Realtor Profile Stan Harrell
Monte Verde Realty
Stan Harrell: “It helps to be an Old Timer”
Story and photo by Ellen Goins
“It’s not like the sky is falling… In fact, 2007 was Monte Verde Realty’s best year ever.”
When it comes to the real estate business, it helps to have an historical perspective. Stan Harrell, owner and qualifying broker at Monte Verde Realty, has lived and worked in the Moreno Valley long enough to know that good times come and good times go – and they always come back. “I actually feel like an old timer” jokes Stan, who is nursing a sinus infection.
Asked whether current economics have affected his business, Harrell simply states, ‘We’ve all seen these slumps before. It’s not like the sky is falling. It has come back. In fact, 2007 was Monte Verde Realty’s best year ever.”
Harrell admits this is largely due to the sales of the 16,000-plus-acre East Moreno and Bobcat ranches, a huge portion of which went to Sandia Pueblo, though not, as many locals feared, for a casino or other resort but for “timber, hunting, recreation … a wilderness retreat.”
Harrell and longtime associate broker Ron Minor have also overseen the sale of some of the valley’s most historic ranches. In fact, even before he inherited the business from mentors and former owners Bob Bright and Bets Loving, Harrell says his first sale was a 20-acre parcel at American Creek Ranch. “I prefer working with acreage,” he said. “Most of those buyers are not looking at it as an investment, they want an asset for future generations.”
Harrell notes this is particularly true of his American Indian clients like the Taos Pueblo. “They’ve been here a thousand years so they’re looking at it long-term,” he said. For Harrell, this is the best way to assure the valley’s rich history and beauty are preserved as much as possible for future generations.
“I came here for the pristine beauty,” says Harrell who lives with wife Mary on Forest Road 76 in Black Lake. “My house is about a quarter mile from the National Forest. Sunday I was watching a nesting pair of bald eagles.”Pointing to an antique map of New Mexico, Harrell traces the original boundaries of the Maxwell Land Grant, a 2 million-acre tract that included much of Colfax County and extended into southern Colorado. “There’s not as much ranch land available now.”
That’s one reason, perhaps, why Monte Verde Realty – and Harrell’s sister company in Taos, Stan Harrell Real Estate Broker, LLC – handles everything from home and condo sales to lots and large-acre parcels, to farm and ranch property. Or it could just be that Harrell loves it here.
Asked how he came to be in Angel Fire, he smiles and says, “I came up to be a ski bum, just like everybody else.”Harrell’s family had vacationed in the area when he was a child, coming up to fish, hike and, as he says, “get away from the heat in West Texas.”
As a young man, Harrell worked winters as a lift operator and, later, ski patrol. After graduating from college with a degree in social work, he says, “I worked with at-risk Indian youth for awhile.”The mountains called, though, and soon he was in Angel Fire full time. He found his way to real estate at Monte Verde Realty (open since 1976, it is one of the valley’s oldest real estate companies) in 1980 before becoming a qualifying broker in 1987.
Since that time, he has seen business go up and down and people come and go but he says he’s fortunate that his team shares the same values, including associate brokers: Minor, who’s been in the area since 1971; Don Borgeson, who’s lived here since 1974; Brinn Colenda, who’s owned property in Angel Fire since 1984 and lived full-time since 1995; and Clark Henley, a “newbie” whose been here since 1997; as well as office manager Kathy Neal, who’s lived in Red River since 1979.
Asked if he has mixed feelings about being in a business that, by necessity, brings more people to his beloved valley, Harrell answers frankly, “Of course. I came here when there were only 12 homes and 17 condos. The only thing you can be sure of is that things will change and you hope to make it a positive change.”
Stan Harrell Qualifying Broker and owner of Monte Verde Realty Inc. and Stan Harrell Real Estate Broker LLC, 3415 Mountain View Blvd., Angel Fire, 800.368.0753, 575.377.2344, Web: www.monteverderealty.com.