There’s nothing unusual about real estate brokers touring homes listed by fellow agents.
But the Kentwood City Properties’ tour on Tuesday had a twist. Twenty of about 40 brokers used pedal power to reach as many as 10 homes listed by the LoDo brokerage in Riverfront, Ballpark, West Highland, Whittier, City Park and Park Hill. The homes were priced from $144,900 to $969,000.
“It was so fun to see our brokers embrace the idea of getting around without a car,” Dee Chirafisi, co-owner of Kentwood City Properties and one of the participants in the two-wheeled tour. The bikes came from the recently launched B-Cycle program.
On a warm, if windy, morning, the agents gathered at Denver Union Center and used demo cards to unlock the red bikes with baskets, in an outing organized by agent John Hayden, an avid supporter of the non-profit Denver B-Cycle program unveiled last month. B-cycle, which provides 500 bikes in 50 stations around the city, is based on a belief that bicycles should be a vehicle for positive health and environmental change as well as an important part of a community’s transportation ecosystem.
Hick: Largest bike-sharing program
Last week, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said that B-cycle is the largest program of its type in any city in the U.S. He added that he hopes it becomes a model for other cities across the country.
And the Kentwood City Properties’ outing appears to be the largest group to grab the handle-bars by the horn, so far.
Kentwood City Properites biggest bike tour so far
“That was the largest organized tour, other than our actual launch date, that we are aware of,” said Brent Tongco, the current spokesman for B-cycle, a non-profit formed by a partnership between Humana, Trek Bicycle and Crispin Porter + Bogusky. “There may have been other ones that were self-organized that we don’t know about, but this appears to be the largest that we were involved with.”
Asked if he would like to see other real estate brokerage firms to follow suit, Tongco said: “We’re hoping.”
Broker Stacy Neir hit six of the 10 homes on the tour.
“It didn’t take that long,” Neir said. “Maybe 90 minutes.”
She and her husband, Alex, also a broker at Kentwood City Properties, more than a year ago, launched a Web site called BuyAHomeOnABike.com. Unfortunately, the only time someone showed interest in the bike tour, her bike was stolen.
Hayden said that he has been showing clients inner-city homes for the past three years, and expects that he increasingly will use the B-Cycle program, especially for out-of-town buyers.
“It will really work well for out-of-town people who can’t meet me with their own bikes,” Hayden said.
Bikes beat cars, any day
Indeed, he prefers to show homes by bike, rather than driving clients around, who rides his bike year-round.
“Certainly, it is not for everyone, but it is such an outstanding way get to see a neighborhood,” Hayden said.
“The interesting thing is that I have found that people feel more exhilerhated and have a better time on a bicylce in a car. At the end of the day, people are actually more tried driving around in than car than if they are on a bike.”
Hayden said that last year, a real estate company in Boulder, which specializes in showing homes by bike, talked to him about opening a Denver office. “But the truth is, every Realtor can do it, and should do it, so you don’t need an entire company dedicated to that concept,” he said. And brokers increasingly appear willing to saddle up. Bridget Slevins, of Coldwell Banker, for example, launched HomeBuyerBikeTours.com, and every Saturday, June through Septembers, leads a bike tour of homes, weather permitting.
While volunteering for the opening of B-Cycle, Hayden met one man who lives in a downtown high-rise, who has embraced the new program.
“He was probably 80-years-old and while he has a bike, he said it is three stories up, and he has to take it down the elevator,” Hayden said. “So now, he is going going to use B-Cycle, so he doesn’t have to drag it down the elevator.”
During Tuesday’s tour, the first stop was at the Flour Mills Lofts, and as he was leaving a woman asked Hayden about the program, and he gave her the run down. “That’s so cool,” she said. “We did that on vacation in Paris, and it was great.”
Hayden said he hopes not only Realtors, but other citizens, take advantage of B-cycle.
“It can do a lot to reduce congestion,” Hayden said. “A ridiculous percentage of the trips we take in Denver – something like 80 percent – are three miles or less. That can easily be done by bike.”
Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-68685.< class="related_post_title">Related Posts:>