How to market a luxury ski property

Go beyond the expected to make your alpine listings stand out

Marketing a luxury ski property requires more than stunning interior shots. Because buyers come to ski towns from across the globe, they’re not just looking for a gorgeous home — they’re looking for a vibrant, encompassing experience. By taking a savvy approach to your listing, you can attract buyers eager to live mere steps from the slopes.

Plan for the larger party

It should go without saying that high-quality photography is one of the best tools to showcase the life buyers will enjoy after closing. When it comes to ski listings, hosting and entertaining are often key secondary priorities and your images should reflect the property’s communal potential.

Show off the spa-like master retreat — but also include photos of the expansive dining room and quiet nooks for intimate conversation. And before your photographer sets up the shot, light the fire and set up a stunning tablescape.

“Affluent consumers today are focused not just on a great property, but on the lifestyle that the property will provide their family,” says David McHugh, an e-PRO® with LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado. “How do they see their family using the property? Will this property be a draw for their immediate and extended family to use for family gatherings?”

Prime your listing to convey the collective, celebratory life your buyers can lead once they’ve settled in.

Be the local expert

Since your buyers are generally unfamiliar with the region, use your MLS listing photos and property description to spotlight local amenities. In Vail Valley, a ski property hotspot, 90 percent of the luxury buyers aren’t locals. “Understanding this is critical in how you approach your marketing,” says McHugh. Show off the area’s greatest assets, like bike paths, main street shopping, and — most obviously — the ski resort.

Give buyers a holistic vision

LIV Sotheby’s International Realty

Luxury ski properties are rarely owner-occupied year-round. Don’t let potential buyers wonder what they’ll do with the space when they’re not around — show them the possibilities and income potential of their home upfront.

“Providing competent rental projections greatly helps buyers justify the purchase,” says McHugh. Average nightly rental rates in Beaver Creek and Vail, for example, can top out above $500 per night. If the home isn’t currently listed for seasonal rentals, McHugh recommends working with a company like Invited Home to provide rental projections.

Providing a holistic view isn’t just about ROI: if the space needs some updating, have contact details on hand for nearby contractors, architects, and designers. This kind of service guarantees your buyers won’t go wrong when hiring professionals and allows you to build valuable relational equity with your clients.

Think beyond winter

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

While renting a ski lodge during the summer months is an established practice, today’s hottest ski resorts more than support year-round living. Let clients know their new home will keep them busy throughout spring, summer and fall by calling attention to outdoor activities. Golf, fishing, rafting and hiking all attract buyers looking to stay active in the offseason.

Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty

“Most buyers are surprised to realize that, at least in Vail and Beaver Creek, our market is split nearly 50 percent in the summer and 50 percent in the winter,” McHugh says. Summer lodging in Colorado ski towns has increased 70 percent since 2007, and tentpole summer events are growing more popular: Vail’s GoPro Mountain Games attracts nearly 70,000 visitors each June.

However your client plans to use their ski retreat, ensure they can envision every possibility from the beginning. Attract buyers by showing off the ski-town lifestyle they could lead — and the gorgeous interiors they’ll come home to at the day’s end.

About Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC

Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby’s International Realty® network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 22,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 960 offices in 72 countries and territories worldwide. In 2017, the brand achieved a record global sales volume of $108 billion USD. Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, each brokerage firm and its clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.