TRIFECTA PERFECTA. Frye has Hef, now Kirb!

by Tara Gilligan Reimer


In horseracing, a trifecta is laying down a premium bet: a rare combination—picking the winner, runner-up, and third place.

Managing broker Mark Frye just closed on a long-awaited wager.

The Loyalist, Justin Kirby, recently joined Coherence (Frye) and his Rookie of the Year (Brian Hefter), harnessing more power for the RE/MAX All County Team (

Only weeks ago, in entering the global RE/MAX Hall of Fame, Mark reflected on needing a third person ( But he didn’t want just any candidate—“a warm body”—who might upset his thoughtfully constructed coherence in his real estate process, team, and life.

Justin Kirby makes Mark’s trifecta perfecta.

Work & life, out in the county

Before Mark became Justin’s managing broker, Mark served as Justin’s buyer’s agent. For three years. Was this a recruitment strategy?

“Mark was exceedingly patient with my wife and I,” laughs Justin, describing his transplant process from northern California to Whatcom County. Frye’s patience, seemingly hardwired in, paid out.

This new broker is not only thrilled to be on Mark’s team (and who wouldn’t be?), but Justin is also delighted with his own all-county life. Justin and his wife now have rescue goats, three cows, a dog to go with each cow, and Kunekune pigs (the smallest breed of domestic pigs), all on a sweet, five-acre farm, just off the Pole Road in Lynden.

Love of learning

Once relocated to the Pacific northwest, Kirb signed up with a different brokerage. “Why’d you do that?” asked Mark.

Citing unwavering commitment to be good on his word, Justin stayed with his first brokerage for a year. But in the first 10 months, Justin had no sales, despite a solid build-up of accredited classes and training.

Justin came to RE/MAX, and there was a big change. “In these first two weeks with Mark, I’ve learned so much more.” Mark’s ability to skillfully shift from big-picture market level to granular detail is ideal for training. “I love to learn,” says Justin, echoing every successful agent. “And I’ve already had deep exposure and observation of the nuances, because of Mark.”

Brian Hefter, who just took the coveted title, Rookie of the Year for RE/MAX Whatcom County, understands that loyalty felt on the All County Team. When Brian’s win was announced company-wide, Mark took a moment to name every contributor on his team—Julie, Shayla, Lindsey, Josh—and ended with personable and heartfelt appreciation for Hef: “We all love ya, man.”

No one bets against All County

Back at the farm, Justin and his wife, Christina, have a 13-year-old, a welcome hand, as well as a 19-year-old and 20-year-old at college in San Diego.

“My wife is my hero,” Justin offers up, explaining his partner’s impressive calling. “She’s a neuro-ICU nurse, with 15 years of experience.” For the last three years, Christina worked as a flight nurse. That means she offered expert intervention, transporting patients who need urgent and acute care, in helicopters.

Justin also has a clear artistic flair, and one of his talents is glassblowing. He creates wine glasses (nice to gently clink together after putting together a deal) and small-implosion flower marbles, which look like little worlds of beauty.

In real estate, he’s finding his rhythm. On a team no one would bet against.

Out of the gate, Kirb is running full tilt.

About us. Thirty years ago, a local girl (Sehome High School, WSU & WWU grad) launched a small start-up with a big dream. Little did RE/MAX Whatcom County founder and CEO Lori Reece know that her company would become not only the most successful brokerage but also respected nationally and across industries. Her team, 90+ sought-after professionals, leads by serving thousands of clients and building market share. Learn, collaborate, be kind. When you’re doing all that—together—you know you’re in RE/MAX Whatcom County, the house that Lori built.

Tara Gilligan Reimer loves to find the story in place and people. There’s always another story inside the published one, and in this feature, the backstory was in the editing. Justin requested only one change, and that was a fuller explanation of his wife’s work. That says something. This is my seventh feature on the best brokerage in Whatcom County and the RE/MAX agents who lead, with brilliance and passion.