Posted December 29 2011, 4:24 AM PST by Tara Sharp

2011: A year in Review

Posted in Community, Living, and Windermere Foundation by Tara Sharp

CelebrationChampaignSaturday is New Year’s Eve, and the year in review articles, top ten lists of 2011, and 2012 predictions are showing up everywhere. This time of year always inspires reflection, which led us to think about some of the incredible milestones we’ve experienced over the past 12 months and what we have to look forward to in 2012.

  • Windermere and the University of Washington celebrate a 25 year partnership! This year was the 25th annual Windermere Cup; the international crew races that are held each year to kick off opening day on Lake Washington. The UW, Stanford University, Cambridge University, and Oklahoma University competed in this year’s regatta.  The University of Washington was undefeated in both the men’s and women’s races.



  • More than 300 Windermere offices and 7,000 agents took the day off to give back to their communities for the 27th annual Community Service Day. Agents worked together to clean up community centers, collect and deliver baby clothing to shelters and food to food banks, and improve living spaces at domestic violence shelters.

  • In 2011, we pledged to Build Better Communities, One Home Sale at a Time” with a network-wide campaign to raise awareness about the Windermere Foundation, and kids in neighborhoods with limited recreational resources. Windermere offices from Washington to Hawaii and Oregon to Arizona made a huge difference by helping to renovate local parks and recreation centers in their communities.




  • The Windermere Foundation raised more than one million dollars for local community organizations that provide support to low-income and homeless families. Over the last 23 years, the Foundation has raised more than 23 million dollars. A portion of every home sale or purchase made through Windermere is automatically donated to the Windermere Foundation and goes back to the communities from which the funds were raised. We’re incredibly grateful to the generosity of our agents and their support of the Windermere Foundation.

  • Windermere Real Estate was selected as the most respected real estate brand in the Puget Sound Business Journal survey of Washington State businesses. We were humbled by this recognition and flattered by the companies we competed with in the online “Battle of the Brands” competition.  We successfully made it through four rounds, and came in a close second to Chateau Ste. Michelle.

  • We launched a new and improved version of with some great new features:

    • New look and feel throughout the site

    • Fewer clicks to valuable information and listings

    • More advanced-search options

    • myWindermere tools including saved searches, find an agent, track and share favorite listings

    • Listing detail pages with in-depth MLS data and research tools, such as listing history, days on market, and community details

    • Discover Your Neighborhood features to find information on local schools, amenities and home sales

    • Share listings and content via email, Facebook, and Twitter

    • Expanded home buyer and seller tips with integrated blog

  • After three challenging years, the real estate market is finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel with year-over-year home sales increases in most markets. While home values have continued to struggle, the lower prices combined with low interest rates have resulted in historic affordability levels.

Looking forward to 2012:

  • Next year marks Windermere’s 40th anniversary. To kick-off this noteworthy milestone, we are hosting a huge celebration and symposium for our agents in January.  Throughout the coming year, we will also provide highlights, historical facts, and other 40th anniversary details on the Windermere Facebook page.

  • We are expanding our “Building Better Communities, One Home Sale at a Time” campaign so that we can have a greater impact on children and families in need throughout the Western U.S. You can learn more or donate at

What were some of your favorite memories from 2011? What are you looking forward to most in 2012?