The first time I heard somebody talking about Telluride I wondered where it was located. That was just one year ago in a Luxury Real Estate Symposium in Venice. Since then I have been lucky enough to meet Steve, Damon, Polly, Adam and Mike from Telluride Properties in different Symposiums, so I have a better knowledge about this area.
Below, Mike answers some questions and gives a perfect historical explanation of Telluride, and as you will read, they are a small company which has had a big impact on the Telluride real estate market.
Can you explain a little about your company and your market?
Telluride Properties is a boutique real estate brokerage with 17 brokers. Our firm represents just 8% of the total brokers in the area which totals about 200 agents yet in 2015, like past years, we’ve done 31%+ of the total dollar volume of our market. Our brokers have the highest average dollar volume per broker of the handful of firms here. We have the best location in town too.
Telluride is a historic Wild West gold and silver mining town in a remote section of the “Four Corners” of the southwestern United States surrounded by the largest concentration of National Parks as well as 14,000-foot mountains in America. The closest traffic light is about 65 kilometers away, the closest city is 6 1/2 hours away, there are no national retail or restaurant chains and the road dead ends since we are located in a dramatic box canyon surrounded on 3 sides by steep mountains. The outlaw Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank here in 1889 and the electric pioneer Nicola Tesla discovered the alternating current here. Telluride was the first town in the world to have electric street lights. The town has consistently been rated the best ski town in North America by several publications including Forbes, Conde Nast and Ski Magazine. The website TripAdvisor.com is full of accolades too. About 2,500 full time residents live here and we are located in one of the least populated areas of the United States. There is very little light pollution and we can even see the Milky Way galaxy on any cloudless night! The average price of a single family home in town is approximately US$2.5 million and in the neighboring resort town of Mountain Village it is US$3 million. The most recent “well known” person to buy property here was Oprah Winfrey who spent $14 million on a home last month and another $11 million on 60 acres of land to build her dream home. Tom Cruise has a home on 300 acres for sale here, asking $59 million.
Telluride is now a ski and winter sports town in a historic setting. In summer it is known as the Festival Capital of the Rocky Mountains with the world renown Telluride Film Festival having a successful run of Oscar nominated world premieres over the years. We do have a solid international presence of visitors. In any given year, about 1-2% of buyers are from outside the United States. The Telluride region sees about 500 real estate transactions per year comprising of sales in vacant land, condos, homes and ranches. One past client of mine who owns a few properties here is from Barcelona. Others hail from England, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Australia, Nicaragua and Malaysia to name a few.
From your point of view, what are the benefits of belonging to associations like Luxury Real Estate?
Being involved in the Luxury Real Estate network has been helpful and satisfying. It is the icing on the cake of networking with colleagues across the United States. Adding the international component provides sophisticated perspective and panache. I have referred clients to brokers within the LRE network and have welcomed buyers and sellers referred to me as a result of my involvement. It is also a helpful listing tool to let sellers know that they have strong international exposure since LRE is the most viewed luxury real estate website on the planet.
During the last Luxury Real Estate Symposium you showed us an amazing Property Magazine. We are living in a Digital world, why do you think it is still so important to have a top quality Property Magazine like yours?
Our award winning property magazine, Truly Telluride, is a very helpful tool for both buyers and sellers. Since we are primarily a vacation home market located in one of the most scenic areas in the world, people want a keepsake magazine to take home with them or even just to browse by the fire after a wonderful ski day or summer concert. There is much more sexiness in holding a high-gloss property catalog filled with eye candy than staring at a tiny smartphone screen. Truly Telluride is a corridor to smartphone screen time and vice versa. A buyer can hone in on a property they see in the magazine by going to the screen for detailed specifics or they can learn more about Telluride’s amazing community by going from screen time to flipping through the magazine which provides lots of unique information beyond a simple property catalog featuring beds, baths, size and price.
Do you know Barcelona? What do you think people like about the city?
Despite the economic struggles experienced by many countries and cities, Barcelona is one of the most artistic cities in Europe, flourishing with verve and swagger. It is constantly reinventing itself while retaining some incredibly imaginative artistry in its architecture like the Park Guell, La Rambla, the Sagrada Familia and practically anything that Picasso, Dali and Gaudi put their hands on. Several barris are a cauldron of multi-generational families teeming with charm and closeness. Mix in the Costa Brava, Montserrat and Dali’s pastoral towns of Figueres and Cadaques and you have a stylish and sublime region filled with allure. Barcelona is a city I will visit again!
I expect to see you at the next international LRE conference, this time in Aspen – four hours north of Telluride!