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Tony Kelly has been in real estate for 18 years and serves on Oregon REALTORS® Diversity Committee and as Director at Large for the PMAR Masters Circle. During his years in real estate, he has obtained multiple designations and certifications, including Certified Residential Specialist and At Home With Diversity.
Why Did You Choose a Career in Real Estate? “I wanted to build a business and be my own boss”
Tony is President of TLK Group Properties, which is ranked in the top 1% of REALTORS® in the Portland Metro area. He has also been featured on seven HGTV episodes, including “House Hunters” and “My House is Worth What?”
His Advice to Those Just Starting Out: “Be patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t measure your success against others. In this profession, success is truly related to effort and continuous learning.”
Outside of real estate, Tony is currently finishing up his course work for his Doctorate and will start writing his dissertation in January. He is a member of the US Running Streak Association, having run every day for 15 years and 4 months. He is ranked #155 in the world for the longest active running streak!
On His Bucket List? “I would like to view a football game at every NFL stadium.”
August Member - Leslie JonesRead More
Leslie Jones has been a Principal Broker with RE/MAX Equity Group for nine years, and is a former chair for the Professional Standards Committee with the East Metro Association of REALTORS®. During her 32 years in real estate, she has obtained multiple certifications, including GRI, Green, CDPE, CIAS, and RENE.
Why Did You Choose a Career in Real Estate? "I had been in group sales for hotels. It seemed like a natural fit."
Leslie has worked in Portland real estate since 1989; helping clients act on their real estate choices in all types of markets. She provides real estate services for many past clients and referrals; specializing in vintage, multiple units, and condominiums. She also has extensive experience facilitating and negotiating repairs for distressed properties, creative financing options, and financial analysis.
Her Advice to Those Just Starting Out: "Choose tools and systems on which to focus. Don’t get distracted by every shiny trick and option. Stay in touch with your sphere and past clients."
Outside of real estate, Leslie enjoys traveling, camping, pets, the gym, and real estate investing.
On Her Bucket List? “To travel to see the northern lights, travel to Ireland.”
July Member - Lorrie “Josephine” CoxRead More
Lorrie “Josephine” Cox is an Experienced Principal Broker with eXp Realty, Former Board Member for the Woodburn Chamber of Commerce, currently Board Representative to the Woodburn Tourism Committee, and involved in the Estates Community. She has spent 9 years in the real estate industry, obtaining certifications including SRES, GRI, and C2ex
Why Did You Choose a Career in Real Estate? “Love of people and homes. Helping others find their nest.”
Lorrie loves being a Realtor. Living and working in a 55+ Community lends a unique perspective on life, families, and relationships. She brings a compassionate, professional experience when assisting families who are dealing with loved ones with health issues, estates, inheritance issues, and the rollercoaster journey of buying or selling your home.
Her Advice to Those Just Starting Out: “Listen, listen”
Outside of real estate, Lorrie enjoys spending time with her fur babies, traveling, and RV camping.
On Her Bucket List? “More international travel and being with grandchildren.”
June Member - Michael LangeRead More
Michael Lange is a member of the 2021 Oregon Leadership Academy. His background as a licensed contractor and family history in real estate led him to the profession five years ago. Since then, he’s become a Principal Broker for South Coast Real Estate in Brookings.
Why Did You Choose a Career in Real Estate? “Growing up in California, both my father and grandfather were in real estate, then I spent 20 years as a licensed contractor and in other trades. I also worked as a consumer relations representative for Wilson’s Sporting Goods, so all that experience molded me into a natural fit for the profession.”
Even though he’s only been in the business 5 years, Michael jumped in with both feet! “I’ve been the state director for Curry County Board of REALTORS® for 3 years, served on the Professional Standards Committee (for 2 years, and this is my first year on the Economic Development Committee.”
His Advice to Those Just Starting Out: “Volunteering at the local, regional, and state levels will shape you into a well-rounded, knowledgeable, competent real-estate broker. Seek out various opportunities to serve, but don’t over-extend yourself to where you become ineffective. Focus on one or two areas for a season, and then venture out into new realms of service as you progress through your career.”
“Be you; don’t compare yourself to others or you’ll never be content.”
Outside of real estate, Michael enjoys Kayaking, tide-pooling, beachcombing, ocean sports, playing drums, and performing live with a local band.
On His Bucket List? “I love to travel, and I’d love to take my wife and children to Europe, especially the coastal Mediterranean countries, someday soon.”
May Member - Amanda RammerRead More
Amanda Rammer was just named a semi-finalist for NAR’s 30 Under 30. She began her seventh year in real estate with RE/MAX Northwest.
Why Did You Choose a Career in Real Estate? “I was around real estate as a kid. My mom managed a Windermere office and my first job was cleaning the office! I saw the market crash and her office close as a teenager. It was a difficult time for our family. I never thought I’d go into real estate. It wasn’t until college when I decided I wanted to pursue it, so I started during my junior year at the University of Oregon.”
Currently, Amanda is getting involved with the Pro Standards/Grievance Committee for PMAR. She has her Earth Advantage designation and is interested in pursuing her Senior Relocation Specialist designation soon.
Her advice to those just starting out: “I could go on for days with advice--I have a whole sheet worked up with information since I’m often asked by new licensees (or those thinking of obtaining their license) what they should know.
“If I had to pick three things, first have at least 6 months of savings to cover your bills. Do not expect any money to come your way quickly. Second, do not expect to successfully work part-time or even 40 hours a week. This is a FULL-TIME career path. The majority of the work you do is often unseen, with no one is around motivating you. I easily work 65+ hours a week, including every weekend. Third, humble yourself. Join a team or work as an assistant initially. There is far too much to learn! Going out on your own immediately is dangerous. Bonus advice: BEING SELF EMPLOYED IS EXPENSIVE in more ways than just financially. It taxes your mental health, your relationships, and so much more.”
