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Agency, Architecture, Business, Community, COVID-19, Entertainment, Inspiration, Real Estate

Russ Lyon SIR 2020 Recap

2020 may have been a year like no other and that certainly rings true when it comes to breaking and setting new residential real estate records.  Arizona’s leader in luxury real estate, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty is proud to announce it closed the year with a record-breaking $5.32 billion in total sales. That is the highest yearly number ever recorded in the company’s history for total sales volume. 

Among the impressive 2020 sales, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty represented both the buyer and seller for the highest residential sale in Arizona’s history at $24,100,000 during the fall of this year and represented the seller of the notable David and Gladys Wright House.

In 2020, the luxury brokerage closed a total of 7,247 transactions state-wide with the average sales price at $734,008

View the Top 20 Sales of 2020 for Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty here:

The brokerage has been in business since 1947.  73 years later there are now 950 agents and 13 offices state-wide.  In 2020, agents and the various offices were recognized more than 100 times for a variety of industry awards. 

But most importantly, during 2020 when many charities were struggling, the Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation was honored and named one of Arizona’s Largest Philanthropists with more than 3,750 volunteer hours, as well as donating more $108,492 to charity.

There is no doubt, 2020 has been a year to remember. It has been a year of great hardships, great triumphs and the greatest year of giving by our agents, staff and managers. We are incredibly proud of our family of agents and these tremendous numbers and record breaking sales shows Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty continues to be the dominant leader in Arizona’s luxury real estate market.

Jim Lyon, Chairman of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s INternational Realty

Additional noteworthy achievements for Russ Lyon SIR in 2020:

  • CEO and co-owner Todd Gillenwater was named an AZ Business Leader
  • President and Designated Broker, Deems Dickinson, was named to the 2020 Swanepoel Power 200 List
  • The Russ Lyon SIR Relocation department received Cartus Platinum Status for their 2019 efforts
  • The brokerage was involved in 520 headlines
  • The brokerage received 1,642 earned media placements
  • The in-house marketing department created over 13,502 pieces for their Real Estate Advisors
  • 21 issues of their signature publication, Properties of Arizona, have been published
  • The in-house IT department developed a new communications platform, Lyon Text
  • The brokerage implemented a proprietary online platform, Lyon Connect, for marketing, production stats, listing data, tech tools and more.
Community, Inspiration

Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty Recognized by Phoenix Business Journal For Significant 2019 Arizona Charitable Contributions

The Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation, a subsidiary of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, is proud to be recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal for its notable monetary contributions and impressive volunteer programs from 2019.

For more than 70 years the agents and employees of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty have been involved in community service work and charitable organizations throughout Arizona. Inspired by the generosity and service work of numerous agents, the Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation was formed in 2014 and operates through every office within the company and across Arizona. The Foundation’s Board of Directors includes nine members with an Advisory Council comprised of representatives from each Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty office. 

The Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation was ranked #13 for the Largest Phoenix-Area Corporate Volunteer Programs with over 3,750 volunteer hours in 2019, which included the volunteer hours by sales associates and employees during various charitable activities.   

One of the primary goals of the Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation is to provide valuable and meaningful service work within Arizona communities, as well as charitable investments. Within each Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty office there is a team of Volunteer Corps also known as V-Corps. V-Corps are comprised of agents, employees and management that volunteer their time together to provide help for those in need. Over the past six years, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty agents have volunteered hundreds of hours to communities across Arizona.

The Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation was also ranked #21 for the Largest Phoenix-Area Corporate Philanthropists, contributing over $108,000 to Arizona charities in 2019.

Since the Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation began more than $500,000 in donations have gone to dozens of 501c3 Arizona-based charitable organizations through direct donations, service work, sponsorships, matching funds and fundraisers. 100 percent of Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation’s donations and charitable investments are directed to charitable organizations. 

The Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation strives to improve lives and communities of those in need while spreading compassion and kindness within our state. We are very grateful to be in a position to give back and have the ability to assist organizations that provide essential resources to communities and individuals in dire need.

