Considered a master of the real estate biz, eight years-in-a-row, Best of Taos winner Lisa Davis credits moving around a lot as a child as to why owning and caring for a home gave her "stability, confidence and a purpose." It's also a reason why she chose real estate as a career ... or did it pick her?
It was 1995. She was working as a graphic designer and had just bought her first home — a 700-square-foot Cape Cod a block away from the Oregon coast.
"I remember before I bought it, walking around and looking up at the steep, pitched roof and thinking, 'I can't believe I'm going to own something this big,' " she shared.
From that point forward, she never looked back. Davis enjoyed fixing up the small cottage. During that process is when she decided to leave the world of graphic design and enter into real estate. After entering the field in Oregon, she relocated to Taos and worked as an independent agent for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Taos Real Estate for 15 years. This past April, she teamed up with Jarred Conley at New Mexico Real Estate Group.
Because of her family's circumstances, Davis lived in many places and thus many dwellings throughout her childhood. It was shortly after Davis purchased her most recent house that the thought occurred to her that when she was a child, she often felt like she was living on "quicksand" because of all the moving around.
"I wasn't really sure what was going to happen next," she said. "The house I live in now is built on solid rock, so I've gone from quicksand to solid rock and it feels good."
Her personal home purchases have meant a great deal to her, and she feels there's a lot of responsibility that goes with home ownership.
"I believe we are so fortunate in this country to be able to have a home," she expressed. "And I believe it's our obligation to take care of them."
And Davis takes care of the home seekers and buyers who come to her in search of their dreams. Her success, she said, is a combination of a standard of practice and resourcefulness. What that means to her is knowing every aspect of the real estate business and how she addresses attention to detail, care and concerns ... and thinking on her feet.
There's so many pieces and parts," Davis said of buying and selling real estate. "I don't think people realize how much there is to selling real estate, in Taos especially, because we have so many levels and layers here that are unique to our community."
Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases in a person's life. Davis knows it has to be handled carefully, and she strives to have the best information out there.
She thinks of real estate in three parts: 1) You're either working with a buyer looking at property or you're selling a property for someone, meaning you're either showing or you're marketing; 2) Even with detailed state forms, there's still a lot of "subtlety" in helping clients understand it all; and 3) closing on the property.
"It's all about due diligence. It's a lot of documents, and it's definitely a process from beginning to end that requires a lot of attention," she said.
And some buyers require a little extra care, such as people from out of state looking for a second home.
"I remember one time working with a man out of New York, and I'm on the phone trying to explain that the house is made out of mud," she laughed. "He said, 'What do you mean made of mud?' "
It's no secret that Taos is a popular destination for people looking for a second home. Davis explained that her take on the fundamental dynamic of the Taos market is that "nobody really has to live here because there's not a big industry that drives a primary residence market, unlike bigger cities like Albuquerque, Denver or Dallas."
Over certain years, especially during the housing bubble around 2008, about 95 to 98 percent of her clients were second-home seekers. The percentages fluctuate during any given time period, but lately the number of second-home buyers and locals looking to upgrade or downsize is "more balanced" than she's seen in years.
The unpredictability of the market doesn't phase Davis because she genuinely loves what she does. She said she could talk about real estate all day every day, and she means it.
"I go to bed at night and I look at the clock, and I think how I can't wait to get up in the morning and go tackle another set of different situations," she described. "You just know when you've shown someone their ideal house. It's fun to see people get excited, and hopefully it launches them on a great journey."
New Mexico Real Estate Group
224 Cruz Alta, Suite 1, Taos
Office: (575) 224-6848/ Direct: (575) 770-2983