A new president who really wants to shake things up was sworn in last January.
It might sound like familiar rhetoric, but the vision and the person holding Park City’s high office couldn’t be more different than the one in the White House.
Sara Werbelow is the president of the Park City Board of Realtors, a group that traditionally has told home buyers where to sign and then handed over the keys. But Werbelow believes selling homes in Park City comes with a greater responsibility than just writing counteroffers and hosting open houses.
“I’m a diehard Park City local,” she explains. “So while our popularity as a world-class resort town is exciting and good for business, I also want to protect the authentic nature and quality of our community.”
For Werbelow, who is the Principal Broker of Chateaux Realty, finding a balance between the town’s growth and historic identity is essential, and she believes Realtors are in a unique position to “lock in” this philosophy.
“Realtors make up a large part of our community. We are a visible and active group both on our clients’ behalf and as stakeholders.
The buyers we’re selling houses to will be our neighbors, so we want them to be invested in this community as much as we are. To do that, we need to be both an example and a resource,” she said.
Given her extensive involvement in the community, it’s little wonder Werbelow views participation as a civic duty. In the 20 years she’s called Park City “home,” she has been involved in the Rotary Club, has served as Chair of Park City’s Historic Preservation Board, as well as the Alumni Organization for Park City’s Leadership Program and is a Mountain Host at Deer Valley Resort.
Werbelow explained she plans to encourage all Realtors to volunteer locally. She’d like to see the group be known as a community resource by introducing home buyers to local nonprofits and community leaders, while providing other services to help them feel welcomed and get involved.
“When people feel invested in their community, they take better care of it,” she explained. “I’ve known second-home owners who are only here a few times a year to champion a cause or a movement in Park City, because they feel connected to this town and want what’s best for it long term.”
To accomplish her goals, Werbelow said she plans to advocate for community forums for Realtors and residents to discuss issues that are affecting the broader community, such as transportation, affordable housing and sustainability initiatives.
“Our Realtor board has many highly functioning committees that provide our members with value-added services and really enhance our clients’ experiences and hopefully benefit the community as a whole.”
Werbelow pointed to a legislative committee, which facilitates a speaker series offering a broad range of topics affecting our town and quality of life, and a philanthropic board that gives back to the community in the form of scholarships and additional sponsorships.
“The Park City Realtors are a hardworking passionate group; I look forward to finding unique opportunities to rally us around nurturing this special community we call home.”
By Amy Roberts