Todd Gillenwater, CEO of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty and Founder of the Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation. 
Agency, Architecture, Art, Business, COVID-19, Education, Entertainment, Inspiration, Real Estate, Technology, Travel

Russ Lyon SIR January Newsletter

Every Car Needs A Home: The new year means it’s auto season here in Arizona! Things may seem a bit different this season as some shows and auctions have decided to change their dates and host a more intimate setting for health and safety, but we’ve got a line up of lavish estates to get any car lover ramped up. Read more here

Home is Where the Heart Is: Whether by necessity or choice, home is not just our place of comfort and relaxation. Home is now our office, our gym, our favorite restaurant, our date night and more homebuyers and owners have discovered that their next purchase or renovation needs to match and accommodate their new lifestyle of being at home more than ever. Read more here

Design Trends of 2021: Elle Decor asked designers and industry veterans what they are forecasting as the top design trends moving forward into 2021. A neutral palette, relaxed seating, state-of-the-art entertainment equipment, and substantial dining tables are just a few of the trends that have emerged from all these days spent at home. Read more here

Sophisticated and Snug: 6 home features to chase away the chill this winter. With the winter months upon us, now is the time to create warm and cozy spaces for relaxing on chilly nights. While there are many tried and true strategies for making winter bright (with a steaming mug of mulled wine at the top of the list), set a foundation with inviting interior design. Whether you’re giving your current rooms a makeover or thinking ahead on inspiration, here are five sophisticated features to help welcome in the cheer. Read more here

Explore Switzerland: Every day, Sylvia Michel and her fluffy White Swiss Shepherd Rasta go on a hike through the perfect hills and valleys of Switzerland, and they take their Instagram followers along for the ride. Since COVID19 has kept many people in self isolation, travel-lovers around the world have been living vicariously through Rasta the dog’s daily adventures. Read more here

Upcoming Auctions: Following the guidelines for the Phase Four reopening of Manhattan, Sotheby’s is able to accommodate clients in their building by appointment only. For interest in upcoming auctions, to preview, or bid, click here.

Architecture, Art, Business, Inspiration, Real Estate

Alejandro GUTIERREZ and Lucas Walls Represent the Seller of the Zen Home for $3,500,000

Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, Arizona’s leader in luxury real estate – is proud to announce the sale of “The Zen Home” in Sedona. 

Located in the majestic red rock scenery and evergreen vegetation of Sedona, this one-of-a-kind home boasts 5,1771-square-feet combining serenity with distinctive architectural design by Paul Froncek

This five-bedroom, four-bathroom estate was meticulously crafted with the principles of the Feng Shui Bagua Map using 300-year-old wood posts and beams that support all nine centers of the dwelling. One of the home’s notable features includes a large quartz crystal enclosed in a copper chamber located in the living room that connects to the foundation of the house. The crystal has many beneficial uses, including aiding the homeowners with manifesting healing, meditation and protection, as well as purifying negative energy from the house.    

The exquisite home includes Zen-like patios with hanging beds and massive hand-carved wooden doors/screens that seamlessly integrate the indoor spaces with the outdoor greenery to create an enriched living experience. The privacy of this 1.33-acre property includes gardens, a solar heated pool, and guest house that invites visitors to spend time enjoying the breathtaking views of the red rocks.

This house is timeless. It was a privilege to represent this iconic dwelling that incorporates the beauty of Sedona’s red rocks with masterfully crafted Zen characteristics to creates the perfect peaceful retreat.

Alejandro Gutierrez and Lucas Walls

There is a long list of amenities awaiting guests in the Sedona estate. A huge multi-purpose meeting room stands across the main house with wood and flagstone floors with radiant heating. The home also incorporates intricate rock work in the bathrooms, fireplaces, kitchen and other rooms.

