Photo by Mark Gibson
Sisters Becky Schertenleib, left, and Nan Wimmers, owners of Columbia Gorge Real Estate, show off the lobby area of their new location downtown The Dalles, 235 E. 3rd St. Mark B. Gibson photo
As of Thursday, January 8, 2015
The Mid Columbia Association of Realtors (MCAR) has selected Nan Wimmers of Columbia Gorge Real Estate as the association’s 2015 Realtor of the Year.
Wimmers has not only been involved in local and state associations during her 22 year real estate career, she is president-elect of the MCAR.
She is active in her community, serving on boards and committees, and volunteers at Home At Last Humane Society, The Dalles Area Chamber, Meals On Wheels, Fort Dalles Museum, Business Issues for Oregon Realtors, is district vice president for Eastern Oregon and the Columbia Gorge for Oregon Realtors.
She is a native of the Hood River Valley and started in the real estate business in 1992.
The Realtor of the Year is selected based on a mix of criteria relating to knowledge, ethics and involvement in the industry.
MCAR has over 190 members from five Oregon and Washington counties in the Columbia River Gorge. It is the area’s largest trade association and is affiliated with both the Oregon and Washington Association of Realtors.
The nonprofit organization was originally established in 1961 as The Dalles Board of Realtors to promote good ethics and standards among those involved in real estate, and offer them opportunities for industry education and information. It gradually expanded to include five counties in Oregon and Washington.
The association annually selects a member to honor as being exemplary. The selection is made by a committee, which included representatives from four different brokerages.
Nan Wimmers and Becky Schertenleib of Columbia Gorge Real Estate are settling into their new location downtown The Dalles, 235 E. 3rd St., and conversational pauses in response to the high pitched whine of a nearby power tool are few as workers polish off a few of the items left to be completed. It’s Jan. 2, their first day at the new location, and Wimmers is pleased to be making the change.
The move has given the real estate brokerage better visibility, more parking, a dedicated conference room and room to grow. “Our big need was parking,” Wimmers said of their former location at 714 West 6th St. “We now have a dedicated parking lot.” The new office is almost twice the size of the old, has a private conference room and even a private, outdoor courtyard.
“We’re excited about our futures. Our new location is going to give us more versatility, more opportunity to grow our business,” Wimmers said.
They opened for business Jan. 2, but are by no means done making changes. “We will be painting the outside of the building, hope to add some greenery outside, some trellises with flowering vines. In back we’ll plant grass, have a nice outdoor space,” Wimmers said.
The location downtown was also a big plus in their decision to purchase the building, Wimmers explained. “We wanted to be part of downtown, we see a lot of good things happening there,” she said.
Wimmers and Schertenleib are sisters, and are full partners. The slogan on their business card lists both their names and reads “Sisters by chance, partners by choice.”
Wimmers was the first to enter the real estate business, back in 1992. Schertenleib was licensed and joined her 11 years ago. Both are members of the Mid-Columbia Association of Realtors, which serves Hood River and Wasco and Sherman counties in Oregon, and Klickitat and Skamania counties in Washington. Wimmers is president-elect of the association through 2015, and will begin a two-year term as president in 2016.
The partnership between the sisters is complete, Wimmers noted. “We split everything,” she explained. “We don’t compete with each other. If someone calls about a property, they can talk with either one of us.” It’s an unusual arrangement. “Real estate is a pretty competitive business. It’s intense. But we have a lot of fun, we try to keep it light.”
Housing in the region didn’t have the big dive that many areas did during the recent recession, and the past year has been good, Wimmers said, with fewer foreclosures and new homes being constructed and sold. She has hopes 2015 will be even stronger.
“We’ll see, I’m not a crystal ball kind of person,” she said.
“Lenders are lending, builders are building new homes.”