Editor’s Note: The following story appeared in the May 10 issue of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “Then & Now” is a profile of a past member of the Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class.
Gwen Holloway recently transitioned to a career in real estate after spending more than 20 years as a digital marketer, content creator and online community developer.
“I’ve always loved real estate,” Holloway said. “It’s been one of my passions.”
Before the career shift, she was a marketing consultant for a friend working in real estate.
“I thought, ‘This looks like fun. I think I would be good at this,’” Holloway said. “Real estate now, almost exclusively, it’s all digital marketing.”
With her marketing background and a willingness to try something new, Holloway, 60, successfully entered the business almost five years ago.
“It’s much harder than it looks. I learned that quickly. It’s not all like HGTV where you just let people in beautiful homes, and then they decide to buy one,” she joked. “But I love it. It’s challenging. I get to meet incredible people.”
In April 2017, she started as a licensed Realtor for BloomTree Realty in Prescott, Ariz. She moved to Prescott in 2014 after taking vacations there.
“What made me fall in love with Prescott was that it reminds me so much of Fayetteville,” she said. “We’ve got a town square. It’s about the same size town. It’s surrounded by mountains. It’s just beautiful here.”
In February 2019, she joined Luxe Real Estate Group in Prescott. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, home demand has been strong while inventories have been low. Each property has about 10-15 prospective buyers.
“I’ve been extremely successful in real estate,” she said. “Going into real estate when you’re in your 50s is such an advantage because you have a lot of life experience behind you, and real estate is all about life transitions. It’s about becoming an empty nester and downsizing or upsizing… I’ve done all of those things in my own life. When you have all of that life experience yourself, I think you’re better equipped to help people when they’re in those transitions that you’ve also experienced.”
Holloway was president of Internet Resources Inc. when the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal named her to the Forty Under 40 class in 1998. Afterward, she was director of web development and education for area internet provider Arkansas.net. Meanwhile, she worked remotely for About.com and developed one of the first online courses on using the internet. She had 10s of thousands of students worldwide, and The New York Times featured her.
In January 2000, she joined Therapon Skin Health in Springdale and established and oversaw the company’s e-commerce business. Within six months, she was president.
In August 2004, she started as a marketing consultant for Little Rock-based Travel Nurse Across America. She joined the staffing agency as director of marketing in November 2004. She added the title of sales director in May 2005. She moved to Little Rock for the role and lived there for two years before returning home to Fayetteville.
In Fayetteville, she worked remotely as a marketing consultant. In Boston, a travel nurse company had recruited her before she was asked to run its website for healthcare IT jobs.
She was community manager for HealthcareITJobs.com from November 2007 to April 2009. Between December 2008 and July 2013, she was a careers blogger for Healthcare Informatics Magazine. Meanwhile, she was a careers columnist for HIT Exchange Magazine from March 2011 to April 2012.
In May 2009, Holloway founded her second business, HealthcareITCentral.com, amid the healthcare industry’s digital records transition. Her site connected the industry and IT professionals. She said it grew into “the largest healthcare IT career portal online.” She served as editor and director of content strategy and community development and became the “go-to healthcare IT careers expert.” She sold the business in October 2013.
Holloway, who still considers Fayetteville home, has two daughters. They are University of Arkansas graduates, and the youngest recently started graduate school there. Her eldest is in charge of social media for Ferrari North America.
Holloway supports Yavapai Humane Society and Animal Rescue Foundation. Her hobbies include kayaking and exercising on her Hydrow. She’s also co-founder of GardenBunch.com.