Arizona Merger Creates Largest Sotheby's International Realty(R) Network Member

June 05, 2008 // Franchising.com // PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced that Equitable Sotheby's International Realty in Scottsdale, Ariz., has merged with Arizona's legendary real estate icon, Russ Lyon Realty Company in Scottsdale, Ariz., creating the brand's largest network member.

The newly combined firm will do business as Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty, with nearly 1,000 agents serving the Scottsdale and Phoenix metropolitan areas as well as Flagstaff and Sedona.

John N. Vatistas, former owner of Equitable Sotheby's International Realty, now is co-owner and co-chairman of Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty. Jim Lyon, former owner of Russ Lyon Realty's Northern Arizona operations, now is co-owner and co-chairman of the new company.

Dominic Scappaticci, chief executive officer and designated broker, Equitable Sotheby's International Realty, is serving in the same role for the new company. Todd Gillenwater, Russ Lyon's former designated broker for its Northern Arizona operations, now is president of Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty.

"Luxury real estate in Arizona is a very attractive market for Sotheby's International Realty clients globally," says Michael R. Good, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC. "We are excited about the merging of these two outstanding firms that embody our brand's focus on exceptional client service."

Vatistas founded Equitable Real Estate in 2005, and in October 2007 it became the first Arizona real estate firm to affiliate with the Sotheby's International Realty brand, doing business as Equitable Sotheby's International Realty.

"This collaboration brings to the table Russ Lyon's six decades as a major force in Arizona's luxury home real estate market and the Sotheby's International Realty brand's years of serving affluent clients around the world," said Vatistas. "We consider our newly combined company to be the best option for luxury real estate in the state of Arizona."

Russ Lyon Realty Company was founded in 1947 by Russ Lyon, Sr. It evolved into a statewide professional real estate company operating 10 offices in the Phoenix and Scottsdale Valley and four independently-owned and operated franchises in Prescott, Sedona and Flagstaff.

"We merged with Equitable Sotheby's International Realty to create a powerhouse company by incorporating their world-renowned Sotheby's International Realty affiliation, their technology and their entrepreneurial spirit, which together with our solid tradition of excellence, creates a synergy that is unmatched in service to our associates and clients," said Jim Lyon.

The Sotheby's International Realty network currently has more than 9,500 sales associates located in more than 485 offices in the United States and 32 other countries and territories. Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty listings will be marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global Web site. In addition to more referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from these sources, the firm will benefit from an association with the Sotheby's auction house and worldwide Sotheby's International Realty marketing programs.

Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty's main office is located at 8700 N. Gainey Center Dr., Suite #150, Scottsdale, Ariz., 85258 and can be reached at (480) 778-8000.

About Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC

Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby's International Realty network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. In February 2004, Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services, entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby's, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby's International Realty name and the development of a full franchise system by Realogy's subsidiary, Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC. Affiliations in the system are granted only to brokerages and individuals meeting strict qualifications. Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC supports its affiliates with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby's auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.

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