Meet the NHCs - Kissing Tree
Nov 07th, 2023

Meet the NHCs

Here at Kissing Tree, we talk a lot about our New Home Counselors. There’s a reason we don’t call them salespeople – we know that no one wants to be sold to. When you’re considering Kissing Tree, it’s much more helpful to have someone who listens to your needs and then helps you find the best homes for your lifestyle and budget. Our New Home Counselors get to know a LOT about our Kissing Tree customers, and we thought it was only fair to get to know a little bit more about them.

Meet the New Home Counselors

From left to right: Bill Griggs, Leslie Maguire, Linda Lahrman, Kendra Johnson, Marc Bodley, Kevin Bendy, Brian Blair 

Leslie Maguire

Hometown:  Austin, Texas 

Family: Husband, Jay, two fuzzy dogs, Cooper and Beulah Ann (she’s featured in the new Kissing Tree TV ad!) and one perfect daughter, Hillary.

Hobbies: English Dressage (I ride my horse, Mikey, every week!)

Favorite local spot: In Austin, I love Matt’s El Rancho. In San Marcos, I’m inclined to go to Cody’s!

Favorite part of the job: Helping people find their perfect forever home in Kissing Tree!

Favorite floor plan/style: My favorite plan is the new Pepperdine Modern Farmhouse!

What do you tell people about KT? Kissing Tree is like Disneyland for grownups! 

Any insider tips at KT or things you think people should know? Kissing Tree is the most welcoming community to newcomers!

Kevin Bendy

Hometown: I grew up in Eagle Lake, a small rice farming community southwest of Houston and not far from the Gulf Coast. I’ve lived in Central Texas since graduating from Southwest Texas State University (aka Texas State University). My wife and I raised our kids in Dripping Springs and moved back to Austin as empty nesters.

Family: I’ve been married to my wife Gretchen for 24 years. We have a 23-year-old daughter, Avery, who lives and works in Austin and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas. Blake is 21 and entering his senior year at UT.

Hobbies: Boating and shallow-water fishing the Texas coast.

Favorite local spot: The Taproom has great beer and burgers. It was also my hangout spot during my college years at SWT. The brisket at Hays County BBQ is pretty darn good, too.

Favorite part of the job: Being able to meet and work with KT residents during their ‘forever’ home purchase. I’ve learned so much from so many of our residents who come from all walks of life and world experiences.

Favorite floor plan/style: The Champlain with the Modern Prairie exterior. It offers an excellent ‘bang for your buck’ layout with great natural light and it’s made for entertaining.

What do you tell people about KT? It’s all about the lifestyle. As important as the home is, it almost becomes secondary to becoming a part of the community. If you get bored at KT, that’s on you…

Any insider tips at KT or things you think people should know? Get out and explore the immediate area – you’re a quick drive away from the best that Texas has to offer. There’s a reason people travel from all over the world to experience our ‘neck of the woods.’

Brian Blair

Hometown: I was born in Zimbabwe and lived in Cape Town, South Africa, for 6 years before we moved to the US (Michigan). I currently live in Dripping Springs.

Family: I have been married to my wife Emily for 6 and half years and we have a Bernedoodle name Sadie.

Hobbies: I enjoy playing the piano and traveling.

Favorite part of the job: I really love what I do… Meeting new clients and hearing their story. Finding their perfect home is super rewarding when you see their smile.

Favorite floor plan/style: I really love the Monroe. It has a great layout.

What do you tell people about KT? I tell them KT is like living in a resort. You can keep yourself as busy or laidback as you feel fit.

Any insider tips at KT or things you think people should know? KT residents are open-minded to diverse perspectives and backgrounds –  they just want to have fun and build new relationships.

Linda Lahrman

Hometown: Fort Stockton, Texas

Family: Two children and 2 grandchildren

Hobbies:  Traveling and hanging out with friends, old and new

Favorite local spot: home

Favorite part of the job: Meeting new people and helping them make Kissing Tree their new home

Favorite floor plan/style: Pepperdine Modern Prairie

What do you tell people about KT? If you are looking for a place to call home where the people are friendly and you can be engaged with people with similar interests, this is the place.

Kendra Johnson

Hometown: I was born in Philadelphia but raised on a farm in a little town on Lake Huron in Michigan.

Family: My hubby John is my only “kid” still at home. We have a son (38) who lives in Germany, a daughter (36) in Florida, and a stepdaughter (38) in Kentucky. We’re blessed with 3 grandkiddos from my stepdaughter and 1 from my son.

Hobbies: I love gardening – I love to play in the dirt. I like long walks (preferably along the ocean), and I love to read.

Favorite local spot: I seldom leave Kissing Tree, but if I do, I’m likely to be seen at Cody’s Bistro.

Favorite part of the job: My favorite thing is meeting so many dynamic people and hearing their stories about what brings them to Kissing Tree!

Favorite floor plan/style: This is a trick question – I can find something awesome about all our floor plans!

What do you tell people about KT? If you are looking for a strong sense of community, along with being smack dab between Austin and San Antonio and having great amenities, you just might have found home….

Any insider tips at KT or things you think people should know? Every day we become a bigger “melting pot” of residents. I am proud of the feeling of this being a very inclusive neighborhood (as opposed to being exclusive), and I am humbled by these folks that I am beyond fortunate to call neighbors.

Marc Bodley

Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Family: I have a wife and two cats.

Hobbies: I love cars and outdoor adventures!

Favorite local spot: Industry

Favorite part of the job: There’s nothing better than meeting people from all over the world.

Favorite floor plan/style: You can’t beat the Pepperdine Modern Prairie.

What do you tell people about KT? It’s an amazing opportunity to live in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in central Texas.

Any insider tips at KT or things you think people should know? Plan on having new best friends within 10 days of moving in!

Bill Griggs

Family:  I have a wonderful girlfriend!

Hobbies: You can find me boating, fishing, playing golf and enjoying live music.

Favorite Local Spot: Gruene Hall

Favorite Part of the Job: I love helping people find their new home so they can enjoy life at Kissing Tree.

Favorite Floor Plan/Style:  I’d have to go with the Trevino Cottage. It’s got a great flow and you can let someone else take care of the lawn.

What do you tell people about KT? It’s like a Texas Shangri-La!

Any insider tips at KT or things people should know?  Be prepared to enjoy life! It’s pretty great here.

If you have any more burning questions for our New Home Counselors, stop by the Welcome Center and say hi! If you want to know specifics about homes or home sites or you’re ready to go on a tour, it’s always a good idea to make an appointment before your visit. 

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