Episode 5 of the Christie’s Luxury Expert Series takes us to the snowy paradise of Aspen, Colorado. Broadcast Audio Coordinator Sam Sparks is joined by Aspen Snowmass | Christie’s International Real Estate agents Mark Haldeman and Jennifer Banner. In this episode, they discuss the Aspen area, drivers of growth, and a truly gorgeous 75 Million-Dollar listing.
Broker team Haldeman Banner is made up of Mark Haldeman and Jennifer Banner. They have a combined experience of almost 50 years in real estate. Mark worked for other luxury firms before partnering with Jennifer and joining Christie’s about three years ago. Their only regret is not joining sooner. “Thrilled to be part of the Christie’s Community, we only wish we would’ve done it earlier.”
Like the other affiliates we have interviewed, the Aspen market has been on fire the past few years. Record low inventory and increasingly strong demand have kept agents very busy. While demand continues to grow, with no end in sight, agents are challenged with finding owners who want to sell, at a time when it’s difficult to find a home to buy.
It’s not surprising that Aspen is experiencing an influx of new residents. “The weather and resort lifestyle are major drivers of growth in Aspen. But, it is much more than the winter wonderland. Our summers may be better than the winters.”. Tourists will come to Aspen to ski, and when they stay for the summer, they’re hooked forever. “Aspen is world-class in every aspect. So much more than a ski destination. There is a plethora of world-class dining, retail, and cultural events in the city.” “It’s truly the best of everything here, ”Jennifer said. The annual Aspen Music Festival is a huge draw to the area. Mark, a long-time Aspen resident has seen Yoyo Ma, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform, showing that Aspen is for all.
The feeder markets for Aspen are predictable, people moving from big cities like Chicago and New York, and especially from hot, humid climates like Houston, Dallas and Miami. Escaping hot, 110 degree summers to 75 and no humidity. People came to Aspen to escape the city and never left.
Mark and Jennifer are big believers in social media and knowing how important it is in growing your business. “Staying top of mind for your clients. Getting on there and interacting and engaging with others has been really good for us.”
It is easy to get discouraged with social media, but Jennifer has some sage advice for those considering it. “Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. You won’t see results immediately- but keep up with it. “Social media can pay off in ways you never expect.”
Mark and Jennifer have been involved with the Christie’s brand for a few years now, and love the advantages that being an affiliate has to offer. Before the pandemic, the team would frequently go to Christie’s events and conferences. They loved the ability to meet other agents from around the world, and foster relationships. “We met the guys from Portugal and ended up going over there, and meeting up again. Networking for us is really, really important, we understand the value of networking, and it’s paid off with referrals.”
The Aspen team has the luxury of being the host city for this year’s Christie’s Master’s Circle event. They are excited for the opportunity to show off Aspen, from skiing to exploring the city, and what it has to offer.
The Christie’s Aspen affiliate had a unique experience with the art auction house that many have never encountered. The Aspen office hosted a six-week pop-up art gallery with rotating exhibits. In their office in downtown Aspen, over 70 billion dollars worth of art was displayed in the office, attracting clients and window-shoppers alike. This was a great opportunity to have people come into their office for something other than real estate and to show the true power of the Christie’s brand. Over the six weeks, the office hosted social events like champagne socials to entertain and attract clients. This made their office visible and was a huge draw for walk-in guests. They are inspiring their clients to fill their luxury homes with luxury art.
Christie’s International Real Estate uses the phrase “luxury defined”. We’ve been asking our podcast guests to describe what luxury means to them. Mark says that luxury is “a state of mind, more than anything. It’s being able to afford and live the way very few people do. Christie’s is the epitome of luxury.”
The Christie’s agency in Aspen is not the only agency, nor the biggest, but by being selective, and unique, they are able to stand out as a global luxury leader.