Suzanne Nichols

Suzanne Nichols

Q&A with realtor Suzanne Nichols

  • Thu Oct 28th, 2021 1:30am
  • Life

Suzanne Nichols is a broker at Windermere Real Estate. She can be reached at

How long have you lived on Orcas?

My husband and I moved here last November after spending more than two years building our home in Deer Point. We relocated from Vancouver, WA where we worked and raised our kids.

What did you do before moving here and how did you find the island?

Just before moving here, I worked at Tidewater Barge Lines in their maintenance department, but spent the previous 20 years as a general contractor building custom homes in and around Vancouver, WA. My resume prior to that includes work as a waitress, bank teller, secretary, paralegal, and real estate project manager. My husband, Doug, had visited the island since the 1970’s and we have spent a week each summer at Beach Haven for more than 20 years. We had a vacation home in Rockaway Beach on the Oregon coast which we sold a few years ago. As we were deciding where we might build our next retreat, we realized that we didn’t really need a vacation home – we needed to live in a place where we didn’t feel the need to get away. We’ve always loved Orcas, and Doug’s two oldest children live here, so it was the obvious choice.

Why did you become a realtor?

One of the most rewarding things about my building homes for people was helping them realize their dreams and watching them enjoy over the years what we created together. I knew I didn’t have the right temperament to be a builder on the island – too Type A. Being a realtor allows me to continue to pursue my personal mission to help people find their perfect place – whether it’s moving to the island or away from it.

What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

Knowing that I can put my many years of experience in real estate development to use helping others. There is just nothing better than acting as a guide for people as they navigate their way through what might be the most opaque, convoluted transaction of their lives. I see my job as equal parts teacher, interpreter, counselor and advocate.

What is the hardest?

Knowing that the dream of homeownership on Orcas is fast becoming out of the financial reach of so many – particularly those who work so hard here to make better lives for their families.

Who do you look up to the most, and what qualities do you love about that person?

I very much admire Julia Child. She was doggedly persistent, completely comfortable in her 6’2” skin, absolutely fearless and passionate about her profession. My favorite quote of hers is “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it”. That sounds like the recipe for a fulfilling life.