Investing in Your Home: Why Attic Insulation is Such a Popular Improvement


There are a number of ways to make your home more energy efficient and save money. Among the best options is attic insulation. The high value of the investment is due not only to the fact that it increases a home’s value for more than the cost of installation, but also because of the lower energy bills that you will see when you have your attic insulated properly.

Insulation

Photo credit: gemteck1

Choose the Right Type of Insulation

Choosing expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation over other options such as XPS or Polyiso can mean more cost savings on the product and the installation itself, along with lower power bills. While it’s important to insulate your home, and some insulation is better than none, there are different grades and types of insulation. Because of this, some insulation options are better than others and offer more cost effectiveness.

Any homeowner who plans to insulate their attic will want to work with a trusted company and choose the right kind of insulation for their needs. The size of the house, whether there is any existing insulation, and the weather in your location can all make a difference.

Improve Your Home’s Value

One of the most significant benefits of attic insulation is the increase in your home’s value. Well-insulated houses generally appraise higher than poorly insulated homes simply because they are considered to be more valuable and worth more money as they sit. With this in mind, adding insulation is one of the better projects to complete before getting ready to sell. That’s because someone who might be planning to buy the home would already have the insulation there, and wouldn’t need to make changes to the home that would cost them money.

Lower Your Power Bills

With good insulation, your power bills can be much lower than they would be for an uninsulated home. The cost of the insulation product and its installation are quickly offset by the lower power bills for heating and cooling. For homes that had little or poor attic insulation, the bills for heating and cooling can come down significantly from what they were before the home was insulated. That is very important from a cost saving standpoint, and it can also help the home feel more comfortable and have a more even temperature throughout the year.

Big Seller Benefits From Attic Insulation

Any homeowner who is thinking about selling should consider attic insulation. Buyers are looking for move-in-ready homes that don’t need work. They are also looking for homes that aren’t going to cost a lot of money in improvements and utility bills. With proper attic insulation, sellers have an advantage and buyers will generally take note of that.

If you’re a homeowner who wants to save money on your bills and feel more comfortable year round, or if you’re considering selling your home, adding high quality attic insulation can be the right investment for your future needs.

By Guest Blogger Ryan Tollefsen REALTOR® of Unity Home Group at Keller Williams Realty Alaska Group

Business Spotlight: Switchback Sports


switchback sports

In May 2011, locals Patrick and Liz Fannon opened up Switchback Sports in Park City with the goal of helping families afford recreational sports. If you’re a parent who takes your kid skiing, biking, camping, etc., then you know the drill. Every year, you need to buy a whole new set of gear to fit your child’s new size and ability. Even with just one kid and one sport, these purchases add up quickly. Imagine the cost of outfitting multiple children for several different sports!

That’s where used gear comes in. The Fannons’ dream is to keep locally beloved sports like biking and skiing from being prohibitively expensive. “We have so many families that come back year after year, and even, for that matter, season after season,” says Ryan Burns, general manager at Switchback Sports. Best of all, families can sell back the gently used equipment that no longer fits their kids’ needs. Then they can put the consignment revenue they earn toward new gear purchases.

switchback sports skis

In addition to serving as a consignment shop, Switchback also sells new gear; tunes, waxes, and mounts skis; and rents out bikes in the summer. Switchback also partners with several local youth groups. This January, the shop is collaborating with the Youth Sports Alliance (YSA) to collect over 100 pairs of skis and snowboards to donate to under-privileged children.

As the only consignment shop for outdoor gear in Park City and the Wasatch Back, Switchback Sports has clearly filled an important local niche. After six years of operation, Switchback has outgrown its current space and is planning to relocate in the summer of 2018.

The Switchback team is grateful for its loyal base of local and second homeowner customers for helping them fulfill their mission of making skiing, biking, and other sports financially accessible. “Without all of you guys, this shop couldn’t be a reality,” says Ryan. “So thank you from the bottom of all our hearts.”

If you subscribe to my newsletter, then you can take advantage of a special promo that I partnered with Switchback to offer this January. Not a subscriber? Contact me and I’ll be happy to send you the promo code.

How to Maximize Short-Term Rental Income


canyons living room

Make your guests feel at home, but not like they’re at your home

With Sundance and busy holiday ski weekends just around the corner, this is the time of year to maximize short-term rental income.

