Much of Portland already knows Joey Webber by sight. He’s that guy at Timbers home games. You know, Timber Joey, the suspender-snapping lumberjack who theatrically saws through a log each time the Timbers score. But there’s a subset of Portlanders who know this Philomath native by his real name: the clients he helps as a frickin’ real estate agent.
I became a Timbers fan in 2001 because I saw Timber Jim. I was a contractor, I loved the idea: the log, the chainsaw, the atmosphere. It was January 2008 when Timber Jim was retiring. At that time I was playing rugby [with Oregon Sports Union]; I failed a physical and kind of lost my spirit, but wanted to stay in sports. My idea [during the job interview] was to bring more of the logging tradition: wear a hard hat instead of a baseball cap.
With the Timbers job, I’m basically on retainer. I do about 275 appearances outside of the Timbers games every year. If they need me for the news, they call. It’s not a set schedule; they compensate me well for that. I had free time and was trying to think of something that fun to do. I had some friends in real estate and just threw myself out there.
Portland’s housing market has been really crunched. I’ve seen Southeast change from original hipster to commercialized hipster. I’ve seen Hillsboro and Beaverton
explode with Nike and Intel. In the last few years, it’s been a seller’s market—people didn’t have as many options when looking to buy. Where they land is up to the market, not so much where they want to be. Happily, I see it turning a bit.
I moved here when I was 21. I’ve lived off Hawthorne, in North Portland, off the Sylvan exit. When we decided to look for a house a few years back, I wanted to be in North Plains–Banks, closer to the ocean. But we found a place a block off the [Willamette River]: Oak Grove, south of Milwaukie in unincorporated Clackamas County. It’s an easy commute to downtown, but we’re not in the hustle and bustle. It’s a good, happy medium.
One of the biggest things I advise clients is to have a real close connection with the people who inspect your home. And take your time: read everything. It’s a big, long contract. I don’t mind late-night, early-morning phone calls. There are no silly questions in my mind. And I don’t know that there are mistakes, really. It is a huge purchase, but it’s not the end of the world.
The Timbers are my priority—anything they need, I’m going to put them first. A number of fans have come to me, first-time buyers. A lot mention they’re looking for a home while we’re at a Timbers game—I say, “Great, give me a call was soon as we’re done here.” There are a lot of condos downtown, [but now] with public transportation it’s easy to get to the stadium. The Tilikum Crossing [and] getting the Streetcar going up and down MLK has really helped people move around—especially for game time.
It’s a pretty special gig I’ve got. I help people with homes they just bought, I sell houses and help people move into new houses. Then I get to help them celebrate when they come to a Timbers game.