Sotheby's partners with Steamboat Village Brokers

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— A milestone in Steamboat's emergence into the luxury market was reached when Steamboat Village Brokers, Ltd. affiliated with Sotheby's International Realty.

This week, Managing Broker David Baldinger, Jr., announced Steamboat Village Brokers' partnership with the international luxury-home real estate company.

Baldinger said Sotheby's has been interested in entering the Steamboat market and approached Steamboat Village Brokers about partnering.

"I think this is recognizing that the number of luxury real estate properties is significant enough that this affiliation is mutually beneficial," Baldinger said.

Sotheby's International Realty was founded in 1976. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sotheby's Holdings, the parent company of Sotheby's auction, real estate and finance operations.

The real estate company is based in New York and has affiliates in just five western mountain resort towns: Steamboat, Jackson Hole, Aspen, Telluride and Vail.

Zackary Wright, Sotheby's senior vice president and western regional manger, said his company has looked at the Steamboat market for five to six years and decided now was the time to enter it.

"We see Steamboat as an emerging luxury market where many of our clients are, with the kind of properties our clients are looking for," Wright said.

He also said they picked Steamboat Village Brokers because of the local company's experience, long-standing reputation and history of client services.

"All of our affiliates are independently owned with a strong local knowledge and a history of services that we think can serve our clients well," Wright said. "(Steamboat Village Brokers) is a strong independent firm. We liked the ownership and liked the way they do business."

The affiliation will not change the ownership or operations of the locally owned and 20-year-old real estate company, Baldinger said. What it will do is give clients more marketing services and a larger customer base.

Along with being listed with Steamboat Village Brokers, high-end and unique properties would also be listed with the more than 180 brokerages that are affiliated with Sotheby's.

"That is really the most important component. This offers exposure for sellers none of our competitors can offer," Baldinger said. "This is international and worldwide."

Baldinger said the affiliation would also provide marketing tools like the Sotheby's name recognition, promotions on Sotheby's web site and the magazine Sotheby's Preview and inclusion in the brochures given to other affiliates.

Sotheby's advertises in well-read newspapers like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and in high end magazines like Architectural Digest.

In return, Steamboat Village Brokers will have racks of brochures in its office featuring the properties of other Sotheby's affiliates.

Not all of Steamboat Village Brokers' properties fall into the luxury market and only those that do would be jointly marketed with Sotheby's.

"This is for very unique and special properties, definitely in a high price range or something of historical value or really unique," Baldinger said.

Baldinger would not say what properties are being considered to be jointly listed with Steamboat Village Brokers and Sotheby's, but the company does have close to a dozen million and multi-million dollar homes on the market.

The most notable luxury home is the $9.35 million Steamboat Covered Bridge House. The 10,500-square-foot house sits on the Seventh Fairway at Catamount Ranch.

Examples of the luxury properties Sotheby's has on the market today include a country estate in Algarve, Portugal, a 17th century townhome in Paris and a palace-like villa in Lugano, Switzerland.

Steamboat Village Brokers is not the only local real estate company affiliated with a international auctioning house and its real estate division. In 1997, Colorado Group Realty partnered with Christie Great Estates.

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