MMP offers personal service for relocating physician families
By LYNNE JETER
On any given day, especially after Residency Match Day, Amanda Baron may pick up transferring physicians from the airport, have welcome baskets waiting at their hotel with local goodies, give them a tour of the area and help them with relocation.
Across the country, the scenario is repeated by select realtors who are married to physicians and understand the specifics needed for a successful move via Moving Medicine Partners (MMP), a national network of professional realtors that specialize in physician and family relocations.
“Our agents have been there, done that,” said Baron, whose husband, Chris Baron, MD, is a pediatric interventional radiologist at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville. “In addition to finding a home, we help these newcomers get connected to their communities from the very beginning. We know how important that is.”
Baron, a realtor for Compass Real Estate in Nashville, led the effort to create a network by seeking other professional real estate agents within Compass, a real estate brokerage company with more than 25,000 agents nationwide. Zoe Cangas, a realtor at the St. Louis location, helped Baron find the original dozen MMP members, then set the managing teams, which ultimately resulted in an ally team.
The founding members hashed out details at a luncheon at the annual Compass Retreat last August. By the end of February, MMP had 45 realtors representing numerous states, including Alaska and Hawaii.
“Our goal is to have all states represented,” Baron said. “We’ve had an overwhelming response from realtors across the U.S., wanting to join the MMP team. While we’re still interviewing applicants, we’ve had close to 60 interviews in the first two months of the year.
“Having first-hand experience of being ‘married to medicine’ helps our agents connect to physician families on a different level. We understand the lifestyle and demands put on the family to make moving that much more stressful. We have systems in place to help connect the physician family to other agents nationally and feel at home right away.”
Baron moved from Texas to Tennessee 18 years ago for her husband’s residency.
“He had no time off to come look at houses, so my mom and I came with a three-month-old baby,” she said. “We looked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I bought a house on Sunday, and he never saw it until we moved.
“I try to help my clients with this challenge. Many times, they must do things virtually or I’m dealing with the spouse. I try to streamline as much as I possibly can.”
MMP is expecting a rush of business after Match Day by helping on both ends to make a smooth transition. Last year, nearly 47,675 applicants registered in the Main Residency Match, according to the National Resident Matching Program.
“When residents receive their respective ‘match,’ there’s a short window of time to leave one area and report to the next seamlessly, generally state to state,” Baron said. “We offer immediate help. We can connect them to an agent in their area to make their moves seamless. We can also help with rental properties if that better fits their needs.”
Many realtors in MMP also belong to local, regional, and national chapters of American Medical Association-Alliance for spouses.
“Connecting into the medical community is very important,” Baron said. “They have instant friends and support. My husband had to do a fellowship in Cincinnati while I lived in Nashville with our then five-year-old and three-year-old. Having a good support system is what carried me through.”
The Birmingham MMP realtor is Debi Mestre, who is the owner of MD Realty. Her daughter Susan, who earned a Nurse Practitioner from Vanderbilt, and her son Adam, who earned a law degree from the University of Alabama, both work with her. Her husband, Jose Mestre, MD, is a gastroenterologist with Children’s of Alabama.
Debi Mestre started her career as a nurse, before becoming a CPA, then an attorney, and finally a realtor. The vast majority of her client base is physician families, from Residents to Departmental Chairs.