Mallory Steenstrup is one of the newer faces at Mosaic Realty who already seems like part of the family. Thanks to her willingness to pitch right in on any task, her patience, and her sense of humor, it feels like she’s been with us awhile. Also, her ability to make an absolutely banging mango tart doesn’t hurt, either.
Share a bit about your background with us.
I moved to Asheville in 2010 from Upstate New York to go to Warren Wilson College where I got my degree in environmental science with a concentration in conservation biology. After my first winter, I knew I never wanted to go back to New York.
What made you want to be a real estate broker?
Well, as is fairly typical for someone with my degree, fresh out of school, I worked in the service industry. I actually wound up doing that for a long time – and made a lot more than I would have using my degree! Along the way, I realized I was really good at creative problem-solving — you know, thinking on your feet. Then, when I bought a house in 2019, I realized through the experience that my skill set could be a great fit for the industry. So my brain started connecting the dots, and I started thinking I’d try to navigate those waters and give real estate a go. For most people, buying a home is a huge investment and pretty scary, so I figured I’d try to be the type of agent I needed.
It’s been great so far, but a little different than I thought because you’re mostly at the mercy of someone else’s schedule (buyers and sellers). You’re either stopped or running 100 mph. The upside is that I’ve found skills I didn’t realize I had. It feels good to realize you’re capable.
Also, I love working around smart, super-cool women, and Elizabeth (Putnam) and Jackie (Dirscherl) have taken me under their wings and that’s been so great. I feel extra lucky to have landed here.
What are your passion projects/subjects?
Oh, definitely music! I have a lot of friends who are musicians and in the business, so I go to a lot of live shows.
I also love gardening — Erin (Walton-Haggerty) and I share a lot of plant tips — and I am an avid baker. I love making cookies and cakes for any and all occasions I possibly can, including everyone's birthdays, holidays, and even for my clients’ home closings. [Interviewer starts drooling]
Additionally, I feel pretty strongly about NOT supporting fast fashion and re-using everything as much as possible, so I thrift a lot of clothes. I am super-into supporting local second-hand stores like Reciprocity, and having clothing swaps with girlfriends. Textile waste is a huge global problem and I try my best not to contribute to that.
What ways do you enjoy giving back to our community?
With my conservation background, I’m really into environmental causes – river cleanups, invasive plant removal; anything related to clean water. Like a few of our folks, I’ve worked with RiverLink, particularly its Adopt a Storm Drain program, and after I get my feet under the table here at Mosaic, I would like to do more. We only have this one earth, it’s up to us to protect it.
What are your realty superpowers?
A combination of intuition and honesty. I’m good at pointing out when buying a home is right for someone or not, and have no problem telling someone if they love a house, but I feel like the water heater is gonna go or the roof needs work. I’m also really good at negotiation and finding areas of compromise, which comes in handy when you’re working with, say, a couple who has very different ideas about what their ideal house should be.
Do you have certain neighborhoods/communities in which you especially love to work?
I’ve lived in West Asheville for 10 years, and it absolutely is my favorite. I love helping friends find homes where we can all walk to the same community places. But a really cool part about this job is to be able to explore the areas I’m not familiar with, like Alexander. That’s becoming another new favorite.
What do you think is the most special thing about the AVL area?
So much beauty to explore! You can drive or hike for forty five minutes in any direction and see thousands of miles of beauty. I also like the middle-sized city feel, because you get a nice blend of the familiar and the new. There are things which are very consistent about AVL, like how the food at Nine Mile hasn’t changed in a decade, and that’s still a very good thing. But then there will be new places or popups that are really different, but just as good and interesting. I like the fact that there’s room for it all here.
Connect With or Learn More: About Mallory Steenstrup