Phil Stevenson knows a good opportunity when he sees one. In 2004, he and his wife left a bustling life in Atlanta, Georgia for the slower pace–but no less action-packed–environment of Jackson Hole. A former development partner in a large commercial real estate firm, Stevenson, his wife Betsy, and their business partner Morgan Bruemmer had a hunch that the real estate market in this valley was missing something. It had plenty of wealth, high-end homes, and prospective homeowners from around the country, sure, “but we thought there would be a good opportunity for a full-service real estate firm that could take a client from an initial vacation rental through a purchase, then provide caretaking, and, if the client wanted to generate some cash flow, vacation rental services.”
Thus, the blueprint for The Clear Creek Group was formed, bringing real estate expertise, caretaking, and concierge services under one roof for superlative service to current and hopeful Jackson Hole homeowners. “It’s a great business model which has worked out well for us,” Stevenson says.
With nearly 12 years of experience under his belt at this point, Stevenson has a seasoned perspective on the ebbs and flows of the valley’s real estate market, though ebbs have not really been part of the trend in recent years. Looking ahead to the remainder of 2017, he predicts real estate agents will continue to see low levels of inventory, particularly in the high-end market. He calls this “our biggest challenge” going forward. Indeed, the Jackson Hole real estate market continues to be white hot, and with only 3% of all the land in the valley available for development, the current inventory squeeze tightens an already restricted market.
As a result, Stevenson thinks it’s likely that “prices will increase and the average time a property is on the market should decrease slightly. Some buyers will decide to buy unimproved property and build if they can’t find the right improved property.” Buyers will find themselves struggling to balance their desires to enter the market–and our community–while potentially compromising on some of the extras and design goodies they originally envisioned. Thinking outside the box will be key. For real estate agents, the challenge will be much the same. It can be hard, Stevenson affirms, for those working in the realm of high-end homes to find “‘nice’ listings to show. Not only is inventory down, but the number of well-designed, well-sited homes on the market is down even more.”
“My personal goal is the same as the stated mission of The Clear Creek Group. To provide the highest level of real estate services to each of my clients through a single-minded focus on excellence and meaningful relationships.”
With competition fierce, the benefits of working with a committed and expert broker is all the more crucial as homeowners–many undertaking their search at a distance–survey their options. Stevenson’s advice? “Pick one broker, work with them exclusively, and trust their judgment. My personal goal is the same as the stated mission of The Clear Creek Group,” he says. “To provide the highest level of real estate services to each of my clients through a single-minded focus on excellence and meaningful relationships. Those are more than just words–to excel as a broker, you need to be really good at what you do and develop a relationship of mutual trust and respect with all your clients.”
Sometimes this single-minded dedication to the goals of individual clients can unfold in unexpected ways. For example, Stevenson recalls a surprise success story from 2016. Last year, The Clear Creek Group toured a home at the behest of another broker to recommend an appropriate long-term rental rate. On viewing the property, a lightbulb went on: the residence was a perfect fit for the needs of one of their clients. Figuring that it’s always worth asking, the brokers inquired if the property’s owners would be open to selling their house rather than renting it. Bingo! “The owner agreed, the sale was made, and everyone was happy.”
Examples like these prove time and again that the personal touch and level of service provided by The Clear Creek Group’s team of expert brokers is bar none. Stevenson points to exceptional communities like the Refuge at Alpine Air Park as an example of the truly one-of-a-kind properties represented in the team’s portfolio. Better yet, clients working with The Clear Creek Group for the first time can count on a relationship that extends far beyond the initial purchase or sale.Worry-free caretaking and on-call expertise continue after closing.
The real estate market changes year-to-year and month-to-month, but some things remain, reassuringly, the same. “Our stated company values, which were developed in our first month in business almost 12 years ago, are integrity, excellence, and relationships,” Stevenson says. “Everyone at The Clear Creek Group knows and adheres to these values, to which I attribute whatever success our firm has had over the years.”
If you’re ready to buy or sell in Jackson Hole–or simply need to talk shop–you know who to call.
Curious and ready to learn more about real estate in Jackson Hole? Contact us via email or give us a ring at (877) 427-3400.