NEWS

Busloads of buyers: Local agency takes new tack to sales Some 22 eligible investors brought up from

Date: Mar. 26th, 2009

Busloads of buyers: Local agency takes new tack to sales
Some 22 eligible investors brought up from Front Range


By Robert Allen

Summit Daily News
Summit County, Colorado CO

KEYSTONE — A local real-estate agency tried a new approach to marketing Friday when it bused 22 pre-qualified buyers up from the Front Range for a day at Keystone Ski Resort.

“I said: ‘Since the buyers aren’t coming to us, I’m going to bring them,” said Laurie Williams, broker associate with Slifer, Smith and Frampton Real Estate.

The gregarious bunch of business people and investors hit the slopes for some morning turns, were treated to lunch and enjoyed wine and snacks later that afternoon.

John Schulte, who owns two homes in the Denver area, said he frequently visits Summit County for the skiing and often stays at friends’ condos. He wishes he would have invested in local real estate 15 years ago.

“It’s a great time for the buyers,” he said of the existing market. “It’s bad for the sellers.”

Williams said the day-trip’s emphasis was “not a big property tour” but an opportunity to show the prospective buyers what life can be like in the mountains.

“The day connects them with the lifestyle we’re passionate about,” she said. “It’s definitely not a hard-sell day.”

The group put on their ski gear in a penthouse condo overlooking the slopes. The unit, number 8077 at Black Bear Lodge in River Run, is 1,600 square feet and priced at $650,000.

It’s been on the market about two months, Williams said.

John Cipolla of Littleton said Friday was his first visit to Keystone in 20 years, and the area’s certainly improved. The skier who usually takes day trips to Winter Park Resort said he isn’t likely to be buying any local property in the near future.

“Personally, it’s probably not a good time,” he said Friday morning.

But Williams said several good leads were established by the end of the day.

“We had a fabulous day,” she said. “It exceeded our expectations.”

She said a similar excursion — to include golf and fly fishing — will likely occur this summer. Next winter, there probably will be two buses rather than one.

The pre-qualified buyers were found through Jim Romano of Prestige Real Estate Group in the Denver area. Williams said the agencies send prospective clients in both directions, depending on what they need.

Friday’s group in the afternoon visited a 4,615-square-foot home listed at $1.65 million on 248 Wild Irishman near Keystone’s Mountain House base area.

With a national recession and real-estate transactions down across the county, buyers aren’t scrambling for local properties.

“The environment is very challenging, so we’re trying to find creative ways to make that connection with people,” Williams said.

Slifer, Smith and Frampton managing broker Eric Thompson said the county, with its limited areas for expansion, is a great long-term investment.

“We’re more steady and consistent,” he said.

Williams said about 50 percent of the agency’s buyers in Summit come from the Front Range.

“It’s all about relationship building,” she said.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or rallen@summitdaily.com.