Making the most of your short-term rental seems to boil down to two pivotal things: 1) outstanding photography; and 2) positive reviews and lots of them. Get those two things right, and you’ll likely see bookings increase and optimize your nightly rate.

I talked to two short-term rental property owners (and former clients) about how to excel at photography and reviews in order to maximize short-term rental income. Here are their tips.

kitchen

One of the big perks of a rental for visitors is being able to cook and eat at “home” while on vacation

Photography that sells short-term rentals

Would you want to stay in a darkish room that looks like it’s inhabited part-time by a hoarder? Of course not. Park City local Graham Anthony, who owns two properties that he exclusively rents out on AirBnb and VRBO, recommends hiring a pro for the job. Look at this as an investment you’ll see returns on via more bookings at higher prices.

Consider these tips for visually capturing your property at its best:

  • Stage your property or hire a professional to do so. Remove clutter as well as any family photos, valuables, or personal effects. Graham emphasizes that eliminating these items from the premises not only prevents people from feeling like they’re crashing at a stranger’s home, it also means your stuff won’t get stolen by bad apple guests.
2847 W Deer Pointe Dr bed 2

Go seasonal with your photos or go home

  • Use seasonal photos. At least procure separate summer and winter photos. A visitor coming to soak up the Park City sunshine won’t want to see a photo of a snow-covered deck. And a family heading here for a ski vacation will likely be lured by that view of snow-covered trees from the bedroom window.
  • Get the light right. Photograph during the day so your home is lit by natural light. Open up all the blinds and turn on all the lights.
  • Don’t disappoint. If you include photographs of your home looking clean, impeccably decorated, and free of clutter, that is what renters will expect. “Don’t make it look better in the pictures than it really is,” Graham cautions. If that means getting new shots if you make big changes, then so be it.
park meadows living room

Staged your home for AirBnB photos? Make sure it looks as impeccable as it did for the photo shoot, i.e. that fireplace better be working

How to get more reviews on AirBnB and VRBO

Compared to mastering the photography component of your home, earning positive reviews is a slightly more complex nut. Here’s how to crack it:

  • Communicate beforehand. AirBnB may make it difficult to do so since it doesn’t allow for the exchange of phone numbers or personal info. Use AirBnBs/VRBOs lines of communications to send or attach a document with info such as entry instructions, what amenities you’ll offer in the kitchen/bathroom, etc. Graham warns that getting a PDF attachment through can sometimes be a challenge, but your guests will appreciate it.
  • Answer questions quickly. Candace Smith*, who also rents her properties on VRBO and AirBnB, recommends responding to inquiries promptly from both potential and booked guests. “During an event (like Sundance), potential guests may have questions about the location of the unit and/or local transportation to and from screenings and events,” Candace explains.” Skiing guests may have similar questions about how to get from your property to the resorts. Download the AirBnB and VRBO apps to your phone so you stay on top of communication and try to respond within 24 hours if not much sooner.
  • Provide a welcome basket and info kit for your guests. “During ski season, we have things like hot chocolate, water bottles, microwave popcorn, and the brochure for the ski runs in our welcome basket,” Candace says. “Small treats often put smiles on guests’ faces upon arrival.” She also puts together a “Welcome to Park City” binder with her recommendations for skiing or dining.
Canyons kitchen

A well-stocked kitchen rakes in rave reviews that will help you maximize short-term rental income

  • Pimp out your kitchen. Graham says a stocked kitchen is one of the most common pieces of positive feedback he gets about his rentals. For many families, staying at an AirBnB or VRBO instead of a hotel is so great because everyone can cook together and spare the expanse of dining out for every meal. Not only does Graham fill his kitchen with spices, syrup, and coffee creamer, but with equipment like blenders and slow cookers.
  • Under-promise and over-deliver. That’s Graham’s motto when it comes to short-term rentals. Exceed expectations and you’ll draw high praise.

Armed with superior photography and these review-earning tips, you’ll be well-positioned to earn top dollar from your short-term rentals on AirBnB and VRBO this winter. You can check out some more tips for renting your place out on AirBnB here. And if you’re looking for a prime investment property to rent out on AirBnB and VRBO projected to pull in up to $1,679 in nightly revenue, this Old Town townhome might be right up your alley.

