Posted on January 13, 2020 by Katie Shapiro
Mega spec homes — large projects primarily built by developers for immediate resale—have everything…except buyers. While the Aspen Snowmass market outperformed 2018 in terms of sales volume by 5% so far this year, the supply for high-end luxury homes valued at over $10 million has reached a six year supply at the current absorption rate.
Instead, new buyers of homes falling into the 10,000 square foot plus range are tackling large-scale residential renovations as an often less expensive and more customizable workaround. Enter Pembrooke & Ives, the Manhattan based interior design firm that specializes in overhauling massive residences into bespoke multigenerational secondary homes.
We talked to Francis Nicdao, one of Pembrooke & Ives’ design directors, to see how the firm approaches such mammoth remakes, two of which were recently completed nearby.
What is the typical timeline for projects of this scale?
Pre-construction is usually six months, with anywhere between 18 to 24 months of construction.
Outdoor sofas and dining table by David Sutherland; chairs by Janus et Cie.
Photo credit: JC Buck
Where do you begin with the renovation process?
Both of these homes were renovations for new buyers. In approaching the design process at this scale, it is really important to understand how the client wants to use the house, their lifestyle and their overall wish list. We also examine how they are currently living in their existing home(s) and start the personalization process from there.
The living room features a Ferrell Mittman sofa and lounge chairs, custom coffee table by Pembrooke & Ives), Hudson Furniture nickel side table, and sculptures by Fernando Botero.
Photo credit: David Marlow
What interior strategy is essential when sourcing accessories and furniture?
Scale is critical. You need furniture that does not feel dwarfed by the architecture. Oftentimes, in these cases, bigger is better. Aspen lends itself to furniture that has texture and that is made from natural materials used in a modern application. Because there is such an indoor-outdoor connection in these homes, we also have to be sensitive to the fact that the home will feel different in the summer versus the winter, and that the furniture and finishes should feel relevant and appropriate in all seasons.
Kelly Wearstler custom chairs accent the dining room and surround a custom dining table by Pembrooke & Ives.
Photo credit: JC Buck
What do you love most about working on homes in Aspen?
It’s such a special place, and the view of Aspen Mountain from both homes on Red Mountain is spectacular. Working in this setting is an exciting challenge for us; with a large focus of our business on urban residences and buildings, it is a great opportunity to be able to infuse our style and expertise into a mountain-specific home. We also always appreciate working alongside the local contractors and architects here who we have found to be incredibly professional and proficient.What was the inspiration behind each project?
Cobalt Mark Albrecht pendents accent a Kenya black stone bar and backsplash.
Photo credit: JC Buck
Willoughby Way (nine bedrooms, 20,000 square feet) was for a couple who live in a formal, more traditional way. They wanted a contemporary design that felt glamorous, and we wanted to pay respect to the architecture by using clean lines and very luxurious materials. We used a beautiful onyx stone throughout, alongside warmer tones of wood and metal, and soft lighting to create more intimate spaces. The home is both comfortable and elegant, with layers of materials and textures that give it a certain richness.
The master bathroom tub was crafted from polished Taj Mahal stone.
Photo credit: JC Buck
Aspen Modern (four levels, 14,000 square feet, sleeps 28) was for a young family that loves to entertain in a more casual way. They wanted every space to feel comfortable and easy to live in. We really stripped everything back and installed larger windows to take in the expansive views. We used what would traditionally be used in mountain homes, but in a more refined and tailored fashion. The thoughtful juxtaposition of materials was also crucial—using chiseled stone against polished marble. Natural materials like the stone and wood beams brings an element of the outdoors in, but the strong geometry and clean lines keeps it modern.
A custom bed by Pembrooke & Ives in the guest master bedroom sits next to the existing fireplace.
Photo credit: JC Buck
This feature originally appeared in the Holiday Issue of Aspen Magazine. Pick up a copy around town, find it online at mlaspen.com, and follow socially @aspenmagazine.
