This column is called “Ask a Broker,” and it’s a testament to our community that most people are asking me about things other than real estate right now. Still, the question comes up, because people know how important our business is to the local economy.
“Business is happening,” I tell them, “but it’s not business as usual.” And then I go on to tell them about some hopeful — and occasionally wonderful — things that are happening.
Times are difficult, for sure. There’s less capital floating around, and fewer people circulating through town. But the wheels keep turning, and people are buying and selling, and the entire real estate community is coming together to serve our local community — in real estate, and in lots of other ways.
In this valley, we’ve been lucky that most of our brokers are used to working remotely and at odd hours, and we’re all working extra hard to keep our clients in-the-know. At Slifer Smith & Frampton, we’ve been investing for years in the technology and training that lets us host virtual tours, market properties digitally, and help buyers find the ideal piece of property no matter where in the world they’re situated.
We’re taking this opportunity to keep our brokers and staff engaged and supported — ramping up our training, getting creative with our marketing, keeping them informed of industry shifts and market changes, and generally doing our best to keep communication open when we can’t just stop by each other’s offices or run into each other at Hovey & Harrison, or Boneyard, or on Bridge Street. We’re doing our best to keep our business family mentally healthy and confident in their jobs.
While they are soldiering on with the business of real estate, our business family is also taking care of what really matters. As individuals and as locals, we’re doing what we can to support the Vail Valley.
Two of our brokers, Brent Rimel and Tina Vardaman are working with outdoor clothing company, Melanzana, to transport material to make PPE masks for Vail Health. Some of our brokers have led a charge to buy gift certificates to local businesses to help them through this rough time. We’re all checking in constantly with our neighbors and local businesses to see what we can do to lend a hand.
As a company, we’re donating to Eagle County Community Fund to help with the nonprofit’s efforts to distribute groceries to families and community members who are having financial trouble due to layoffs. We’re also sponsoring the “One Valley Voice” campaign, which is a Facebook page created by Eagle County to share accurate and reliable information to the community.
Our community is at the heart of what we do. We live and work in this community, and we raise our kids here. We know the names of the streets because we live on them, the best views from the hiking trails because we use them, and the deepest runs on the mountain on a powder day because we ski them. We know how it feels to be part of a community facing tragedy and uncertainty. That’s why we’re carrying on with the business of supporting each other, now more than ever.
John Pfeiffer is the president and employing broker of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate.