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Irma Valdez is a Principal Broker, Attorney and owner of Irma Valdez Properties, Inc. Irma has been in real estate for over 20 years, and is a graduate of the Oregon Leadership Academy.
“The love of people, cities, homes, and development” is what interested Irma into becoming a REALTOR®.
Her advice to those just starting out: “Real estate is a wonderful career that is worth investing in. You will make long lasting relationships with other fantastic professionals in the industry.” She suggests the best way to keep competitive is to “stay focused on your own path.”
Outside of real estate, Irma is a Trustee for the Multnomah Athletic Club where she served as their past Chair of Diversity Admissions. She currently serves as co-chair of Diversity Committee for Oregon REALTORS®. In her free time, she loves sewing and fashion design. Irma is a huge proponent of supporting friends and building alliances. And when she does have free time, she loves to visit Mexico City’s Historic District.
On her bucket list? “I would love to partner in creating new housing/commercial real estate development in Oregon.” She would also love to travel more, in particular to Sydney, Australia.
April Member - Jennifer Martin - Principal Broker for Mid-Valley Commercial Real Estate.Read More
Jennifer Martin started out in banking, and now she's a Principal Broker for Mid-Valley Commercial Real Estate.
How long have you been in real estate?
I’ve worked in the real estate profession since 1993, but I’ve been a Realtor since 2003. I started out working in banking, processing residential mortgage loans and worked my way up to a commercial real estate loan officer and relationship manager. Then I joined the brokerage world in 2003. I’m a commercial real estate broker who focuses primarily on retail and office properties, helping Landlords, Tenants and Investors meet their goals. I have never sold a single family residence!
What made you enter the profession?
When I made the leap into self-employment as a broker, it was primarily for two reasons. First, I had four young children at home ranging in age from eight months to nine years. My husband worked out of town, so I was the primary taxi, team mom, snack deliverer and tutor. I wanted the additional flexibility to manage my own schedule. Secondly, I wanted more control over my career. While the bank I worked for was an amazing employer and community steward, I felt like I could have more impact on my community in a brokerage capacity.
Have you volunteered on any committees or leadership roles with OAR?
I’ve been a Realtor since I obtained my license. In 2005, I started serving on the board of directors for my local association (then known as the Salem Association of Realtors). I served as President in 2009 and I have served on the board periodically since then in my capacity as a commercial Realtor. During those years on the board, I served as a director at OAR. I’ve also served on special projects related to the association’s ownership of Oregon Realtors Plaza and as the Plaza’s Realtor representation when there have been vacancies at the Plaza, which is something I’m very proud of.
Have you earned any additional designations or certifications?
I am a CCIM and received that designation in 2008.
Is there any advice you would give to a person who is starting out in real estate?
I have a lot of advice I would give to someone looking to enter this industry. The first thing I would tell someone is that this industry is amazing for someone looking to tailor their individual goals for full-time or part-time work and other beneficial life choices.
However, it is NOT to be taken lightly or flippantly. What we do is VERY important and requires dedication to the education and knowledge it takes to be a competent advisor. Unfortunately, I think there are some who believe they just have to put a sign in the yard of a friend who wants to sell their house and they will close a deal and get a paycheck. There is so much more to what we do and how we educate our clients and brethren.
The other piece of advice I frequently give to folks is that this industry is not for the faint at heart nor for those who cannot cope with the financial swings of our industry. One MUST invest in themselves and their individual brand to set a solid foundation, but it takes significant dedication and time to have a consistent deal flow to stabilize one’s income goals.
The final piece of advice I give someone is to always remember that when you receive a check—it is NOT all yours. As self-employed Realtors (as most of us are) we are required to pay higher income taxes due to being responsible for both halves of social security. We are responsible for the costs of our own health insurance. We don’t get paid vacation, nor do we receive a match on our retirement account. I don’t think a lot of folks take that into consideration when weighing the pros/cons of self-employment. While I wholeheartedly believe in this industry, I also want to make sure folks are fully-informed and prepare properly.
What do you do outside of real estate? What are your hobbies?
Outside of real estate, you will find me hiking the hills of central Oregon, taking in ANY sporting event at the University of Oregon, or serving organizations in the community.
I’m currently the Board Chair for Isaac’s Room, a Salem-based non-profit focusing on helping divested youth rise to the challenges of life. The organization owns two coffee shops, IKE Box and Isaac’s Downtown. I also spend time helping the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Committee serve our members and community.
What’s on your bucket list?
We were planning a graduation trip for my youngest son, Jake, to go to Italy, and with the onset of COVID-19, we had to cancel that trip, so it is high on the bucket list. I would like to go to Boston and see the New England Patriots and the Red Sox both play in the same trip.
March Member - Eduardo ReyesRead More
Eduardo Reyes is a Real Estate Broker for John L. Scott Real Estate in Happy Valley. Eduardo is new to the industry and just joined a year and a half ago.
“I wanted to be my own boss, make my own hours, and I love real estate,” says Eduardo.
Eduardo has already been awarded Rookie of the Year by East Metro Association of Realtors® and John L. Scott, President Elite, for making $10 million in volume in his first year of real estate.
