Best of Summit winner Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties has seen multi million-dollar homes “flying off of the shelf;” managers say trust is key in driving business While many industries have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been a banner year for selling high-end homes in the mountains, particularly at Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties (CBMP), whose Summit County locations in Breckenridge and Frisco recently won 2020’s Best of Summit award. “We’ve had an incredible year,” says CBMP owner Dennis Saffell, who has never seen this type of trend in the 36 years he’s been in the business. “There is a national migration going on. There were millions of mid-and upper-management people in cities all over the country who thought they could work from home before COVID. Then they got sent home and it taught them they could work from home. When their bosses said, ‘we can open up again,’ they said, ‘why should we have the overhead of this office space?’ Anybody who has the means and can live in the mountains instead of Denver, Houston, Pueblo, is choosing to do it.” Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties has offices in Frisco, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Winter Park, Taos and Angel Fire, NM and just opened brand new office in Vail. Saffell says the company’s niche inventory of ski resort luxury homes, even those in the multi-million dollar range that usually sit on the market for several months “are flying off of the shelf.” And it’s not simply that affluent buyers are suddenly wanting a second home in the mountains. They’re moving here full-time. “These are people who are moving first homes, not second homes,” Saffell says. “We’re changing from a predominantly second home market to a primary home market and it’s just driving sales like crazy. We have the normal amount of ‘I want a ski home in the mountains’ buyers, but now we have this new, ‘I want to live in these markets’ buyer. They’re probably more than 50 percent of our buyers right now.” As far as CBMP ending up on top for Best of Summit, Saffell says the company has its brokers to thank. “We have a great brand, premier office locations and a good culture within the company. Those are all important things, but it’s our brokers who make us great,” he says. “The reason we won this award is because of what the public thinks of our individual brokers.” In addition to CBMP winning Best of Summit’s real estate office award, Sue Runnells, a CBMP broker of just three years and Summit local of 10, also won for best broker. “I really get to know my clients,” says Runnells, who, by August, had four times exceeded last year’s sales. Her lowest selling property went for $1.67 million. “The relationship I establish is so up front and transparent, over time, my clients really trust me. When it’s time for them to do another real estate deal, their family, their mom, their best friend, they call me.” Trust between client and agent is the standout feature of CBMP brokers, according to CBMP Managing Broker and mentor Scott Lerner. “Trust is a key factor in this business,” Lerner says. “Nobody is going to work with someone on a large transactions – many times, the largest transaction they’ll ever make – if trust isn’t there. The formula is simple. Know your market. Be educated in different projects, what’s coming up legislative-wise in an area. Be the person people know they can trust.”