Posted on November 15, 2018 by Katie Shapiro
From taking the title of “Best of the West" in Ski Magazine’s Resorts of the Year Awards to landing a spot on Travel + Leisure’s “Most Romantic Holiday Destinations for Couples,” Aspen Snowmass continues to rack up accolades every season. We might be a bit biased, but it’s true: there is no place more festive to spend the holidays in the entire world.
While Aspen Snowmass is known for its abundant five-star resort offerings, sometimes a ski vacation is only made better when you rent a dream home of your very own. Whether it’s having enough space for your extended family, wanting to cook up your favorite family recipes, avoiding the hustle and bustle of a busy hotel or staying in town for the full season, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty (ASSIR) has experienced Brokers specializing in Aspen & Snowmass, luxury rentals.
So, if you’re still looking for a picture-perfect, holiday escape there’s still time to make it a most memorable one in Aspen Snowmass. To help guide you, here are ASSIR’s top four tips to consider when starting your rental search:
1. How far in advance do you recommend booking a rental property for the holiday season?
We recommend booking for the holidays as far out as possible to ensure having your first choice available. We book the majority of our holiday rentals in September, October and November, but often our most sought-after properties can be booked as far as a year in advance. While most of our holiday inventory is booked, we have received a few new listings recently and have had a couple of cancellations, so always inquire no matter how last minute you are starting your search.
2. What is the price range for vacation rentals in Aspen Snowmass?
For the winter season, the most affordable property in our inventory is about $400 per night, but not in the preferred area of Aspen’s downtown core or Snowmass Village. Most of our rental properties with a prime location fall around $1,000 per night and our most exclusive property is $25,000 per night. We are always able to accommodate any budget.
3. How does ASSIR help clients navigate the property search?
Initially, we ask for preferred location, dates, the makeup of the group, budget and any other specifications the client might have, such as ski access. After we gather some options, we send the client rental brochures - ASSIR’s rental brochures are arguably the most thorough among the competition.
4. How does ASSIR help clients feel confident in a “sight unseen” booking?
Photos, a Google Map search and a conversation on the phone usually help clients feel confident in their decision. We often discuss location, walkability, specifics on ski access and various other property details. The last thing we want is for someone to be disappointed, so we do our best to convey all the information thoroughly and accurately.
ASSIR also goes above and beyond the service standard for rental agencies in the Roaring Fork Valley through an exclusive partnership with Covet Concierge, owned and operated by longtime local Karen Boyd. With more than a decade of experience as a concierge for five-star resorts and luxury rental companies, most recently at the Residences at the Little Nell, Boyd branched off on her own in 2017 and provides unparalleled five-star service 24/7 to all of ASSIR’s rental clients through her company.
Upon booking, Boyd works directly with clients to provide a custom itinerary along with the coordination of the following services:
- Ground transportation
- Welcome basket upon arrival stocked with wine, fresh fruit and gourmet snacks
- Grocery shopping and pre-stocking the kitchen
- Dining reservations
- Babysitting services
- Ski equipment rentals with in-home fittings
- Pre-purchase and print lift tickets
For an additional service fee, Boyd will also assist clients in pre-arranging holiday decor with Christmas tree delivery, hiring and planning special in-home events with a private chef, reserving additional adventure activities and running general errands — no request is too small. Although she’s anticipating juggling 30 rental clients in the months ahead, Boyd is a one-woman-show and remains on-call throughout your entire stay.
And since she’s always busy booking the best of Aspen Snowmass for her clients, we also asked Boyd to recommend a few of her favorite things:
Watching the New Year’s fireworks over Aspen Mountain
Taking a sleigh ride to dinner at Pine Creek Cookhouse
Breakfast at Gwyn's High Alpine on Snowmass Mountain
Aprés Ski Spot
Ajax Tavern in Aspen
Venga Venga in Snowmass Village
A massage at Remède Spa in the St. Regis followed by a glass of champagne in the oxygen lounge
The Spa at Viceroy in Snowmass
Hair & Makeup
Pitkin County Dry Goods
Sashae Floral Arts & Gifts
SO Café on the top floor of the Aspen Art Museum
Snowmobiling to the Maroon Bells with T-Lazy-7 Ranch
Click here to download the complete ASSIR Rental Brochure and click here to learn more about Covet Concierge.
Aspen, Snowmass Village, Covet C, Covet Concierge, Pine Creek Cookhouse, HomeTeam BBQ, Gwyn's High Alpine, Ajax Tavern, Remède Spa, Salon Tullio, Kemo Sabe, Pitkin County Dry Goods, Sashae Floral Arts & Gifts, SO Café, Aspen Shakti, Jimmy's, T-Lazy-7 Ranch
Posted on August 27, 2018 by Katie Shapiro
Photo Courtesy: Aspen Core
In a place tucked into one of the most majestic pockets of the world—surrounded by natural beauty, national forest land and protected open space—living green is the way of life. With renewable energy roots dating back to the 1980s when the city built the Maroon Creek and Ruedi hydroelectric plants, Aspen is undoubtedly a model citizen in how communities can reduce the carbon footprint of its residents.
In 2015, Aspen reached a major milestone in achieving 100 percent renewable energy to power its electric utility—the third city in the nation to reach such a designation. While the City of Aspen’s Climate Action Office leads the charge, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) —an independent non-profit organization— has helped teach Roaring Fork Valley residents how to conserve energy in their own homes. In 2000, this became the first program of its kind in the world.
Funded in part by the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program (REMP), CORE distributes funds in the form of rebates and grants and has awarded more than $8.2 million to the community for smart energy compliance. In 2011, CORE launched its official home energy assessment program to increase efficiency awareness and implementation even more.
With Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty's prospective homebuyers weighing sustainability in their purchasing decisions now more than ever, we reached out to CORE’s Kate Henion, BPI (Building Performance Institute) building analyst and marketing manager for her advice. Here are Kate’s top tips to help clients going through the process of selling or buying a property in Pitkin County:
- A home energy assessment is the first step. The assessment looks at the whole picture of your home— heating systems, windows and insulation levels. It provides you with a comprehensive report outlining opportunities for energy improvements that are specific to your home. Plus, homeowners get free “quick fix” installations and combustion analysis testing.
- Once you get the report, give CORE a call to go over the top priorities for the home. CORE offers free energy advising and cash-back rebates and its knowledgeable Energy Advisors can connect you with local, qualified contractors and help you with utility rebates.
- Easy projects to knock-off first include air sealing & insulation. By air sealing and insulating your home correctly, you can establish a thermal boundary, heating and cooling only your desired living spaces.
- Swapping out your incandescents for LEDs is another no-brainer, considering they use 75% less energy.
- Controls, like programmable thermostats, can save on your monthly utility bills. Smart thermostats provide you with those same savings, but with the added convenience of controlling your home by phone.
Since the program’s inception, CORE has performed 2,106 assessments and issued 1,380 rebates in the Roaring Fork Valley. Homeowners are eligible for up to $1,000 in rebates for energy efficiency upgrades, up to $5,250 for renewable energy, and larger properties are offered custom rebates.
Thanks to Aspen’s forward-thinking approach to sustainability and the work being done by organizations like CORE, new-build homes are also incorporating environmentally-conscious design elements from the start. One standout example of just how green a residential project can get? “Game On,” the personal home of John Rowland and Sarah Broughton, principals of their eponymous, award-winning architecture and interior design firm Rowland + Broughton.
Spanning 4,291 square feet on a small parcel in Aspen’s idyllic West End, the “modern interpretation of the historic homes from the turn-of-the-century that comprise much of the neighborhood” is LEED Gold Certified—the most widely used green building rating system and a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.
It’s a rare residential designation, with commercial buildings more commonly applying for LEED Certified status, but one that the couple decided to take on themselves.
Inside John Rowland and Sarah Broughton’s LEED certified dream home of their own in Aspen’s West End neighborhood. Courtesy: Rowland + Broughton
“We wanted to put our money where our mouths are with this particular project. Sustainability is in our firm’s DNA,” says Rowland.
Siting the home strategically to avoid energy-draining appliances like an air conditioning system in favor of cross ventilation, he adds, “We went to great lengths on our insulation, so not only do we have a really tight envelope, but the house stays very cool all summer long.”
Also mindful of indoor air quality, Rowland explains that in selecting interior materials, “It means really understanding every little nuance that goes into the production and that no chemicals are ever used to avoid off-gas. Start by asking where the materials are coming from … are these supply companies green leaders in their own right? Do they practice sustainability in the harvesting of their raw materials?”
Inside John Rowland and Sarah Broughton’s LEED certified dream home of their own in Aspen’s West End neighborhood. Courtesy: Rowland + Broughton
Inventive elements like a gravel and sand bocce ball court in the backyard that doubles as a water filtration system for the home were matched with more traditional energy-saving tools like LED lighting and solar panels by Carbondale-based company, Sunsense.
Now, nearly three years after completing a dream home of their very own, Rowland is proud to report that, “We haven’t replaced a lightbulb since we moved in."
Posted on July 19, 2018 by Katie Shapiro
Whether you’re a budding collector looking to add art to a new home, a realtor with staging needs or an experienced enthusiast shopping for a new piece, there is no better time to visit Aspen than late summer.
In recent years, Aspen has solidified its position on the international scene as one of the leading art destinations in the world. But its high-brow reputation has roots dating back to 1949, with the start of one of design’s great movements—the Bauhaus.
Now, the Bauhaus movement is coming full circle thanks to longtime local Lissa Ballinger, curator for The Aspen Institute. In 2019, the world will collectively celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Bauhaus with a slew of special events to partake in locally.
Ahead of official festivities next year, the 1978 sculpture created by renowned Bauhaus architect and artist Herbert Bayer, was unveiled on Aspen Institute’s West End campus. Bayer hand-selected the Carrara marble from Central Italy for this seven-piece geometric sculpture that measures 32 x 8 x 8 feet. The sculpture was acquired from the Denver Art Museum in 2017, through the support of Melony and Adam Lewis, Aspen-based philanthropists and members of the Aspen Institute Society of Fellows.
Aspen Institute President and CEO, Dan Porterfield, shared in a statement, “The Anaconda sculpture is a wonderful addition to the Aspen Meadows Campus for the enjoyment of the whole community and to share in celebrating Herbert Bayer’s legacy. We are thrilled to install this sculpture as we gear up for next year’s celebration of the 100th year anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus School.”
Prior to spearheading the Bauhaus centennial exhibition, Ballinger worked with private clients, local galleries and non-profit organizations through her company, Walnut5 Art Advisory. Ballinger started her company in 2010 and offers services ranging from collection management and preservation planning to curation and placement consulting.
Photos courtesy of Aspen Institute and Lissa Ballinger
Before her “An Introduction to Bauhaus” art talk on Wednesday, July 25 at the Wheeler Opera House, we caught up with Ballinger to get tips for collectors, her favorite spots for finding art and learn what sets Aspen’s art scene apart from anywhere else in the world.
Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Real Estate: What first brought you to Aspen?
Lissa Ballinger: The reason that I came to Aspen [in 2002] is because there is literally no place on earth—that is also a mountain town—which has this range and quality of cultural opportunities. Period.
ASSIR: What sets Aspen art scene apart and how has it changed over the years?
LB: I wrote my thesis on the visual arts in Aspen [she obtained her Masters of Art Administration from Columbia University] and at that point, I was talking about this influx of second home owners and how that had changed the viability of it being a year-round community. But now, 15 years later, it’s so interesting for me to reflect about how much it has changed since then. Art is all over the Roaring Fork Valley, our artistic achievements are being recognized on a much higher level and we’re truly a cultural center destination.
ASSIR: Where are your local, go-to spots to shop for art?
LB: The recurring shows at the Red Brick Center for the Arts and the Aspen Chapel are stocked with work from local artists. Anderson Ranch’s “Lunchtime Auctionette” every Friday in the summer is the biggest gem! And I always find something at their Annual Community Picnic. Downtown, Maker + Place and the Skye Gallery are each owned by young women entrepreneurs and Aspen natives. And the level of art-making down valley is incredible! The ArtBase in Basalt has a fantastic rotating gallery of local artists. I also love The Launchpad and SAW [Studio for Arts + Works] in Carbondale.
ASSIR: And on the gallery side?
LB: Gallery Maximillian, Baldwin Gallery, Harvey/Meadows Gallery and Boesky West.
ASSIR: What trends have you observed in the past year? Do you think the societal shift in the preference of “shopping local” has affected the art world?
LB: I would love that to be an art trend, especially as prices continue to go haywire…the relationship between money and art fascinates me. While Aspen has a thriving scene, there just haven’t been many venues for local artists to showcase their work. I’ve seen that change recently, which is really exciting. Overall in contemporary art, there was this departure from photography for awhile—it can be ubiquitous and people seemed less interested, but it’s coming back around.
ASSIR: What’s your biggest piece of advice for new collectors?
LB: Entering the world of art collecting can be overwhelming, intimidating even. My first thing I tell new collectors is to do research and be curious. Find out what specifically you’re interested in to keep your search narrow. I also encourage people to study art movements, which can help influence decision-making. Unabashedly right now, it should be all about the Bauhaus! And for more serious collectors, art advisors can play a really important role in helping guide you to discovering your personal taste. If you’re just beginning to collect, there are so many unbelievable and affordable experiences here to discover art if you seek them out.
UPCOMING ASPEN ART HAPPENINGS
16th Annual Aspen Arts Festival
Saturday, July 21–Sunday, July 22
Rio Grande Park
An Introduction to Bauhaus: Lissa Ballinger Art Talk
Wednesday, July 25, 5:30pm
Wheeler Opera House
Friday, July 27–Sunday, July 29
Aspen Ice Garden
Aspen Art Museum ArtCrush 2018
Wednesday, August 1–Friday, August 3
28th Annual Art Auction and Community Picnic
August 4, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Aspen Chapel Gallery Artist Talk
Wednesday, August 15, 5:30 p.m.
Art and Walking Tour of the Aspen Institute hosted by Lissa Ballinger:
Herbert Bayer Mountains and Convolutions, 1944–1953
September 12, 11 a.m.
Meets at the Aspen Institute Resnick Gallery
Every Friday through September 21, 11:45 a.m.
Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Posted on June 8, 2018 by Katie Shapiro
Aspen was the first-ever resort community in the country to adopt an official bike sharing system in 2013. Fast forward five years later and it’s hard to imagine Aspen and Basalt without WE-Cycle and its many docking stations around town.
And Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty has been along for the ride since the very beginning, supporting WE-cycle as its first corporate sponsor in a partnership that’s now in its sixth season. This year marks another milestone for the non-profit organization: it’s the first bike sharing program in the world to be completely free for all users (for rides 30 minutes or less).
Made possible from a $145,000 grant from the City of Aspen, $45,000 each from Eagle County and the Town of Basalt along with robust sponsor support, WE-cycle ridership has already soared since it’s reopening on May 1— ridership is up 197 percent in Aspen and 44 percent in Basalt during the same time period last year according to director and founder, Mirte Mallory.
“Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty has been the most tremendous supporter from the very beginning. As our earliest adopters and believers, joining us as a system-wide sponsor has been transformative for what we’ve been able to accomplish at WE-cycle,” says Mallory.
Inspired by the benefits she saw bike sharing create for cities like Paris and Amsterdam, the Aspen native wanted the same solution available in her hometown. “Although we are a small community, we still face a lot of big-city challenges — traffic, air quality and especially parking,” she says. “Our hope is to continue to build on the bike culture that had already existed here and have both locals and visitors use WE-cycle as a viable transportation option.”
She credits Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty co-owner Ernie Fyrwald’s similar vision from having experienced bike share programs in cities he had visited over the years as the impetus for such a successful relationship. “He truly values the importance of supporting bike vitality and what it can do for a community’s livability,” says Mallory.
What started as a 12-station system in Aspen has since grown to more than 40 stations stocked with 190 bikes to work in conjunction with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) bus system, plus the implementation of access in El Jebel, Willits and Basalt.
Under Fyrwald’s leadership, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty has aligned with the program way beyond just putting branded panels on the back of WE-cycle’s bikes. For many brokers, using the system is essential in their daily commutes and also in showing clients prospective properties around Aspen and Basalt.
"Doing most of my business in the downtown core and adjacent neighborhoods, WE-cycle has been a great way to get around. It's also a handy way to show clients a new neighborhood and how accessible it is,” says Lex Tarumianz.
Chris Klug, a passionate pedaler both on and off the clock, explains, “I have toured downtown and the West End together with my clients on WE-cycle bikes … they absolutely love it. Not only does it help reduce cars on our roads and lessens the impact on our spectacular natural alpine environment, but it’s also a far more efficient way to get around town during the busy summer months when you’re in a hurry. Overall, it just further sets our community apart and makes Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley such a special place.”
For Craig Ward, WE-cycle has been on his “must-support” list since the inception of the program. "I am thrilled that it is now publicly supported, so the bikes are free throughout the community!” he says.
Although she often tours clients around on WE-cycle bikes, supporting bike sharing for Tory Thomas isn’t just about “what it does for me and my business. What I love most about WE-cycle is what it does for our community and environment at large.”
If you haven’t already, sign-up for your free WE-cycle season pass and download the mobile app here: we-cycle.org.
Special thanks to Craig Turpin for photography of WE-cycle bike sharing in Aspen and Basalt, Colorado.
Posted on May 25, 2018 by Sara Kurz
The beautiful renovation of our Aspen Hyman Mall office is finally complete! The entire first floor was stripped to the studs, knocking down all of the nook-like offices with dark, heavy finishes. Now, the space is has an open floor plan that flows naturally from the entrance and lobby at the front, all the way to the new staff kitchen in the back.
Broker offices are now lined up against the outer walls of the space and separated by glass. A sleek new conference room with a luxurious marble table will feature touchscreen technology for virtual reality property tours of prospective homes. The new lobby also features touchscreen technology and a comfy couch for visitors.
Stop by the new office today, or check out the 3D Matterport Tour below!
Special thanks to
Sherlock Homes, Builder
Forum Phi, Designer
AV Tech, Daryl Mackie
Furniture, Sandy’s Office Supply
Window signs, MicroPlastics, Inc.
Posted on March 20, 2018 by Sara Kurz
INTRODUCING THE TOP PLACES TO LIVE & SKI IN THE US
Every aspect of your home should be a reflection of who you are, where you’ve been, and the life you aspire to live. Your best life begins with a home that inspires you.
SEARCH SKI PROPERTIES ON SIR.COM
YEAR-END 2017 RESORT REPORT
Our Exclusive Market Comparison
We are proud to release our annual Resort Report comparing real estate market in Aspen to other mountain resorts in the US. Resorts included in this report include:
Colorado: Vail Valley, Breckinridge, Aspen, Telluride, Crested Butte and Steamboat Springs.
Other States: Lake Tahoe, NV & CA, Park City, Big Sky, MT, Jackson Hole, WY, Sante Fe, NM and Sun Valley, ID.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO
To All of the Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates Who Contributed to the LIVE Ski Video:
And Aspen 82 for Producing & Editing the Video
Posted on March 14, 2018 by Katie Shapiro
Here in Aspen, searching for properties remains “on mountain time.” That is, while residents and visitors alike might be internet savvy, traditional methods are still used to market properties. Whether in one of two daily newspapers, nearly ten glossy magazines, or in locally produced television commercials, the audience is broad. Targeting a specific geographic location, age demographic, or lifestyle interest of a buyer in such a saturated and transient market is much more of a challenge.
As 2017 was winding down, Inman, a leading real estate resource and media outlet, released a report begging the question “Is Facebook coming for Zillow?”
The social networking authority unveiled a major update to the Property Rentals section of its Marketplace, implementing a new front-end interface allowing mobile users to search for properties using more filters than ever before. In official partnership with Zumper and Apartment List, potential renters can search directly through their Facebook newsfeed with the touch of a screen or click of a button.
And for sellers? Posting and advertising listings on Facebook is an ever-growing opportunity to reach more eyes than ever before. A Zillow/Facebook relationship like the one already established for rentals could change the way buyers search for property online.
Inman reports two strategic points for sellers of the future to note:
User experience is key, pitting search versus match. The current consumer experience on real estate portals, such as the Aspen Glenwood MLS or Zillow itself, is focused around searching and browsing. Visitors scan a map, enter search criteria or browse through featured listings. It’s the equivalent of flipping through a glossy magazine or scanning the pages of a newspaper classified section.
The innovative nature of Facebook advertising lends itself to a matching experience. In the future, real estate listings will be targeted to consumers based on what Facebook knows about them (in the same way it already targets advertising).
This targeting is among the most sophisticated in the business given the amount of information Facebook knows about its users. The majority of Facebook users won’t be searching for real estate. Instead, they will see real estate presented to them.
All-of-market versus some-of-market. Real estate portals maintain their reputation as the best place to find a home because they have all of the inventory available in the market. When a consumer is searching for a new home, he or she wants to look where all of the properties for sale are available.
Facebook’s marketplace strategy, on the other hand, is not predicated on having all of the available real estate listings. At least for the foreseeable future, until a Zillow/Facebook, or similar, integration happens, the listings available on Facebook will only be those uploaded and posted by brokers or companies. So while the consumer experience on Facebook today can target and match listings directly to visitors, it doesn’t represent the entire market of possible houses for sale.
But, as the Inman article suggests, change is on the horizon. What are brokers today doing to keep up?
Top producing Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty broker Pat Marquis has emerged with a competitive edge by investing the majority of her marketing efforts away from print into social media channels and custom produced content.
“Historically, we have to admit that advertising and engaging on social media reaches more people period,” says Marquis. “I’ve quickly found that it’s faster and more beneficial for my clients. It’s only the beginning here in Aspen of how things are changing.”
Her first major new media project in embracing her new focus was a full-scale film shoot to highlight her highest profile listings. After meeting top-producing Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty agent Seth O’Byrne last fall during a social media seminar he hosted, Marquis was instantly, well, sold.
Regularly traveling to teach tricks of the digital trade to Sotheby’s International Realty offices across the country, O’Byrne has skyrocketed to success through storytelling. For many of the O’Byrne Team’s properties, he plays director/producer for mini-films enlisting high profile industry crews and actors from nearby Los Angeles to shoot, produce, and collaborate. A self-described “shameless self-promoter”, he often steps in front of the camera with his marketing director / photographer Frank Glaser capturing every behind-the-scenes moment for even more content. He’s amassed more than 20,000 Instagram followers for his electric persona, honest commentary, date nights, travelogues, and dream-worthy real estate posts.
What triggered O’Byrne's interest in social media as a venue for real estate? “What happened for me—in 2010 when the market started turning around—I had a revelation to start advertising my listings on Facebook when it first started fixed $5 ads. I was one of the first paid advertisers on Facebook…ever!…in the City of San Diego. It started my fascination with digital marketing,” explains O’Byrne.
Also a content consultant for “social media rebrands”, and rightfully so, O’Byrne was hired by Marquis to spend a few days in Aspen last month. With their Los Angeles camera crew in tow, the crew set out on ATV’s in Aspen’s backcountry and even up in the air with Aspen Heli Charters over the course of two jam-packed days of shoots.
O’Byrne and Marquis on the set of their shoots in Aspen in February.
After wrapping their first day on location, I caught up with both O’Byrne and Marquis in the Mountain Social lounge at the St. Regis Aspen Resort to get some tips and tricks of the trade to help sellers understand the role of social media in property advertising.
“It's not the market scene,” says O’Byrne, it's the market research and the market data social media provides. What I find, and why the revolution has become so huge is the marketing that we do on social media, is that it aggregates attention and it's measurable. You get instant, incredible feedback—it’s why social media is just so much more powerful.”
Marquis adds: “Our clientele has changed significantly over the years and we have to up our game to really meet their needs. They’re coming to us now already having done their research online—they’re knowledgeable and they know exactly what they’re looking for.”
Going forward, brokers like O’Byrne are embracing change. “You bake the cookies, you do the flyers, you do the open houses. That is marketing without any market research. And that to me is an enormous waste of time. I think what the last generation of realtors has had a hard time reckoning with is that what they used to do that worked doesn't work anymore.”
To that, Marquis adds: “We have to really open up our minds as far as change and we have to listen to our clients. One certain thing we can count on is change.”
The future is in video, according to O’Byrne: “It’s a medium that people are willing to consume. The written word, although I get a lot of response from it, people don't really absorb or connect in the way they do through video.”
And in teamwork: “What I always advise brokers, when they think about content creation is, if you're not great at creating content, work with people who will help pull it out of you. O’Byrne also says, “You don't necessarily need to be the one creating all the content but the content needs to be unique to you.”
Follow the creative folks mentioned in this article on Instagram:
For a PDF download of the full Inman Article, CLICK HERE.
To watch the behind the scenes video of O’Byrne and Marquis’ video collaboration project, The Edge of Aspen, click below.
Posted on January 12, 2018 by Sara Kurz
We are proud to release an in-depth report on all properties sold in Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and New Castle. Our report is unique in that we compare the market in these areas in 2017 to 2016. Our report includes segmented single family and condos/townhomes/duplex information for each area. We also include fractional statistics for Aspen and Snowmass Village.
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Posted on January 5, 2018 by Katie Shapiro
Looking back on a transitional year for commercial real estate in Aspen’s downtown core, one of the most inspiring stories to emerge is that of Maker + Place, an innovative retail showcase selling handcrafted home wares from around the world. The collective even caught the eye of the Sotheby’s Auction House, presenting an exclusive, online-only auction of contemporary décor.
First opening in a temporary location last summer, Maker + Place has a new home at 614 E. Cooper Ave.
An artist herself, Maker + Place founder and creative director Michaela Carpenter has already filled a much-needed void for the next generation of local go-getters. At just 23 years old, the Aspen High School alumna and graduate of Chelsea College of Art and Design in London has created a thriving artisan collective over the past six months, which also offers an artist-in-residence studio, a lecture and workshop series, and mentorship opportunities.
Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.
The exclusive, collaborative e-auction with Sotheby’s Auction House ran from January 5th - 22nd, 2018. Maker + Place Presents: Contemporary Objects Online featured a curated collection from in-house artisans that Carpenter personally enlisted to commission pieces for this unique partnership including vessels, textiles, and furniture.
“The shared passions and values of the Sotheby’s Auction House and Maker + Place brands create an energetic collection,” says Carpenter. “We are so excited to be able to showcase the work of our makers, their skill sets, and their understanding of great design.”
For the Sotheby’s Auction House, 2017 was also a year of innovation with its digital auctions seeing a record number of new clients—its top lots spanning jewelry, contemporary art, old masters, furniture, books, and Chinese paintings. In total, more than $500 million of online bids were received.
This month, for the first time ever, the Sotheby’s Auction House introduces Maker + Place as a leading curator of contemporary pieces that have a connection to traditions and values of craftsmanship, and as a marker for the future of design.
“We’re delighted to partner with Maker + Place to present this auction which was specifically curated for Sotheby’s,” says Olivia Hunt, Sotheby’s Auction House eCommerce manager. “The sale celebrates the art of craftsmanship with pieces carefully selected from emerging designers.”
We caught up with Carpenter ahead of the auction launch for a sneak peek at some of her favorites pieces and their makers:
Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.
White Totem Collection - Giselle Hicks
“Giselle Hicks is a local and works at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village. A lot of her work can be found in our store and each is one-of-a-kind.”
Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.
Fawn Blanket Set - Clarity Fornell
“Clarity Fornell, daughter of developer Peter Fornell, is a born and raised Aspen local, who has devoted her study and life to weaving and is a maker-in-residence at Maker+Place. Everyone is welcome to come visit her while she works at her in-store studio and commission custom designs and products.”
Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.
The Cherry Chair - Carter Hopkins
Carter Hopkins also works at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village and has collaborated with Maker + Place on various projects. “This piece is truly spectacular,” says Carpenter.
For an expanded interview between the Sotheby’s Auction House and Carpenter, click here to visit the Sotheby’s Auction House blog, “Discover Emerging and One-of-a-Kind Designers from Maker + Place.”
Click here to visit the Maker + Place website.