by Bob Kennemer
LA VETA — Many World Journal readers are likely aware of Bachman and Associates, a real estate firm based in La Veta. That might be because this real estate firm sells more property in Huerfano County than all other area real estate firms combined. Additionally, Eric Bachman is well known for his local philanthropy and business savvy.
Bachman and Associates was Eric’s second round with the real estate business in Huerfano County. Along with retired realtor Bob Pierotti, Eric founded Spoon River Real Estate. Eric went on to create another successful real estate firm in Vail, before coming back to La Veta.
According to Jerry Henson, “The Spanish Peaks MLS Award is presented to the broker who exemplifies and embodies the very best personal, professional and community involvement for our industry. The best traits that make a realtor.” Henson added, “I first met Eric when we [Henson and his wife Liz] were beginning to plan a possible move to this area. He was our realtor. While we explored land and business opportunities in La Veta, Eric encouraged me to join his firm and the team at Bachman & Associates. I accepted and soon realized that it would become one of the best decisions I had ever made. Now, 20 years later, both Liz and I look back at his guidance, friendship, and encouragement to us in our own real estate efforts. How lucky were we.
Annalee Hickey has known Eric since her childhood when he dated her mother. Ultimately, Hickey ended up working for Eric. Recently, she and another Bachman realtor, Joe Eden, purchased the firm from Eric.
Hickey had this to share about Eric, “When I graduated from CU in 2005 and came back to La Veta to start ‘adulting’ as a social worker, Eric approached me hoping I would consider becoming a broker for him. At that time that did not even seem like an option. I went on to work for both Huerfano County Youth Services and Sangre De Cristo Hospice. Eric went on asking me to consider being a broker every year for the next eight years, until one day I decided I was ready for a change and, ironically, my husband Russell was also ready for a change. In 2013 we both became Broker Associates for Eric. We took to it right away! We love real estate as it was just a natural fit for both of us.”
In speaking with a variety of local business owners, a consistent theme emerged; Eric knows business. Again we hear from Hickey, “Eric is easygoing in business… until he isn’t. You knew it if something was serious ‘cuz he would be cussing like a sailor at the weekly meeting! All in all, as a leader, Eric was fair, compassionate and savvy at helping solve problems… Eric likes win-win solutions and is good at finding them.”
Another business owner shared this, “When I first opened a retail specialty store in La Veta in the 90s, I was going to be closed on Sundays and Mondays. Eric pulled me aside and said, ‘In this market, you make most of your money in the 90 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You need to be open seven days a week for the summer months at the very least.’ Eric was right. I stayed open seven days a week not only in the summer, but for nine months of the year and it worked!”
One other constant theme was repeated over and over, that being Eric’s love and support for the community. “Eric is a wonderful example of a community involved professional real estate broker. Not only is he successful in his own business efforts, he has always given back to our community as well,” states Henson. “Over the years he has led many volunteer efforts both large and small, such as supporting Downtown Beautification, La Veta Tree Board, sponsoring a Walsenburg bowling team, hosting large fund raisers for Haiti Relief, Katrina, Cuchara Mountain Resort and much more,” added Henson.
Hickey echoed Henson’s sentiments, “Eric loves giving back to the community that gave him lots of success. Over the years he has literally donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to worthy causes, both large and small.” Hickey noted Eric’s eye for quality and talent, “Eric loves to provide opportunity and showcase people’s talent. Whether you are a painter, a photographer, or a landscaper; if you were good at what you do, Eric will commission you to provide something for his real estate business.”
Successful businessman, mentor, philanthropist and community supporter are but some of the words that describe Eric Bachman, the 2017 winner of the Spanish Peaks MLS Broker of the Year award.