SNOWMASS VILLAGE -When you think about real estate in Snowmass, a handful of brokers come to mind. Greg Rulon would be one of them.Like a lot of Snowmass business owners, he moved to the valley after college."I graduated from the University of Missouri in 1972 and moved here a week later with about 25 friends," Rulon explained. "We didn't want to grow up, and it seemed to fit in here."His first job was a brief stint as an appliance repair man."That's kind of a joke because I can't fix anything with my hands," he said. "My tool chest is a small kitchen drawer."A neighbor mentioned to him that Pitkin County was looking for sheriffs. Rulon had a 15-minute oral interview, and he was in uniform the next day with a .357. About a year later, he trained down in Golden at the Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy."I was a sheriff for four years," Rulon said. "I worked my way up to detective, and then I was juvenile officer for a couple of years. Four-hundred-fifty dollars a month when I started plus a free ski pass."In 1976, Rulon got his real estate license and moved between offices in Snowmass and Aspen for a few years. In 1984 he joined Coates, Reid and Waldron in Snowmass, and he has been in the same Snowmass Center office ever since, now with Joshua & Co."It's an enviable location," said Rulon, who is well-known for having his pulse on what's going on in Snowmass. "You have to come to the Snowmass Center to get either food or your mail or go to Sundance for liquor, so people stop in all the time."He points to technology as being one of the main things that have changed about the real estate business since he began nearly 30 years ago."We used to take pictures with a camera, take them in for 24- to 48-hour processing, then Federal Express the prints to a client," explained Rulon. "Now, you snap a picture with your phone and the client can have it 20 seconds later."In terms of the Snowmass real estate market, he has seen a change in clients over the years."People used to buy something, and everybody put their units in the rental pool," Rulon said. "Now, it's a little different. Technology has allowed them to spend more than a couple of weeks at a time here, so they use their unit more."According to Rulon, he sees the local market beginning to come back."It's been a long darn four years," Rulon said. "It was not sustainable where it was 2007. It was fun. But you can't see 20 percent appreciation every year without there being a correction. Now we have readjusted prices to a reasonable number on most properties. I think sellers are realistic and buyers are now beginning to realize the opportunities that are out there, so we're just starting to see renewed interest and increased sales."An avid user of social media, you can often see two of his loves posted on Facebook: skiing and wine."I like them both," Rulon said. "I never skied before I got here when I was 22. But even now, I am still wowed by the physical beauty of this sport. The wind, the freedom and visual beauty. It just clears your mind. And I've always liked good food. So good wine naturally goes with that. It's a hobby interest. I like to pair wine with different foods."Another personal value that Rulon follows is the idea of service. He has been a member of the the Snowmass Village Rotary Club for at least 15 years."I've always felt that you need to give back to the community," Rulon said. "I served on the Snowmass homeowners's board and the fire district board. I get as much out of it as I give."In the mid-'80s, he met his wife-to-be, Patty, at a dinner party, and they were married in 1986 and live here in Snowmass.When looking at the local real estate community, Rulon sees the national trend of consolidation occurring here."A lot of it is financial," he explained. "It's very expensive to run a real estate business, and in downtimes you really have to look at the bottom line. But I think there is still space for smaller boutique firms like ours (Joshua & Co.) You have to be all things to all people. And recently, we started a brand new concierge service."Joshua & Co. Concierge & Executive Services offers a full range of concierge and personal services: Errands, groceries, housesitting, vehicle pick-up, personal assistant, personal shopping, pet sitting and trip planning are just a few of the personalized services it can provide.Greg Rulon's office hours at Joshua & Co. at the Snowmass Center are usually 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also find Greg Rulon on Facebook (Snowmass Aspen Real Estate) and Twitter. Or reach him through his website, Greg Rulon Realty at www.gregrulon.com, or phone at 970-948-2406.Steve Alldredge is the former associate editor/reporter for the Snowmass Sun. He now runs a local communications company whose clients include Related Colorado. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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