Q&A with Frias Properties in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Q&A with Frias Properties in Aspen

Aspen, CO Colorado
Chuck Frias, left, and Tim Clark

Editors note: Inside Business recently posed some questions to Tim Clark and Chuck Frias, co-owners of Frias Properties, which was named the 2007 Business of the Year by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. Inside Business is published weekly in The Aspen Times on Tuesdays.Founded in 1985, Frias Properties originally formed under the name Aspen Club Properties. Dick Butera and Chuck Frias joined forces to create a property management, vacation rental, and real estate office. In 2000 they combined with Tim Clark, an Aspen native.Q: Tell our readers about your company.A: We manage 35 buildings, 175 wholly-owned rental properties, 500-plus fractional rentals and 110 non-rental properties with over 70 employees. We do $8 to $10 million in rental sales a year. We are in the top 10 by volume of Aspen real estate sales. Q: What are the challenges of doing business in Aspen? A: Motivating and maintaining quality employees and services, as well as being creative in marketing and sales, and corresponding with a world-wide client base.Q: What are the challenges facing your industry in terms of property management, vacation rentals and real estate sales? A: Maintaining rental inventory in a marketplace where many owners do not need nor want to rent. We have lost a significant percentage of rental units each year for the past 20 years. Fractional units have helped fill some of the loss but at an entirely new price point. Q: What portion of your business is your biggest revenue generator? A: We gain equal revenue from rentals and real estate sales with property management income being third. Q: What kind of profit margins do these segments generate? A: Real estate is certainly the most profitable given there are fewer overhead costs. Rental and property management do not generate large returns but are generally stable in income production. Q: How have you grown over the years? A: We have grown by being a leader in quality services provided, integrity, stable and hard working staff, and creativity in marketing or sales. Those are the same reasons for our growth.Q: Who and what is your competition? A: All other condominium rental properties but we believe other resorts pose the biggest competition, and we work closely and well with all local lodging properties, the Aspen Skiing Co. and Stay Aspen Snowmass to promote Aspen as the resort to choose. Q: Why do you think you were named business of the year? A: We have worked hard to be a leader in integrity and quality services. This success has allowed us to retain staff and increase our gifting each year to many local charities. Q: Why did you join forces in 2000? How has it given you an advantage? A: The joining of Tim and my prior companies allowed us to each focus on the individual areas we had to do prior and allowing us to be more focused on what we each did best. Q: What were the challenging aspects of growing the business? A: Given the desire of many new condominium owners to discontinue renting makes it hard to keep up our rental base and volume. The high price of Aspen real estate, while profitable for us as brokers, increases the cost of doing business and retain quality staff. With very few new properties being developed, we have to gain market share from others and given the competition, pricing has not significantly increased for years.

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