Lake Oswego-based realtor Jennifer Weinhart is PMAR's Masters Circle Broker of the Year.
The annual award is given to a top producer in the local real estate industry who has also made a positive impact in their community.
"I felt like I was getting an academy award," Weinhart said of the ceremony held in May at the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland. "I didn't expect it. It was humbling to be among my peers and all of their efforts."
A member of the Master's Circle for 10 years, Weinhart averages about 40-50 residential home sales a year, and has been with The Hasson Company Realtors since 2011. "I love working for them," she said.
Like many experienced agents, much of Weinhart's new business comes to her by referral from prior clients. While calls and clients do come in from her website, she says, word-of-mouth still reigns supreme.
Most of the 20-year veteran's residential property listings are in the high-end luxury market. Think big homes in the Lake Oswego, Tualatin and Happy Valley areas. But she also has a condominium listing on the 10th floor of the Elizabeth Lofts in the Pearl District listed for $599,500 and townhomes with smaller footprints in areas located west of Portland.
Many people enter real estate because it can offer life/work balance and it's exciting to hold that lockbox key and go inside homes. But it's always been a full-time endeavor for this top producer, even while raising three children in West Linn, where she's lived for the last two decades.
"I was always working, even if the kids were in a play or whatever," she laughs. "Some people can do it part-time, but that's just never been my personality." This is not to say Weinhart hasn't done her fair share of heavy-lifting in her kids' lives, supporting the West Linn School District's sports programs, arts programs, PTA and school auctions. She also supports Lake Oswego's Relay for Life; the American Cancer Society; and Dress for Success.
While people tend to get their licenses and enter the real estate industry when the market is good, Weinhart says new agents have to be willing to surf the market's ups and downs and all the volatility and adrenaline it can present.
"It can be super-stressful," she says of transactions she's brokered between buyers and sellers, but adds that it's never boring. Each sale presents new scenarios: a roof needs fixing or a final inspection calls for expensive repairs that result in the lowering of the asking price.
With the increase of tools like Zillow, Trulia, and RedFin, everyone
is tapping their apps to hunt for properties on their phones. Weinhart says she often tells new clients upfront that they may actually find what they're looking for first, and that property values there often don't provide a lot of context. In other words, finding the perfect house online is only the first step in a long
As any first-time Portland buyer knows, the market is extremely challenging right now. "It's very tough to even get into the market. People still want to be close to the city but they're looking further east to Milwaukie and Gladstone, and also into areas further west."
Weinhart recently added a member to her team who knows her work ethic firsthand. Her son just got his license to sell real estate and is her new assistant.