Back in the Game: The Low-Key Master of Incline Real Estate

By Kayla Anderson | Friday, December 1, 2023

Real estate agent Shahri (pronounced like Sherry) Masters welcomes me into her warm and inviting home on a chilly yet bright autumn day. It’s colorful, cozy and refreshing, with her own abstract artwork and modern eclectic adornments from her worldly travels complementing the space. It is obvious that Masters put a lot of work into the renovations – her love, energy and care are shining through. The atmosphere of her home exudes the same feeling people get when they get to know and collaborate with Masters, which is why so many people are thrilled that she has gotten back into real estate. 

Growing up at Lake Tahoe starting in 1968, Masters grew up in a family of real estate professionals, architects and builders. Her grandfather, stepmother, uncles and cousins sold real estate while her dad was an architect, as is her brother.

“My husband used to freak out because at every family gathering, we always talked about real estate,” Masters says with a smile. She admits that she did not know if she wanted to pursue a career in the field because in growing up around it, she saw the ebbs and flows of the market and how running a real estate business is all feast or famine. 

When Masters was in her late twenties, a client came into her construction office and wanted to buy a lot and build a spec house. Masters connected them with a real estate agent and handled the construction. The new buyer wanted quite a few changes to the home, and Masters worked closely with them to implement those changes. After everything was completed, she realized that the real estate agent who brokered the deal made double the amount of money that she did. 

“That’s what got me into real estate,” Masters says. 

She became licensed in 1988 and from then until the mid-2000s she worked for local residential broker Bill Hane. No matter where she was with Hane, she was always the number one real estate agent in the office. 

She later worked with Intero and Lakeshore Realty. Masters consistently remained a top producer in Incline, but the stress of staying in that position, navigating through the Great Recession and being on call 24/7 while trying to maintain quality time with her family started to take its toll on her personal life. She left the real estate business in January 2014, and a few months later her (now late) husband was diagnosed with cancer.

Masters switched gears at that point. She traveled, did other jobs around Tahoe, downsized her living space and began truly focusing on her artwork. Then in 2019, one of her friends wanted to buy a home in Reno and told Masters, “My Realtor has to be you.” 

While Masters had been out of the business for a few years by that point, she helped her friend find a house in Reno that she loves. That same friend encouraged her to get back into the real estate business by giving her an investment to open her own real estate office, Masters of Tahoe Incline Real Estate. When picking up her new signs, Masters ran into another friend who asked if she could help her sell her duplex. She had been back in the business for about 15 minutes. 

Masters says that she enjoys working in real estate and that her time away from the business in writing books, traveling, creating art and spending time with her daughter has made her a better real estate agent because she understands more of what her clients are going through.

The undivided attention that she gives the people in her life is noticeable (and rare), and the people who have worked with her in the past are thrilled she is back in the game. One person who wanted to sell his Incline home told Masters he was not interested in putting it on the market until she was back from vacation. 

“I’m all about relationships and taking care of people,” Masters says. 

Once she noticed that her clients’ snowplow guy did not show up, so she went over to the property and helped shovel snow. She has helped families with the emotional process of cleaning properties they have inherited from loved ones who have passed. 

Masters makes it clear that there are other great real estate agents in the area that she admires and trusts. For her personal clients, she prides herself in being honest with sellers about what their home is worth and in helping buyers with creative financing that will get them into their ideal home. 

With her architectural and construction background, Masters also understands the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) regulations. She even remembers going to those meetings as a kid with her dad. Being in the Incline community so long, she can also offer a historical perspective on pressing issues in the region.

In her home, Masters points out a piece of art that she bought in Vietnam. It is intricate, peaceful, soft, made with eggshell and gold leaf. She explains that she bought it from a shop that supports people affected by war, who take the staple drawing and add something to each of the paintings to make them unique, giving each one an individual interpretation. 

“That’s what I try to do as a Realtor,” Masters says. “It’s not one size fits all in real estate. I try to take care of people, to modify my needs to align with their needs. Being in today’s scattered world with cell phones and constant distractions, I just want to be present with everyone.”

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About the Author Kayla Anderson
Kayla Anderson is a North Lake Tahoe-based freelance writer who regularly contributes to the Sparks Tribune, Tahoe Weekly and Magazine.