, Dawn Young Proctor & Audra Anders

by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection

Recently Peggy and I had coffee at Crema with Dawn Young Proctor & Jennifer Barnes from The Barnes Young Team.  We really enjoyed getting to know this delightful duo!

More on this later but I want to go ahead and tell you, Jennifer co-founded Solidarity Sandy Springs during the pandemic and Peggy and I were amazed to hear the stories of the tremendous growth since the inception of the idea to feed a mere 10 hungry families in March of 2020.  First let me tell you about Dawn and Jennifer’s Real Estate careers….

Dawn is originally from Winter Park, Florida, went to Ole Miss and then moved to Atlanta from Memphis.  She lives in Redfield and has a 5th grader at Cornerstone.  Her daughter happens to know Peggy’s daughter from softball and school.  Jennifer is from Tennessee, went to Agnes Scott, and never left Atlanta.  She and her husband have a 16-year-old son and live in Sandy Springs.

Jennifer and Dawn have been together 20 years working for Keller Williams.  Jennifer started with Jenny Pruitt and opened the first Keller Williams office in Atlanta.  Shortly after Dawn obtained her real estate license, the two met at a baby shower for a mutual friend and started working together two weeks later!  In 1999, the company was The Barnes Team.  Then when given the opportunity to open an office in Town Brookhaven in 2004 they soon became The Barnes Young Team (BYT).   Their team focuses mostly on Dunwoody and Sandy Springs real estate but they’ve done transactions all over the Atlanta area! 

When I asked them why someone should choose them to be their realtor, they said:  “We care about people.  It’s about improving your life not just selling your house.  It’s about what can we do to help you.  We go through the entire process with you.  It’s not a transaction, it’s a person or a family.”

When discussing the current crazy market where homeowners are getting well above asking prices, they mentioned how much they have enjoyed seeing their clients create different lives.  They worked with a young couple who had bought their home for around $250k but recently sold it after a few years for $450k and can now invest the equity for their kids education…a life changer for this family.  They have several clients who have recently been able to purchase second homes and investment properties.  They enjoy seeing people going through different stages from the $100k condo to moving to larger homes, etc.  Since they’ve been working together for 20 years, they have enjoyed working with clients multiple times at different stages in their lives. 

Dawn’s whole face lit up when she mentioned how much she loves the complicated deals where multiple pieces have to fit together to make the puzzle work.  Recently, they had a situation in which a couple #1 wanted to move to Redfield but lived in High Point in Sandy Springs.  Dawn was working with couple #2 who wanted couple #1’s High Point house and then she miraculously was able to find Couple #1 a house in Redfield….all with critical perfect timing.

I asked them to share some outrageous situations they have run into during their partnership.  Jennifer told us that once they found a homeowner hiding under the bed during a showing so they could hear feedback on the house!  Even though everyone knows RING doorbells record, potential buyers still stop to talk on the stoop and unintentionally give important feedback or information!

Both Jen and Dawn said that they love what they do and their work is rewarding even with bumps in the road.  One of their mantras is “give it 15 minutes” because everything changes in real estate so quickly.  Take a moment to pause and regroup and sometimes things just work themselves out. 

Even though houses are selling like hotcakes, they indicated it is almost harder working now in the current market.  Clients are constantly up against the timing of selling a home.  Clients are putting a lot of trust in Dawn and Jenn because they strive to time events so that clients won’t have to move to temporary housing.  

BYT offers a full concierge service.  They have a Buyers Agent – Alexis Werner and an Operations Manager – Amy Murphy.  They also have everyone needed to help facilitate the process from start to finish including a stager, photographer, organizer, painter, and more.  They typically do a pre-inspection and have an electrician, handyman, plumber, etc. on hand to help with any fixes required. 

Now back to Solidarity Sandy Springs…

Jennifer and her friend Sonia Simon served together at Every Woman Works and had been helping to send kids to summer camp at Camp Grace in Roberta, GA.  Many of these kids live in apartments inside the Perimeter and are often hungry.  Some eat their only meals at school for breakfast and lunch when eligible for the government funded free and reduced meal program.  When the pandemic arrived and schools shut down in March, 2020 Jennifer knew these kids were going to be hungry.  She and Sonia reached out to everyone they knew to come up with a plan to help.  Jason Sheetz from Under the Cork Tree offered the use of his restaurant to set up a food pantry.  They opened and ran out of food after 60 shoppers despite a line around the block.  Jen was determined to not turn away hungry people again.  They rallied everyone they knew the next day and served 105 shoppers and have never had to turn anyone away since!   They have had 42,000 shoppers in two years.  Solidarity Sandy Springs, co-founded by Jennifer Barnes and Erin Olivier, is currently in the Prado shopping center serving 400+ families per week.   They began as an emergency food source for food insecure families during the shutdowns.  Now they are a community movement, serving the people of Sandy Springs.  Their volunteers collaborate with schools, Scouts, local food drives, churches, etc. to receive items and use monetary donations for produce.  They are currently collecting Mother’s Day gifts so that the children they serve can “shop” for gifts for their moms.   If you have a gift closet or items that could be “re-gifted” this is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY to donate!

Pantry Hours – T/Th/Sat from 9-12pm
Donation Hours- M- Sat 9-12pm

The Barnes Young Team
Keller Williams Realty Peachtree Road

Dawn Young Proctor


Jennifer Barnes
(404) 271-1347

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