Vail Valley character: Eagle realtor tells her story |

Vail Valley character: Eagle realtor tells her story

HCC Joan Harned DT 4-8-09

EAGLE, Colorado ” Joan Harned has become a fixture in Eagle.

For the last 23 years she’s been a well-known real estate agent down valley. She’s a former president of the Vail Board of Realtors, a former co-owner of Black Bear Real Estate, along with her husband, Tom, and is now a member of Keller Williams Realty’s Eagle office, “team Black Bear.”

Harned recently took a little time to answer a few questions.

Joan Harned: I grew up in California, and went to work for Continental Airlines as a flight attendant. I was stationed in Denver, and that’s where I met Tom.

We bought a tiny condo in Matterhorn. A few years later we moved here full time. I was still working for Continental, and commuted to Denver for 15 years, a lot of them in a little VW Bug. In all that time, I missed one trip because the pass was closed!

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

A few years after we’d moved here, Tom wanted a place where he could keep a horse. A co-worker had a place with three acres in Gypsum. We lived there almost 30 years.

JH: Tom had opened the real estate business. I had a lot of time off, and I started taking classes and selling real estate, too.

It took me six months to close my first deal. Those buyers are still in that house, and they’re still customers.

JH: It was a midlife crisis, I suppose. I really only liked to ride horses if we were moving cattle, not trail riding or anything like that.

Tom was involved in team roping, and one day a friend put me on a cutting horse… It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done!

I got hooked, and for probably four years I was buying horses. It’s so much fun, if you’ve got the money and time. I’d worked my way up to a $35,000 horse and was competing against people with $200,000 horses. That was enough.

JH: I love what I do. I love helping people. I don’t really see myself ever quitting this entirely.

We’ve just bought a place in Florida, and I have the information to get my real estate license there. I just can’t see myself not being in the real estate business, growing the team here.

I can see myself spending more time with our grandkids, but still selling real estate. I can’t ever see myself just sitting back and saying “that’s enough.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

Support Local Journalism