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Laue wins 2012 Broker of the Year

Longtime Realtor has more than 36 years of experience


by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Debi Laue received the 2012 Broker of the Year award through the Masters Circle of the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors, where she serves as professional standards chairman.Debi Laue needed a summer job. She was 25 and on break from college when her brother convinced her to take the real estate test and work for his company, No-Pac Properties, in Wilsonville.

Laue, a native of Wilsonville, succumbed to her brother’s request. She passed the test and within three months chose not to go back to school, but to instead begin what would become a 36-year-long career — and counting — in real estate.

“You could get a license in two weeks back then,” she recalled, noting it takes about three months to receive a license today. “It was totally different than it is now.”

Today, Laue is with The Hasson Company Realtors in Lake Oswego. She received the 2012 Broker of the Year award through the Masters Circle of the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors, where she serves as professional standards chairman. On the state level, she is an Oregon Association of Realtors state director and serves on the Issues Mobilization Committee. Her prestigious career began that summer in Wilsonville.

“Wilsonville was just a cow town basically back then,” she said. “We sold a lot of land and I was outdoors almost every day. I learned pretty quickly that I really enjoyed the work.”

Laue said she has stuck with the profession after so many years because she enjoys working for herself, having flexible hours and working with people. After several years working for her brother, Laue branched out and started her own company, Balsiger-Ingraham Realtors, which she ran with a team of 15 for five years.

“I opened the company right when interest rates went to 18 percent so it wasn’t as much fun as when the market is good, but it was an incredible experience,” she said. “It was definitely the school of hard knocks.”

Eventually, she tired of the hard knock life and took a position selling homes in what Realtors then called “the Disneyland of real estate” in Sunriver. The market — mostly second vacation homes — was fruitful. It was there she met her real estate partner and husband, Bob, whom she married in 1986.

The husband-wife duo worked together in Sunriver for five years and had a daughter before moving back to Wilsonville in 1989. Laue’s husband was hired on to The Hasson Company Realtors and she was soon to follow in 2002.

“We’ve been a team for the last 20 years,” she said. “We are a good team because we think differently. He came from a corporate, business background and I’m the people person.”

The couple resides in the country in Wilsonville and have a daughter, 24, and a son, 20. They work in a team of four — although Bob is semi-retired — selling property from Lake Oswego to Wilsonville along the I-5 corridor. The team specializes in country property with small acreage, equestrain space, and barns and access to the Willamette River.

The real estate business has changed drastically since Laue started so many years ago that summer in Wilsonville. The onset of cellphones and the Internet has changed the business for the better, she said, adding that buyers today are better educated about what they want and what they can afford.

Even despite the economic crisis and its crippling effects on the real estate market, Laue said the business is just as exciting and rewarding as ever.

“The last five years have been a challenge,” she said, noting that she has quit trying to predict market trends. For the first time this year, Laue said the “fence sitters” who have been eyeing the market are starting to jump back in.

“I’ve got to live day-by-day in this market,” she said. “Lending and politics change all the time. It’s really hard to predict, but it does feel like it’s stabilizing.”

After 36 years, Laue has truly learned to roll with the changes. The best part is that the novelty hasn’t worn off. No two days are ever the same, and that’s what keeps her passionate and interested.

“This has been a fabulous fit for me,” she said. “I am truly blessed by the clientele. I’ve been doing this so long now that I’m selling homes to my client’s children. That’s been very rewarding.”

The Hasson Company Realtors is located at 15400 Boones Ferry Road, Lake Oswego. For more information, call 503-635-9801 or visit hasson.com.




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