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Therese Taylor, Hold Thyssen

Therese Taylor bakes one hell of a monster cookie.

She actually bakes many things, but these peanut butter-oatmeal-chocolate chip-M&M candy concoctions may be the most legendary in her ample roster. So much so, that she made six dozen – by request – for her brother’s wedding celebration.

Yes, Taylor has a passion for baking, one that often leads to her creating more confectionary delights than she can or should be consuming at home. That means they get toted in to the office at Hold Thyssen, where she works as a broker-associate.

“My co-workers are not very happy with me when I do that,” she tells GrowthSpotter, “but they do eat everything.”

The baking plays well into Taylor’s penchant for entertaining. She often hosts gatherings at her Maitland home. For the latter, her cohorts in the Orlando chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (she is the current president-elect) are often on-hand.

Not long ago, there was an Oscar extravaganza. Taylor did all the refreshments and money was up for grabs.

“We did a pool where you predict who is going to get the Oscar. My brother-in-law ended up walking away with the pot.”

Taylor will often do spa weekends, as well.

“We all spend time at my house and get treatments and relax.”

It’s hard-earned relaxation.

Taylor was born in Kentucky but spent the majority of her life here in town. As a teen growing up in Pine Hills’ Rosemont community she avoided typical after-school jobs like fast food, because she always had an eye toward a business career.

“I was always thinking ahead to what was next,” she says.

Her very first job was at a TG&Y, a five-and-dime chain locals may remember. Soon after Taylor sought opportunity elsewhere, moving to Service Merchandise, then the Orlando Sentinel’s customer service department (“If you didn’t get your paper, I was the one you called!”), followed by a receptionist’s gig at a stock brokerage firm -- which inspired her to think sales.

“I decided to get my Series 7 license and I was barely 21 years old, not even really old enough to buy stock but trying to sell it,” she laughs. That recipe didn’t quite rise, but undaunted, Taylor finished her degree at UCF and entered the fray of the real estate industry.

At a boutique firm like Hold Thyssen, where they’re always in the market for new properties and owners to represent, Taylor’s role includes business development – a natural for someone with social gifts and graces. She’s been with the firm since 2008 and – as it was when she was a kid – always has an eye on what’s next. At the time we spoke that target was her CCIM designation. Taylor had one course left to complete it.

“I think it will give me more credibility,” she explains. “We’re a small shop; we still have to compete with the big guys and it should help me do that, as well as give me a lot more depth of understanding … . We’re making decisions for our clients and I think this will help me do that even better.”

And in the spaces between CREW, work and getting ahead – there’s always time for something sweet. She recently baked a leprechaun’s hat cake for her sister’s baby-reveal party.

In addition to baking, Taylor has a penchant for fly-fishing, which she tried on a California vacation years ago.

“It’s not just standing there, holding a pole – you really get into the whole art of it. So that, and white-water trips out West. It’s what I like to do when I’m not here.”

She notes that baking, like fishing, is relaxing and fun. But Taylor wouldn’t trade her current career for that of a pastry chef.

“If I had to make a living on it, it probably wouldn’t be as fun, and it certainly wouldn’t be as lucrative, so until I retire – or invent some amazing, new recipe – I think I will stick with real estate!”

A.D. Thompson
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