Lauren Hansen

IRES CEO stepping down in early 2022

LOVELAND — Nearly two years after signing a contract extension to remain the leader of Information and Real Estate Services LLC, a Loveland-based multiple listing service that operates in Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley, Lauren Hansen plans to hang up her real estate hat after four decades in the industry and retire early next year. 

“There isn’t a hard date,” she said of her departure, which is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2022. “It will depend on the candidates’ availability. In the meantime, I’m working on some hopefully easy transitional tasks that will make going from one person to the next smooth.”

An IRES executive team, made up of past and present board members and company managers, is working with the human resources team at the National Association of Realtors to help identify potential candidates.

“Considering that IRES is somewhat sophisticated in the MLS world, if I may say so myself, it does need to be someone with an MLS background who is familiar with the ins and outs of those systems. But having said that, I was wet behind the ears when I started and learned on the job,” Hansen said. “… It’s not unheard of that we could get someone in a related business.”

Whether or not Hansen spends much time assisting with the transition once a successor is hired will depend on that person’s desire for her help.

“There’s a graceful time to find the door,” Hansen said. “I don’t want to be in the way of new ideas and fresh directions. But at the same time, showing someone the ropes and making sure they’re supported … will be important.”

Hansen helped create IRES in 1996 after gathering some experience in other real estate positions, and she worked with several MLS services to expand their local offerings. 

She started in 1981 as an executive officer for the Estes Park Board of Realtors. She’d earned her bachelor of fine arts in 1977 from Colorado State University, followed by the CMLX 1 and CMLX 2 designations in 2015 and the CMLX 3 designation in 2016 — she is one of about 50 in the United States to have attained the CMLX 3 designation.

In 1992, Hansen became the executive director of the regional MLS for Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland called Tri-City Services Inc. Then in 1996, the MLS merged with the Longmont and Boulder MLS organizations to form IRES, and she has been its CEO since — all five associations have equal ownership in IRES. Today, there are seven Realtor associations listed on IRES’s website that include Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland/Berthoud, Longmont, Boulder, Logan County and Estes Valley.

“This job is consuming enough that I haven’t spent a lot of time” thinking about the next stages of retirement life, Hansen said.

“I adopted a rescue [dog] a year ago,” she said. “One of the things I’ve threatened is to get him a companion, but don’t tell him that yet!”

Regarding whether she’ll keep one toe in the real estate world, Hansen said, “I’ve been approached to do some consulting, but frankly I’m a little lukewarm on that right now. It feels like if I’m going to step away, I should step away.”

Through Hansen’s four-decade career, the Front Range has grown explosively with cities and small towns becoming more interconnected.

Real estate professionals have had to adjust to this reality, and IRES has increased its focus on regional connectivity and partnerships with other nearby MLS services

For several years, IRES sought a merger with RE Colorado, the metro Denver MLS, and entered into discussions in 2012 that were terminated by RE Colorado in March 2017.

In the years since the collapse of that deal, IRES has found more success partnering with other local MLS organizations, including a data-sharing agreement with Pikes Peak Realtor Services Corp., a multiple listing service in El Paso and Teller counties.

“The boundaries and lines are gone,” Hansen said. “… So to have separate silos of information, you create a situation that the consumer doesn’t understand and gets frustrated with.”

Increased regionalism isn’t the only evolution in real estate to occur on Hansen’s watch.

“The increase in median prices has been astounding,” she said. “When I started, my guess is that the median in Boulder was somewhere around $250,000. Now it’s over $1 million.”

Will these pricing trends, which have only strengthened since the outbreak of COVID-19, continue long after Hansen’s retirement? 

“The pent-up demand that we have experienced and are still witnessing as a result of the pandemic is starting to level out a little bit,” she said. “I think we’re going to see a bit of a return to normal without the drastic price increases that we’ve seen over the last year and a half. But, of course, I could be wrong.”

LOVELAND — Nearly two years after signing a contract extension to remain the leader of Information and Real Estate Services LLC, a Loveland-based multiple listing service that operates in Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley, Lauren Hansen plans to hang up her real estate hat after four decades in the industry and retire early next year. 

“There isn’t a hard date,” she said of her departure, which is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2022. “It will depend on the candidates’ availability. In the meantime, I’m working on some hopefully easy transitional tasks that will make going from one person to the next smooth.”

An IRES executive team, made up of past and present board members and company managers, is working with the human resources team at the National Association of Realtors to help identify potential candidates.

“Considering that IRES is somewhat sophisticated in the MLS world, if I may say so myself, it does need to be someone with an MLS background who is familiar with the ins and outs of those systems. But having said that, I was wet behind the ears when I started and learned on the job,” Hansen said. “… It’s not unheard of that we could get someone in a related business.”

Whether or not Hansen spends much time assisting with the transition once a successor is hired will depend on that person’s desire for her help.

“There’s a graceful time to find the door,” Hansen said. “I don’t want to be in the way of new…