September 28, 2023

My First Year as a Carolina Retail Expert: What I Have Learned From and About the Partners at CRE

Author: Taylor Boyd

As I reflect on my first year with the Carolina Retail Experts, I can’t help but smile and feel proud of the team that I joined. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned thus far.


If you’ve ever met John Orr, you might find yourself nodding along as you read this.

John will take forty-five minutes just to introduce himself and in doing so, will start thirty-three stories but only finish nine of them. He is always the first person to offer help and the last person to leave a party. When driving around any town, John will know not only who owns every property, but will know the owners’ neighbors’ second grade teacher’s brother-in-law who he went fishing with fifteen years ago and hell, they’ve been buddies ever since! When he says, “the other day”, that could mean as recent as this morning, or it could mean eight years ago. Time is relative and the best stories are un-false-afiable.

As a self-proclaimed storyteller, John has taught me that there is a perfect word for everything. Take the time to find that word, because words matter. In this industry, the words we use are critical. So are the numbers.

This was proven when I did one of my first deals at a local shopping center. The broker on the other side wrote the wrong unit number on the LOI, and the Lease. This mistake went unnoticed by both the Broker and his Tenant and that broker’s client was in fact delivered the “wrong unit”. It’s too bad that not everyone has a mentor like John.


My first month at CRE felt as if I was drinking from a firehose. I was hearing new terminology, acronyms and jargon all day long. While I was initially intimidated by all of this, Elyse reassured me when she started, she too knew nothing. With one sentence, she eased my anxiety and discomfort about feeling so “green”. She said, “You’re just starting out. You can’t know everything, but you can know everyone”.

This took off all the pressure I was feeling to learn the new industry lingo, the market and how to actually make a deal. Instead, I was able to do what I felt confident doing – getting to know people and making lasting connections. Of course, market knowledge and deal making skills are absolutely critical. However, this shift in focus and approach made all the difference. It allowed me to feel confident in my daily efforts despite being so new to the company.


Lindsey is always cool, calm, and collected. She thinks before she acts or reacts, and she is always three steps ahead of anyone else. I have watched her execute dozens of deals throughout the last year, each one with diplomacy and poise. Lindsey has taught me how to do the right deal, at the right time, for the right reason. She is a leader in this industry, and all year long I have heard people remark, “Oh you’re partnering with Lindsey Halter? She is the best, we love her!”

In addition to teaching me how to do a deal (properly), Lindsey has also taught me some of the more nuanced skills required of any retail broker. For example, I’ve learned when a red light is actually a yellow light if you’re quick enough. I’ve learned to keep a list of new restaurants to try, because that counts as market research. I’ve also learned how poor my handwriting looks in comparison to Lindsey’s perfect penmanship.

In the last year, I have had more laughs with Lindsey than I could count, either in the office, the car, or at Friday happy hour – which is when we craft some of our best ideas by the way. She never turns down an opportunity to pause, laugh, and appreciate how crazy this job can sometimes be and feel.

One Year In

While it would be impossible to summarize everything I’ve learned in my first year with the Carolina Retail Experts, these were just a few highlights. Thanks for reading.