Outside of real estate, Amanda loves spending time with her family (partner of 8 years Dre, twin sister, brother, mom and dad) and she’s a dog mom to two Pomeranians, Maverick and Bear. Travel is her passion. “My partner Dre & I love to dine out. We both hate cooking! I’d consider that a hobby for us at this point. Current favorites are Decarli, Nostrana, LeChon & Mortons!”
On her bucket list? “Spain, Singapore, Italy, Greece, and Japan. Essentially these are all travel-related right now! We’ve already knocked out some awesome countries, including Peru and Australia. I’d love to take my parents all over the world while they’re still able. They deserve it!
“The current state of our real estate market is incredibly challenging and mentally draining. Focusing on mental health and taking ‘a break’ has never been more important, especially being one year into a pandemic. I’m pushing myself to work less and care for my health more.”
April Member - Lindsey CulverRead More
Lindsey Culver is a Principal Broker with Culver Home Team with Premiere Property Group, LLC. Lindsey has been in real estate for over 14 years.
What made her make a career in real estate? “Actually, my husband’s Aunt was in real estate and said my customer service skills would marry very nicely in real estate and the income potential could be significant to what I was making currently as an Assistant Manager at a coffee shop.”
Lindsey has been serving on the Professional Development Committee since 2018 and previously served on the Political Action Committee from 2015-2019. She has also received designations in GRI, CRS, PMN, PSA, and more. She strongly encourages other REALTORS® to get designations or certificates: “They not only up your real estate game, but help you build confidence as a leader within the community.”
Her advice to those just starting out: “Oh my goodness, a ton! Get a good mentor or join a team and learn how they are successful. So many agents see a sold home in one day and think it’s simple. There is a lot of behind the scenes. Also treat this like a business because it is! Save your receipts if they are a business expense and open up a business checking account.”
Outside of real estate, Lindsey enjoys going on walks, reading books and binge-watching shows on Netflix. She also loves to play volleyball, basketball, and softball. Before COVID, she was coaching her daughter’s basketball team. Lindsey also played on a co-ed softball team and was part of an old lady bowling team.
On her bucket list? “So much I could put here: I would love to visit; Ireland, Scotland, Egypt, Israel and Australia.” Here is to one day traveling the world and getting a chance to hit that strike again!
March Member - Heidi HazelRead More
Heidi Hazel is a Principal Broker/Branch Manager with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Heidi has been in real estate, serving clients in the valley, for the last seven years in Stayton.
What made her make a career in real estate? “I wanted a job where I felt like I was making a difference, but also gave me the flexibility and no glass ceiling. My background seemed to fit perfectly with real estate. I taught junior high students for nine years in Hawaii before moving back to the mainland. I like the education aspect of our job. I’m also a pastor’s wife of 28 years—which means I am comfortable with people of all different backgrounds and have a heart for service and that’s how I see my business. Real estate has been our retirement plan.”
Heidi is currently serving on the Professional Development Committee and the HOME Foundation board. She is a former graduate of the Leadership Academy and has completed the ABR and the Military Professional programs. Heidi is currently halfway through the GRI program.
Her advice to those just starting out: “This business is a relationship-based business. You get to help people in what is usually one of the most stressful things they do in their lives and also the biggest investment of their lives.” Heidi emphasizes that new REALTORS® should make “sure you like people and that you are in it for the right reason. Get involved. Connect with other professionals in the community. Connect with your city government in some way, even if it is just actively attending meetings. Connect with your local and state associates and don’t miss out any of the great things they each offer.”
Outside of real estate, Heidi has six sisters that she loves to travel with. She also enjoys whiskey and playing cards, though not for money. She also involves herself in her local community serving on the local Stayton Planning commission and the local association board.
On her bucket list? She doesn’t like to be bored and wants to travel and see new places and try new food. Here is to one day enjoying delicious food in a new city!
February Member - Helen MarstonRead More
Helen Marston is a Broker with Keller Williams REALTY Central Oregon. Helen has been in real estate since 2009. She has recently moved from California to Central Oregon in 2019, continuing her REALTOR® career in Oregon!
What made her make a career in real estate? “I like the freedom of not only how to work and how much to work, but also the choices I can make based on integrity. I also like to help people build wealth through real estate.”
Helen has received the appointments serving as a RPAC Trustee 2021-2023 and on the Diversity Committee 2021-2022 for Oregon REALTORS®. From 2013 to 2019, she served on Legislative, Local Government and Global Real Estate committees for CAR, and was President of her local association in 2018. She has also received several certification and designations for GRI, CRS, CIPS, SRES, SFR, BPOR, MRP, and C2EX.
Her advice to those just starting out: “Spend time to get educated and designated.” Helen recommends "following the Code of Ethics, and taking the Prospecting, Data Building, Communication and Negotiation skills" courses to help develop skills and experience. Aside from designations, she also recommends real estate coaching. “Those programs have helped me throughout the years. They not only improved my business and personal life, but also dramatically changed my mindset! Be teachable and coachable.”
Outside of real estate, Helen has spent a lot of time volunteering in her community, schools, and serving as city planning commissioner before she moved from California. She has already gotten involved in her new community since moving to Oregon. Besides working with the community, she loves to cook, travel and work out.
On her bucket list? She would love to travel to Alaska and Europe one day. She is also planning to go crabbing and clamming. Here’s to Helen being able to one day enjoy that catch!
January Member - Irma ValdezRead More
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.