Realtor continues drive in local real estate business as head of realtors association.
By Sylvie Belmond/Staff Writer
Malibu is home to many dedicated realtors. In fact, it is home to so many that Kathryn Yarnell, a Pritchett-Rapf Realtor, joked that every other person in Malibu is a realtor.
“But not just anybody with a license who can sell real estate is a true realtor with a capital R, ” said Yarnell. “You have to be a member of a real estate association.”
Yarnell was installed as the 55th president of the Malibu Association of Realtors (MAR) last month. The association, established in 1947, has more than 230 realtors in its ranks, and 14 serve on the board of directors.
Among other things, the association establishes ethics that realtors need to follow and it helps realtors solve disputes. It publishes newsletters and educates new agents.
“As president, my primary goal is to leave the association better off than I found it,” said Yarnell, who places public awareness of the MAR high on her priority list.
Aside from serving realtors, the MAR also takes an active role in local politics.
Last year, it hosted a forum on an open-land measure that was on November’s ballot so that both sides could air their views. It also sponsored a free bus service so community members could attend the California Coastal Commission meetings pertaining to Malibu coastal plan matters.
But the association is not only about politics and real estate.
“We would like to work on some things to keep the beaches clean,” said Yarnell, who is thinking about providing plastic bags to tourists and locals at Zuma Beach so they can dispose of their pet’s waste even if they forget to bring a bag.
“That’s my pet project,” joked Yarnell.
Yarnell knows Malibu well-she has lived here for 13 years. Born in Long Beach, she lived in Hancock Park before she moved to Malibu when her daughter went off to college.
“I could choose [anywhere] in the world to live and Malibu was always my thinking spot,” she recalled. “It was always my retreat and I always feel better when I get here.”
Jack Pritchett, owner of Pritchett-Rapf Realty, said Yarnell has a very close relationship with her daughter, and the two have traveled to some interesting places together, mostly in South America. He also said she is a very spiritual person.
Yarnell is a lifetime student of metaphysics, which is about life over matter, she said.
Aside from real estate, her professional background includes interior design and film production. She owned a film production company that produced several movies of the week for television, but became so frustrated with the film business she decided to get a real estate license.
To Yarnell, the most enjoyable part of being a realtor in Malibu is crossing the finish line. She particularly likes to help homebuyers find the perfect house, “and I continue to perfect my skills at doing that,” she said.
One of the most challenging parts of the job in Malibu is the distance a realtor has to travel.
“We have to travel between showings because Malibu is 27 miles long, and that is hard,” she explained.
“She is dedicated,” said Prichett. “She has a great public speaking presence and she cares about what she is doing and looks out for the real estate community as a whole.”