Architecture, Art, Business, COVID-19, Education, Entertainment, Fitness, Inspiration, Real Estate

Russ Lyon SIR December Newsletter

Physical distancing mandates put in place by government and health officials suspended much of the in-person interactions that businesses rely on, and stay-at-home orders made technology imperative. Technology has never been more important than it is right now. When the stakes are high and deals are on the line, clients want to know trusted agents have the tools to get the job done and agents want to know that their brokerage is going to support them. Read more

The holidays will look and feel a bit different this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but that does not mean holiday traditions have to stop. Some of the best light displays around Arizona have already opened for the season, while others are preparing to open in the next few weeks. Here is our list of fun, festive light shows and experiences to check out! View our list

Marissa Mullen brings holiday inspiration to your traditional meat and cheese plate. The trend-setting, cheese-loving influencer is decking the halls with the charcuter-wreath, charcuterie chalet (formerly known as the ginger bread house) and charcutertree. Whether your ready to be inspired for an upcoming holiday soiree or are just craving something fun and new, check out That Cheese Plate and Cheese by Numbers and sign up for a That Cheese Class.

Holiday 10? Quarantine 15? We’ve all heard about it…Who says you have to go to a gym to get exercise? Or even venture outside the house? From virtual training to live streaming, luxury at-home fitness is on the rise. Fitness enthusiasts furnish home gyms with NordicTrack equipment, as well as free weights, benches, yoga mats, jumping ropes, and punching bags, among other accessories. Matrix Fitness features a portfolio of gym-quality cardio and strength equipment including ascent trainers and treadmills. Read more

Who says your WFH space needs to be all work and no play? Catching up on work from the living room sofa always seemed like a pleasure—up until it became a full-time affair. With companies like Facebook and Twitter leading the charge to make working from home the new normal, the home office is finally top of mind once again. Whether used every day of the week or for an occasional evening brainstorm, a well-designed space can help shut out distractions, center the mind, and inspire creativity. Read more

You can wander into the belly of an Egyptian pyramid, explore the house where Mozart was born, or fly over the rocky peaks of Glacier National Park. Sure, you’ll be looking at a screen, but you’ll see new places, hear new languages and pick up some interesting tidbits about other cultures. Call it a warm-up for that moment when you’ll actually be packing your bags and heading out for your next adventure. View here

Sotheby’s is honoured to present A Celebration of Art Deco: Masterworks from the Collection of Dr. Stephen E. Kelly. The collection is, at its essence, a true celebration of the modernity, sophistication, richness, and aesthetic innovation of the artistic movement that defined the first half of the 20th Century. The impeccable quality of the collection is owed to the unbridled passion and unparalleled connoisseurship of Dr. Stephen E. Kelly. View more auctions

Art, Business, Entertainment, Inspiration

Arizona Lights Up the Holidays

The holidays will look and feel a bit different this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but that does not mean those holiday traditions have to stop. Some of the best Christmas and holiday light displays around Arizona have already opened for the season, while others are preparing to open in the next few weeks. Here is our list of fun, festive light shows and experiences to check out!

Northern Arizona

The Valley

Southern Arizona

Canceled for 2020

  • Rawhide’s Snowy Christmas
  • Phoenix Raceway’s ZoomTown Lights
  • Lights of the World at Arizona State Fairgrounds
  • Bearizona’s Wild Wonderland
  • APS Light Parade
  • Downtown Tempe’s Fantasy of Lights parade and boat parade
  • Hometown Christmas Parade
  • Sedona – The Festival of Lights
  • Tucson- Winterhaven Festival of Lights, Tucson
  • Tohono Chul’s Holiday Nights
  • Oro Valley Holiday Festival of the Arts & Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration
  • Winterhaven Festival of Light
  • Christmas on the farm – Tucson 
  • Tucson Lights – Tucson 
  • Holiday of Lights – Flagstaff
  • Tumbleweed Tree – Chandler
  • Tinsel Town – Sedona
Business, Education, Entertainment, Fitness, Inspiration, Life

Arizona’s Wide-Open Spaces Are Still Open for Business

Arizona’s diverse and lavish landscape has always been one of the state’s biggest selling points.  From the national wonders of the Grand Canyon to the historic ghost and mining towns to the perfectly positioned saguaros and bountiful mountains, there is no shortage of beautiful scenery or outdoor recreation.  Mother Nature blessed the 48th state with hundreds of miles of vast open spaces.  The Grand Canyon state has been drawing tourists from around the world for over a century and it’s still happening today. 

