Rachel FreedPortland, Oregon, United States
Urban Nest Realty
My love of old homes, architecture and helping people "find home" came together to create the perfect storm of a career. Not one I expected, but one I have come to completely embrace. In the late 1990’s, I was looking for a steadier career than freelance writing, after spending many previous years in television production. I considered real estate, but, as a “creative”, I thought it wasn’t for me. I was "above" real estate. I was such a snob! However, after doing the coursework and meeting other agents, I realized real estate was exactly the right place for me. I became a realtor in 2000. I opened my own brokerage in 2005 and I have opened my own dream, boutique agency, Urban Nest Reality, in 2011, where I am the co-owner, managing principal broker.
Our small team specializes in vintage homes and eco-friendly new construction in close-in urban neighborhoods. We also have a special focus on working with French-speaking clients and work with contacts in Paris and around the world to help Americans purchase property abroad. On average, we sell $13M of residential real estate per year. Even throughout the recession, we have been able to keep our sales in the top 10% of realtors nation-wide.
Running your own real estate business can be extremely hard work - 24/7 for a while. But the longer you're in it, the more business you generate, the more opportunity there is to hire associates and assistants. I will teach you how to run your own brokerage business; create branding and advertising materials; find the perfect space and turn it into your own; expand your business internationally and build a referral business.
I have my master's in film and video production and spent seven years working on film and video projects. I then worked at Oregon Public Broadcasting as an executive producer for the national and international production department before deciding to become a freelance writer.
Today, I'm one of approximately 2,000 realtors world-wide who have earned the Certified International Property Specialist Designation (CIPS). I am also a Certified Negotiation Specialist trained to negotiate from a win-win perspective, and I continue to take classes to help me stay abreast of current trends. Real estate is a constant learning experience. Just when I think I know everything, I find out there's still so much left to figure out.
Home buying and selling is a huge emotional and financial decision for folks. Our focus is helping the client figure out what is best for them, whether to hold onto their houses for a few more years, downsize or become a buyer-up.
I like the autonomy of setting my own schedule, the creative challenges of marketing and advertising and, of course, the commission checks don't hurt. As a business owner, I am proud to say a lot of my good ideas have blossomed into wonderful business practices. It's been freeing to be in charge and to treat my staff the way I always wanted to be treated. I don't think I could ever go back to working for someone else. I value my independence and ability to use my creative problem solving far too much to have to make myself "small" again to fit into another employer's box.