Tony Walton stays with firm after sale
Sotheby's broadens business base under new ownership
April 12, 2009
A Steamboat real estate brokerage has changed hands, but most of the players already were in house.
Veteran Realtor Ted Hoffman and investors Mark and Sharon Brooks, of Bermuda, have purchased High Mountain Sotheby’s International Realty from Tony Walton. Walton will remain with the firm.
“I’ll be the managing partner. (Mark Brooks) is a financial partner, and he’ll have some fiscal oversight,” Hoffman said. “I think we make a good team between our two skill sets.”
Brooks is a CPA with Deloitte & Touche in Bermuda.
Hoffman added that he’s pleased Walton will continue his real estate activities with High Mountain Sotheby’s, a decision that will give the firm the added depth and stability of having five brokers who own or have owned their own brokerage at one time or another.
They include Tom and Marci Valicenti, who recently joined the firm, and Bill Dulan.
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“Tony did a great job recruiting Tom and Marci on his watch,” Hoffman said.
Walton said the change has been in the works for more than a year.
“I’ve owned and operated real estate companies for close to 25 years. It takes time, effort and financial resources,” Walton said. “At this point in my life, there are real estate opportunities right in front of me I’d like to have the time,” to act on.
The Brooks own property here and will begin spending more time in Steamboat Springs, Hoffman said.
High Mountain Sotheby’s moved this winter from an office suite at the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 and Walton Creek Road to its present location at 708 Lincoln Ave. – a building already under long-term lease to Walton. It previously was a sales center for Wildhorse Meadows.
Hoffman said the move significantly has reduced the overhead of the brokerage.
Hoffman, 40, previously worked as a real estate broker with Big Country Realty, the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel and Coldwell Banker Silver Oak. He has been with High Mountain Sotheby’s for eight years.
Hoffman said he intends to balance out High Mountain Sotheby’s annual revenue stream by establishing an in-house, boutique property management company with a focus on servicing the needs of their own high-end real estate clients.
Hoffman has managed a few properties while selling real estate, and High Mountain Sotheby’s broker Kristi Heckler is a former co-owner of a small property management company. She will devote some of her energy to the new operation at High Mountain Sotheby’s.
Hoffman said the over-arching Sotheby’s corporation has embraced high-end property management within its real estate offices. For his firm, it will add revenue stream in winter, when real estate transactions historically have slowed down. It also will allow him to keep support staff more fully employed.
“It’s an important piece of my business model. We’d like to have 10 contracts by the end of the year and work up to 20 select properties,” Hoffman said.
The property management focus will be on high-end, single-family homes.
High Mountain Sotheby’s has nine Realtors on its roster, seven of them in the office.
“I’m fortunate to have a good team in place,” Hoffman said. “As a goal, we’d like to get to 15 brokers (combining for) $100 million in sales a year.”