Laurie believes that strong families are just as important as strong communities. She is an active member of the communities she serves and tries to bring awareness to important causes. Partner with Laurie to find out how you can help!
Having spent 25 years in the customer service business including Hotel/Hospitality Industry in New York City and Southeast Asia, Banking Industry in Florida and Education in Texas, I have found my home in the Real Estate business serving the communities in North Central Texas, specifically Dallas County, Ellis County and surrounding areas for the past seven years.
Qualified to help those relocating to or from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I have working knowledge of greater Dallas including my neighborhood of University Park, Highland Park TX with an exceptional Independent School District, Highland Park ISD, the surrounding areas along the Central Expressway 75 corridor including Lakewood, Uptown, Downtown, Lake Highlands, Richardson and Plano.
I have experienced different cultures and lifestyles as a result of my travels throughout the United States and living abroad in Southeast Asia for five years while enjoying travels to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Europe. Whether you are moving across town or around the world, I can relate to the challenges of doing so and can assist you in your move and help make it as stress free as possible.
In addition to my past experience, my education in Real Estate has grown beyond my state license in 2005. With a teaching background, I know the importance of education and staying abreast to our ever-changing real estate market. My continuing education includes, designations from Graduate Realtor Institute, Certified Real Estate Specialist , Senior Real Estate Specialist, and International Real Estate Specialist.
John and Laurie Mah, and their beautiful daughters, Brynja and Audra, have made a home for themselves in Ennis, after living around the globe in some extraordinary locales. Whereas some folks sit at home and think about someday traveling to Singapore, or about sampling the cosmopolitan lifestyle in New York City, the Mahs have lived in those places already, and are now happily settled in an attractive, contemporary house in Ennis. It was custom-designed by John’s architect uncle, Harry Som of California. “Laurie and I admired his home in the Bay Area, and we were so happy when he said he would design our home. I love being in our house; it has great feng shui.” John came to Texas to manage the Belo Mansion in Dallas, and then was food and beverage director at the Melrose Hotel, also in Dallas. He is now the food service director at CC Young Memorial in Dallas and Laurie is a Realtor with ReMax in Ennis. The girls work hard in school, but also have time to pursue successful modeling careers. In that regard they are following in their mother’s footsteps.
However, it was John’s culinary skills that led them around the world. “John and I have always been in the food and beverage aspect of hotels — catering, banquets. John and I met at the Grand Hyatt New York,” Laurie recounted. “He had worked for the Hyatt in Phoenix, and I had worked at the Hyatt in Kansas City. We got married on a yacht that went around Manhattan.” They crafted a multicultural home life, since John is Chinese and Laurie is of Irish descent. Together, they have embraced both of their heritages, and passed on the beauty of their cultures to their daughters.
“We lived in New York for 12 years, including in a Manhattan loft in the Chelsea area, and then moved to the suburbs where Brynja was born. John relocated to New York’s Waldorf Astoria, and then he had the opportunity to go to work for Shangri-La Company in Singapore.” They spent five years in the island city-state of Singapore, with John working at the flagship hotel of the Shangri-La chain. “We loved it. It had been a British Colony and the people spoke Mandarin Chinese and English. I made a lot of friends there from England and Europe, and I found a niche there to teach Western style food service classes in my home to the Filipino maids, who were unfamiliar with the serving style.” The Mahs’ daughter, Audra, was born in Singapore, and they remained until John relocated for a job in Orlando.
The entryway of the Mahs’ current home is furnished with items they bought in Singapore, including an antique wedding dowry basket. The entry features a painting of their Singaporean home. “The house was built when Singapore was a British colony, and this type of house was called a black-and-white,” Laurie said. “It was very unique and interesting. The ceilings were 20 or 30 feet high. It was about 3,200 square feet and had an open-air kitchen.”
“Singapore was so close to the equator, that it didn’t need heat,” John added. “It was 89 - 91 degrees year-round. Our air-conditioning bill was very high. It was very humid.” A banyan tree was by their house, and the hotel’s plant nursery was next door, with abundant bougainvilleas. “When we wanted to change out our plants in the house, we just walked next door.” “Throughout our home in Ennis, we have decorated with peasant paintings that we bought in Hong Kong. The peasants in mainland China paint these,” Laurie explained. The floor of their current home is stained, polished and scored concrete, with carpet in the bedrooms. “We planned this home with our three bedrooms upstairs. We designed this to have a guest suite that could be a master, downstairs. The antique 1920s era furniture in our guest suite and our dining room came from the first house we purchased, in Peekskill, New York. The home and furniture had belonged to a French seamstress.”
