Karla Jacobson, GRI
Karla recently earned her GRI designation! Learn more by clicking here.
If you keep a broom under the backseat of your car and a listing sign in your trunk at all times, you might be a Realtor.
If you’ve ever shown a 1970s house and a 1900s house back-to-back, you probably are a Realtor in a small town, who sees potential in every property.
And if you get to see the joy of a 65-year-old couple when they buy their very first home – you know exactly how lucky you are to be a Realtor like Karla Jacobson.
“I get to work with everybody who has a dream and it’s so awesome to be a part of that dream, whether they are 60 and selling a family home or 20 and buying a house for an expanding family,” said Karla, a Realtor at Walter Insurance and Real Estate since 2007.
Karla’s path to Fillmore County started in South Dakota, growing up on a farm near Clear Lake. At Southwest Minnesota State University, she earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and met her future husband, Nathan, who convinced her to move to Nebraska for his career. (You know they are true South Dakotans because they stayed in Nebraska for its climate, of all things.)
Karla worked for Geneva State Bank for 17 years, in various roles in its sales and marketing departments. She loved it. “I am a numbers person,” she says.
But when Walter Insurance and Real Estate approached her about trying a second career in real estate, she realized she’s not only a numbers person. She’s the person who loves entertaining and having 20 people milling around her kitchen. She loves that her house fills up with teenagers. She’s the person who loves…homes.
She accepted the offer and earned her Real Estate license and life has been a whirlwind ever since.
She keeps the broom in her car because she never knows when a house will have an unexpected showing. Those are the days when Real Estate isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. (She has made beds, cleaned windows and folded clothes to spruce up a house.) She might spend a weekend taking pictures of her listings in the perfect light so they will catch the eye of a buyer. And she knows her job occasionally is pretty close to 24-7.
“I once negotiated a $250,000 house sale on my cell phone in the middle of the state fair.”
Although it’s less glamorous than expected, it’s actually more rewarding than people imagine.
“The connection with people is so extreme.” She’s there for the newly married couple with their whole life and a new home ahead of them. She is there for the retired couple who is listing their house to move near their children – and a few days or weeks later, she’s there when the retired couple experiences the difference between listing a house and realizing you are really leaving.
“It’s so emotional…we laugh and have fun with our customers, but ultimately, it’s a real roller coaster that they ride.”
When a sale or purchase doesn’t work out, she tells her customers “if it’s not meant to be, it means there’s something better around the corner,” and sometimes, they find it together.
She’s glad Real Estate was around her corner. Six years in, she is a Realtor and enjoys having a ready-made network of professional peers. She is comfortable selling a $30,000 or a $300,000 house. She celebrated her first house sold, her first year reaching $1 million in property transactions, then $3 million in yearly transactions. She is one test away from earning her GRI (Graduate Real Estate Institute) degree. (You can never stop learning in this industry.)
And most importantly, she is at home in real estate now, helping Walter Real Estate customers each and every day.
Community service: President of the Fillmore County Development Corporation; helped start Crime Stoppers in Fillmore County; United Methodist Church of Geneva Sunday school teacher, former finance chair and missions coordinator; Fillmore Central athletic boosters’ officer; past 4-H leader; takes biennial mission trips around the United States with family.
Family: Husband, Nate; children, Carl, 21; Davis, 17; Grace, 13.
Hobbies: Her kids and all their activities; entertaining, traveling, cooking and quilting with her mom.
Little Known Fact: She was a cowgirl growing up. She showed horses and cattle and rodeo-ed (you know she’s authentic because she’s comfortable using rodeo as a verb, but if that’s not enough, she has a couple of belt buckles to prove it.)