*Name has been changed.

January Events in Park City


Some of us really have no need for a listing of January events in Park City. After the holidays, many of us are ready for some down time and return to normalcy. Event-wise, January is also a slower month since Sundance dominates. But here are a few dates and deals to keep in mind.

learn to ski and snowboard

Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month – January 1-31

If your New Year’s resolution is to finally learn to ski or snowboard, this is the month to do it. Resorts across Utah offer different discounts and packages on lessons and rentals to facilitate the learning process. For example, Deer Valley is offering first-time locals over the age of 13 a lift ticket, rental, and lesson on January 27 for the incredible price of $49. Park City extends the same offer but redeemable on any date and for any age—skiers also must be Utah residents. Get more details on deals from Ski Utah and may your learning process be easy!

 

2016 Deer Valley World Cup Time-lapse from Deer Valley Resort on Vimeo.

2018 Freeskiing World Cup – January 10-12

If you love watching talented skiers do their thing, then you won’t want to miss this competition. This year marks two decades that it will be held at Deer Valley. Best of all, competitions will take place at night, so you don’t have to forego a day of skiing to watch. Skiers will compete in both mogul and aerial trials, which will be followed by fireworks. Bust out your to-go mugs of hot chocolate and flasks of whiskey and enjoy the viewing.

Sundance Film Fest

Sundance Film Festival – January 18-28

Once again, the world-famous film fest returns to Park City (and Salt Lake City and Sundance Resort, where screenings are also held). You may want to avoid the crowds and lay low or even leave town. Or you can take full advantage of the screenings and celebrity stalking. Whatever your Sundance style, here are 10 FAQs about the fest, including how to score locals tickets and passes.

Moonlight Snowshoe Hike – January 26

Most of us are familiar with Park City Mountain, have hiked around the Uintas once or twice during peak foliage, and have driven up at least one of the Cottonwood Canyons. But have you explored Wasatch Mountain State Park? This gorgeous 23,000-acre preserve near Midway and Heber is more than worth a trip. Get to know it by night and snowshoe during this tour from 6:30-9pm. The moon will be waxing gibbous so you’ll enjoy moonlight but also be able to see stars aplenty if skies are clear.

How to Score Sundance Locals Tickets and Other FAQs


From January 18-28 of 2018, Sundance Film Festival will once again take over Park City. While some locals will want to lay as low as possible, others take full advantage of this annual event. Here’s how to score Sundance locals tickets and the answers to nine other important film fest FAQs, whether you’re a local, part-time resident, or tourist.

Sundance season passes

Sundance founder Robert Redford shredding the gnar (Photo Credit: Sundance)

10 Sundance FAQs

Q: How can I get locals (and regular) tickets?

A: Locals can purchase passes to Salt Lake City screenings online between January 2-5. Locals individual tickets are on sale on January 11 between noon and 8pm. If you’re trying to get into what you anticipate may be a popular film, be sure to be ready to buy at noon sharp as many films sell out fast. A locals SLC pass sells for $500 and a package of 10 tickets will run you $300, or you can buy up to 20 individual tickets for $25 for screenings during the first half of the fest (January 19-24) and $20 for the second (January 25-28).

Whatever you do, don’t buy locals tickets if you’re not a true resident. If you don’t have a Utah driver’s license or state ID, you won’t be able to pick up your tickets or get a refund.

For non-locals, tickets go on sale online January 16.

sundance

A Saturday night premiere at the Egyptian is not the only way during Sundance

Q: All the tickets to the screenings I wanted to see are sold out! What should I do?

A: If you missed the boat or didn’t get the tickets you wanted, here’s your plan B: eWaitlist tickets. Using an online or mobile app account, you can purchase waitlist tickets and get notified if and when they open up. These tickets are $20 a pop. You can also head to a box office early in the AM to inquire about newly available tickets.

Another option is to expand your horizons. There are lots of ways to partake in the Sundance experience. Here are some ideas you may not have considered:

  • Watch a movie at an unconventional time. A friend in the film industry who traveled to Park City last year with only a few tickets in hand literally made movie-watching his job. What did I learn from his 12-hour daily Sundance binges? That 8:30pm weekend screenings are not the only way. You can also catch movies at 8:30am or at midnight.
  • Branch out geographically from Park City. There are also screenings in Kimball Junction, Salt Lake City, and Sundance Resort itself, all of which will be less sought-after than those at the Egyptian or Eccles Theater.
  • Consider another type of film. Shorts are perfect for those with limited attention spans. Or bring the whole family and see a kid flick.

