Tribune Print Share Text

Meet Kelly Friend

Oak Crest sales counselor on her job, family, and life at Parkville’s premier retirement community

Created date

May 5th, 2017
Oak Crest Sales Counselor Kelly Friend with her son Luke.

When she’s not at work at Oak Crest, Sales Counselor Kelly Friend loves spending her free time with her son Luke and their shared love of baseball.

Kelly Friend was sold on Oak Crest’s lifestyle before she ever started in the role of sales counselor at the Parkville, Md., Erickson Living community. Now she helps prospective residents discover all the 87-acre campus has to offer.

“I had no idea what Oak Crest even was before I started working here six years ago,” says Friend. “I was working at a newspaper in Harford County selling advertising space, and one of the businesses on my sales list was Oak Crest. 

“The first time I set foot in the community, I was blown away,” says Friend. “Everyone was so friendly, and the community felt so welcoming. I had no plans of leaving my job, but I was just so wowed by the community and the people here that two months later, when I saw they had a job opening, I applied and here I am.”

As sales counselor, Friend works with the other members of Oak Crest’s sales team to help individuals and couples interested in learning more about the Erickson Living lifestyle as well as other aspects of the moving process like selecting an apartment home, selling a house, downsizing, finding a real estate agent, and hiring a moving company. 

We caught up with Friend recently and asked her to share thoughts about her job, family, and what she has learned from the seniors she has met over the last six years.  

Q: How is Oak Crest different from the last place you worked? 

Friend: The biggest difference is selling Oak Crest’s lifestyle is so much more gratifying then selling advertising space. Every day I get to see people’s lives change for the better. It’s amazing. I love coming to work every day. It’s so rewarding. I can’t wait to help the next person move because I know how happy they will be. 

Q: What are some of the day-to-day challenges you face in your position?

Friend: I think people have a misconception of what living in a retirement community is really like. I know when I visited Oak Crest for the first time, I was expecting it to be a sad and depressing place. As soon as I got on the campus I saw how wrong I was. 

This is such an active community—we have a softball team, bocce ball teams, a pool, and fitness center—the residents are really living life to the fullest. Once people visit the community and see how much is going on, they begin to realize it’s not at all what they thought.”

Q: What do you think is the biggest benefit to living at Oak Crest? 

Friend: I really think one of the greatest things about living at Oak Crest is the range of activities and social opportunities here in the community. As we get older we tend to lose touch with friends and become more isolated. 

Here at Oak Crest, you meet people from all walks of life. You meet people who share the same interests as you do and form new friendships. You really develop a support system here.  

Moving to Oak Crest is really not just about moving into a new apartment. It’s about the lifestyle that you gain with that new apartment and the larger community.

Q: What’s the best advice you can give to someone who’s thinking about moving to a community like Oak Crest?

Friend: Don’t wait. Do it now while you can take advantage of everything Oak Crest has to offer. 

Also, if you feel Oak Crest is the right place for you, joining the priority list is extremely important. The sooner you join, the higher guarantee your desired apartment will be available when you are ready to move. Joining the priority list also gives you the opportunity to attend special events offered exclusively to our priority list members.

Q: What have you learned from the seniors you have met over the last six years?

Friend: Time goes by quickly, so cherish every moment. 

Q: What do you enjoy most when you’re not helping people move to Oak Crest?

Friend: That’s easy—my 12-year-old son Luke! He is my world. All we do is baseball, baseball, baseball. He loves it.

Q: What is your favorite place on Oak Crest’s campus?

Friend: The courtyard outside our Village Square Clubhouse has a fish pond with koi and goldfish and trees and benches. I love to sit and watch the fish and turtles whenever I have a free moment.