His advice to those just starting out, “Don’t give up, work hard, be humble, and play fair! There is too much unnecessary competition; there is enough to go around for everyone.”
Outside of real estate, Eduardo is an actor. He’s been in a couple movies and has done over 25 T.V. commercials. He also models and is a hip-hop dancer.
On his bucket list? He would love to one day travel to Paris and make the Forbes 30 under 30 list.
January Member - Jason Reese, Rogue Realty Group at Keller Williams - MedfordRead More
Jason Reese is the Principal Broker for the All Rogue Realty Group at Keller Williams in Medford. Six years ago Jason left his career in law enforcement and joined the real estate industry.
"I wanted to work in a positive industry that allowed me to use my entrepreneurial skills to control my own financial future. Plus, I've always been interested in houses, unique and unusual places are my favorite," say Jason.
Jason says he's made education a priority. He's focused on business, marketing, team building and personal development classes. He says you can never have too much education!
Jason has served on his local MLS board for two years, and is currently an advisor for the Rogue Valley Association board. In addition, Jason will be participating in the 2020 OAR Leadership Academy.
Outside of real estate, Jason has an entertainment company that focuses on live events. In addition, he enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and two daughters.
On his bucket list? He loves to travel and hopes to visit Egypt, Italy, and Japan.
December Member - Jenn Limoges from NAI Cascade in Bend, OregonRead More
This month we spotlight OAR member Jenn Limoges from NAI Cascade in Bend, Oregon. Jenn got her initial start in Commercial Real Estate, CRE, in the late 90’s working as a receptionist for a commercial property management and leasing firm in Bend. Jenn became involved in finding and leasing spaces for a business development in Seattle and Phoenix. In 2013, she moved back to Bend to become a Broker, “I wanted a new challenge. I wanted the freedom to make a great living and set my own hours.”
Jenn was interested in expanding her skills in real estate by taking the CRE designation. Her advice to anyone interested in commercial real estate, “Have two years of income saved up and get a mentor.” She adds that it is also beneficial to specialize and choose a specific vertical of CRE if your market is large enough.
She believes it’s important to get involved in the industry. She has been on the board of Central Oregon Association of REALTORS® for the past two years, a committee chair for the past four y ears and has attended most National Association of REALTORS® conferences over the last four years.
Earlier this year, Jenn accepted an award from NAR for achieving the 5-star accreditation for COAR Commercial Committee. For those wanting to do more she recommends, “get involved in committees and organizations where y ou can make a difference.”
Jenn loves the outdoors and spends her free time skiing, snowboarding, hiking, running and reading. Her bucket list includes traveling, traveling, and traveling. Here’s to traveling the world, Jenn!
November Member - Michael Kessinger from Emerald Coast Realty in Depoe Bay, OregonRead More
This month we spotlight OAR member Michael Kessinger from Emerald Coast Realty in Depoe Bay, Oregon. Being part of the real estate business for 6 years, he continues to enjoy the work. “I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and help people in the process.”
Since 2003, Michael has been advancing his skills and expanding his role into other opportunities in the Real Estate business, getting a home inspectors license and running the Blue Badge Home Inspections. His advice to someone just starting out? “You get what you put into it.” He understands its hard work; he says he is “always grateful for the opportunities Real Estate has given him.”
Michael is currently the Lincoln County MLS RPAC President and is on the scholarship committee and the community outreach committee. He’s organized two bowling events that helped raise over $6,500 for local homeless students and also arranged an RPAC dinner which raised almost $3,000.
Michael spends his free time attending Blazer and 49er’s games, camping, and spending time at the lake and beach with his german shepard, Willis. His bucket list includes traveling to Australia, having a vacation home in Maui, and doing open mic for stand-up comedy. Here’s to one day breaking a leg at the comedy club, Michael!
October Member - Mike Roth from Oregon Premier Realty in Silverton, OregonRead More
August Member - Tanner Helm , Broker Fred Real Estate Group- Bend, OregonRead More
July Member - Julie Gilbert , PC, CRS, GRI, SFR Licensed in Oregon & Washington RE/MAX River CityRead More
June Member - Jordan Miller John L. Scott - HillsboroRead More
OAR member Jordan Miller was recently featured in REALTOR® Magazine's 30 Under 30. In 2018, Jordan achieved a sales volume of $16.6 million through 44 transactions sides. He says his focus is on reducing stress for his clients and providing clear communication. Great work Jordan!
May Member - Amy Graham - Broker Taylor & Taylor, CoRead More
OAR is excited to introduce you to members from around the state. Meet Amy Graham, Broker for Taylor & Taylor Real Estate on the Central Oregon Coast. Amy has been very active with OAR serving as committee chair of Government Affairs, RPAC Trustees and as President of OAR in 2014. Amy is married, has two girls, enjoys outdoor activities and cooking. Her bucket list includes eating her way through Italy, touring the USA in an RV and going hang-gliding. Her advice to new REALTORS®? Invest in yourself! She advises to get a business coach, surround yourself with positive influences, learn from other leaders and work harder on yourself than you do your job.