Q: I’m Sundance-curious, but don’t even know where to start! Which movies should I try to see?

A: Start by narrowing down your categorical interests. Do you like dramas? Prefer to learn something via documentaries? Love discovering international movies and don’t mind subtitles?

You can also defer to the experts. Here are a few choice picks from the New York Times and more selections from Refinery 29.

Q: What if I want to see movies, but avoid the “scene”?

A: Mark your calendar for Monday, January 29 (after the festival) for Best of Fest, a complimentary compilation of some of the biggest award-winners. You’ll need to score your tickets early though on Saturday, January 13. Best of Fest screenings will be held in Park City, Salt Lake, and Sundance at various times.

Another option is Townie Tuesdays, wherein the Sundance Institute holds free screenings at the Redstone Cinemas in Kimball and also at the Park City Library on Tuesday, January 23. You’ll need to get your tickets the same day as you do for Best of Fest (January 13).

water bottle

Q: Is it a brilliant idea to sneak in snacks and/or a flask?

A: We hate to be the grinch who stole Sundance, but it’s better to leave your refreshments at home. Volunteers may check your bags and confiscate goods. Bring an empty reusable water bottle (message me if you’d like your very own Choose Park City one, pictured above!) and purchase the rest on-site.

Q: Should I drive to the screenings?

A: Envision yourself doing laps in the China Bridge Garage for half an hour. This is a recipe for arriving to your screening late and in a miserable huff. Do yourself a favor and plan on taking public transit or Lyft/Uber. Here’s the Park City bus schedules and here’s a transit map for the 2018 festival. If you must drive, China Bridge lot is probably your best bet for Park City. Main Street will be totally off limits.

Park City season passes

To shred or not to shred during Sundance … (Photo Credit: Marvin Kuo)

Q: Skiing: is it even worth it during Sundance?

A: Totally. The resorts are famously deserted during Sundance, probably because the people coming to town are not doing so to ski and the locals are watching movies or laying low. This is also generally a good time for precipitation, so it could actually be one of the best times to ski of the season.

Q: Where should I dine before/after my screening?

A: You may be able to get into restaurants for dinners in Old Town, but it won’t be pretty. Some restaurants will be closed for private events, while others will be booked to the brim. Furthermore, many restaurants jack up their prices during Sundance because they can (and who can blame them?).

If you’re a visitor or showing visitors around, check out the hottest dining spots for brunch or lunch instead. For dinner, consider heading to Prospector Square for Sammy’s Bistro, Five5eeds, or El Chubasco. Or journey a little further to Kimball Junction for pizza at Maxwell’s or rolls at Sushi Blue. Just keep in mind that all restaurants will probably be busy at all times of day, so don’t show up hangry and have a Plan B.

Justin Bieber

Photo Credit: iloveJB123

Q: When and where will I be able to see Robert Redford and/or the Biebs?

A: The odds of spying a celeb are highest at highly anticipated premieres screening during Sundance’s first weekend in Park City. Oftentimes, these first screenings are followed by panels that include the director or other cast members. You can also try loitering in fancy hotel lobbies or bars (Stein Eriksen, anyone?). Further reading: Huffington Post published a piece on Sundance celebrity sightseeing.

Q: Do I need to dress to the nines?

A: Dressing super fancy in Park City in the wintertime unfortunately also equates to being uncomfortable and cold. You won’t look very stylish after you’ve slipped in your stilettos on black ice. Instead, rock your cute new Sorels or a pair of sturdy cowboy boots with some tread and a Patagonia jacket. And don’t forget sunglasses if you’re venturing out for a day screening so you don’t step into the theater snowblind.

 

However you plan to experience Sundance, this iconic film festival is an important part of our economy and a cultural cornerstone of Park City and the greater Wasatch. In terms of real estate, Sundance also contributes to solid property values and sky-high short-term rental revenue (check out our tips on renting your home out on AirBnB or VRBO). Sundance is just one more reason why Park City is a incredible place to call home—or second home.

Sotheby’s Epic Online Presence


sotheby's online presence

 

It goes without saying that most of the initial home shopping people do these days occurs online. That’s why it’s so important that Summit Sotheby’s International Realty offers such an unparalleled online presence for your listings. With a presence on over 5,000 diverse, high-traffic websites, properties listed with Summit Sotheby’s extend as far as the user can click. From Trulia and Homes.com to the New York Times, we truly get the word out online.

This is just another reason why I’m proud to be a part of the Summit Sotheby’s team and why you shouldn’t list with anyone but us.

Summit Sotheby’s Global Reach


Think only people in Utah or even the United States look at my listings? Think again. People from all around the globe view my listings. My website draws visitors from China, the Philippines, and France. And my listing ads on Facebook engage people from Switzerland to Dubai.

That’s nothing, however, compared, to just how far a listing travels when it’s with Sotheby’s International Realty. Our brand has offices all over the world, from Sydney and Phuket in Thailand, to Milan and the French Riviera. This means that when you list with me or any other agent at Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, your listings gain global exposure.

sotheby's realty

It’s this vast and impressive global network that makes me so proud to be part of the Summit Sotheby’s team. Contact me to make your home’s listing go global today.

 

Ritual Chocolate: Park City Business Spotlight


Ritual chocolate

A bar of Ritual Chocolate in its element (Photo Credit: Ritual Chocolate)

Where do I go to satisfy a chocolate craving? How about to pick up a little gift for a friend? Or to linger over a late morning latte? Ritual Chocolate in Park City.

One of the highest altitude chocolatiers in the country, Ritual got its start in Denver in 2010. But in 2015, owners Anna Davies and Robbie Stout moved their bean-to-bar business to Park City, where Robbie grew up. “We wanted to be somewhere where we could work hard and then hop on a trail,” Anna says. They love skiing, biking, and being outside, and Park City seemed the perfect place to run a business.

Ritual has swept awards from arbiters like the International Chocolate Awards, Academy of Chocolate Awards, and Good Food Awards. In addition to producing top-tier bars, the local Park City business also runs a café on Iron Horse Drive, which serves coffee drinks, rotating pastries, and an array of must-try sipping chocolates.

Recently, Ritual has been making headlines. They’ve rebranded, released new bars, and opened a satellite location inside the new Whole Foods. I chatted with co-owner Anna to learn more about the past, present, and future of Park City’s Ritual Chocolate.

Ritual Chocolate

Anna searching for the best cacao in Peru last winter (Photo Credit: Ritual Chocolate)

What led you and Robbie to start making chocolate and establish Ritual?

Robbie and I had just met and were interested in starting a business together. He was a journalist for a cycling magazine and I worked for a trademark lawyer and taught yoga. We’d work all day and come home and be like, “What are we going to do with our lives?” as we were eating bars of chocolate.

As we were throwing different ideas around, the idea of chocolate came up and we got really excited about it. There are really some fun elements to it. We loved that we could connect with farmers. The process is fascinating and there’s such a great history to it.

We started really small. We had a little studio apartment, bought a chocolate grinder, started roasting cacao beans in our oven—we were doing it all wrong but having a lot of fun with it. We started playing around in 2008, and started our business in September 2010 when we were living in Boulder.

Ritual Chocolate cacao

Anna and Robbie in Peru last winter (Photo Credit: Ritual Chocolate)

What certifications or conditions do you look for when sourcing cacao?

The interesting thing with chocolate—and maybe it’s similar in other industries—is that, unfortunately, it’s not always about the certification. An origin can be Fair Trade, but it can still not be one we want to work with. What we’re looking for is really unique cacao genetics. We want to show that chocolate can have a full flavor profile like wine or coffee.

We’re looking to develop a relationship with the farm and to really believe in their practices—that it’s sustainable for the community, but also the environment. The first farm we worked with was in Costa Rica and it was Rainforest Alliance certified. There were sloths all over!

A lot of the farms we work with aren’t actually certified organic, but they have organic practices. None of the farms we work with are Fair Trade certified, but we’re paying them five times more than Fair Trade price. But we can’t put a label on it. Chocolate is a younger industry—youngish compared to wine and coffee.

