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Jenelle Isaacson


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T 503-830-9596


What does being lead singer and guitar player in a female punk band have in common with starting a real estate company in the middle of a recession? Not many people can answer that question. But when you ask Jenelle Isaacson, founder and CEO of Living Room Realty, there’s no hesitation; where most would see a chasm, she sees a bridge.

For Jenelle, it’s all been about finding a voice—the singular and irrepressible expression of self. Once a quiet, studious, high-school girl growing up in Portland, Jenelle started a punk band after college. She played guitar, wrote cathartic songs, performed, and traveled across country while living out of a van. All that seems light years from the present moment–owning a successful, growing company; serving on boards of civic and philanthropic organizations; enjoying family life with her two young daughters and long-time partner. Still, she uses the same voice now that began to emerge on stage years ago.

Whether it’s business or music, “It’s important to know what your voice is. If it’s true, it will resonate.” Jenelle’s voice, her truth, is about being brave enough to take action without apology, being heard without being exploited, to be energized, constantly problem-solving and refining her skills in the pursuit of building a purpose-driven company. All this requires risk-taking. She’s learned the hard way that she can’t fix everything and that not everyone will share her vision. But even as she explains the difficult choices she’s faced, Jenelle radiates joy.

“It’s never okay to play small,” she says with conviction. And this, more than anything, is what she strives to impart to other women, empowering them to pursue their passion whole-heartedly and to be leaders who speak with their own unique, unapologetic voice.

Living Room Realty, founded in 2009, offers residential, commercial, and property management services. Living Room ranks in the top 15 real estate companies in Oregon, with more than 70 affiliated broker-agents. For more information, visit

Noted Achievements: First west coast real estate office to receive B Corp status • Oregonian’s Best Places To Work, 3rd place in 2015 • Oregon Business in Ethics Awards in 2014 • Jenelle has been featured in The Portland Monthly, Oregon Business, and Realtor Magazine • Portland Business Journal 40 under 40 Business Leaders • Board of Directors, Rock n Roll Camp for Girls, receiving recent award for creative philanthropy • Board Member, Entrepreneurs’ Organization Global Network, Portland chapter • Orchid Award recipient for Business and Civic Contributions • Guest speaker: OPB’s Think Out Loud, Investor Beat, Cascadia Green Building Council • Advocate speaking on behalf of Benefit Corporation legislation with Oregon Secretary of State, Kate Brown

Jenelle's Blog Posts

“People will call me a rebel. But I just feel like I’m living my life. Sometimes people call that rebellion, especially when you are a woman.” -Joan Jett Punk rock isn’t necessarily about musical finesse, but about having a message and the courage to get up on stage and scream it. Last week I had the incredible opportunity to stand in front of a crowd and share my journey from a touring punk musician to owner of Living Room Realty at the EO Talk. I felt honored to stand beside three inspiring Portland leaders; co-founder and CEO of BootsnAll Travel Network, Sean Keener, founder of Barre 3, Sadie Lincoln, and managing director of the Pragma Group, Bill Nootenboom. My idea for Living Room came about at, seemingly, the worst time. It was 2009, the real estate market was in a downward spiral. Yet, this is where I saw need for a real estate company that wasn’t solely focused on the home as just a place, but one’s home as a place to live, love, share,... More


The Boomer generation is reshaping the traditional concept of suburban, single-family living. When coupled with the Millennials, who tend to marry later in life and have fewer children, this results in the fact that 62% of household are made up of one or two people (in 1970, it was only 46%). In other words, are neighborhoods are evolving. The Portland Pearl district is a good example of current trends, where the average household size there is 1.3 people. In Portland, 80% of all new homes permitted since 2012 are multi-family units, which reflects how developers are attempting to meet the needs of the new, smaller household. Yet how do we ensure our new smaller homes allow for us to live bigger, more fulfilled lives? According to a World Health Organization study on Age Friendly cities done in 2007, Portland was viewed by the participants as an age friendly city for the following reasons; access to green space, security that allowed them to remain active in the city center, public transport and affordability, access to continued learning,... More

Facing Limits 

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“If you accept your limitations you go beyond them.” -Brendan Behan This spring I wrote about my intimacy troubles with Harrison, a family home we recently purchased. In the essay, I explained my attempts to learn to love a house that served its purpose well enough, but didn’t inspire me. It took intent and effort to create a bond with Harrison. To read last quarter’s newsletter, go to What I hadn’t expected was how much feedback and interest my article would generate. Most of the comments were about the ways in which many of us actively work to cultivate intimacy and joy in our lives. In our work, relationships, homes, and communities we are doing our best to find meaning and happiness given the circumstances we face each day. And sometimes those circumstances are challenging. There are limits to how much we can change the world around us. One of the most challenging circumstances our clients are facing right now is that housing inventory in Portland... More