I suppose my lifelong love of Aspen started last March when I visited for Spring Break. In Aspen, we capitalize Spring Break, because it is nearly everything to us. And it was to me, so long ago when I decided that I, too, would indulge my lifelong love of this magical place by opening up a real estate office here to better serve my clients. I’m flat-brimming with joy to tell you that today, in an effort to capitalize on personal commission income to the joyful detriment of my client base, I have opened Aspen Lakefront Realty.
I remember skiing Ajax, the ice cold wind in my face and the lactic acid burning in my quads, thinking, “I’ll bet right now one of my customers from Lincoln Park is on this same hill”. What a rush I felt when I thought about how I might ask them to hire me to help them here in this place, this place where I can easily decipher between Snowmass and Aspen, and between Aspen and Basalt. How much more could I need to know? I wondered as I nibbled on my chicken sandwich at The White House Tavern, my brand new, extraordinarily tasseled hat from Kemo Sabe pulled low onto my forehead. There wouldn’t be more to know, I reasoned. This was it. Aspen Expert. My new title oozed confidence, and also delusion, but I focused on the confidence.
I scanned the downtown spaces for office inventory, knowing keenly well that in order to convince the locals, and my Chicago clients, that I was now their Aspen Expert I would need to have an office in town. I purchased a little shop on the Main Street, never minding the math behind the purchase and how many homes I’d have to sell in the Aspen Highlands to cover the mortgage. At that very moment a client of mine texted me to tell me that a new listing in Aspen was right next door to his Chicago neighbor’s house. My mind raced with the possibilities of endless commission from my brilliant business decision. It’s all about confidence, I told a new friend over morning coffee. He had lived in Aspen for 18 years and worked at the ticket office, but someday he was going to buy a little condo in Basalt. My first lead!
One night I was overseeing the painters who were delicately adding my interwoven initials to each corner of the conference room in the new office, when a customer walked in. My first walk in customer! I thought of the boots at Kemo Sabe that I had wanted to buy and knew that this sale would send me right back to the checkout line, my $2200 boots beautifully and effortless selling the new fact that I am so local. This new customer was a round faced woman with darting eyes, and in between suggesting that I was an opportunistic carpetbagger, she said she already owned a condo downtown Aspen that she uses in ski season, but she would be returning home to Palm Beach the next day and was merely stopping to ask if my painter was available to do a quick color change in her powder room.
I wanted to help her, I really did, but I couldn’t get past my newest business idea. I found it hard to think about anything else. Palm Beach. The way her eyes lit up when she said that name, it was obvious then and there that Palm Beach would be the best next place for me. Geneva Lakefront Realty, check. Aspen Lakefront Realty, check. Palm Beach Lakefront Realty? Imagine the customers I could entangle. From the Beach to the Bay, that would be my new line. I could see it just as sure as it was Tuesday. I would buy a used high mileage silver Ferrari California Convertible and the locals would embrace me as one of their own. Over morning coffee under the palms I would tell them how much I knew I loved Palm Beach from the first moment I ever thought of the potential commission on a $22M four bed five bath beachfront condo.
(It is April First).