Chocolate production

Chocolate bars in the making (Photo Credit: Ritual Chocolate)

Does the altitude affect production?

Altitude doesn’t affect production. It would be nice to say that it makes the chocolate taste better, but I don’t know about that! The nice thing is because the climate is so dry, it’s much easier to store cacao beans. When you’re working with chocolate, you don’t want to be in a high moisture area. We might be one of the highest altitude makers in the country.

For the uninitiated, what’s your most quintessential product to try or gift?

I’d say pick a single origin. That’s been our focus from the beginning. Most of our bars are just cacao beans, sugar, and some have just a little bit of cocoa butter. The Madagascar bar is really juicy. A dark chocolate that’s bright and fruity is kind of eye opening.

We also just released a High West Bourbon Barrel-Aged bar—it’s a fun one for a gift. We aged cacao nibs in a High West bourbon barrel for a couple months. It takes in all those flavors from the oak and a little bit of bourbon. It’s not hit-you-over-the-head bourbon, but it has really nice subtle notes.

And our bestseller is our Fleur de Sel—chocolate and sea salt.

For many, chocolate can be an emotionally evocative or nostalgic experience. Do you have an earliest chocolate memory?

I grew up in England with Cadbury. Chocolate was definitely always a part of my life. When I was little, every Friday, my mom would let my brother and sister and I go to this sweet shop in town and pick out sweets. That was the big treat for the week. Part of what’s so fun about making chocolate is that, like you said, everyone has a childhood memory. It’s really nostalgic. It’s ageless.

Is there a beverage you’d recommend pairing Ritual Chocolate with?

Of course, you should definitely have the Bourbon Barrel Aged chocolate with whiskey. We tried it with the Rendezvous rye and then also the High West bourbon. I really like our Novo Coffee bar with coffee. And I actually like chocolate with tea. I think it has a nice balanced flavor. Green tea, jasmine tea—try it with any of the origins.

Ritual Chocolate cafe

The original Ritual Chocolate site in Park City (Photo Credit: Ritual Chocolate)

You just opened a new café out of the new Whole Foods. How does this location differ, if at all, from your original HQ?

Something that’s been really fun at the Whole Foods space is we have a chocolatier that makes truffles, which are great for the holidays and gifts. She has a campfire whiskey and maple one and a London fog one. By Thanksgiving, the truffle should be available at both locations.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, then you can take advantage of a special promo that I partnered with Ritual to offer during December. Not a subscriber? Contact me and I’ll be happy to send you the promo code.

Meet Model Turned Marketing Maven Tiffany Blake Fox


Park City pow

Tiffany shredding the Park City pow (Photo by Anelise Kathryn Creative)

 

One thing that sets Summit Sotheby’s International Realty (SSIR) apart is our unrivaled marketing. One very impressive woman is behind all the marketing magic here: Tiffany Blake Fox. This talented Vice President of Marketing pioneered our in-house videography services, revolutionized our biannual Collections magazine, and continuously inspires us to go above and beyond in promoting our listings. We sat down with Tiffany to learn more about her path from international model to marketing maven here at SSIR.

What led you to real estate marketing and your work with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty?

It’s kind of a long journey. I had not done real estate marketing before this position. I worked at Park City Television as their Marketing and Creative Director—and team mom. I did everything from writing scripts to commercial production to actual marketing functions and set designs.

Summit Sotheby’s International Realty (SSIR) commandeered the assistance of Park City Television to build a 90-second commercial. I produced the commercial with zero budget and the outcome was spectacular—in fact, we won a bunch of awards. I stayed in touch with Kim Haskins [now SSIR V.P. of Operations] along with Thomas [Wright, SSIR President] and they stalked me until I came over in April of 2016.

Summit Sotheby’s Vignette from Park City Television on Vimeo.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job with SSIR?

What I love about our company and, specifically, the leadership from Thomas is the opportunity to create freely, to redefine the way that luxury properties are marketed. Anything we come up with creatively—no matter how out there it seems—he completely trusts our vision. To work for a company where you can say, “Hey, I want to put a fashion model on the cover of a real estate magazine and no one has ever done it before,” and have the owner say, “Go for it,” is huge. It inspires us to search for innovative ways to market real estate at all price points and share the lifestyle we have here in Utah with the world. The global platform is a huge component of that. We get to be creative and it gets to be displayed across the globe.

