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Hitting the ground running

by: Vern Uyetake, Jon Hanson with Keller Williams Realty on Upper Boones Ferry Road near Bridgeport Village is optomistic about the current real estate market.

Jon Hanson could be a motivational speaker. He could be a politician or financial investor. But instead he is a real estate agent, which sort of bridges all these facets of his personality together.

Only a handful of months into his career as a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in Oregon and Northwest Properties Brokers Network in Washington, Hanson brings a refreshing perspective to the housing market.

Hanson wrote up his first contract within his first week as an agent, and closed the sale a month later.

And his enthusiasm for the business hasn't faltered.

'In this market, sometimes just holding the transaction together is a big accomplishment,' said Beth Ann Hotchkin, team leader and CEO of the Keller Williams branch Hanson works at on Upper Boones Ferry Road near Bridgeport Village.

But for 24-year-old Hanson, a love of houses and people came naturally.

'I've always had an interest in houses because there are unlimited possibilities,' said Hanson, a Tualatin resident. 'Who doesn't love real estate? People always love to tell their real estate stories, whether it's the house they should have bought or if they are just asking about the market.'

He continued, 'As a new agent, I have to differentiate myself in the marketplace. Everywhere I look I see opportunity. It surrounds us, but in order for us to capitalize on it, we have to see through the pessimism that surrounds us.'

Despite nationwide murmurs about the real estate market's downturn, Hanson said the Portland market is 'relatively wonderful.'

'I have goose bumps thinking about the opportunities out here for people,' he said. 'Right now I'm working with a number of buyers. They see that real estate might not be this affordable again.'

With lower interest rates and competitive home prices, Hanson said now is the time to buy.

'After we come out of this downturn,' Hanson said, 'people realize they should have bought at a discount a year ago.'

'Button-down approach'

Hanson said that buyers and sellers need a real estate agent that's an advocate. And said he looks at the business as opportunities to problem solve as a team.

'When I sit down for an appointment with a client, I don't take any marketing materials for myself because those materials are about me,' Hanson said. 'I just sit down casually with a button-down approach to business. I want to know about their specific situation. They don't need to know about my situation.'

Hanson said he doesn't work for clients, but with clients.

Jeff Barram purchased his first home in Vancouver, Wash. with Hanson's help.

'We found a place that we really liked,' Barram said. '(The process) was really nice because we didn't really have to do very much at all. He ran everything.'

Barram said that Hanson and the mortgage broker were both present at the signing and explained all items thoroughly.

'Being first time homebuyers we didn't know (how to do) anything, there are so many forms,' Barram said. 'Since we've bought the home Jon helped me move in a washer and dryer. He's been very helpful.'

After earning a business administration/finance degree at George Fox University in 2006, Hanson teamed up with his parents' business and worked on a private and publicly funded, urban renewal project restoring outdated buildings in Coos Bay.

While he still spends time at the coast, Hanson found further investment opportunities with real estate brokerage.

'This was a very deliberate decision,' he said of becoming a Realtor.

Hanson refers to the downturn of the housing cycle. The housing boom from 2001 to 2005 with low interest rates, high home valuations and quick turnaround on investments from 'flipping' houses, had many buyers and sellers in a frenzy.

Now things have calmed down nationwide.

With homes now taking longer to sell, Hanson said he can provide his clients a service by scouting out investment opportunities.

'I pre-qualify my buyers and investors by identifying exactly what they are wanting, and then - when the right opportunity comes along - we act immediately,' he said.

Hotchkin said she admires Hanson's ability to wake up early and take advantage of each day's potential.

'I'm particularly pleased because if he develops these habits now, early in his career, they will serve him well and ensure his success in any market,' she said.

Hanson often awakes at 4 a.m. to start his day.

'If I get up early and take hold of the day, I create my day,' Hanson said. 'If I wake up late, the day happens to me.'

In the 'trust business'

Hanson completed the Mark O. Hatfield Internship Program in Washington D.C. the summer after college graduation. The program allowed him to explore contemporary issues and legislative research while working for U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith within the Senate buildings, which are part of the Capital complex.

Previously, U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield was a regular speaker within one of Hanson's government classes in college. Once, Hanson asked him for advice about business practices and Hatfield said, 'earn people's trust and once you have it don't to anything to lose it.'

'Everyday when I leave my house,' Hanson said, 'I'm not in the real estate business; I'm in the trust business.'

And in his business, Hanson said, he must eliminate the fear of failure.

'Failure does not exist. There are opportunities to learn everyday and I encounter them,' Hanson said. 'If you live in fear it paralyzes you.'

Hochkin said that Hanson fits in with the Keller Williams company.

'He has a 'can win' attitude and approaches every new day with enthusiasm and total commitment,' Hotchkin said.

She said Hanson regularly attends the company's training sessions and was drawn to Keller Williams' company structure, which promotes teamwork.

'Keller Williams is a learning based company that believes in developing careers worth having, business worth owning and lives worth living,' Hotchkin said. 'Jon is committed to achieving a high level of success in all three of these areas.'

Shirley Knorr - the director of first impressions at Keller Williams - said that she was intrigued after meeting Hanson for the first time.

'He has wisdom and integrity and knowledge beyond his years,' Knorr said. 'I have a feeling that he is going to go places and be someone.'

So, where does he plan to be five years from now?

'That depends on where the opportunity is in real estate. I'm only as limited as my imagination. … I enjoy life and try to make the most of it,' Hanson said, 'just like everybody else.'

Hanson continued, 'People always ask me, 'how is the real estate market?' The real question is, 'where is the real estate market?' While today it may be with first-time homebuyers and discounted properties, in a couple of years it may be an influx of baby boomers looking for retirement properties, or 1031 exchanges - something completely different.'

For more information about Jon Hanson, visit the Web site http://jonhanson.yourkwagent.com/ or call him at 503-502-0906.