A Reputation for Service

2022 DMAAR President Jen Stanbrough continues to give back.

Jen Stanbrough has always believed that giving back is a two-way street—the giver receives as much as she gives.

Stanbrough’s recent appointment as president of the Des Moines Area Association of REALTORS® (DMAAR) is just the latest role in which she’s giving back to the industry that she says has given so much to her since she joined the field in 2011, eventually earning her broker’s license in 2014.

Stanbrough currently leads a team of agents at the RE/MAX Precision office in West Des Moines. She has earned a variety of awards, including 2018 REALTOR® of the Year, Circle of Excellence, President Club, 2007 Rookie of the Year, and Re/Max Hall of Fame.

“I first got involved with DMAAR because then-president Robin Polder asked me to participate on a committee,” Stanbrough says. “From there, I got involved on the board. Robin was instrumental in encouraging people to strive to a higher level of professionalism, and that continues to inspire me.” Polder passed away last year, but Stanbrough says her influence continues in those Polder mentored over the years.

After that first committee, Stanbrough continued her association involvement at multiple levels. She’s been involved with the Iowa Association of REALTORS® for four years and the national association for three. Locally, she’s served on the executive team, moving up from secretary through the chain to this year’s role as president.

“I’ve been so blessed by my work in this industry,” she says. “It’s important to give back and get involved. I always tell people you get back ten-fold when you get involved in industry organizations like DMAAR. Plus, it’s just fun. I’ve gained so many wonderful relationships from my involvement with DMAAR and the state and national associations.”

One of the keys to her success as a REALTOR® has been her focus on building strong relationships with customers, colleagues, and friends, which has resulted in repeat business from many of her clients over the years.

That commitment to relationships also explains her active role in promoting REALTOR® safety. Stanbrough’s close friend, Ashley Okland, also a REALTOR®, was murdered at an open house in 2011. Her killer has never been found.

“Ashley’s death motivated me to work for REALTOR® safety, not just locally but nationwide,” says Stanbrough. She was instrumental in creating the nation’s first REALTOR® safety pledge, which has since been the model for numerous other organizations around the country.

Safety continues to be a priority for Stanbrough. As she serves her year as DMAAR president, she plans to bring the issue to the forefront and revitalize that original safety pledge. “I worked on this with the national association, and we want to adapt that at the state level as well,” she explains. “I also serve on the executive board of the Beverly Carter Foundation and on a national committee on REALTOR® safety.” Carter was an Arkansas REALTOR® who was also a murder victim.

The technology that has made real estate sales more efficient has also created new risks, Stanbrough says. “In some ways, the technology has improved things. We have new safety tools that make it possible to screen clients and to monitor properties,” she explains. “But in the end, they’re just tools. We have to use our heads, and we have to be our own advocates.”

Stanbrough says that REALTOR® safety training now includes recommended practices for everything from schedule sharing and cell phone service availability to property security and exit awareness.

In addition to promoting safety issues, Stanbrough says another goal during her presidency is to finalize forms to accompany a Universal Purchase Agreement that was developed several years ago. “In the past, each agency had its own forms. The Universal Purchase Agreement enables every agency to use the same documents, making the paperwork process much easier,” she says. “The Agreement mentions addendums, which haven’t been completed at this point. We want to have a complete set finalized yet this year.”

Stanbrough’s volunteer activities have ranged from local to national organizations. She doesn’t anticipate that waning while she serves as DMAAR president. “Those of us in the real estate business recognize that we’re blessed to be in an industry that provides a great life if you put in the work. I think we have a duty to give back when we’re blessed like that. If we don’t, who will?”