Photos/Words by Misty Hall
When Heather Erickson moved to Ojai from Thousand Oaks, there were lots of unknowns. She was just 15 and moving to a new town she’d never been to before, along with a new foster family.
Little did she know, Ojai would give her a full home and a fulfilling career. It would give her a husband of 27 years, Clint, who lived just down the street from her as a teen. Today, Erickson has six children, three grandchildren, and a thriving real estate business.
Erickson went into real estate in the early 2000s, when the fifth of her six kids, Taylor, was just 2. “I would work on my real estate courses during her naps!” Erickson remembered.
Sixteen years later, it’s proven to be a good decision. While most of her business is in the Ojai Valley, she sells all over the county, as well. “I am most recognized by my experience selling the vast majority of mobile and manufactured homes in the Ojai Valley, which I’m not limited to,” she said. “I also sell many residential homes in the valley and a lot of times, the mobile and manufactured homes go hand-in-hand with the residential sales.”
Sometimes, her clients are downsizing; other times, they’re moving into their first home.
“It’s a great stepping stone for a couple or a single person starting out,” she said. “Their payments are low — lower than the rents around here right now. And within a couple of years they could sell and potentially have a down payment on their next home.”
Down payments, she said, can be as low as 10 percent on mobile homes. “And you can get a nice size place for very little money — two or three bedrooms, and some are almost 1,500 square feet!”
Mobile home living also comes with quite a bit of convenience. “The valley offers a lot of very nice mobile home communities,” she said. “They feature many amenities like pools, spas, clubhouses, and much more, without having to pay to maintain them yourself.”
And as the owner of a manufactured home herself, Erickson speaks from personal experience when helping clients. “I have also seen many changes in the market throughout my 16 years in the business, and consistently continue to educate myself; I can keep up with those market trends so I’m better able to represent my clients,” she said.
But she recognizes that not everything about the real estate business is strictly, well, business. “Being a local and career Realtor in the Ojai Valley is also about building relationships, not just transactions,” she pointed out. Helping people get into new homes and make new memories is one of the best parts of the job, Erickson said.
But so, too, is the flexibility. “My schedule allows me to work around the kids and their activities,” she said. Her daughter, Taylor, now a senior and first-string catcher for the Nordhoff High School softball team, is also in the Law Enforcement Explorer program with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office; she plans to enlist in the Air Force after graduation. “I am a proud mama to all my children,” Erickson said. “My eldest daughter Amanda just finished her (real estate) courses while working and raising my granddaughter, and is preparing to take the state exam so she can work alongside me in the business. Brittney and Kaitlyn live and work locally as well. Brittney is a great mother to her two boys, and Kaitlyn attends Ventura College and has a beautiful voice.” Her son Clinton is a plumber, following in his father’s footsteps. The youngest, Hayden, is attending San Antonio Elementary School.
“We keep ourselves busy, but we still make sure it’s family first,” Erickson emphasized.
Ojai has been good to her over the years, so she and Clint stress to their kids the importance of giving back. “I try to teach my kids that community service is important, to make it something they’ll want to do their whole lives … We are truly grateful to have a wonderful community that has supported my business and embraced our family through the good and the bad times. So it is very important to be there for my community and the families through the tough times. As a salesperson, you have to love what you sell to be successful – and I truly love the Ojai Community.”
Contact Erickson for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (805) 798-3358. See her current listings at ojaivalleyrealestate.com.