Marketplace: Rising Star Realtors mine for clients in Park City
Alan Long says market presents an opportunity
In 2008, Alan Long moved to Park City for a peaceful retirement after a successful career in real estate on the West Coast.
That lasted about a year and a half.
Shortly after coming to town, Long, who made his bones in real estate by building a firm of about 800 agents in Los Angeles, realized he couldn’t shake the feeling that Park City represented an enormous business opportunity. Now, he is aiming to capitalize on the promise Park City holds. He founded Rising Star Realtors, which recently moved into a new office in a renovated entrance to a mine tunnel at the Silver Star Plaza.
“I just got the sense that this market is really prime,” he said. “I think there are going to be a lot of rising prices in this marketplace. So that was always in the back of my mind.”
In addition to capitalizing on Park City’s future by selling some of the area’s prime real estate, Long is also offering a glimpse into the town’s past. The converted structure housing Rising Star Realtors features mining-era equipment as décor, and visitors can peer through a window at the back of the main room that opens into a mining tunnel connected to the shack.
Long said that when he heard about the possibility of purchasing and renovating the site, he became intrigued by the idea of the private sector helping to restore the city’s historic structures. Visitors are welcome any time to stop by to check out the mining tunnel.
“We benefit by having the people come in as potential clients,” he said, adding that he had been working on the office for more than three years before its grand opening this winter. “But if you’re not a client, it’s OK because in 10 years from now, who knows, you might become a client at that point. You might remember the wonderful people at the real estate office who showed you the mine.”
Rising Star Realtors is just the latest venture for Long, who has forged a decades-long career in real estate. But it took a bit of good fortune for him to get his start in the profession. He said he earned his college degree in chemistry, but shortly after became friends with a group of people who had plans on starting a brokerage. In him, they saw the makings of a salesman, so they encouraged him to give real estate a try.
All these years later, he feels fortunate he took their advice. He said he quickly discovered that the key to the profession is an understanding of how important the idea of home is to people and how they they are sanctuaries where one can escape the stress of everyday life. And despite technological advances that have in many ways transformed the industry, its most vital element — people — hasn’t changed at all.
That’s another reason why the lure of opening a firm in Park City was strong enough to drag him out of retirement.
“That drew me really deeply into real estate,” he said. “I’ve been able to teach that to people, that if they understand people and ask their clients the right questions to define ‘home,’ they’d become really good real estate agents.”
That’s also why he never decided to transition to commercial real estate, an industry he said is “all about the numbers.” While he is willing to negotiate hard for his clients to get them the best possible price on a home, the money isn’t the thing he’s most concerned about when finalizing a sale.
“A lot of times people will come to me and I’ll say, ‘Do you want the house or do you want a good deal?’” he said. “If they say the good deal, I tell them I’m not really the person to help them with that. I’ll get you a good deal on the house, but it’s got to be first about the house. It’s got to be about how you felt when you walked in the front door, that very first impression.
“On Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evenings and Thursday afternoons, it’s that that’s going to make a difference for you when you’re in that house. It’s really about the experience.”
Rising Star Realtors
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Another ski season is in the books, and much to the relief of the restaurant industry, the outlook, like the weather, is looking sunny.