Julie DeLorenzo has seen the highs and lows of the Idaho real estate market since becoming a Realtor more than two decades ago.
“When I started in 1994 … the rates got low and the market started getting hot,” DeLorenzo says. “It just exploded here in Ada County and Canyon County. That 10-year climb was pretty crazy to watch. And then we had that five-year flattening.”
She witnessed her share of sorrow during that five-year period.
“There were days when we didn’t talk to a seller that wasn’t in tears,” she says. “We spent a lot of time helping our sellers gracefully lose their homes. There were a lot of people who were caught up in it, due to no fault of their own.”
Needless to say, DeLorenzo is glad the market has rebounded.
“It’s nice to be past that,” she says. “It’s nice to be back to a spot where buyers and sellers are excited again about the prospect of owning a home.”
But through it all, DeLorenzo thought her profession was an important one.
“I happen to think home ownership is extremely valuable to society,” she says. “Our communities do better, our children do better, the crime is lower when you have communities with home owners. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for rentals, obviously, but it’s got to be balanced.”
DeLorenzo has had a number of success stories in her time as a Realtor. As one of five founding members of Keller Williams Realty Boise, she has helped the company grow from five agents in 1999 to over 580 agents today. She has been named Idaho Realtor of the Year. She has served as president of the Idaho Realtors Association.
But she said there’s still nothing quite like helping home buyers get their first house.
“When we get to the closing table with a first-time home buyer you just know that you’re starting them on a path,” she says.
And that’s when she’s especially proud of the work she does.
“A friend of mine says it’s a noble profession, and I really like that,” DeLorenzo says. “I think that it is. … I really feel like this profession is extremely important.”
And despite her accomplishments in real estate, she has made it a priority to do even more outside of her chosen profession.
She has been on the board of the Women’s and Children’s Alliance in Boise for almost a decade.
“It’s something that is near and dear to my heart,” DeLorenzo says. “I had a family member who was a victim of abuse – and I say victim rather than survivor, because survivors are still here. My cousin was not that lucky.”
And as much as she still grieves for her cousin, she takes solace in the success stories that the WCA has produced.
“It does feel really good, because when this happened 30 years ago … there wasn’t a WCA or anything like that in her area, so she didn’t have anywhere to turn,” DeLorenzo says. “Had she had someplace like the WCA it might have made all the difference in the world. She might be alive today.”
Realtor. WCA board member. You would think that’s enough to fill her days. Gov. Butch Otter, however, had other plans for DeLorenzo.
“I also serve on the Idaho Transportation Board,” DeLorenzo said. “The governor appointed me to that 41⁄2 years ago. That is something that is really important to me, because I’m one of only two women who have served on the board.
“To me, it’s really significant because I really believe we need to have more women at the table in positions of leadership.”