Behind every For Sale sign is a Realtor who, it is hoped, knows his/her market well enough that a lifestyle can be created around the house.
Whether its a Realtor who specializes in working with new home buyers or a Realtor who specializes in a particular area, the best that any prospective home buyer could hope for is the purchase of a lifestyle. For many, this means buying into a community that takes living beyond the four walls.
In the Del Ray community, Jennifer Walker is considered an expert. As a Realtor with McEnearney Associates, she has invested quite a lot in the neighborhood. Not only does she live there, but shes also involved in the day-to-day happenings.
You can find her at any neighborhood event. Shes more than likely one of the individuals who either planned or sponsored the event and in many cases, shes done both.
You can also find her at any of the local coffee shops, boutiques and restaurants. She knows many of the local business owners and residents on a first-name basis.
Living in Del Ray
I bought my first house in Del Ray in 1999, after living in the Northern Virginia area for 12 years, said Walker. I’m originally from Georgia and Im used to speaking to everyone. When I moved to Del Ray, I knew I had found home. My neighbors came over to introduce themselves and to see if I needed anything. This just doesn’t happen in big cities. It happens here.
Walker is committed to knowing everything she can about the Del Ray neighborhood. She makes her rounds, getting to know the people and places that have put Del Ray on the map.
Pat Miller, Del Ray resident and co-owner of A Show of Hands on Mount Vernon Avenue, said Walkers knowledge of Del Ray never ends.
She knows more about Del Rays houses and business buildings than anything you could ever find in any history book. When you talk about a building, Jen is always there with her did you know…. information.
And beyond Walkers community knowledge is her work ethic. She is a very honest person, noted Miller. And when you think of trusting someone to help you find your home, that can be pretty overwhelming. Jen [elicits] trust, confidence and her ethics are needed in such a strong people-oriented business.
Walker said she loves being able to be out in the neighborhood on a day-to-day basis: I love connecting with people and having fun while working hard for the causes that need attention in order to make our community even better.
Giving back to the community
Perhaps one of the best-known things about Walker is her philanthropic side. I like to give back to Alexandria. It’s such a great city. I try to keep my resources here.
As an active member of the Del Ray Citizens Association and a board member for the Potomac West Business Association, Walker has been an integral part in maintaining the community spirit that Del Ray is known for. She continues to sponsor Cinema Del Ray an outdoor summer movie venue that has been popular with local families. Shes also an active volunteer and sponsor of other community events, such as PWBAs annual Halloween Parade, the Del Ray Farmers Market and the very successful Art on the Avenue.
Walker serves on the advisory board for Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust Co. as well as the board for Rebuilding Together Alexandria (Christmas in April).
Her leadership abilities were recently recognized as she was welcomed into the Leadership Alexandria Class of 2008. I am thoroughly enjoying meeting new people and learning more about how to lead in the City of Alexandria from those currently doing so, she noted.
Pat Miller has long admired Walkers giving spirit, coupled with her leadership talents. I love her perseverance. She never quits. Jen is truly one of those rare individuals that is constantly giving and she gives from the heart. Her spirit, her laughter, her voice yelling across the street to bid you a hello she lets no rock go unturned. She is welcoming to all who cross her path.
Local television star
Because Walker is well-known for her real estate knowledge of Del Ray, it was no surprise that she was chosen by HGTV to be featured in a local segment of their popular television show, House Hunters.
I remember the day I got the call from Hollywood. I was floored and a little nervous, remembered Walker. We filmed for three days. It was fun and stressful. We had two camera guys, a lighting person and a sound check director, so it was hard to act natural.
I also learned that you never want to film on Mount Vernon Avenue. Every time a bus, truck or loud car came by, we had to stop filming. It probably took us two hours to film a one-minute segment.
The entire episode ran in 2005, and Walker says the publicity did wonders for the Del Ray neighborhood.
People saw the show and started inquiring about moving here. I felt good about being able to bring Del Ray into the national spotlight, she said.
A career in real estate
Walker joined McEnearney Associates as its first new agent in 2000 after working for a small Del Ray realty company. Prior to that, she had a long stint in the restaurant business.
I believe in small independent companies. I knew if I ever went to a bigger company, it would be McEnearney or nothing. It’s a company that was started in Alexandria with a focus on local communities, said Walker. It’s also a great thing to be able to walk in [owner] John McEnearney’s office and talk to him.
Walker has also had her share of real estate successes. In 2006, she was recognized as one of the top 20 residential sales agents by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors. Shes also a top producer and a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Sales Club.
I have always been dedicated to providing top-quality customer service. I believe this has contributed to my success in real estate, Walker noted.
And I love being able to do this in Alexandria. I think it would be hard to find another place where you can walk down the street and run into the mayor, City Council members, state delegates or state senators. This is a city that’s accessible and involved.