by Tara Gilligan Reimer
ANACORTES, WA—August 17, 2022
For 10 years, Cortney Blankenship worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry. No cushy desk job for her. Waiting tables and slinging trays of drinks is on-your-feet, hustle-for-every-four-top-and-barstool, put-up-with-A-LOT kind of work.
Cortney is a newly licensed broker (May 2022) with the brand, the epic, the team: Team Kelli Lang (TKL).
“People come into real estate from incredibly varied backgrounds, which makes it so interesting,” Cortney says. “I’ve worked full time for the last 10 years. It’s different for everyone. And that’s what I had to do.”
Her description of her path into real estate reveals a lot. Here’s someone used to sizing up every restaurant patron who walks in the door: mood, apparel, high-maintenance or low-key. Cortney’s ability, to take quick measure then serve-and-sell, translates perfectly from hospitality to real estate.
While she’s a freshly licensed agent, Cortney is not new to TKL. Nine months ago, she started as an inside sales associate.
“Kelli is selective,” observes Cortney (and she’s just beginning her astute unpacking of TKL).
Starting in a supporting role gave Kelli and Cortney the time to assess if the role was a fit. And Cortney’s inside sales work (squeezed between restaurant shifts) took her to the important groundwork of the real estate biz: prospecting for business and chasing leads.
Because of the size of TKL, not to mention all their awards (recently #4 for volume and #2 for sides in Washington State), a lot of brokers new to this team proudly describe the power of their team. But you can tell, Cortney really gets it.
“Chemistry is important to Kelli,” Cortney says of her boss and team leader. “Each member levels up the team, increasing performance. We all have a similar drive, a collective vibe, and endurance for hard work.”
But it’s the opposite of a grind, thanks to Kelli’s energy. “Sometimes, we all go to lunch—and not talk about work but catch up with each other,” says Cortney. “And the group chats are always going!”
Cortney seems wired for real estate. “I LOVE that real estate is different every day!” she laughs. “You never know what’s coming, and you don’t know what’s happening! And, of course, there’s the appeal of being an independent contractor and making your own way.”
TKL’s buyer broker knows the landscape, too. She lives in Sedro-Woolley while her family lives on Camano Island. She graduated from Stanwood High School. Since her family goes back five generations (Ballard section of Seattle), Cortney appreciates how drastically the market has changed. And why.
With more opportunities for remote work, people indulge in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. And they love the idea of hiking, biking, and kayaking, right out their front door.
Cortney understands. “Hiking is my getaway, my recharge, my centering,” she says. As much as possible, she ascends Oyster Dome or winds her way to Lake 22 near Mount Pilchuk.
Of course, for every serious competitor, there is a #1 fan. For Cortney, admiration and inspiration come from her grandmother, Joan (pictured below, with Cortney). Her grandma helped raise Cortney. You can sense the deep bond from Cortney’s description.
“My grandma is from Ballard and now lives in Mukilteo. Every morning she does what I call ‘hair-and-makeup’ and then joins her round table of friends for coffee and pastry,” Cortney describes. There’s a lot of appreciation for Cortney’s success at those daily round tables.
From working hard to connecting easily with others, from sizing up prospects to closing the deals, Cortney is ready to commit even more to TKL. She’s leveling up—her team, hometown, and family—and making us better.
About RE/MAX Gateway
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 with Laura Bird as branch manager, this full-service real estate brokerage is known for its 40+ Realtors® who specialize in residential and commercial real estate. To learn more, visit tourskagit.com.
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