It's springtime in Portland, and life is good. There are countless reasons why our brokers are always excited about spring's return, but one of the biggest reasons is the unbeatable farm-fresh produce.
Oregon is home to some of America's greatest and most diverse growers. You can find their crops every week at these Portland area farm stands and farmers markets. Check them out, and enjoy some fine spring weather while you're out there!
Many Coldwell Banker Bain brokers have transitioned into their real estate career from a different industry, finding ways to leverage their past "lives" into a successful real estate practice. Such is true for Karen Everett of the Coldwell Banker Bain of Anacortes office. By combining a television, production, and writing background for some of the region's top media outlets and companies with a passion for her island community and burgeoning reputation as a chef, Karen has become the office's top producing broker for the past five years.
"I have found that you need to be more than just a realtor," Karen said. "People need to see that you're also their neighbor, and committed to the community, which of course lends to your credibility around the benefits to living there and makes you a good choice for their real estate needs."
After majoring in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Washington, Karen started her career in 1978 with KUOW radio, writing radio spots for the NPR affiliate. She then went to KIRO as an intern, where she said, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease.. I had to bug the News Director for six months to give me a chance. My job interview was to write two news stories in 20 minutes (or something) in the noisy, boisterous newsroom. I got the job!" The job was as head writer for KIRO's hour-long "Eyewitness News" noon news, and writer for its Emmy-award-winning 5:00pm newscast.
"Working at KUOW and KIRO really taught me the art of storytelling – because it required me to engage people in a concise way. I now can do that effectively when creating listing materials and visuals for sellers," she said.
Following KIRO Karen then moved to Boeing, where her writing and production skills focused on emerging technologies, most notably related to the company's bid for NASA's Space Station contract, which it was awarded in 1988. In addition, she handled all communications for Boeing exhibits including for the Paris Air Show and the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics show in Washington D.C. In total, Karen worked with three different NASA space flight centers in Alabama, Florida & Texas on Space Station Technologies.
After Boeing, Karen freelanced for a decade, writing videos, brochures, articles, and catalogs for clients such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Costco, Mac's Place, "Nor'Westing" magazine, and Eddie Bauer before serving as Creative Director, Writer & Producer of the popular TV show, "Northwest Home & Garden." She created the pilot and first season, wrote scripts, auditioned and hired talent (including Jeff Probst as host, who went on to do "Survivor," and Master Gardener Ciscoe Morris as guest gardener, who went on to do his own show), and directed talent, produced & edited the final show.
"It's so wild how technology has evolved since I first started," she said. "In radio at KUOW, it was super cool to go out and record interviews, and there was a snazzy way to unscrew the bottom of the pay phone receiver and attach wires so I could send in the story over the phone. I actually spliced tape back then too - before you could digitally splice. When first working at KIRO, we still had typewriters in the newsroom (noisy with 50 going!), and we had to physically tape scripts together to go into the teleprompter. When Eyewitness News computerized -- wow!! I had one of the first 'lap top' -type tape recorders/script writing machine, and I still have it."
Today, Karen recommends selecting one or two social media platforms for marketing your practice and one or two real estate-related marketing platforms (she utilizes the Zillow Premier Agent program, Realtor.com, and Tour Factory for virtual tours) and using video and high-end photography as much as possible to gain attention.
Karen joined Coldwell Banker in 2004 in the Deception Pass office, and then moved to the Coldwell Banker Bain of Anacortes office. Her passion for Guemes Island, in which she and her family have lived for nearly 30 years, has propelled her to listing and selling dozens of homes, including many waterfront properties on the island, in Anacortes and La Conner, the San Juan Islands, and Bellingham.
Karen can't help but gush about her community, "Guemes Island really is the 'secret' San Juan Island. Located north of Fidalgo Island and Anacortes, it is accessible by private boat and by the Guemes Island ferry. It is such a great place to live… talk about walking beaches!"
Her passion led her to becoming the broker representative for the Skagit Land Trust, which conserves wildlife habitat, agricultural and forest lands, scenic open space, wetlands, and shorelines for the benefit of the community and as a legacy for future generations. Also serving on its steering committee, Karen personally raised $30,000 for the Trust and donated her selling-side commission of a $1.4 millon sale.
She is also founding member and co-chair of the committee for "Save Guemes Mountain," helping to raise the $2.8 million needed to purchase and steward the land, and is founding member of "The Guemes Tide" monthly newsletter. Widely known for her culinary skills, Karen authored a cookbook 30 years ago called "6,000 Garlic Kisses," and when a "new" store opened on the island she would cook recipes from the cookbook to support its opening, making her well-known as a chef. The Guemes Tide featured a regular column by Karen called "A Taste of Guemes." Today, she annually offers her up culinary skills to the Land Trust for its fundraising efforts, as well as for the Island Hospital Foundation's Annual Gala as an auction item, and serves on the Foundation's Fundraising Committee.
"I keep very busy ensuring the beauty and preservation of my community, and getting involved in these ways keeps me informed on what's happening and what the future holds," she says. "It also allows me to meet a large number of people which has resulted in an active referral source network for real estate."
Karen also finds that some other more traditional marketing activities are still effective, including ads on local Safeway shopping carts and covers of ferry schedules.
"I joined Coldwell Banker because of its worldwide network and the strength of its brand. Bain has only increased that brand strength, but in this market, which is similar to the rest of the region with very little inventory, it's important to supplement that with community involvement and other activities. I found this the best way that keep my services top of mind for residents and those looking to move here."
Few things personalize your house as much as the displays of artwork on the walls. As our brokers take you on tours, let your imagination soar and envision how you can make the space your own with your personal collection.
As much a work of art as the pieces they contain, the process of creating a gallery wall may seem daunting. But by following some basic guidelines, the display you design will be a wonderful visual focal point.
Sunday, March 14th is Pi Day, the annual celebration of the mathematical constant. While you could solve some math equations to celebrate, another option is to enjoy a slice of the dessert that shares its name.
This year, don't just head to the library, consider setting up your personal home library. Whether you have a small or extensive collection, creating an at-home library can provide a wonderful way to display your favorite volumes. It can also make your home feel grander! All it takes is a little planning to create a comfortable, personal, and unique space. Here, our brokers share their best tips for setting up a home library fit for any space.