Windermere’s History



John W. Jacobi founds Windermere Real Estate with the purchase of an eight-agent office in the Seattle neighborhood of Windermere. This area still serves as the company’s headquarters today.


Jacobi purchases the first Windermere satellite office in Seattle.


With nine offices in the Seattle area, Windermere Services is created to provide marketing, legal, financial and technology development services for the Windermere network.


Windermere pioneers a sliding commission scale, giving sales associates as much as 80 percent. Windermere establishes its first affiliate relationship with a one-office company on Bainbridge Island, WA. Windermere conducts its first-ever Community Service Day.


Windermere begins its sponsorship of the annual Windermere Cup crew races.


The Windermere Foundation, a nonprofit organization designed to fight homelessness, is created.


The Premier Properties program is created to give agents special tools to market luxury homes and estates.


Windermere adds its first affiliate office in Eastern Washington to the group of 77 offices. Windermere is the first real estate company to offer a system-wide agent retirement plan.


Windermere grows to 100 offices.


Windermere expands to Idaho and Western Canada.


Windermere expands to Oregon, adding offices in the Portland metro area and Oregon coast, and later moves into Southern Oregon.


Windermere develops an Intranet site called Windermere Online Resource Center (WORC). Agents can access business forms and retirement plan updates, create marketing materials and more with this online tool. Windermere expands its presence in Oregon and Idaho.


Windermere redesigns its website,, and adds a new email notification feature that automatically sends new home listings to prospective home buyers.


Geoff P. Wood is named president, ensuring the future of the family-owned Windermere. More website innovations include Photo Gallery and daily mortgage rates. The Sea, Sun & Snow program is developed for marketing vacation and second-home properties. The Family Enterprise Institute presents Windermere with the “Best in the Northwest Family Business Award.”


Windermere launches its Contact Management System, a Windermere-developed customer management tool enabling agents to manage client contact information using various marketing and communication tools at the click of a button.


Windermere opens its first affiliates in Arizona, Montana, and Nevada. The Windermere network expands into Southern California, Silicon Valley, and the Monterey Peninsula. Windermere Technology continues work on a “One-Application” technology framework, including total transaction management for the agent, and fully customizable tools such as saved property searches for the Windermere client.


The inaugural Windermere Index, a leading indicator of local residential real estate activity, is published for the Puget Sound region. Washington CEO Magazine names Windermere founder John Jacobi to its Power 100 list of people who have shaped the region.


Geoff Wood is elevated from President to Chief Executive Officer of Windermere Services Company. Jill Jacobi Wood, daughter of founder, John Jacobi, appointed President of Windermere Real Estate Company. The first East Bay Area and Wine Country (California) Windermere affiliates open. Windermere, in partnership with Stanford University, begins sponsorship of the Windermere Collegiate Crew Classic featuring more than 130 races between the nation’s top universities, local rowing clubs and high schools. Windermere unveils the Home for the Holidays community program, an annual commitment to pay one year’s rent for families in critical need.


Windermere opens its first affiliate in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Windermere network expands into Wyoming. Windermere Technology unveils a cutting-edge, web-based application for home buyers, unveiling PropertyPoint, an interactive mapping tool for users. Premier Living Magazine, Windermere’s luxury home and lifestyle magazine, debuts in Puget Sound. The Windermere Foundation is honored as the 2004 Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.


The Windermere Foundation receives the Arthur S. Langlie Award for Visionary Leadership from the Salvation Army. The first Windermere affiliate in Los Angeles, California opens. The Windermere network expands into Utah, bringing the entire network to more than 275 affiliates.


Windermere introduces new retail concept with Mill Creek’s Living Room, an office concept offering a sales-free atmosphere, home improvement resources, and wireless internet for guests. Windermere launches new home search software featuring super-size listing photos, and two new websites: Destinations and Premier, for vacation and luxury homes, respectively. Hundreds of disadvantaged children receive free, quality child care through new Windermere Foundation and YMCA partnership.


Windermere grows to more than 300 offices, and enhances the open house experience with unparalleled in-home details and a new open house search tool on The Windermere Foundation raises more than a million dollars through the generous donations of its agents, office owners, and staff.


Windermere enters ground-breaking online marketing partnerships. Windermere Real Estate is ranked the “Top Private Company” by Washington CEO magazine. The homepage is redesigned with a simple, user-centered design.


Second-generation leader, OB Jacobi, appointed to President of Windermere Real Estate Company. Windermere Real Estate gives back to hundreds of communities across the West on 25th annual Community Service Day. Windermere offers interest-free home loans to help existing homeowners purchase a new home. displays all open houses from all companies. The Windermere Foundation celebrates 20 years of services to children and families in need.


The 24th annual Windermere Cup rowing regatta sees a historical match-up between the University of Washington and Oxford, with the UW taking the cup in both the men’s and women’s races. Windermere kicks off its social media foray with the launch of Facebook and YouTube pages. The Windermere Foundation raises over one million dollars for children and families in need.


Windermere Modern is launched; a program designed to meet the unique needs of buyers and sellers of modern architecture homes. Windermere kicks off a year-long community service campaign entitled “Building Better Communities, One Home Sale at a Time,” which sees Windermere offices throughout the Western U.S. take on projects to improve their local communities. Windermere and its partner, the University of Washington, celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Windermere Cup. Windermere is named “Most Respected Real Estate Brand” in an independent survey conducted by the Puget Sound Business Journal.


Windermere celebrates the 40th anniversary of the company’s founding in 1972.


Windermere receives the Family Business “Succession” Award from Seattle Business Magazine.


Windermere opens its first office in Colorado. The Windermere Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary.


Windermere Real Estate reaches goal of raising $30 million dollars in donations through the Windermere Foundation. The goal was set in early 2014 in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Windermere Foundation, which has provided funding to support low-income and homeless families since 1989. At that time, Windermere had reached $26 million in donations, challenging the company to raise $4 million in two years. Windermere met the goal over three months early.