“We believe there are three aspects of transferring ownership of real property that computers can’t replace. For everything else, there’s probably an app.”
Those three things are a human experience, an open, comfortable sale process and engagement with the community.
That message rests on the website of Park City, Utah, real estate broker Daimon Bushi, and it’s exactly what you would expect from a real estate office driven to help families embrace the area’s rich mountain culture, where residents prioritize dry Wasatch powder over Wi-Fi connections — except when those turns are leading to the next available listing.
Bushi and longtime ski-buddy and business partner, professional skier Dash Longe, make up Windermere Park City Real Estate, and the two are making a name for their office with a unique type of home tour: on-slope tours of luxury ski-in, ski-out properties.
Longe said the idea came about after seeing the unique location advantage of the office, a concept real estate agents clearly understand.
“Obviously Park City is home to a lot of premier ski-in and ski-out property, probably America’s best,” Longe told Inman. “How could we become the ski-in, ski-out specialists, how could we carve that niche?”
Park City, Utah, is a quintessential luxury property market, powered heavily by the influential Sundance Film Festival and the rapidly increasing presence of Vail Resorts, a massive ski resort operations company pouring hundreds of millions into marketing ski passes and luxury real estate.
(Because of a 2014 real estate snafu on the part of Powder Corp., Park City Mountain Resort’s previous operators, Vail was able to seize operations of the mountain and merge with it the adjacent Canyons Resort, which it already managed.)
Multiple outdoor product companies are located and growing in the historic mining town, populating the neighborhoods and trails with a range of gainfully employed adventure seekers.
Homes along the Park City and nearby Deer Valley slopes, many of which have chairlifts swinging above their expansive arched foyers and winding, heated driveways, range from low seven-figures to many more figures than that.
Using a sign-up form on daimonbushi.com, home shoppers can join the team on a ski tour to view available homes on different parts of both Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley.
The two coordinate tours from their office in a refurbished mining cabin in Silver Star, a retail and residential corner of Park City Mountain Resort. It’s maybe 50 feet from the lift.
The company offers two tours, a weekly public tour for early-stage property seekers and one for people already financially qualified to view some of more lavish properties.
Before heading up the lift, the team has guests select slippers for safely strolling around the homes. Dash carries them in a backpack.
“We want to put the relationship back into real estate,” Bushi said. “There will always be technology supporting the industry, but if we can have these direct experiences to complement the product a person is seeking, it really adds a lot of value.”
Bushi and Longe figure the time it takes for a tour to leave their lift and end at a specific home. They have to compensate for crowds, lift delays and, sometimes, inexperienced skiers.
“We’ll customize tours for clients, then we map out the tour carefully because some of the places aren’t easy to get to, they might have have to ski through some trees or over a small creek,” Longe said. “We don’t want people buying a home on terrain they’re not capable of reaching from the slope.”
Bushi moved to Utah to train with the Olympic development moguls team, later tackling big lines as a pro on the Freeride World Tour.
Dash, a current world-touring freeskier and Warren Miller Entertainment stalwart, recently landed a heralded partnership deal with global ski brand DPS.
“A lot of people come to Park City and have no idea about the town, they don’t know where the secret places are on the mountain or the best places to ski,” Bushi said. “Being able to match their ski ability to places to live on the mountain is very cool.
“We’re out in town or on the chairlift talking to people. We’re not buying leads, we’re creating them,” Bushi said.
Along with the existing tour program on PCMR and Deer Valley, the team will run tours at the multitude of resorts in Salt Lake City’s Cottonwood Canyons.
Both believe firmly in being authentic, and they believe that a company brand should reflect personal passions. And in mountain towns, trying to be something you’re not is a trait easily sniffed out by locals and more easily by customers.
Thus, to Bushi and Longe, their home tours are more than clever marketing, they’re tangible examples of practicing what they preach: having a work-life balance.
In essence, that’s exactly what they’re selling to the people who ski with them.
Note: this article was updated to show that Deer Valley is not owned or operated by Vail Resorts.