From front-desk girl to managing broker: Tricia Harden Jacobs comes full circle

by Tara Gilligan Reimer


Dynamo brokers, capable of building both a brokerage house as well as overall market share, sometimes ignite their work chemistry in unlikely places. For instance: the Black Angus bar (formerly located near Sehome Village).

That’s where a then 20-year-old Tricia Harden Jacobs went, for dancing and a memorable night out in Bellingham.

The person who got her into the bar, using someone else’s i.d. (small detail)? That c’mon-let’s-go-out-and-have-a-night-of-it energy came from our very own Lisa Carlson, Chief Financial (and Fun) Officer.

Like any in-tune, super-charged, and innovative duo, these two know each other’s thinking, strengths, and next moves. So, everybody: buckle up. Tricia Harden Jacobs is the newest broker in the RE/MAX house. And she’s got a pipeline of leads, a keg of (now-legal) energy, and a big sphere of influence.

A back story, 30 years in the making

In a recent interview, with Tricia delivering 2,000-wattage energy even over a phone, she shares her connection to Lisa and an important circle of people. Tricia’s start goes so far back that it predates our actual brokerage.

Because before there was RE/MAX Gateway there was Gray Realty. And that’s where a group of well-known, respected, and beloved people met, to start something amazing.

“I worked the front desk at Gray Realty,” Tricia describes. “That’s where I met Lisa, who also worked the desk.” Chief Executive Officer Blake Boatman was at the agency, too.

“Lori and Dean Reece educated me,” she continues. (Thirty-one years ago, Lori Reece founded Gateway’s sister brokerage, RE/MAX Whatcom County.) Tricia explains, “Because of Lori and Dean, I got my broker’s license in 1992!”

An unexplored niche: property management to real estate

Tricia went on to build a successful, 20-year career in property management in Stanwood, 50 miles north of Seattle, near Camano Island. Her experience brings two big advantages.

First, she has a working knowledge of real estate. “On my licensing exam,” offers Tricia, “while other brokers struggled, I could easily answer the 10 questions on property management.”

Second, she brings a pipeline of contacts. Property owners know Tricia as a fast-thinking, detail-oriented, problem-solver. And, her renters often become her real estate clients, buying first homes. And then they become her referral base.

See how she works? “Property management is an unexplored niche for realtors,” asserts Tricia. “There are so many opportunities ahead that I’m excited about, using my background.”

Salads with Lisa lead to… husband, kids, and horses (of course)

Tricia grew up in Bellingham, and she is excited about her reach from her home base of Snohomish County. As she comes onto the market—with her intelligence, formidable energy, and 2019 managing broker license—she’ll be covering parts of King County, along with Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom counties, and Camano Island.

Tricia laughs, “You might as well know that Lisa also pointed out my husband. It wasn’t like she said, ‘Here’s a single man!’ It was more like Lisa’s signature line, ‘Hey, I know him.’” (Anyone who travels with Lisa understands that Lisa has two camps: people who she knows and people who she will know. She’s a rolling RE/MAX business-and-fun mixer, a force of finance, business ops and high spirits.)

So, going way back with these two who go way back: Tricia (properly outfitted with real i.d.) and Lisa were at a Bellingham country-western bar incomparably called Dixie Reds. Having salads. Lisa, being who she is, said, “Tricia, this is Rick.”

Twenty-five years later, Tricia and Rick have raised four children, and now enjoy five acres with dogs and horses, out in the county.

The power of her circle

When training horses, aficionados like Tricia often avoid corrals with angles, preferring round pens. Round pens for horses allow these athletes to find their strides, know their limits, and expand their skill sets in ever widening circles.

Being a practiced businesswoman, Tricia understands the power of her own growing circle during her transition to real estate. “It’s a risk to go full-time sales,” she says, realistically. “But I’m confident in what I bring.”

She says the keys to broker success are time management, organization, and support from other vendors. “You can’t do it alone,” she emphasizes. And this people-person wants to bring as many experts along with her as possible.

In a place she knows well.

Why choose RE/MAX Gateway?

It’s the brokerage’s reputation, she says. “Some of the best people in the business are here!” Tricia emphasizes.

“It’s important to be professional,” she continues, saying that’s what clients expect. “And I love what everyone else loves about this company: the continuing education. I attended a portion of ‘Contract Boot Camp’ led by Lori. There were so many contexts, tips, pointers, and smallest details that I didn’t know.”

Tricia happily sums up that this is the company she knew she would end up in. Why? “RE/MAX is a complete set-up. For success.”

About us. RE/MAX Gateway is named for its breathtaking Anacortes entrance to the San Juan Islands of the Pacific Northwest. Co-owned by Blake Boatman and Lori Reece, this full-service real estate brokerage is known for its 40+ Realtors who specialize in residential and commercial real estate. To learn more, visit

Tara Gilligan Reimer loves to find the story in place and people. This is my seventh feature on the best brokerage in Skagit County and the agents who lead, with brilliance and passion.