How long have been working in real estate? I started working in Santa Fe in 1987. I was first working out of the Carriage Trade Restaurant, where Geronimo is now, and right off the bat I gotNedra and RichardMatteucci as clients. That really kick-started my career. I was 24, and I continued to get lucky in my career. I sold Val Kilmer’s ranch and I did a private sale in Abiquiu. I do a lot of private sales, so a lot of my stuff’s not in the MLS. It’s pretty much luxury real estate in town, the Eastside and Las Campanas, but it’s also ranches.
I read that you have the largest ranch sales in San Miguel County and another neighboring county...
Rio Arriba County. That was $9.5 million and I think Val’s was around $20 million. His ranch was on the market for about five years and then I got involved, I became the listing agent, andwe had it under contract in threemonths. The one in RioArribawas a private sale; I sold on the first showing. Do you see what I’msaying? There’s a lot involved, but it’s hard work and it’s knowing a lot, and having major contacts. Thirty years and a lot of hard work and experience give you understanding. It also takes a love for ranches and the land and for Santa Fe. Do you spend time on the land? I have a ranch out in Madrid and a lot of my clients and friends have ranches, so I’m on the land a lot. I love to hike. I’m up in themountains three times a week, with my dog. I think themountains have been a godsend to me. My career has been miraculous. I’ve done real estate differently than most people. I have the Kevin Bobolsky Group. Who else is in it? It’s a group, a separate company, and I’m the qualifying broker. It’s a boutique firm that was set up to accommodate my celebrity clients and my high-net-worth clients who want more discretion. It’s an option for multi-million-dollar marketing. You can go on theMLS and that’s great, that’s the most expansive way to reach everything, you’re on everybody’s website, you’re on Realtor.com and all that. But with multi-million-dollar listings, you’ll see that most of them are on the market for two or three years or more. They become stale. So you’re exposing these properties to the universe, when only .01 percent of the people can purchase them.
With the Kevin Bobolsky Group, we have all of these links with the fashion, architecture and financial press and theyr’e all linked directly back tome. The reason for that is the Cerro Pelon Ranch and Tadao Ando, the architect, who is world-famous. All of these magazines want to be affiliated with this property. I have great connections. The top broker in the world, Chris Cortazzo, is a good friend and he sends me business; we play back and forth. It’s a network I don’t think anybody else has. I think the trust and respect are so importantwith famous and rich people.
Like that amazing Tadao Ando house that’s owned by Tom Ford.
I don’t even mention him. Something I wanted to tell you is that I met with Mikhail Gorbachev. Back in 1992, I went toMoscowwith Bobby Shriver and the photographer Herb Ritts. We went there because Arnold Swartzenegger was married to Bobby’s sister and they wanted to open a Planet Hollywood. We got there and everybody from theWest was there trying to make money off the fall of the USSR. What we found was that only prostitutes and taxi drivers could afford a hamburger at Planet Hollywood because the ruble was worth nothing. A czar-built 200,000-square-foot building on the Red Square, right across from the Kremlin we could have bought for $200,000. It was confusion time. It was chaos and Gorbachev, this man with incredible charisma, he said to us, and I’ll never forget this, All of you Westerners are coming here to find a way to exploit the situation and make money, when one third of the nuclear arsenal of the USSR is either decaying or unaccounted-for. This is a global problem, he said. You must tell your congressmen, you must tell your people. That was his message to us, and it’s timely now.
I’ve also worked with all these other people, but that was the most profound.
(Bobolsky pointed to framed photos on his office wall with Cindy Crawford, Michael Jackson, and Tina Turner.)
Michael taught me about pleasure ranches and privacy. You have broadcasting experience? Peter Jennings taught me at parties; he’d say, Kevin, come behind the bar, this will give you a buffer, so when dignitaries and celebrities come, you’ll have an excuse to talk. That’s why when I came to Santa Fe, I worked at a bar and that’s where I med the Matteuccis. It’s a safe situation. So did you work in broadcasting? I worked at “Good Morning America” in Manhattan. I was the green room coordinator. I’dmeet the celebrities and give them bagels and talk to them about the program. I’ve been impeccable with my reputation with these people, and that’s why I’m trusted. Peoplewho are famous generally don’t go to the internet to find a Realtor; they are referred. The internet can fake anything, but you can’t fake a reputation in this particular private network. You have to build it. I don’t even do social media. I’m afraid of it. I get Google and Apple all confused. I’m not a tech person. It’s too much information. Like my clients, I’m a little under the radar.
Your bio says you’ve worked with orphaned children in Salvador, Brazil.
I went to adopt a child four and a half years ago. The adoption failed, but I fell in love with the orphanage and one little special-needs boy. That’s been a miraculous gift. How long have you been with Santa Fe Properties? Six years. I do use this company for most of my work, and I’ll do $300,000 properties if they’re cool. If you’re excited about a property, whatever the price, that’s what it takes to sell it. Who did you startwith? RealtyWorld, but it was Pat French who really put me in the right spot to fly. When French & French got bought by NRT, it got corporate. I had worked with [Santa Fe Properties qualifying broker] Liz Cale before and I like that Santa Fe Properties is local. I like a sense of home.