Alumni of Distinction: A. Janelle Pfleiger

by Matt Jardin  |   

A. Janelle Pfleiger
2023-24 Alumni of Achievement award recipient A. Janelle Pfleiger, B.B.A. Real Estate ’78, 45-year real estate agent and former national president of the Residential Real Estate Council. (Photo courtesy of A. Janelle Pfleiger)

A. Janelle Pfleiger, B.B.A. Real Estate ’78, will receive the 2023-24 Alumni of Achievement award at the Alumni of Distinction Celebration Banquet on March 29, 2024, at Lucy Cuddy Hall on the Anchorage campus.

Purchasing a home can be one of the biggest, costliest transactions a person or family can make. Real estate alumna A. Janelle Pfleiger understands the enormity of such a decision, and wants to make sure the real estate agent guiding clients through the homebuying process is beholden to the highest code of ethics.

In 2016, Pfleiger served as national president of the Residential Real Estate Council, a 30,000-worldwide member organization that acts as the educational arm of the National Association of Realtors. During her tenure as national president, she championed the continuing education of real estate agents, which included awarding the coveted certified residential specialist (CRS) designation. Considered to be the doctorate of the real estate industry, only about 3% of real estate agents in the U.S. have achieved CRS designation.

“When you're dealing with people's life savings, it’s vitally important to adhere to a level of education and professionalism similar to other people that you contract for service, such as an attorney or accountant,” said Pfleiger. “The decisions we are involved in are just as impactful to someone's financial life as those industries. It isn’t just selling a house, it's selling a service, and I want to work to make sure we're viewed in that way.”

Pfleiger began her real estate career in 1979, specializing in clients transferring to Anchorage for jobs in the oil or health care industries. Pfleiger was particularly adept at selling the lifestyle to anyone anxious about relocating, having done the same thing herself.

Originally from Colorado but having grown up all over the southwest, Pfleiger visited Alaska once to see her aunt and uncle. After meeting her future husband during that trip, she made the move permanent, finally setting down roots in Anchorage in 1974 at the age of 19.

Seeing the rapid expansion happening in Anchorage at that time, Pfleiger decided that she wanted to pursue a career in real estate. Coincidentally, she was at the right place at the right time, as UAA, then named Anchorage Community College, had one of the only real estate curricula in the country.

“My aunt got her counseling degree at UAA and really spoke to the level of professionalism at the university,” said Pfleiger. “When I enrolled, the smaller class sizes and my professors made such an impact on how I thought, and the [real estate] program really allowed me to pursue something that I felt was valued but wasn't yet available in a lot of places across the U.S.”

Outside her work supporting fellow real estate agents, Pfleiger has served as board chair for the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Providence Alaska Children’s Hospital, and board member of the Alaska Botanical Garden. She currently sits on the board of the Better Business Bureau western region and is a member of the Anchorage Athena Society. In 2006, she was named CRS REALTOR of the Year and Anchorage REALTOR of the Year, followed by Alaska REALTOR of the Year in 2010 and YWCA Alaska Woman of Achievement in 2007.

“I just felt like it was important to give back to this community that had given me so much. Certainly, there were people who were doing the same for me every step along the way,” said Pfleiger. “Also, I wanted to live by example so my three kids could learn to not just be a taker, but a giver.”

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