Andrew Berlinberg – Portland Broker of the Week
Much can be said about the real estate profession, but one thing that’s for certain is that it is hard work. Success in real estate is forged in the harsh fires of long days and late nights, a fact not lost on Andrew Berlinberg of Berlinberg Properties. “My wife wasn’t too thrilled with me getting into real estate, for lifestyle reasons,” Berlinberg he says with a chuckle.
Avoiding the long hours of a real estate life wouldn’t have been hard for Berlinberg. He grew up just outside of Detroit and would wind up getting his MBA from none other than Harvard. Shortly thereafter he moved to San Francisco, where he met his wife. First they moved to Phoenix, then headed north, winding up in Portland in late ’99.
After initially taking a tech job that didn’t pan out, Berlinberg struck out in a new direction. “I enjoy negotiating,” he says. “I didn’t intend to become a realtor, but after looking at different options I decided to take the plunge.”
Since taking the plunge, Berlinberg hasn’t looked back. “It’s been a phenomenal move,” he says. “I love what I do and business has grown pretty much each year.”
Loving what he does translates into how he and his team do their work. Currently at four people, Berlinberg Properties puts an intense focus on connecting and staying connected. Their marketing strategy relies not just on how well they execute, but at how well they stay in touch.
Not only does Berlinberg personally call on the anniversary of the purchase or sale, but they also send out monthly real estate reports and postcards. On Thanksgiving they offer past clients either a pie or a donation to a local charity, such as the Oregon Food Bank. And as if that weren’t enough, they also throw an annual party for clients and those who have referred clients.
Staying in touch and providing reports begets reliable information, which as it turns out, is getting harder to access as the market evolves. “There definitely is a ton more information out there and some of it is helpful and some of it is very inaccurate,” Berlinberg says.
Examples he provides include chasing down homes buyers recommend from websites that don’t update their information and dealing with Zillow’s oft-inaccurate valuations. As technology continues to change the face of real estate, these problems will likely change in form and multiply.
Dealing with these realities requires special care in a market as hot as Portland’s, something not lost on Berlinberg. “We are generalists,” he says. “Depending on where someone wants to buy or sell, we quickly become experts in that area. We get results regardless of where in the metro area we help our clients.”
Being an expert in the neighborhood is important considering the massive influx of new residents changing the face of Portland Metro. “Now we’re seeing young people come who have phenomenal jobs at Apple or Genentech and are able to work remotely from Portland,” Berlinberg rightly observes.
With some of the lowest vacancy rates in the nation, the combination of a high demand and low supply creates the perfect bidding storm. “I see the trend continuing and prices continuing to get bid up,” Berlinberg flatly states.
Fueling this outgrowth are the dwindling options closer in. “For people who want to be in Irvington or Laurelhurst, there’s just no more land there unless a house gets torn down,” says Berlinberg.
The fact is, demand is far outstripping supply. Shifts occur in a hot market, and Portland Metro doesn’t look to be cooling down anytime soon.
“There’s just no supply in the city,” Berlinberg states, “so houses in the prime close-in Northeast and Southeast neighborhoods are getting bid up to prices that people can’t afford.”
Interestingly, Berlinberg brings up another not-oft-thought-of point regarding multi-family apartments. “At some point, someone in their late-twenties and early-thirties is going to decide they don’t want to pay $3,000 a month in rent every month, that it makes more sense to buy, but if there’s not a wave of people coming behind them to rent those places, there’s going to be a big glut,” he explains.
Hopefully the growth and movement in Portland’s outlying neighborhoods will offset any glut, and movement there certainly is. “People are moving further out passed Woodstock, perhaps to the 205 [freeway],” Berlinberg says. He also points to St. John’s and Kenton as other hot neighborhoods.
But no matter where you intend to live, Berlinberg’s commitment your needs shines through in the work his firm does. With over eleven years in the business, he prides himself on running one of Portland Metro’s top teams.
Berlinberg Properties is backed by Keller Williams Realty and can be reached by clicking here. More information can be found at their website at www.berlinbergproperties.com or by contacting their office at 503.336.614.
William Bessette – PortlandMetroLive.com Contributor
BIO: William Bessette is a social media strategist, blogger and journalist. With over ten years of experience covering a wide range of topics, from entertainment and politics to technology and real estate, he specializes in writing in a variety of tones and styles.