As one of the original associate brokers to partner with the Maple Avenue office of Joyner Fine Properties, Karen Berkness has been a leading real estate agent in the Richmond market for over 30 years. With careful attention to detail and warm, long-lasting relationships with clients, Karen’s personal approach to real estate has earned her repeat business from multiple generations of families as they search for a new home. With an unparalleled knowledge of her hometown, and supported by one of the best networks of professional colleagues and contractors in Richmond, Karen continues to treasure each opportunity to become a trusted confident to her clients and friends, as they sell and purchase homes both in the City and across the surrounding counties.
Consistently celebrated as a Top 15 Producer for Joyner Fine Properties (JFP), Karen was named the Number Five Top Producer (out of over 150 agents) for the entirety of JFP for 2021, and the Number Four Top Producer for the Maple Avenue Office, again for 2021. A distinguished achiever through the Richmond Association of REALTORs, Karen is often voted as a “Five Star Professional” by Richmond Magazine and a “Top REALTOR” by Virginia Living, and remains one of only 15 agents in Central Virginia to have earned a membership in the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s prestigious Million Dollar Guild.
From centuries-old properties to brand new homes, Karen has the experience to support her clients wherever their interests may lead them. Herself having a rich expertise in historic properties and farms, Karen has become one of the region’s top listing agents for treasured older homes, ensuring that the house’s unique story is preserved for years to come. Meanwhile, Karen has also represented two of the area’s most distinguished builders, helping to oversee the creation and sale of new, luxury homes throughout the greater Richmond region. Furthermore, Karen enjoys working with relocation clients, and is certified by both NuCompass Mobility and Brookfield Relocation Services.
Having grown up in Richmond, Karen attended Collegiate School, and later graduated from Hollins University with a double major in Art History and French. While at Hollins, Karen developed an interest in decorative arts and architecture, which led her to New York City after graduation, where she began working for Sotheby’s. She later returned to Virginia where she began working for Virginia Properties, then a Sotheby’s affiliate, where she oversaw much of the company’s marketing through the Historic Properties, Estates and Farms Division. Having earned her real estate license while still in college, Karen soon began to put her insider knowledge of the Richmond market to use, and began working more directly with buyers and sellers at Virginia Properties. Ultimately, she obtained her Associate Broker’s license in 1996. In 2004, Karen was invited to join Joyner Fine Properties, which had recently opened a new, boutique office on Maple Avenue in the West End of Richmond.
Early in her career, Karen developed her caring, hands-on approach to real estate, establishing her passion for working closely with clients, and getting to know them and their goals in order to best assist them throughout a sale, purchase, and beyond. She seeks to build a sense of trust and comfort with her clients, listening to their needs, and working patiently and diligently to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible. Detail-oriented and organized, Karen gladly puts her market knowledge, her long-standing relationships and her honesty to use for her clients as she helps them tailor a careful, nuanced strategy that suits their timeline, budget and specifications. Always grateful for her many repeat buyers and sellers (many within the same family), for Karen, the best part of her job – even with over 30 years of experience – remains the chance to foster caring relationships with great people.
When she’s not working with her clients, Karen enjoys opportunities to get involved in local organizations close to her heart, and is always up for a historic house tour or museum visit!
Karen’s past Board and Leadership appointments include: