“We’ve seen a real influx of high-end buyers come into Vail and Beaver Creek since the start of the year,” said Michael Slevin, the broker/owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties in Vail, Colo. To learn how Slevin is handling today’s shifting market, and creating business-driving opportunities, read the following interview.
Region served: Vail Valley, including Vail and Beaver Creek
Years in real estate: 18
Number of offices: 6
Number of agents: 90
Best advice for new agents: Incorporate as much training and networking into the mix as you can. Learn the inventory, build up your database with friends and clients who will refer business to you and make sure you have a significant online presence.
What is one of the biggest trends you see in your market right now?
We’ve seen a real influx of high-end buyers come into Vail and Beaver Creek since the start of the year. We’re also seeing a large international presence, with visitors from around the world, including Scotland, Mexico and Dubai. Inventory is limited and the market is absorbing the best properties right now—not necessarily because of value, but because of quality and location.
Where does your market stand in terms of consumer confidence?
The market as a whole is responding well to the upturn in the economy, but naturally, people are cautious when it comes to purchasing a home—especially a second home. Our vacation rentals are tracking at a record pace now, and even though our local market was hit hard during the downturn, confidence is quite high.
How does your company work to make its agents’ jobs easier?
We consider ourselves partners with our brokers, which means we’re all in this together. Whether it’s the tools and training we provide—or those provided through our new affiliation with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices—we work hard to create opportunities for our brokers to drive business through Internet leads and more traditional approaches. In the end, it’s about listening to our brokers and understanding what’s important to them.
What is one of the biggest challenges your market faces and what are you doing to overcome it?
Our biggest challenge is inventory, the lack of which is providing a real opportunity for us to coach our brokers regarding the importance of letting their clients know that now may be a great time to sell. While repeat and referral business is a hallmark of our industry, we impress upon our brokers the importance of working to deepen the relationships they have with their clients.
You recently began operating as part of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Network. What are you most looking forward to when it comes to being affiliated with this new brand?
We’re most excited about the name and brand itself, as well as what it represents in the global marketplace. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has given us a wonderful array of resources and tools that will help our brokers stand out from the crowd. Not only do we have access to a referral system between each of the new offices that have affiliated, the corporate side is doing a great job of connecting all of us via social media and even one on one. We are in a market that caters to a national and international clientele. The name and brand resonates with people. They have taken notice and want to work with what is regarded as one of the most respected brands in the world. That’s a significant differentiator in the marketplace.
For more information, visit www.berkshirehathawayhs.com.