Colorado native Jake Upwell likes to see the positives whenever possible. That explains why he used the pandemic to his advantage and decided upon a new career path.
Using his marketing background and natural curiosity, Jake is approaching the Denver real estate market with aplomb and passion. As one of the newest members of the Usaj Realty group of brokers, he is ready to help you successfully navigate the Denver housing market.
Learn more about Jake and how he can help you with all of your real estate needs in the Denver area.
Q. Tell me a little about yourself.
Hi! I’m Jake. My pronouns are he/him/his. I’m a Colorado native and so proud to call Denver home. I live on the east side of town with my husband and our two dogs in a little house we absolutely love. I crave sunshine and dessert and live for a lingering brunch on a great patio. To me, the best days start with a morning run and end with a glass of wine or a great cocktail.
Q. What other industries did you work in prior to real estate? If so, what were they and how has that experience impacted your real estate career?
Prior to becoming a Realtor, I had a string of jobs that broadly fell under the marketing umbrella. I did a little digital marketing, some event marketing, and even a bit of bartending in between. While I learned a lot of the skills I use every day through those endeavors, real estate is the first job I’ve had that feels like a career. It’s the first thing I’ve pursued that I can see myself doing when I’m 50, and plays into my passion for helping people during pivotal moments in their lives.
Q. How did you get interested in real estate?
I think real estate is something a lot of people are naturally drawn to. Everyone wants to know what their neighbor’s house sold for or what the market is doing. For me, jumping into real estate as a career was appealing because it gives me the opportunity to help people harness their interests and turn it into something tangible. So many people want to buy or sell, but the process feels daunting. Being a Realtor is exciting because I get to help people by being the expert and their trusted resource, and help them take that leap into the real estate world. I love being the go-to person in stressful situations, so real estate just made sense for me to pursue as a career.
"Being a Realtor is exciting because I get to help people by being the expert and their trusted resource, and help them take that leap into the real estate world."
Q. Talk about the Denver real estate market generally and what makes it exciting for you.
First of all, I love Denver. There are very few places in the United States I would consider moving to because I love Colorado so much. Luckily, the Denver market shows that love right back. It’s fast-paced and desirable, so being a homeowner definitely pays off in this market. I look at home values and ask myself, “How high can our market go?”, and it just keeps going a little higher every month. I guess the secret’s out, and I’m not the only one who will do whatever it takes to call Denver home. In a word, the Denver market is strong, and that’s the way I like it.
Q. What has been your biggest accomplishment during the pandemic?
I made the career shift into real estate during the pandemic and used the time at home to study for the state exams and get my license. I’m grateful for the sense of direction and excitement about my career that I found during such a challenging season of life.
Q. Any hobbies or pursuits that you’d like to share?
I’m a fairly avid runner. We have a husky mix who has a lot of energy to burn, so even when I don’t feel like it, I’m a runner. Every year or two, I get inspired to sign up for a half or full marathon, and then I become a serious runner for a phase of life. On another note, one of my favorite things is going out to eat. I’m constantly in search of a new place to try, and I revisit some of our local favorites frequently. I love everything about the experience - it’s social, you don’t have to cook, and people bring you exactly what you want. What more could you want?
Q. What are your go-to apps and why do you need them?
I love the Apple News app and scroll through it more often than I scroll through Instagram. Sometimes, I make the mistake of opening TikTok and realize I accidentally just scrolled through 30 minutes of videos. I also need my Google Maps app more than I would like to admit. I generally know where I want to end up, but if I need to get somewhere on time, it’s better if Google does the navigating. I’m prone to accidentally going the long way.
Q. Who or what provides the most inspiration for you?
I’m very inspired by animals in our natural world. You’ll often find me watching shows like Planet Earth or the latest DisneyNature release. I think there is so much beauty in the way creatures interact with each other and the world around them, and it helps me understand myself better to learn more about their experience.
Q. What are you currently reading or listening to?
The album Fearless (Taylor’s Version). You’ll almost always find me listening to Taylor Swift when I get to pick what’s on in the car. This album in particular is very nostalgic and I just can’t get enough of it. It’s kind of annoying - I’ve been asked to pick something different on several occasions, which is honestly, 100% fair.
Q. What do you find most desirable about the Denver area? What would you tell people who are considering a move here?
I have 3 favorite things about Denver:
- The amount of sunshine. The sun gives me energy and makes me smile. If it has to be winter, at least the sun is out most days so 20 degrees doesn’t feel as bad as it does in other places.
- The people. People in Denver are just nice. Strangers smile at you when you pass them, and people generally want to help each other. It’s amazing how many places are not like that.
- The size. Denver is a really big, small city. We have an amazing food scene and a lot of perks you find in major metropolitan areas. And, you can still get to most places in the downtown area on a scooter.
For people considering a move here, I would encourage them to spend some time learning about the different neighborhoods around town. Each one has amazing character, and they’re all pretty unique - so it’s hard to just point at a map and decide to live somewhere based on geography alone. It’s worth the research to wind up where you’ll be happiest in the long term.
Q. How do you make the buying/selling experience unique for your clients?
As a Realtor, my job is to advocate for my client and keep them informed throughout each part of the process. For me, this process looks different for each client. My whole goal is to simplify the real estate experience, so I invest in getting to know people personally and how they’re wired. Some people want a lot of communication and to talk through every detail along the way. Others would rather me paraphrase and keep things short and sweet. I do everything I can to figure out what makes each client “tick” and speak their language throughout the entire transaction so it feels straightforward and streamlined every step of the way.
"I do everything I can to figure out what makes each client 'tick' and speak their language throughout the entire transaction so it feels straightforward and streamlined every step of the way."
Q. What do you enjoy most about being on the Usaj Realty team?
The moment I met the team at Usaj, I could tell this place had something special. Traditionally, a brokerage is a place you hang your license, go to a few meetings, and ask legal questions as they arise. Usaj is different. The people are excited to be there and actually invest in getting to know each other. We start meetings with what we’re grateful for and operate from a mindset of abundance, which is rare in the industry. My favorite part about being on the Usaj team is the contagious positivity that permeates everything we do. The team pushes each other to be their best, and I’m grateful to be a part of that team.
Posted by Pat O'Connor
Pat O’Connor has dual citizenship in both Wisconsin and Colorado, having been born and raised in Wisconsin Dells, but later adopted by the Centennial State. A graduate of the University of Colorado (B.S. Journalism, 1980), O’Connor began her career as a sportswriter at the Boulder Daily Camera under the tutelage of the venerable Dan Creedon. Her experience also includes stints in public relations at Aspen Highlands Ski Area, the Colorado Trial Lawyers and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. When she isn’t piecing together sentences, the self-proclaimed “Cheesehead” enjoys hanging out with her three kids and assortment of family pets, running, playing golf, hiking 14ers, horseback riding and skiing. As a mother to two (at one time three) competitive swimmers, her favorite fragrance is eau de chlorine. During football season, she can be found cheering for the Buffs on Saturdays and screaming when the Packers score on Sundays. She loves talking sports and giving recommendations on cheese curds.Facebook LinkedIn Twitter