By Cliff Newell
Kristina Larsen is observing her silver anniversary in the real estate business, and as president of Luxury Homes Internationale she wants to do things just right.
One way is offering boat cruises to potential clients, industry professionals and anyone interested in a cool boat ride on Oswego Lake on Tuesday afternoons in August.
"It is one feature that makes us unique" said Larsen, a Lake Oswego resident since 1959. "It always surprises me how many people who live here have never been on the lake before."
After a couple of test runs with the boat, Larsen was confident of an enthusiastic response.
"Ship ahoy!" Kristina Larsen wants to take her clients and other interested people on a cruise of Oswego Lake during August. It is a big part of her grand opening month for Luxury Homes Internationale in Lake Oswego.
After a couple of test runs with the boat, Larsen was confident of an enthusiastic response. On one of her trips, she left the boat to do a quick errand. She returned to find 20 people onboard, even though there was only room for 12.
But Larsen says her new company will offer much more than lake cruises. Even though August is the company's grand opening month, Larsen has been working two years to prepare for her new venture, including personally working on her new office in the Griffon-May building.
"I did the entire office myself, along with my sister and daughter, over the past three months," Larsen said.
Larsen knows a lot about beautiful homes, because she has been selling them for 15 years. In fact, she became so well known through exposure in the luxury homes magazines that "people would introduce themselves to me in restaurants."
Behind the scenes, she was a perfectionist on her advertising, directing the photography and writing all of the columns. Yet over time, despite her great success, Larsen became less satisfied with what big-brand brokerage houses were offering.
"I was paying big money to a company I only went to see three or four times a year," she said. The solution was starting her own company with a new concept, offering clients four different venues to market their properties: executive relocation, luxury homes, intermediately-priced quality homes and bank-owned homes.
Larsen said, "I wanted to take all of the good things that did work and find cures for the other things. Now I can offer a unique form of niche marketing."
Larsen is such a committed do-it-yourself person that she makes all of her own advertising packets, and "they're superb. Others are junk."
But in her relocation division, she is being joined by Kendra Ratcliff, and they will be working to satisfy the needs of the many persons relocating to the area, even finding them pet sitters and nannies.
"We're going to find if this works," Larsen said. "So far, so good. Eventually I hope to expand to another location in the Northwest and to downtown Portland."
But anywhere else Larsen goes, it will be hard to beat her view of Oswego Lake.
Industry professionals and the general public are welcome to take a lake tour with Kristina Larsen on Tuesday, Aug. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Luxury Homes Internationale is located at 696 McVey Ave. in the Griffon-May Building, suite 202. Reservations for lake cruises can be made by e-mailing Kristina@estates-intl.com.
For more information, call 503-636-7800.