This interview series focuses on the people in Santa Fe’s real-estate industry. Tanya Clokey is a longtime associate broker at Coldwell Banker Trails West Realty.
Hi, Tanya. How’s business?
It is so busy.
So much of the economy is depressed, but not construction or real estate, right?
That’s right, although our inventory is so low and that makes it very difficult.
The fourth-quarter stats showed inventory down almost 54 percent from fourth quarter 2019, but sales were up 31 percent and the median price up almost 20 percent. Seems like a great time to sell!
It is, but then where are you going to buy? That’s the situation for many people. You can go to Rio Rancho; they have inventory there.
How many listings do you have right now?
Oh boy, I think I’m down to about five. I just put three of my land listings under contract this weekend.
Are those residential lots?
Yes, the utilities are there so they’re ready for a home. I just put two buyers under contract also, with land.
Where are all of those lots?
Tesuque, Pecos, Agua Fria Village, and off of Airport Road. So land is pretty hot now also. If people can’t find a home with this inventory slump, they should buy land and build.
There are lots of apartment houses going up in town.
The rent prices are crazy. And interest rates are great, so if you can buy instead this is a great time.
How long have you been in the business?
I’ve been with Coldwell Banker for 18 years, although I started as the marketing director. I kind of got this job by accident. I graduated college and it was a college placement. They said there was a job available at Coldwell Banker and I said, I don’t want to work for a bank geek. Little did I know it’s a real-estate company. So I said, alright, I’ll give it a shot temporarily. That was in 2002 and I got licensed in 2005.
It was a great opportunity for me because I learned all the paperwork and I got to see all the top producers, see what they were doing and maybe what they should be doing, and what not to do. My last name is very unique, and people would come in and say I know your family, I know your grandfather, your father-in-law.
Is Clokey your maiden name?
No, by marriage. I’m Lopez. I’m originally from a little town in the Pecos rural area. I was born in Santa Fe but raised in Rowe, and I attended the schools in Pecos. Once I graduated there I went to the University of New Mexico. My degree is in business and Spanish.
I always thought I was good at Spanish, growing up here, but it was really Spanglish. I was in for a surprise.
They were teaching Castillean Spanish?
Exactly, the formal Spanish. I would try to talk to my grandma and she was like, What are you talking about? Because it’s Spanglish. If you don’t know a word in Spanish, you just kind of make it up with the English word. But least I’m using my degree.
I graduated in early May and started here on May 22. I had gotten married that March. My husband is Adrian Clokey.
What does he do?
He works at the state, at home these days.
Isn’t it weird thinking about this building [Coldwell Banker on Old Pecos Trail] and all the other office space now 10 months being mostly vacant? How many of the owners are going to say they don’t need that real estate anymore?
Exactly, and supposedly the state workers are more productive at home. It will be interesting to see what happens.
So all of us have been at home. I have three kiddos and I’m home, too, doing paperwork or whatever I need to do. I am more productive here at the office because as a mother, with my three kids there and the laundry and the dishes... But the quality time has been a blessing. I don’t think it’s ever going to happen again, but we’re enjoying it.
Nobody knows how long we’ll all be wearing masks.
Right? How long are we going to have to wear these? Hand sanitizer is like my best friend these days. We have one in every vehicle and I have one in my jacket pocket.
What ages are your kids?
Seventeen, almost 14, and 12.
Wow. And look how calm you are!
They are such great kids. I am very lucky. It’s been difficult, though, because they’re all athletes and nothing has been going on with sports. My middle daughter is a swimmer and she used to swim every single day and now they’re two times a month because I think it’s just four swimmers and one coach allowed.
I think at first they liked being home, because, you know, you wake up five minutes before class starts and jump on school. But they’re ready for normalcy.
The socializing is a big deal for a lot of kids.
It is. I didn’t know it was affecting my little one. She’s the most outgoing and for Christmas the school had a drive-through holiday event where they got to see all their teachers and my little one was sobbing. She said seeing her teachers just made her super sad.
What do you guys like doing in your spare time?
We love to travel, we love to go camping. We have a camping trailer, but the kids love the tent we bought last year. They stayed outside and they loved it.
Well, this market is just rolling along.
It’s pretty lopsided for the sellers, and how will it change? The inventory is so low and there aren’t many homes being built.
I don’t think it will be changing much. And interest rates are supposed to stay this low. Under 3 percent is incredible.
And, again, it’s easier to sell your house, but where do you move to? Prices are up.
Many of my buyers have a lot of equity and due to the interest rates they’re buying a bigger, nicer home. Some people are downsizing, and some are moving out of state, maybe to be closer to family. And some are moving to Rio Rancho, where they can get a bigger house for much less.
We are hoping we see more inventory. The situation right now is that anything $500,000 and under sells like that [snaps finger]. And you’re getting multiple offers and they’re all above list price. So many buyers are also purchasing sight-unseen, because they know what the market is and they don’t want to lose out on the house.
And if you’re coming from another state, you have to quarantine for 14 days. Most buyers can’t do that, so we have to get permission from the sellers: these folks are from California or Texas or Colorado and they’re not going to quarantine; are you okay with them entering the home? Some sellers say sure, just make sure they wear masks and gloves, and others are saying no.