Issabella "Issy" Grossl came to Alaska in 1951 with her husband, and in 1952 moved to the Peninsula and started her career in real estate now 32 years ago. "My husband is a carpenter, and the realtors were not selling the houses he was building so he asked me if I'd get my license and sell his houses. It was very difficult to get a license back then and I spent the whole winter in college in Tennessee, but I did it and have been in real estate ever since," Issy told the Dispatch last week on her "emancipation" day at her office with Freedom Realty in Soldotna.
Issy says she doesn't really recall her fist sale, it must have been one of her husband's projects, but her most memorable transactions were the ones she made with her children and seeing them move into homes of their own. "The people are what I like best about the business. I like to be around people." said Issy. Now that she is retiring, when asked about the future of the real estate market locally she replied, "It's going to be just fine and the best time to buy a home is whenever you can," she said. Regarding the changes she has seen during her career, she points to computers as being the major difference. "You had to know the properties back then, you couldn't just get on a computer and find what's available, you had to do a lot more leg work. But I've enjoyed it very much and my main thought has always been to do for the people what you'd like to have done for you."
President of the Kenai Peninsula Association of Realtors, Stacie Krause according to the powers vested in her by the association, officially proclaimed January 22nd as "Issabella's Emancipation Day." In the official proclamation Krause wrote, "Issabella has set an example in her level of honesty in all her real estate, community and personal relationships and has set the bar high in her commitment to integrity in all her actions, bringing through the lens of her camera her love of Alaska to her friends, family, associates and community." Asked what her plans for retirement were Issy laughed, "Babysitting I guess." But as many of her friends and colleagues came by the offices of Freedom Realty in Soldotna on Issy's Emancipation Day for hugs, remembrances, and cookies, the talk overheard around the punch bowl was, "You know if Brett Favre can keep coming out of retirement at his age, how long you think before Issy announces her comeback?" Indeed, the week following Issabella's Emancipation Day, Dave Keating of Freedom Realty said, "We miss her already. But she stopped in today and I get the feeling she's already putting one together."
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