Mark Stine's expensive Brooks Brothers suits may never again see the light of day.
Stine, formerly a businessman and real estate broker in Colorado Springs, has moved to Steamboat to step in as the new broker/owner of MacArthur Real Estate -- now MacArthur & Stine Real Estate, Inc.
Patricia MacArthur, who started the business 12 years ago, is leaving the company and Steamboat to have surgery.
"We're trading in my tennis shoes for his cowboy boots," she said while the two joked about Stine's easy switch to Steamboat's dressed-down style.
The business transition has gone smoothly for Stine and MacArthur, who have been friends for years and share religious and family values. MacArthur also mentored Stine when he first got started in the real estate business, he said.
In MacArthur's business, Stine is inheriting a strong focus on serving the customer -- something MacArther has emphasized throughout her time in Steamboat, she said.
"When you have a small company, you take what you can handle and service those clients to the utmost. ... You don't try to take on the world," she said.
Strong customer service is especially vital in Steamboat's resort market, which sees many second-home buyers who are unfamiliar with the Steamboat area and values, MacArthur said.
"They need a lot of counseling to determine whether it's feasible," she said.
Among the most important values she tries to relay to clients is Steamboat's friendly attitude, which has changed somewhat since she first started the business, she said.
"I've noticed a reluctance to grow and allow other people to enjoy the area," she said, adding that she's seen more negativity toward newcomers.
MacArthur has kept her distance from this attitude, dedicating herself to making clients feel welcome while educating them on the importance of respecting Steamboat's environment and lifestyle.
As a broker, MacArthur has tried to make quality customer service about "understanding this is God's valley and not mine, and people who come here need to be treated graciously and serviced whether they buy or they don't buy," she said.
Although MacArthur interviewed four people for the job, Stine was "the cream that came to the top," she said.
Although his business setting may be different, Stine is comfortable in the residential real estate market, which was his focus in Colorado Springs.
"I like the relationships and the ability to impact a dream," he said.
In addition to continuing MacArthur's focus on quality customer service, Stine and his family are looking forward to being connected with the Steamboat community, he said.
"We love everything that Steamboat is about," Stine said. "I love the family aspect that you don't find in other ski towns in Colorado."
One the biggest challenges so far have been adjusting to Steamboat's slower pace, Stine said.
"Steamboat doesn't operate quite as quickly as the city," he said. "My mentor has told me several times to cool my jets."
MacArthur agreed, noting his habit of being on time.
-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org