Lisa Cancro of Taos Properties loves Taos. She enjoys sharing that love with people who want to move here. “We were fortunate to come here more than 22 years ago,” she says. “I love the small town feel of our community. People here are friendly and always ready to talk to you and help out.”
Cancro and her husband John raised their two children here. Today her daughters live in Seattle and have satisfying careers: the oldest, Alex, as a travel consultant and freelance photographer; and the younger, Olivia, as a graphic designer and illustrator.
“I attribute their ability to find amazing careers to growing up in Taos. They were surrounded by art. People were so open to having them in their studios where they could learn about their crafts. They were free to be outside, with skiing, hiking, and rafting at their fingertips,” reflects Cancro.
Sharing her experience
Using her experience of relocating to Taos as a resource, Cancro helps newcomers feel welcome. She sees families, couples and individuals of all ages and from all backgrounds coming to Taos. “We came from New York when our girls were young and did not know one person,” she remembers. “There were so many people who were willing to help us by recommending a bank or doctor. They helped us get situated and we met many friends this way.”
Now Cancro does the same for her clients. She recognizes that each one has different needs and takes the time to really listen carefully, so that she can help them find what they want in a home and in the community. It can be a major move to come to Taos and she helps them handle all the details. For instance, she may suggest that they consider not brining all their home furnishings, reducing the number of things that need to be moved and creating space for furnishings that might best complement their new homes.
Technology and the human touch
Although Taos is a small town and retains its Old World feel, it is welcoming more and more people who can use technology to work and connect to the bigger world. Cancro also uses technology in creative ways to help her clients who want to relocate here.
“There was a couple from San Francisco who had visited here before. They knew they wanted to live in a particular area,” says Cancro. “When a house came on the market on this street, they were interested in it but couldn’t get here for a few days. I used Facetime (a video-telephone app) to walk the property and show it to the couple. They made an offer on the house that included time for them to come out and take a look at it. They loved the house and three months later they moved here.”
One of the new residents works from home and the other opened a shop in town. They are happy to be here and to be able to have successful careers and add their talents to the community. With these new families coming to town, Cancro sees the economy being buoyed by a new wave of enthusiasm and confidence.
This couple had been thinking about coming to Taos for a long time, Cancro says and notes that people are doing their homework – spending time on the Taos Properties website and coming with definite ideas of what they want in a house.
And although technology offers so many tools for real estate today, Cancro points out that the truly important thing is to bring the human touch to every interaction. “I love connecting one-on-one with my clients. Even though technology is helpful, there are still the skills needed to connect, negotiate and close the purchase.”
One trend that emerged in the past year was the increasing number of people coming from big metro areas, like Denver, Austin, and cities in California. “Taos exerts a strong pull on people in all different phases of their lives,” says Cancro. “The Taos Ski Valley is a driving factor, attracting people to recreate and work here. This dynamic is trickling down to the real estate market.”
She seeks both new families coming here and those who have left and want to come back home. “Taos is such a great place to live, work and be productive,” she says. “The door has opened for more and more people to come and make Taos home.”
Another new trend related to the Taos Ski Valley is the introduction of Taos Air with non-stop flights from Dallas and Austin through March. “Now people have easy access to Taos. It is an incredible opportunity for Taos Ski Valley and our town. These people might have gone elsewhere to ski and now they are able to easily visit Taos.”
With more direct access to Taos, people spend less time traveling and are able to ski or hike and still have time to look for houses while they are here. Those families who were here during the holiday season may return to town ready to make a home purchase. “When people fall in love with Taos, they often return in the spring when there are more houses on the market. It is a wonderful time to start looking at properties,” says Cancro.
Kitchens to love
When asked about her favorite room in the house, Cancro immediately names the kitchen. “I love to cook and see that people really enjoy their kitchens. It is my favorite room. People may use different spices, but the kitchen is the most important room in the house to many people, no matter what they are cooking. When people fall in love with the kitchen, they fall in love with the house.”
For Cancro’s “What’s Cooking” feature on the website, she selects a theme and recipe for a house listing. For example, she recently offered a recipe for Chilled “Blueberry Hill” Soup along with a home description. She says her clients love the recipes.
While looking at a home for sale, Cancro notices that as people enter the kitchens, they begin to think of ways to put their own imprint on the room, whether it is a major remodel, a new paint color or just bringing their own pots and pans into the space. After her clients move into their new homes, they often invite Cancro over for dinner. “I love to see the vision of my clients be realized in the changes they make to their homes. It is my greatest joy and accomplishment to help people find the right home. It sometimes brings tears to my eyes,” she says.
Next year will be the 20th anniversary for Taos Properties. Cancro says “I feel very fortunate to live in Taos and have a successful business with my husband. I feel so connected with the community and really love to share this joy and appreciation with my clients.”
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