The Joanne Howle Story

For over 40 years Joanne Howle sold homes in McDowell County and her name is today a household name. 

The story started in the early 1960s when Joanne and her husband Bill Howle started Marion Pharmacy.  The pharmacy quickly became a success and continues to this day as Marion’s leading pharmacy.  The pair learned that superior customer service and cutting edge technology were keys to success.  For example, the pharmacy was one of the first pharmacies in the state to use computer systems.  

The story continued to the late 1970s when Joanne decided to obtain her real estate license.  Significant in this was that women did not share equal footing with their male counterparts in real estate.  When Joanne approached the local Century 21 office, the owner asked “What does Bill think about this?”  Well, this was not the right approach with the competitive and entrepreneurial Joanne so she just decided to open her own company.  It only took a few years and Joanne was outselling the “big boys.”  

Continuing through the 80s and 90s Joanne always was quick to try new approaches including hiring paid office staff, investing in emerging technology, and searching for the best agents available.  She even bought a well known national franchise and tried that for a few years but realized that people knew “Joanne Howle Realty” much more than any national franchised outfit.    

Joanne’s steady leadership and mentorship formed the foundation for the steady growth of Joanne Howle Realty as we know it today -- one of the largest and most successful firms in McDowell County.  

Over the years, Joanne Howle grew her business and helped shape the industry at the same time.  She also provided continual community service to her beloved Marion.  Joanne passed in 2020 but her spirit shines through today in the company she founded.

Written by Steve Jones, current Team Leader