From the upstairs balcony, there is a view into the high-ceilinged living room, with its contemporary furnishings and expansive window wall. “In the winter, the sun comes in here slowly, and really warms up the house nicely,” John pointed out. “That morning light, when it comes across the trees, and hits the koi painting opposite the windows, is beautiful.”
John, a serious cook, enjoys preparing dinner when he gets home from work. He really influenced the design of the kitchen. “The counters are black granite tile,” he said. They contrast dramatically with the natural modern- fronted maple cabinetry. “There is no ethnic cuisine that is foreign at our dinner table. On a weekly basis we may have American, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, French or Spanish. We are fortunate that the girls’ palates are very diverse and open to a great variety of foods.”
In addition to the diversity of ethnic cuisine they enjoy, the girls have enjoyed learning the Chinese New Year (CHNY) traditions. CHNY celebrations begin on February 7 this year. “The first night and day of CHNY is a day of reunion and thanksgiving,” John said. “We have dinner at home. It is also our tradition for our girls to call the Chinese grandparents, aunts and uncles to wish them "Gong Hay Fat Choy!" In return for wishing them a Happy Chinese New Year’s, usually the relatives will send them a hong bao, a lucky red envelope with money inside.”
The Mahs have decorated their home for this holiday. “Our decorations must have the color red which symbolizes good luck, and the color gold that symbolizes good fortune. So, with a little luck you will have good fortune,” John explained. “We always set up our lucky CHNY tree with Chinese ornaments that we have collected from living in Asia. It is placed at the foyer as you enter the house. It is the most auspicious location to display this, so that every person that enters your house will be blessed with a happy and propitious new year.” The Mahs have started a tradition in Ennis of having a CHNY celebration at a local Chinese restaurant with their friends. “The numbers have grown from 20 to 60 this last year,” John said. “The places we have lived have been great, but Ennis is wonderful, too. I love being able to know more people and have an impact in the community; to be able to relate to and see people we know. In a city, we could go anywhere, but never see anyone we knew. Here, it is wonderful to know everybody.”
(Originally published in the February 2008 issue of Ennis Now and written by Kelly Kovar. View the original article here.)
As an independent contractor, Laurie Mah may hang her Realtor’s license in Dallas, but she plays an integral role in the local real estate market as she works from her home office in Ennis. “Ellis and Dallas counties are my main market areas,” Laurie stated. “I can hang my license anywhere, but I want to let everyone know I’m still here locally, as this has been my home for 10 years.”
She had a vision in mind when she decided to branch out to the Dallas area. Her goal was, and still is, to bring Dallas to Ennis. “The decision was twofold. I not only wanted to broaden my market area,” she admitted, “but I also wanted Ennis to receive the recognition it deserves and to introduce Dallasites to our small-town atmosphere.”
Before real estate, Laurie worked in a number of different careers, each with a common thread of customer service — helping other people. Her start in New York City, where she earned her B.B.A. in finance while working in hotel and hospitality, and then her move overseas to Singapore for five years afforded her the opportunity to perfect her people skills, a valuable asset in her current business. Laurie has devoted the past six years to perfecting her real estate career through earning several designations along the way: Graduate Realtor Institute, Certified Residential Specialist, Senior Real Estate Specialist and International Real Estate Specialist. “Education is very important,” Laurie stated. “With each designation comes greater knowledge of the industry.” She also attends continuing education classes annually to keep abreast of the every-changing real estate market. Laurie is so much more than a Realtor. She basically handles every aspect of the buying and selling process , whichever she is called to do. The first plan of action when working with clients is to get to know them. “As a trusted real estate advisor, I listen to their wants and needs and work a detailed plan to accomplish them,” Laurie added. “I will listen and give opinions and advice, but ultimately the client makes the final decision.” As the Realtor, Laurie may control the process, but the client always controls the decisions.
When working with clients who want to sell their home, Laurie offers a complimentary staging consultation in order to present the home in the best possible light. “It’s always in the best interest of those buying and selling to hire a Realtor,” she explained, “because they come to the table with a wealth of knowledge.” They are expert negotiators, superb navigators within the community and they offer the best resources when individuals decide to buy or sell. Bottom line, Laurie’s main goal when advising her clients is the fit. “I want a perfect fit between the home and the buyer,” she added.
Her desire to help clients uncover and solve their real estate problems is at the heart of Laurie’s business. Putting her knowledge of the industry and expertise to work, she’s able to achieve the desired results for every client. She has built her business one-client-at-a-time by striving to be a master of her trade. And yes, buying and/or selling a home really can be stress-free. How? Laurie just smiled as she said, “You just need the right real estate agent.”
(Originally pubished in July 2011 issue of Ennis Now Magazine and written by Sandra Strong. View the original article here.)
Copyright 2009. Laurie Mah. Ellis & Dallas County Real Estate.