Alan and Anne Voren­berg

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This in­ter­view se­ries fo­cuses on the peo­ple in Santa Fe’s real-es­tate in­dus­try. Alan and Anne Voren­berg are as­so­ciate bro­kers with Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty.

How long have you been work­ing here? Alan: I came to Santa Fe 1972. From where? From Al­bu­querque, but I grew up in Carls­bad. Af­ter a year in Europe I came here and I was in the restau­rant busi­ness from 1973 to 1989. What restau­rants? Just one: La Ter­tu­lia. Oh, that was a won­der­ful place. Yeah, one of the icons of lo­cal restau­rants. We put to­gether a whole ma­chine that was un­like any­thing any­body else had done here: New Mex­i­can in a fine-din­ing set­ting. The ‘70swas a great time, but I have to say that Santa Fe is still every bit as won­der­ful a place to be. Anne, where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Al­bu­querque and I grad­u­ated from El­do­rado High. What did you want to do with your life? I al­ways liked sales. I worked at sport­ing-goods stores for many years in Al­bu­querque and Taos. I was work­ing at Taos Ski and Boot when I met Alan. When did you get into real es­tate? 1995. Alan: I was li­censed in 1989 and af­ter we got mar­ried, Anne got in­ter­ested and got her li­cense and we’ve been work­ing to­gether since 1995. Were you with French & French? No. I was ini­tially li­censed in 1982 with Chris Web­ster but I didn’t work in the busi­ness till ’89, when I got my bro­ker’s li­cense. I spent five years with John Grover and Joel Bennett at Coldwell Banker and I spent five years with Wally Sar­gent at Santa Fe Prop­er­ties, then in 1999 I moved to Sotheby’s and Anne and I have both been there since.

Our web­site is a big part of our busi­ness. We also be­gan that in 1999. It’s our pri­mary fo­cus.

Anne: It’s an easy web­site to remember: santafebeau­ti­ful­homes.com.

Have you paid for cer­tain search terms to bring peo­ple to the site?

Alan: No, we don’t do paid marketing. We just work it per­son­ally, and it’s been around for 18 years. We have re­ally high traf­fic and we have a lot of con­tent. Bot­tom line, we close a lot of busi­ness fro­mour web­site. And when­ever we list a prop­erty, we cre­ate a web do­main for that prop­erty. You do that for all of your list­ings? Every one of them. For ex­am­ple, we have a beau­ti­ful prop­erty you‘ll find at 125over­look.com, and we’re list­ing a 1910 pue­blo adobe, 42sanse­bas­tian.com.

Anne: And we have video vir­tual tours for our higher-end list­ings.

(They demon­strate on a lap­top.) Very nicely done. And with mu­sic! Do you do try to tar­get dif­fer­ent types of clients with the mu­sic, like Mozart and Def Lep­pard?

(Both laugh.) Alan: Well, we’re rock ‘n’ roll mu­tants, so we would love to use Def Lep­pard. We just went to see Goo Goo Dolls last night, re­ally a good show. You two are ba­si­cally real-es­tate nuts, aren’t you? (Anne laughs.) Alan: We are. We’re real-es­tate junkies, be­cause Santa Fe’s so full of real in­ter­est­ing prop­er­ties, and in­ter­est­ing peo­ple. Even though we work hard and we work a lot, we live life like a va­ca­tion. What do you like do­ing in your spare time? Anne: I can’t get Alan to take an ac­tual va­ca­tion. Alan: Anne just got back from two days on the Arkansas River in Colorado. And we’re avid skiers. We have a cabin at Taos Ski Val­ley, and our kids have grown up on the slopes. Tell us about your kids. Our old­est is Shana, but she’s known as Kitty. She’s a se­nior pre-med at UNM. Jeremy is a sopho­more at New Mex­ico Tech, a dou­ble ma­jor in elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics. And Trevor is still at home; he’s in mid­dle school at Monte Del Sol. How do you work as a team? Anne: I think we com­ple­ment one another. Alan knows every­body, he’s very thor­ough.

Alan: There’s a lot of elec­tronic work and pa­per­work. Pa­per didn’t go away like we all thought it would; it just turned into digital pa­per. We show a lot of prop­erty, so there’s a lot of client in­ter­ac­tion.

We live in a town still where peo­ple want to meet you and talk. And peo­ple have to see the house at some point, not just on­line. This work is about real es­tate and houses, but it’s re­ally more about peo­ple and re­la­tion­ships. Do you show to­gether? Anne: Some­times, but we usu­ally show sep­a­rately. Alan: Our clients usu­ally know both of us, but it’s so busy that we sep­a­rate du­ties.

Busy times? Busi­ness has ex­ploded this sum­mer. Anne: We get a lot of emails from our web­site, peo­ple ask­ing about prop­er­ties or want­ing to go see our prop­er­ties. And we have a lot of show­ings on our list­ings.

Alan: The mar­ket has been gen­er­ally im­prov­ing over the last year. Af­ter 2008 there were some dark years and the im­prove­ment was slow in com­ing. It took un­til the end of last year be­fore you could hon­estly say we hit the bot­tom. There­may or may not be a log­i­cal ex­pla­na­tion; it’s just what hap­pened.

Anne: It’s usu­ally the East Coast and the West Coast that are go­ing gang-busters and in fact right now we have a lot of clients from Cal­i­for­nia. I think what hap­pens is those ar­eas get busy and as peo­ple sell out, they can then come to Santa Fe.

Alan: Most of our dol­lar vol­ume is from Cal­i­for­nia and Texas. And I think the rea­son busi­ness has im­proved so much is that it’s of­fi­cial: Santa Fe real es­tate is on the move again and the word is out. I mean, every­body would like to buy at the bot­tom and you never know un­til it’s al­ready hap­pened and then peo­ple think, OK, it’s time to buy, and that’s what’s hap­pen­ing right now.

Anne: Peo­ple are start­ing to list again. In­ven­tory is start­ing to im­prove and many more buy­ers are looking. We didn’t have any new homes on the mar­ket for 10 years. A home built in 2008 is like a new house nowa­days, so it’s time that builders are start­ing to build again. And now that peo­ple are able to sell their homes in other parts of the coun­try be­cause those mar­kets have im­proved, they can buy in Santa Fe.

Alan: Also, a great part of our mar­ket is lifestyle destination. Santa Fe’s one of the best places in the world to live.

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