Debbie Thomas started her downtown Portland-based commercial brokerage company in 1992. Soon after, she saw a greater opportunity just north of Burnside in Portland’s Pearl District and in the Northwest neighborhood surrounding NW 23rd Avenue. This put the company on the ground floor at the beginning of the boom in the Pearl.

Prior to founding the commercial and residential arm of DTRE, Debbie was Leasing and Marketing Director at Leavitt Shay Real Estate Services. She worked with her family’s development company in Florida before moving to Portland to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration at Lewis & Clark College.

Debbie has been a member on the Pearl District Neighborhood Association, Portland Building Owners and Managers Association, a member of Portland Metropolitan
Residential Board of Realtors and the Commercial Association of Realtors. Her favorite charities include the Oregon Humane Society, Loaves and Fishes, CHAP and Emanuel Children’s Hospital.

In 2011, Debbie received an Orchid Award honoring Women of Influence.

Questions & Answers

  • What is the most sage advice anyone gave you before you entered into your career?
    "Real Estate Can Consume You - BEWARE". One of my mentors, Richard Singer said that to me and he was completely right. You have to be ready to be into it 24/7.
  • What steered you into your current profession?
    A lot of great people, my Dad being one of them - I think if you are into business in general, real estate is a natural course because it touches all facets of business, whether it is a commercial or residential real estate.
  • What was your first job?
    Dusting at our neighbor's antique shop on Saturday mornings. I think it was .50 cents an hour and I was 11.
  • Mountains or beach for a vacation destination?
    Beach! I still have sand between my toes from growing up in Florida!
  • Do you have a favorite saying?
    For sure -"do unto others as you would have them do unto you" - the Golden Rule is in my mind all of the time.
  • What type of food would you be?
    An avocado


  • Debbie has a very astute mind when it comes to the acquisition of potential development sites and extensive knowledge of the Portland retail scene.
    MIAG Mutschler Immobilien AG Managing Director
  • Our company has used Ms. Thomas almost exclusively for all commercial sales and leasing in the central market for the past 25 years. One hardly needs to say more than that alone as a reference for the firm!!
    Tom Leavitt, President & CEO Leavitt Capital Companies
  • No one understands market-driven development as thoroughly as DTRE, nor has the ability to translate that understanding into the design and marketing of a building.
    John Carroll & Bill McCrae, Principals Carroll Investments