Do you have a marketing philosophy that guides your work?

It’s twofold. First, I believe in trusting your own behavior. When you’re watching a commercial or reading an ad and you feel compelled by it or you feel emotional, that’s a good marketing piece. That’s one of my mantras: pay attention to the things you feel drawn to—especially for our agents. Those are things you need to incorporate into your own marketing.

The other side of that is trust your artist. That’s more for our internal marketing. Trusting our guts allows that inner creative to thrive and to not be afraid to try something different. It’s okay to come up with something crazy. This is a safe space—that’s what I tell the girls all the time. We put it all out there and work to refine.

Collections Magazine

Of all the projects and marketing pieces your team has produced to date, is there one you’re most proud of?

Collections Magazine has definitely been the passion project for our team. The first one—where we put the model on the cover—was a big emotional moment for all of us because we had no idea how it was going to be received. I thought we would have a better opportunity to attract a wider audience if we put a person on the cover of our magazine instead of a home. If you look at the racks all around town, it’s a picture of a mountain or a home or interior design. There weren’t really any people on the covers of the magazines we were competing against so I determined it was a way for us to differentiate ourselves. We ended up having to do a reorder of the publication because we ran out. It was a home run.

The other thing is our in-house video program, which I started when I came on board. We’ve now won a Luxury Real Estate award for video marketing.

Speaking of magazine models, I heard you used to be one. What was your modeling career like and how did you transition to marketing?

I modeled for over 10 years. I was based in Los Angeles, but lived in Shanghai and Beijing and all over Europe. I was able to see the world and get a great grasp of a creative process from concept to casting to photographing to delivering the photo to putting it in an ad and then in a magazine. I immediately also recognized at that time how much art, fashion, and architecture are intermixed and inspired by one another. I met fashion designers who were inspired by buildings, so all of the sudden we’re shooting a dress in front of a building.

That definitely inspired some of the decisions we’ve made with Collections magazine—bridging that gap between all different facets of the creative space. There’s a lot of passion and creativity that goes into homebuilding. That translates into art and fashion and, of course, our tie to the auction house marries it up brilliantly.

Tiffany during her modeling days

So, how did you go from being a model to living in Park City?

I had been living in Shanghai and Beijing for several months. I was the only red-headed model in Asia at the time and I worked really crazy hours. I flew back to Los Angeles after my contract was over and felt like I needed a bit of break. I learned to ski at age three at Snowbird and I said, “You know what? It’s coming up on winter, why don’t I just go be a ski bum for a couple months?” I came out here and, as the story goes, I met my now-husband George. Basically, this kind of cocky skier bro walked in the door and I was enamored. After a couple months in Utah and meeting him and knowing right away that that was my person, I called my modeling agencies in Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City, China, Japan, Paris, and London and cancelled all my contracts, retired, and moved to Utah.

Got any tips for real estate agents or homeowners for marketing and staging their homes to sell?

Taking a gander at Pinterest is a great idea to get your home ready. If you look at what’s trending, you’re able to see quickly what people are gravitating toward. Then you can capture a look or easy DIY stuff that’s also on trend to help your photography stand out. That would be one thing for homeowners.

Another thing is less is more. We all have trinkets and things we love, but a home photographs a lot better when it’s minimalist. It makes it look larger, clean, and luxurious. If you have all these things going on, you’ve distracted the eye and made the person feel uneasy—they don’t even realize they feel uneasy. It’s subconscious. But if you have a clean home that’s decluttered and open, it creates a more calming, serene experience for a buyer.

Tiffany and her husband on their wedding day

What are you most excited about for the Winter 2017-2018 season in Park City? Any big ski trips planned?

I’m totally stoked. Winter is my happy place. My husband competed forever and he is quite the monster skier. I always look forward to stepping up my game and being one of the badass big mountain ladies out there that’s not afraid to go out in the backcountry and drop a couple cliff lines. He always pushes me and it makes me more competitive. That helps my marketing as well—it gets my gusto up.

I’m trying to plan a surprise trip—I haven’t determined where I want to take the Fox. Maybe an Alaska trip or a heli skiing trip or going back over to Europe because the vibe there is just so fun.