Sunday, April 26, 2015

Davis agents are selling wheel estate

Sacha Laurin and her husband Erik pedal through South Davis with real estate agent Leslie Tuel, rear, on a foggy day in late January. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

February 24, 2011 |

Team Leslie, a pair of Davis real estate agents, have put a new spin on the traditional tour of homes for sale.

Rather than zipping down the street in a car, agents Leslie Tuel and Leslie Blevins offer clients the option of touring homes by bike.

Pedaling through a neighborhood, potential home buyers can slow down and get a better sense of the community. They can hear children playing in the park, see residents walking their dogs, feel the warm breeze and smell someone’s backyard barbecue wafting over the fence.

“You miss so much when you are confined in your car, rather than out in nature,” Tuel said.

Above all, Tuel and Blevins of Coldwell Banker-Doug Arnold Real Estate strive to make the process of buying a home easy and fun.

Davis, often referred to as the bicycling capital of the United States, seemed a perfect place for the pedaling alternative.

The pair got the idea from Blevins’ mother, who sent them an article about another agent doing the same thing in Colorado.

“After reading it, we turned to each other and said, ‘This is perfect.’ What better place than in Davis?” Tuel said.

With more than 100 bike paths, the city welcomes all ages to saddle up. Tuel and Blevins have purchased a fleet of bikes to encourage their clients to try this new approach when searching for a home to buy.

Recognizing the importance of efficient transportation, Team Leslie has been out cycling the local neighborhoods and encouraging clients to do the same. The consensus of both Tuel and Blevins is that there is an extreme difference in the overall experience when you bike as opposed to drive.

“It’s more personable this way,” Blevins said. “We love interacting with our clients, and biking just brings out the best in people. When you are doing the activity together, it makes the difference. We really want our clients to experience how amazing Davis is, and because biking is such a huge part of the Davis life, we have been able to show that along with our homes.”

In addition to enjoying biking with clients, the agents also have found that biking relieves stress.

“We know the process (of buying a home) is stressful, and we have found that biking (puts) our clients at ease (and) relieves that extra stress that often can accompany them when looking for a home,” Tuel said.

This alternative has reminded the team that the home is not the only factor in a real estate purchase. Buyers also make decisions based on the neighborhood and the overall community environment. On a bike, potential buyers become a part of that environment.

“I’ve had so many people come up to me and say that they wish they had worked with us after hearing about the biking option,” Blevins said. “I think people are refreshed by the idea of being outdoors and active when viewing the town and how unique this feature is to Davis.”

Clients Sacha Laurin and her husband Erik Laurin couldn’t agree more. The couple had talked about selling their home and buying a new one, but it wasn’t until they met Tuel that they were sure.

“We’ve been so impressed with her,” Sacha Laurin said. “From the moment we met there was an instant connection. My confidence in her allowed me to create a trust that is often hard to build.”

The couple, who recently braved a foggy day for their tour, still appreciated the biking approach and enjoyed doing it side by side with Tuel and Blevins.

“It is so refreshing,” Sacha Laurin said. “They really provide a united front, both on and off the bike. Throughout the entire experience we felt like they had our back and were honest in each step.”

Tuel and Blevins show homes by both bike and car, depending on the client’s preferences. For more on Team Leslie, visit their website at



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