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In an industry where there’s no cap to how much you can earn, there’s bound to be a lot of competition—who wouldn’t jostle for a chance to make it big in real estate? That’s especially true in a city like Portland, with housing inventory reaching historic lows last year, driving up asking prices accordingly. (Per the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors, in 2021 the city’s inventory clocked in at 0.6 month at its lowest, in December, meaning it would take just over two weeks to sell what was available, with the high being 1.1 month, in September. A more balanced market would have four to six months of inventory.)

We canvassed several local agents to ask what drew them to their job and what it takes to keep up the hustle in a perpetually overheating market.