Anna Holtzclaw’s footprint is on property all over Memphis.
Since 2001, the real estate marketing entrepreneur has worked to promote properties developed and designed by the likes of the Henry Turley Co., LRK Inc. and Loeb Properties Inc.
Born and raised in Memphis, Holtzclaw attended St. Mary’s Episcopal School and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville before returning home for a master’s degree in social work.
After receiving an MBA from Boston University, she came home for good after speaking with people in the industry here and being “convinced enough that the job market was going to be friendly to me and I was going to be able to find a great job when I got back,” she said.
The job was vice president of marketing for Henry Turley Co. Company namesake and longtime real estate developer Turley first approached her, she said, with what he called “a little bitty marketing project.”
That project was launching the conversion of the Paperworks Lofts from apartments to condominiums, a new concept for Memphis at the time.
“We were having to explain condo fees and how it was structured and why it was different than an apartment,” Holtzclaw said. “What happens when there are 62 of you that share one roof, who pays for the roof? Kind of educating people how that whole process works.”
With Turley, who she said “is certainly one of the more influential people in my life career-wise,” Holtzclaw helped launch his Wm. Farrington, Shrine Building conversion and Harbor Town condo projects, as well as running his real estate department for a while.
In 2004, however, it was time to move on, and that move would be out on her own with Holtzclaw Group and the goal of continued work on marketing jobs with more personal and professional flexibility.
Holtzclaw hit the ground running with a who’s who of clients around town including Turley, Frank Ricks of LRK and Joel Hobson of Hobson Realtors. She worked with a developer out of Nashville on the Monarch Condominiums on Park and another out-of-town group on The Glenmary on North Parkway.
When the market slowed in 2008, Holtzclaw called on past experience with nonprofits such as the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association and a stint as executive director of Hands on Memphis, and her social work degree, which was focused on community building, to join the effort of the Salvation Army Kroc Center, then in its final stages of fundraising.
She worked with Meg and Scott Crosby, co-chairs for the completion of the capital campaign for the center, to help raise the project’s final $5 million.
“It was a skill set similar to what I’d been doing on managing the real estate agents for lots of projects, being a sounding board, being supportive … just kind of behind-the-scenes, making sure the really talented people had the tools they needed to be successful in their asks and their requests that they were making,” Holtzclaw said.
In eight years on her own, she says that her client list has been split 50-50 between profit and nonprofit clients, which formed a perfect foundation for her latest project working with the Urban Land Institute. ULI Memphis is the local branch of a national nonprofit comprised of real estate and development professionals working to create and sustain thriving communities.
The appeal, Holtzclaw said, is in the interaction of the profit and nonprofit groups, the people she works with – many of whom she’s worked with in the past – and a true belief in the organization’s mission.
“ULI is helping us build a better Memphis and a better community and that we will be, as a city and as a region, stronger and better because of the work that ULI does,” Holtzclaw said. “That’s where they had me hook, line and sinker.”
The idea that Memphis as a whole is improving can be seen in Holtzclaw’s work with Loeb Properties and its Overton Square redevelopment. She worked with the company on marketing for a year, facilitating neighborhood meetings and community relations, launching a website and helped plan events such as MEMshop over the holidays.
“It’s a great example of good city building, being a better city and a better community and a better neighborhood,” she said, “I think Overton Square is going to be all of that for Midtown.”
Though self-employment is full of inherent challenges, Holtzclaw finds reward in the flexibility and work done, and in “working with people over and over again,” she said. “Their trust in me to repeat business and come back and work with me in different ways,” she said, “that’s really the part of it that I think is the nicest, and the thing that makes me the most proud.”