Even during the pandemic, travelers and residents alike continue to show their appreciation and love for Arizona’s outdoors and all it has to offer.  While the Arizona Office of Tourism says it may take a little more than a year to get the state’s tourism back to pre-COVID levels, steps are already underway to keep Arizona’s tourism on the map for many years to come.  The office recently released a recovery plan that includes accelerating leisure travel activity statewide, stabilizing visitor volume in urban centers, and reinvigorating and strengthening tourism in rural and Tribal areas.

The foundation our industry has built through the best of times will continue to serve us through these challenging times. We’ll use the strategies outlined in our Tourism Strategic Recovery Plan to stabilize, recover and rebuild our travel industry, which supports so many Arizonans.

Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism

Among those sizzling factors that keep Arizona a hot spot for tourism – two words – The Weather!

While there’s no shoveling the sunshine here, it can certainly be counted on when it comes to aiding the state’s recovery. With the Phoenix Valley of the Sun averaging 296 days of sunshine, Tucson averaging 284, and Flagstaff averaging 264 days a year with sunshine – Arizona is the ideal state to visit for all the seasons and for all the best reasons. As many travel plans came to a halt, tourists are still making their way to explore Arizona’s parks, trails, lakes, and play its golf courses. 

Recreational state parks and trails are open to the public and continue to attract tourists, including a one-of-kind tourist destination like the cave tours at Kartchner Caverns State Park, which resumed in June.  The vast open space in Arizona will be cherished for many years to come as the national forest land covers 15% of Arizona. The state is home to 24 national parks, making day trips and weekend adventures all the rage. 

After a brief closure and a few added restrictions, our favorite backdrop and Natural Wonder of the World, the Grand Canyon National Park, is open and shuttle service is continuing.  The Grand Canyon is unmatched throughout the world for the vistas it offers visitors on the rim.  The canyon stretches an impressive 227 miles long and averages over 10 miles wide. On a normal year, Arizona’s premier National Park attracts about five million visitors per year.  For those looking to visit, the entry is through the Town of Tusayan. With plenty of available lodging in neighboring Tusayan, the community has renewed its efforts to promote local tourism to Arizona residents.

Tusayan’s Mayor-Elect, Clarinda Vail, remains optimistic, “Since the re-opening of the Grand Canyon National Park we are seeing more tourists in our community and it is a welcoming sight. At 7,000 feet in elevation, Tusayan remains a place for Arizonans seeking some relief from the heat and an opportunity to reconnect with the Grand Canyon or see it for the first time.”

Renegade Golf Course at Desert Mountain

From 5 million visitors at the canyon to 12 million rounds of golf, it is fair to say there has never been a better time to get outdoors and enjoy a round of golf.  Home to more than 300 public and private golf courses, Arizona deemed golf an essential activity allowing golf courses to remain open with new protocols set in place for physical distancing. While other sporting events such as Spring Training were cut short this year, the Arizona Golf Association managed to hold its 96th Arizona Amateur Championship in July.

This winter there’s even more reasons to fall in love with Arizona again. Arizona Snowbowl plans to open for the ski season and unveil its new high-speed Agassiz combo lift that will redefine the Snowbowl experience with six-person chairs interspersed with eight-person gondola cabins. The new lift will transport passengers up 2,000 feet of vertical in just 7 minutes – less than half the time of the existing lift.  You don’t need to wait for winter to enjoy Flagstaff’s Arizona Snowbowl. During the summer months, enjoy live music events or take in the dramatic scenery of northern Arizona from a bird’s eye view on the Grand Canyon Express lift. As the lift travels up to 10,800 feet, one can see the cinder cone volcanic field, the red rocks in Sedona, and as far as the Grand Canyon on a clear day. No matter the season or the temperature, Arizona offers some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. With its diverse topography and awe-inspiring wonders, pandemic or not, it will surely be the place visitors will return for many years to come.

Business, Education, Inspiration, Real Estate, Uncategorized

Deems Dickinson Elected to The Realty Alliance Board of Directors

Owners and principals of several of the largest real estate firms in North America during their stockholders meeting October 7 unanimously elected President and Designated Broker, Deems Dickinson, of Scottsdale based Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty (Russ Lyon SIR) to the board of directors of The Realty Alliance, a network of top-producing brokerages.

