The company’s leadership is fueled by great teamwork and local love. It turns out that teamwork really does make the dream work, especially for Taos’ No. 1 real estate company.
Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties (CBMP), which in the last year has also launched a successful new hub in nearby Santa Fe, has landed on the top of the podium for three straight years in the northern New Mexico market. The company’s leaders point to its small army of local brokers as the driving force behind this continued success. With two local offices in Taos and Angel F Fire, CBMP ranks No. 1 out of nearly 40 local real estate companies for number of listings and properties sold.
After etching its champion status in 2019, CBMP blew the competition away in 2020 with 466 properties sold for a total of $130,730, 890 – more than $40 million higher than its closest competitor and five times higher than most local companies. The winning streak continues in 2021. As of early September, the company has sold close to 300 properties, totaling nearly $90 million.
“We’re proud of our systems and our name recognition, but that isn’t how you get to No. 1,” says Dennis Saffell, owner and CEO of Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties, which operates in 12 luxury markets across the mountain west region, including Jackson Hole, Wyo. and Vail, Colo.
“We are No. 1 because of our brokers. We have incredible individual brokers, but teams probably make up 50 percent of the Taos area production. The Hoffmann Team is our biggest – three women who are powerhouses in every aspect of the operation, and the. Walking Rain team is also amazing. It’s such an accepting and diverse group of good people. Teams are able to provide an elevated level of customer service. The phenomena is that one plus one equals three.”
In the case of Taos’ Walking Rain Group, comprised of Robbie Puskarich, Alyssa Burnett and Gabriel Traister, the power of three plus teamwork equals millions.
“I really liked the whole group team idea. I wanted two people who were enthusiastic and really motivated. I came across Gabriel and Alyssa, the perfect meld of personalities,” Puskarich says. “We’ve got three separate networks coming together. It gives us greater range and allows us to piggy back when needed so our clients are always going to have exceptional support. There are other teams out there in which one person is ahead of everyone and has their foot in everything. With Walking Rain, everything is equal.”
Also the name of a local Indian tribe, Walking Rain is a weather phenomenon commonly seen in northern New Mexico in which low clouds carrying fast-moving rainstorms sweep across the desert floor, sometimes not touching the ground, but leaving the areas over which they pass refreshed.
The Walking Rain Group has a similar eaffect on its clients, directing collective energy, vast local knowledge, positive attitude and reliability onto every individual in its path.
“We’re constantly in communication together, always running ideas off of each other,” Traister says. “We try to meet with clients as the three of us and organize mixers. Especially where we are now with the pandemic, this puts more life back in the business. That face-to-face time is so valuable.”
It also doesn’t hurt that the region’s real estate is comprised of an array of architecture and property designs unlike any other in the world.
“Everything from earthships to geodesic domes to classic ski homes, we have the full gamut,” says Managing Broker Lisa Sutton. “No matter where you are in Angelf Fire, you’re 15 minutes from the ski slopes. It’s a growing community, growing very quickly. Then Taos has old culture, art and charm that you just can’t find anywhere else. You can come here, drop off the grid and totally disconnect.”
“Even the construction of the houses is unique,” Puskarich adds. “We don’t have spec homes. Everything is unique to the person who built it or owns it.”
A native of the area who grew up in and currently resides in an earthship, Traister has an especially profound knowledge of and appreciation for Taos’s colorful berth of properties, culture and people.
“Our architecture – all of our buildings – tie directly into the surrounding landscapes. We don’t have cookie cutter box homes,” he says. “Taos is interesting because a lot of people don’t show their money off like in other places in the country. Some people come to Taos for that exact reason, to hide in the shadows and not be so flashy. But what’s really unique is the culture and art. There’s so much to do, so many galleries. You can immerse yourself with just your toes or jump all-in.”
Sutton, whom Walking Rain representatives refer to as their “glue,” believes that the key ingredient to the group’s overwhelming success is their shared passion for the area.
“We love where we live,” she says. “It’s very easy to have enthusiasm when every day you walk out and are in awe of everything around you. That comes across to our buyers and our sellers. We want to open it up. We want everyone to share this awe.”