26 Jul Broker Spotlight
Get to know Libby Wickland
A competitive edge
Once a professional snowboarder, Libby Wickland brings the same competitive nature and fierce determination to succeed to her everyday work at Province West, leading the Northern California office in her hometown of Sacramento.
Living and training in Tahoe after earning a bachelor’s degree from UCLA, Libby began her career beyond the slopes as an office broker at Colliers International in nearby Reno, NV. It was there that she had her first experience dealing in land sales as she helped a client find property for an office complex. Realizing she enjoyed the work and looking to move outside of Reno, she looked at companies in Southern California and took a job with Whittlesey Doyle.
A tomboy at heart, Libby says she has never been intimated working in a male-dominated industry but did face the same challenges any new broker does when they start out. As she worked tirelessly to learn the industry Libby says it was her dad, who is a real estate developer, that pushed her to persevere during those first years as she worked to establish herself.
She gained experience, created new relationships and closed her first deal – 19 lots in La Quinta, CA. “It was a tiny project, but I was so excited to have worked on it on my own from start to finish,” Libby said.
When Marc Kleiman approached Libby in 2010 as he, Dan McDonough and Rett Coluccio were starting Province West, she decided to make a move. “I didn’t know them on a personal level then, but once I understood the objective and vision for Province West, I decided to take a chance, and it was the best decision I could have made in my career,” Libby said. “They represent the set of standards I believe in and the values I think every broker should have – honest, hardworking, trustworthy.”
Libby has worked on numerous projects since that first “tiny” deal and says her proudest accomplishment is Del Webb at Rancho Mirage. Although not the largest deal she has been a part of, there are other reasons she is proud to have taken it to the finish line. “It was a complicated deal, and there were so many things working against us including a Native American tribe with rights to the land. We worked so hard for more than five years starting in 2012 when the market was awful, and as of June, Pulte Homes had sold 50 homes in under three months,” she explained. “They are going to be successful, and that is my ultimate goal for every deal I work on.”
Returning to her roots
After more than a decade of focusing mainly on land in California’s Coachella Valley, while also getting married and starting a family, Libby knew it was time to head north. She wanted to be closer to family for her young children but also saw a great opportunity for Province West and opened a Northern California office in 2016. “It’s a lot of work to start from scratch in a new market, but I’m very excited about being in Northern California and having an opportunity to establish a presence for our firm up here,” she said.
Libby spends her days working to get leads, meeting with landowners, and building new relationships. She says the timing could not be better. “The current market is phenomenal. There are exciting projects all throughout the city and a lot of active builders and successful projects,” she said.
The state of Sacramento
We’ve talked a lot on this blog about the housing crisis in Southern California, but Libby explains that the housing crisis hits home across the state with high prices and low inventory compounded by an undersupplied labor force.
Despite these challenges, Sacramento and its surrounding areas are more desirable than ever. Libby says like many other cities across the country; people want walkability and access to restaurants and entertainment. “People are looking for a neighborhood feel, but they still want to be close to the downtown core,” she said. Sacramento has answered the call and is drawing in visitors and new residents – read more here.
Two top communities she points to are The Cannery in Davis for its integrated community lifestyle (think shared gardens and backyard farming workshops) and McKinley Village in East Sacramento. “The development is near a busy freeway and railroad tracks, but the builders have created an incredible product near downtown at the right price point, and that is attracting young couples and families,” she said.
“Growing up here, I always noticed that the city really struggled to find its identity, but that isn’t the case now,” Libby said. “We have true farm-to-fork restaurants, a great bar, and brewery scene, and if the Kings could get it together, the city would peak,” she joked. She also commented that the Academy Award-nominated LadyBird renewed interest in the city’s past and culture.
Outside of the ability to live a full life, Sacramento is no longer just a city filled with government jobs. Libby speaks to the influx of techy Bay Area residents who cannot afford to live in the city and an increase in start-ups setting up camp in California’s capital. “The opportunities here are growing every day, and the wages are favorable,” Libby said. “People see that they can afford to live comfortably here and still enjoy the things they are used to.” She also added that the population in Sacramento is smart and getting smarter as it draws in graduates from Berkeley, UC Davis, and Stanford.
There was a time Libby wasn’t sure she’d ever return home, but she knows it was the right decision for her career and family. “I feel like Sacramento is only going to keep getting better and I am thrilled that Province West is a part of the growth and opportunities to come.” When she isn’t working, Libby enjoys spending time with her husband Josh and their two boys Henry and William.