The Realty Alliance (TRA) comprises of 70 full-service, residential real estate companies, representing more than 130,000 salespeople and several thousand support staff and employees of affiliated businesses such as mortgage, title, insurance and property management. The organization allows member firms to keep their own brand, but if measured against the top names in real estate, The Realty Alliance would be in the top three in the world measured by sales volume, transactions and agent count.

Deems’ experience includes receiving REALTOR® Emeritus Status at the end of 2019 with the National Association of REALTORS® for his 40 years of membership and service which have been spent with Russ Lyon SIR. He currently sits on the Arizona Regional MLS Board of Directors as well as the Arizona Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards Committee. Most recently he has been ranked among the top 200 brokers nationwide in the Swanepoel Power 200 Ranking.

Dickinson will help plan and direct the activities of the organization, which include developing and implementing support services for member companies, as well as overseeing the network’s advocacy efforts as it works to shape policy and practice within the industry and with various lawmakers and regulators. Ultimately the group seeks to improve the homebuying experience for consumers and to help brokers and their salesforce be more efficient. Dickinson will begin his three-year term November 1.

Russ Lyon SIR joined TRA in 2003, six years after major brokerages formed the organization. The Russ Lyon SIR marketing, technology and accounting divisions participate in various TRA initiatives and conferences to collaborate with all members all over the nation.

Deems has been an active contributor to The Realty Alliance for many years. He and his firm have demonstrated thought leadership within our organization and through the growth of their own company during the challenges of the last several years. His perspective will be valuable as our board looks to provide guidance to our member companies in the coming months to help them adjust to changing consumer needs and expectations and to opportunities created by new technologies and new business models.

Craig Cheatham, President and CEO of The Realty Alliance

Business, Education, Entertainment, Inspiration, Life

Jeff Fields Wins National Award for Preventing Teen Suicide

The National Association of Realtors® today announced Jeff Fields, with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Scottsdale, as one its five 2020 Good Neighbor Award winners. As a volunteer and past board president of nonprofit Teen Lifeline, Fields has served more than 28,000 youth through a peer-to-peer teen crisis hotline while providing community education on suicide prevention.

NAR’s Good Neighbor Awards honor 10 Realtors® annually for making an extraordinary impact on their communities through volunteer work. Over the past 21 years, the Good Neighbor Awards program has awarded nearly $1.4 million in grants to more than 200 Realtor®-led nonprofits. Their impact has been felt in 40 states, 15 countries and in Puerto Rico. 

Our Good Neighbor Award winners leave a remarkable impact on their communities every year, but everything these Realtors® have done in 2020 is even more impressive and more commendable. I am proud to honor Jeff Fields for dedicating his time and passion to giving hope to teens who had none.” 

NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, Calif.

Fields became passionate about saving teens from what he calls “the most preventable death” after losing several friends to suicide. To read his full story, go to magazine.realtor/JeffFields.   

With the award, Fields will receive a $10,000 grant for his charity and will be featured in the November-December issue of Realtor® Magazine. In lieu of the traditional ceremony held every year at the REALTORS® Conference and Expo, each winner will also be honored by their local Realtor® associations over the coming months. 

Art, Education, Entertainment, Inspiration

The Perfect Fall Bucket List

CONNECT WITH YOUR INNER FOODIE

Pinterest has a plethora of recipes to choose from!

  • Try a new soup
  • Bake a pie
  • Host a dessert night
  • Make pumpkin pancakes or bread
  • Get your PSL on
  • Enjoy hot cocoa or apple cider
  • Roast pumpkin seeds
  • Make s’mores
  • Eat ginger cake

ENJOY THE WEATHER

  • Go for a walk
  • Visit a fair, festival or farm
  • Take a hayride
  • Walk a corn maze
  • Rake leaves
  • Jump in the leaves you just raked
  • Collect leaves and pine cones for decor
  • Take fun family photos outside
  • Plant a fall/winter garden

STAY WARM

  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Make Fall crafts
  • Watch a seasonal movie
  • Make a peanut butter feeder with the pine cones you collected
  • Read a new book
  • Tell scary stories
  • Decorate your home for Fall