Karl Whittenbarger

Contact Agent

Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate

I’m a real estate agent with over 15 years of experience in the business. I started my real estate career in Illinois, working 12 years at @properties, Chicago’s largest independent real estate brokerage firm, where I consistently ranked in the top five percent of the city’s Realtors. My family and I moved to Colorado in 2012, when I joined the team at Colorado Landmark Realtors. After tenure as a senior property manager for Heartwood Properties in 2015, I returned to Colorado Landmark Realtors in 2016.

This should be the part of my bio where I list all of my good traits, like honesty, integrity, and client loyalty. Of course, I possess all of the aforementioned, as any Realtor worth their salt should, but I’m taking a different direction. I’d like to tell you my personal story of how I ended up in real estate.

As a child in central Illinois, my parents, both teachers by trade, owned multiple rental properties in a university town. From the time I could swing a hammer without repeatedly smashing my fingers, my brother and I would help our parents maintain the properties. Their passion wasn’t owning or managing rental properties, but it was a venture that helped them provide for our family while they taught. I found it fun (at times) and rewarding—and the real estate seed was planted.

Fast-forward to my post-college endeavors, I worked for almost a decade in the corporate finance world, for employers like Cargill Investor Services, what’s now Towers Watson, and The Northern Trust. It was in these years that I gained invaluable experience and met great people—but it also helped me realize that I’m not one to be stuck behind a desk eight hours a day. I require variety, challenges, and connection with others. During these years, I was approached with an opportunity to begin a real estate career but honestly, I was afraid to leave the predictable salary and solid benefits.

It wasn’t long after, on a somewhat planned departure from my desk job, that I followed a colleague to Dublin, where he was on work assignment. What began in Dublin was a six-month journey from Ireland to Greece and many beautiful countries (and not so beautiful hostels) in between. On the island of Crete, I was fortunate enough to be involved with an amazing volunteer opportunity monitoring Loggerhead sea turtle nesting habits. It was there where I camped on the beach for 45 days and met amazing people from around the world.

Through the lack of everyday amenities like running water, electricity, (and Chicago-style pizza), I learned to get by on very little, and I realized the value of what I had back home in Illinois. Deprivation breeds appreciation. And as cliché as it sounds, I also realized that life’s too short to wrestle with a career you don’t enjoy. Upon returning to Illinois, I contacted the person who’d offered me that real estate opportunity 18 months prior—and here my real estate journey began.

It’s been many moons and two states later, and I’m still in real estate because I enjoy it. Not only do I enjoy helping clients navigate the nuances of real estate’s complexities, but I also enjoy working in an industry that allows me to enjoy life and spend time with my wife and two sons exploring Colorado and beyond.


Karl Whittenbarger