PROFILE THE BIRTH OF MASON & MORSE RANCH COMPANY Van Pelt seemed like a natural asset to the team assembled by Bill Mason and Wendy Morse under the Mason & Morse Real Estate banner. The company, founded in 1961, specialized in luxury homes, but as recreational ranches became highly sought after it was determined the time was right in the late 1990s to create a ranch division, which Van Pelt is a principal owner to date. “Bob Starodoj and I worked together to launch the ranch division in 1998,” Van Pelt said. “We purposely started small and slow, picking up momentum as one success led to another and one client led to another.” The two businessmen’s customer service philosophy is commonly known as the Golden Rule. “Every day in every way treat people the way you want to be treated,” Van Pelt said. “My interpretations means that I behave with integrity, I’m honest and I keep the clients’ needs at the forefront of every decision. And I expect everybody who rides with me to do the same.” Square dealing worked. Mason & Morse Ranch Company has long benefited from superior customer service through positive word-of-mouth, client referrals and repeat customers. “While the days of handshake deals are gone, we’ve always conducted ourselves in a way so that people would be comfortable with a handshake if the law allowed it,” Van Pelt said. Many of Van Pelt’s contacts came from— and continue to come from—the rodeo world. He began roping as a Little Britches competitor, continuing through high school, college and adulthood. These days, the header spends his winters in Arizona team roping. “At a single event last winter, I was roping with a guy from Connecticut, one from Virginia and one from Alaska,” Van Pelt said. “You never know where the next opportunity might come from, but I guarantee you won’t find it if you don’t get out and talk to people.” The parent company and the ranch division thrived. Then the downturn of 2008 hit. While all sectors of the real industry slowed, highend resort and recreation properties were "I love seeing new country and learning about how the people who manage it take care of their business in that part of the world" particularly hard hit. Mason & Morse Real Estate decided to streamline and refocus its interests locally which created the ideal opportunity for Van Pelt, Starodoj and their partners, Rue Balcomb, Bart Miller and John Stratman, to purchase the ranch division and expand Mason & Morse Ranch Company brokerage and auction services nationally. “We seized an opportunity that occurred at the intersection of the past and future,” Van Pelt said. “The name Mason & Morse has a long proud history in the area, but our experienced team had a vision for the future that would take the name far beyond the borders of Colorado.” The vision has come to fruition. Today, Mason & Morse Ranch Company has 16 agents across the United States. Though the company began in Colorado, more than half of the firm’s transactions take place outside of Colorado. “Unlike some brokerages, we are big believers in the brokerage network and system,” Van Pelt said. “We like partnering with other like-minded brokers across the country to conduct business in a way that benefits their clients and ours. We believe if we take care of people, the money side of our business will pretty much take care of itself.” Because each property and each client is different, every deal is unique. “Again, we don’t take a cookie-cutter approach to ranch real estate because this isn’t a cookie cutter business,” Van Pelt said. “Taking into account each client’s goals we work to meet their needs.” W-J Rodeo in Aspen, Colorado 1978 38
PROFILE The Golden Rule While the Mason & Morse Ranch Company team will never quit scanning the horizon for new opportunities, they will never lose sight of what’s most important. Pictured Riders, Robb Van Pelt (front), John Stratman and Rue Balcomb, Brokers, Principle Owners Mason & Morse Ranch Company. Mason & Morse Ranch Company sellers can count on a full press marketing effort, under the direction of Karen Sutherland, the firm’s full-time marketing director, and Kay Muller, the executive administrator, that uses the most current tools available to get their properties in front of buyers. “We adopted the Internet early, which gave us a competitive advantage from the beginning,” Van Pelt said. “The success we’ve had with digital marketing also taught us to keep an eye on emerging technology and communication tools so we can adopt them, adapt them to ranch real estate and stay ahead of the curve—and the competition.” Adapting to change in the industry also prompted the Mason & Morse Ranch Company team to launch an auction services platform. While the Mason & Morse Ranch Company team will never quit scanning the horizon for new opportunities, they will never lose sight of what’s most important. “Ranch real estate is a people business,” Van Pelt said. “At Mason & Morse Ranch Company we still know the power of the Golden Rule because we live it every day.” ° "Every day in every way treat people the way you want to be treated,” Van Pelt said. “My interpretation means that I behave with integrity, I’m honest and I keep the clients’ needs at the forefront of every decision. And I expect everybody who rides with me to do the same." LAND.COM • LEGENDARY LIVING 39
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