LOS ALTOS − When asked how she got into the real estate industry, Tori Atwell recounts an amusing story from her college years. “I had a friend who was planning to take a real estate licensing prep course,” she remembers. “She was a very shy person, so she asked me if I would take the class with her. Three months later, she had dropped out and I was still in it. After finishing up my business degree, I decided to get my real estate license…and I’ve been doing it ever since!”
While seemingly coincidental, Tori’s initial foray into the real estate field wasn’t completely without precedent. “As a teenager, I used to go to real estate seminars with my dad, just because I found it interesting,” she says. “I guess I had a predisposition for it.”
After 28 years as a Bay Area real estate professional, Tori says her favorite aspect of her job is the opportunity to impact the lives of others. “Whether a client is buying or selling, oftentimes it’s much more than a mere transaction—it’s a huge life change. I find it very rewarding to guide people through that process and help facilitate a positive transition.”
A lifelong Bay Area resident, Tori expresses her appreciation for the region’s characteristic diversity. “I’m a people person, so I enjoy meeting people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures,” she says. “Plus, because of my local experience, I can generally sit down with a client, get an idea of what their life is like, and match them with a community that fits their lifestyle and personality.”
Outside of work, Tori engages in a variety of pastimes, from gardening and collecting art to international travel. “I have a home with a pretty big yard, so I like spending time working in my garden,” she says. “I also have several animals, including dogs, cats and a potbelly pig.” Tori also seeks out opportunities to volunteer her time, whether with her local Rotary chapter or as a mediator for the city of Mountain View. Additionally, she enjoys keeping up with her two grown children: Kyle, who currently serves in the military, and Amber, who lives in Santa Cruz.
In her life and career, Tori espouses the importance of being proactive rather than reactive. “I’m a big proponent of doing things upfront so you don’t have to redo them later,” she affirms. “In some cases, this may mean telling a client something they don’t want to hear. However, as their realtor, it’s my responsibility to be honest and upfront with them if they’re headed toward a situation without a good long-term outcome.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she could retire tomorrow, Tori says she’d relocate to a fresh setting. “I would either move to the coast or to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I love Santa Fe—it has a great art community and the architecture of the homes is really interesting. I also have a lot of friends there who, coincidentally, are all real estate agents!”