To film a forthcoming Greater New Orleans episode of their hit show “House Hunters,” HGTV turned to Kenner native Stephanie Henne, an Athena top producer for the past four years in a row. The home renovation network could not have picked a realtor who better exemplifies the empathy, problem-solving know-how, and facility for generating interest that real estate requires.
HGTV initially found Henne in April via TikTok, home to one of her several social media accounts dedicated to real estate. It’s a contemporary example of a realtor spreading the word of her abilities far and wide through online savvy, but it’s also a milestone rooted in the longtime Louisianan’s history of hard work.
Whether over the Internet or face to face, Henne’s approach to real estate traces back to her eight years as a nurse.
First in medical-surgical, then in presurgery, nursing taught Henne how to combine critical thinking with care. If an ill person’s blood pressure dropped, she had to use her intellect to solve the problem, and fast. If patients misunderstood instructions for surgery prep, she had to determine how best to re-explain them for maximum clarity. Nurses absolutely must understand complicated situations correctly.
But left-brain knowledge was not enough in the hospital: for Henne’s critical thinking and advice to matter, patients had to not only comprehend what she was saying but also believe her. Every day, someone’s life was on the line, and she had to earn their trust. That’s why she paid attention to their human needs beyond the textbook technicalities. Empathic, she connected with their emotional situation. Patients, out of their element and dependent on the surrounding medical experts, found they could trust Henne.
Now her compassion and knowledgeable problem-solving allow Henne — who earned her real estate license in June 2018 — to advocate for her homebuyers and -sellers. For instance, recently, inspections revealed an older house’s aluminum wiring needed replacement before her hopeful homebuyers could obtain insurance. The $30,000 repair quote presented a roadblock. But since brokers across New Orleans trust Henne, she was able to explain the issue to the listing agent, who quickly procured the thirty thousand from the seller and put it toward the task. Henne’s warmhearted ability to sense the right way to interact with others in sensitive circumstances, coupled with her understanding of the underlying facts, secured for her clients a very successful outcome.
Another factor behind her success, according to Henne, is Athena, because the firm supports her in creatively marketing to audiences through her nurse’s blend of logic and sensitivity. She says, “Athena is very selective about who’s on the team; Athena agents are professional, trustworthy, and share a close-knit, family-style culture of co-workers, not competitors.” Henne feels nourished by a boutique brokerage that “is so creative and innovative with their marketing and with figuring out the next thing others haven’t yet caught on to.”
As her “House Hunters” spot demonstrates, Henne’s marketing aptitude is certainly impressive. Her website offers helpful insights — like the gentle instructions from her nursing days — through popular blog posts, an ongoing endeavor suited to Athena’s ethos of thought leadership and creative outreach. Among Henne’s most well-received writings have been “The Bucktown Boom” and “Moving With Kids.” That last notably provides left-brain tips even as it connects heart-to-heart with homebuyers, beginning this way: “Moving is one of the most physically and emotionally exhausting things we do in our lifetime. Moving with kids is even harder” — and she continues from there, perceptively.
Where will Henne go next? In the upcoming two to three years, she aims to assemble a team. A buyer’s agent, a listing agent, an assistant. Organizing such a squad would let her mentor real estate entrants remotely while devoting more time to her own family.
But don’t be surprised if, with her nursing strengths and marketing chops, Stephanie “House Hunter” Henne accomplishes that and, before you know it, finds another stage to step onto.