By Ali Margo | December 22, 2015 | Home & Real Estate
“Most brokers don’t do what I do,” says Lorrie Winnerman, owner/broker of Lorrie B. Aspen & Associates. “Everyone asks me when I’m going to retire, but I’m having more fun now than ever.”
“Fun” might not be how most people describe a day at the office, but after 30 years selling Aspen real estate, Winnerman can afford to do business a little differently. After 30 years in business, she’s sold some of Aspen’s hottest properties before they even had a chance to hit the market, totally under the radar because of her relationships, her history, and her hustle.
We caught up with Winnerman to find out how she’s often the first to get the inside scoop on some of Aspen’s hottest real estate deals.
"There was word on the street that a family was thinking of selling the Gap building. The previous owner bought it for $250,000 in 1996. Its assessed value in 2012 was $8.8 million, but I have a buyer who gives me a lot of freedom. When I heard this property might go up for sale, I flew into action. I called people who know people who would know how to help me get in touch with the owner. Once I was finally able to reach him, I took him to coffee at Peaches—it was as simple as that. We closed the deal before it ever had the chance to hit the market."
"I knew the Crystal Palace and the Grande Finale building next door [were] just about [to go into] foreclosure. The previous owner had bought the Grand Finale for $4 million in 2007 and he’d purchased the Crystal Palace during the boom for $8.9 million in 2008. I knew I had the right buyer, so I hunted down the owner to see if he wanted to sell. I’m never afraid to make that phone call. This place has a lot of history for Aspen, and for me personally. Mead Metcalf had owned it and run it as a bustling dinner theater for 51 years. I knew my buyer would bring a lot of vitality back into the property, which has been vacant since 2008, so this deal also has some personal value for me. Once again, we got the deal done before the property was ever listed."
"I have a friend who is an appraiser who called me and said, 'I know you’re putting deals together, so you might want to know about this.' No one else ever knew about this property. It was never listed. It turns out it’s been owned by the same family for three generations. It’s almost an entire city block in downtown Aspen and comprises 6 lots. This kind of deal is unheard of—until I heard about it, anyway!"
"An old friend of mine from the '60s called and said, 'You still doing real estate?' He wanted me to help him rent a family cabin he’d owned since the '70s. It turned out he was sitting on a 6.5-acre parcel of land at the base of Red Mountain, which is unheard of. I said, 'Do you want to sell it?' And he said, 'Sure.' It went under contract before it hit the market. The buyer is thrilled and the seller is thrilled. This is what I love to do."