LONGMONT – After 29-plus years in real estate in Boulder County, southwestern Weld, south Larimer and Broomfield counties, Diane Stow with RE/MAX Alliance says the most important thing a Realtor can do is listen.
“I let people steer me to their needs,” she explains. “It’s important to listen to clients. Once I’ve heard them, I take them where their needs are met. My job is to listen then apply what they’ve said to our market. Due to the high costs in Boulder County and Colorado in general, my job is to help people find the best possible home for the most realistic price in their situation. “
Diane welcomes a wide variety of clients. “Some Realtors try to nudge customers to their niche – the high, the low end or the senior market,” she says. “I enjoy all the customers, from the first-time buyers to seniors and the high end. I love variety. My career brings me lots of variety in both the high and low end, seniors, single families in a variety of price ranges and neighborhoods. I love that I’m not pigeonholed into one type of market.”
Real estate designations
In 1976, Diane was licensed to sell real estate in Colorado and became an active real estate broker in February 1989. She has a string of initials following her name, including CRS, Certified Residential Specialist; ABR, Accredited Buyer Representative; SRES, Seniors Real Estate Specialist; GRI, Graduate Realtor Institute; CNE, Certified Negotiations Expert and e-PRO, Certified Internet Professional.
Diane is truly a Longmonter raised on the Front Range. Her grandfather was a major player in the Longmont real estate world – in the 1940s Ed Westerberg had a subdivision named after him. Her mother graduated from Longmont High in 1936. Diane has seen a lot of change in Longmont since the days she used to walk to Woolworth’s at Fourth and Main, have a cherry coke and french fries and then go to her mother’s city office then home with her.
Diane created a home that combined her aging parents needs with her own family and by doing that she learned a lot about how to adapt living space to different levels of need. “My parents had the lower level and we had the upper. We did not share a kitchen or the thermostat, we knew our boundaries,” she said with a smile. “The things I learned were featured in a national publication about how to live with elderly parents.”
Now that her parents are gone, she is proud of the care she took of them. With it came an understanding of the many different situations people have when they’re looking for homes. “My mother, my father and my grandparents enriched my life so much I want to help people find a place where they will love it too,” she says. “It’s not just their housing, it’s their life. I raised my family like my family raised me. It’s most important to treat people the way you want to be treated. “
Since she was named Rookie of the Year, Diane has worked for RE/MAX. In addition to selling over 2,200 houses, Diane has amassed many honors. She was named one of the Top 100 agents internationally, and received a Chairman’s Club Award, inclusion in he Hall of Fame, the Tradition’s Top Producers, Top Ranking in Colorado, a Lifetime Achievement Award, Circle of Legends and Lifetime Achievement of Excellence. In addition she served as an instructor for Star Power and was an instructor and panel member at National CRS Conferences. In 2015 Diane was named as one of America’s Best Real Estate Agents reported by Real Trends.
Among many other awards, she was named the Girls Scouts’ Woman of Distinction. All this while she was busy as a mother and then with her grandchildren!
“I don’t think you can live in a community without giving back to that community,” she says. “I believe what you give comes back to you tenfold. Never focus on the commission but on the client.”
Diane was inducted into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame in 2012 and was the only woman inductee that year. She served organizations including A Woman’s Work, Rotary, Longmont Community Foundation, Longmont Council for the Arts, Longmont Symphony Orchestra, the Sunshine Club, Broomfield-Boulder HospiceCare Board and the Longmont Museum Steering Committee. She helped raise millions of dollars for the Tiny Tim Center and the Longmont Museum.
“I do those things because I care about each different aspect of the community, the children, the arts, the businesses,” she says.
“I’m proud to be a third generation Longmonter,” she says. “This community is so giving, it’s such a generous city. People’s hearts and hands come out when times are tough. They want to make people’s lives richer and they’re never short on helping others.”
She says, “Longmont is close to major communities but isn’t so large that it feels like a metropolis. It has proximity to Fort Collins, Boulder and Denver and still has reasonable housing costs and beautiful views of the mountains. Our strong suit is that we’re 12 minutes from Boulder without Boulder prices.” In an old ad campaign, Diane said, “Boulder prices too high? Give Longmont a try.”
The job of a Realtor
There are a lot of misconceptions about Realtors, Diane says. “It’s not just about looking at houses, it’s listening then working through all the details of the transaction and the clients’ wants and needs to help make it as seamless as possible for them. Sometimes people think we just drive up in a fancy car, stick a sign in the yard and collect our commission. There is so much more to be done to help people. People say, ‘You’re buying a house! How fun!’ But they don’t understand what buyers and sellers go through. People are struggling to find the home they want. And it’s great when a house sells quickly, but sometimes the seller is left with nowhere to go. Our job is to make that walk as stress free as we can in this very challenging market.”
“There is currently so little inventory; this is one of the most challenging time of my career. There are so few places to show buyers that it’s very hard. It isn’t fun for the buyers and it’s challenging for us as well. But we enrich the lives of people, just with what we do. We have the ability to go to bed at night and think, ‘Now I do something to help and I’m blessed to do that.’ I use my time and talent to help, that’s what I like. It’s a gift in my life to give back. I want to let people know, the current real estate market is not a stumbling block if I’m willing to give them my heart and hand to help them move forward.”
By Linda Thorsen Bond, At Home. Photography by Timothy Seibert