In just the first year of opening, Inspire Properties made it onto the Puget Sound Business Journal Book of Lists: Top Residential Real Estate Firms – an achievement Britt Wibmer, founder and CEO, contributes as one of her biggest successes in her career.
Wibmer said it’s not luck that got her here, it’s the 20+ years of drive and dedication that catapulted her motivation to start Inspire Properties in November of 2020. Wibmer’s passion for entrepreneurship and sales can be traced back to her time working in tech during the dot-com boom. With a plan to finally make the big move to California after traveling for her job, Wibmer flew back to Washington and took charge of selling her house – an opportunity that created a new career path in real estate. In just a few weeks after closing the deal with a buyer for her home, Wibmer earned a position as a residential broker at Windermere Real Estate in 2003.
Since starting her real estate career 19 years ago, Wibmer has sold and negotiated over 400 homes and condominiums. She believes luxury brokerages should be approachable and honest, which is why Inspire Properties was built on the foundation of transparency and fairness. Hear more about what Wibmer has planned for the next few years, her views on the Eastside housing market, and more details about her favorite businesses in town.
What major plans are in the works right now at Inspire Properties?
After long months of strategic planning and deliberations, Inspire Properties has aligned with Windermere. This partnership came into place after we took a long hard look at the industry and the changes that have happened after the pandemic. Windermere has a powerful local presence in the area, and my 15-year history with the company Inspire Properties is ushering in “powered by Windermere” as our new phase of business. We plan to move out of our current office and into their offices in the near future.
From your perspective, what does the Bellevue real estate market look like right now?
This will be an extremely challenging market for sellers in the next 12-18 months. Affordability and unfavorable economic news will continue to impact residential real estate sales, which makes home preparation and realistic pricing vital. Unfortunately, the pendulum has swung, and right now, the number of homes for sale in Bellevue is up over 350% from this month last year. This means that sellers will need to get into the mindset of a possible buyer and make their home stand out from their competition: value pricing, perfected presentation, and targeted marketing will be critical. Bellevue sales are still outpacing the Greater Eastside market in terms of the shorter number of days on the market. On average, Bellevue homes are selling in 27 days, whereas Greater Eastside is in 31 days. While the overall news is not in our favor, being transparent and looking at other ways to gain momentum is essential to help us succeed in the future.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the real estate business?
Those starting need to know that the business is incredibly competitive. I’ve learned that being hyper-local-focused is a great skill to have. When I operate in an area, I study that place enough to answer every question thrown my way. I also believe that providing additional values and services like complimentary staging and world-class marketing is important as well. You can’t just put a ‘for sale’ sign in a yard and call it good, it’s about going above and beyond for your client and gaining their complete trust to help them sell their home.
What are your passions outside of work?
I’m very involved in the autism world, having chaired multiple gala auctions for Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy and autism school Academy for Precision Learning. I have a personal investment because my son is on the autism spectrum, so I continue spreading awareness about autism and promoting kindness daily. I encourage everyone to learn from others and take the opportunity to be compassionate toward everyone you meet.
Where do you see Downtown Bellevue in 3-5 years?
Downtown Bellevue is on a mission to be the West Coast’s best city. There are so many types of businesses to choose from, and the retail choices will continue to increase. We’ve got great public schools, leisure activities around every corner, and an attractive outdoor environment. From a real estate perspective, I believe we’re going to see the community grow and more people from different regions looking for homes here.
What are your favorite places to dine?
Hands down, it has to be Carmine’s. I’ve always felt cared for there, and the environment is so elegant and friendly. My favorite dish to order is the Romaine Alla Griglia with four grilled prawns added. It’s worth the visit every time.
Do you have a favorite place to shop Downtown?
I love Smith & Main because they always have a great selection of easy to wear clothes, and I enjoy supporting small businesses in the area. On the opposite spectrum, Nordstrom is another retail spot I like to spend my time at. My personal stylist, Judi, can find an outfit for me in seconds.
Finally, where do you Inspire Properties in the future?
I hope our business continues gaining momentum in Bellevue and sticks to our beliefs. For as long as I worked here, I can’t imagine myself being anywhere else.
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Inspire Properties 10220 NE 1st Pl Bellevue, WA 98004