Rachel Freed

Portland, Oregon, United States

Real Estate Broker

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.