Long Realty Cares Foundation funds respite patio for TMC staffers

In a time of unprecedented stress, Tucson Medical Center staffers now have a private space to relax, refresh and recharge—thanks to a donation from the Long Realty Cares Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Southern Arizona’s leading residential real estate company.  

The “Heal the Healers” patio was designed and built by the TMC Foundation, using a $40,000 grant from the Long foundation. In work for a year, the space repurposes an existing patio area to provide TMC doctors, nurses and other staffers with a place of respite.

Heal the Healer ribbon cutting

On hand for the Sept. 17 ribbon cutting were TMC executives and staff; the Long Realty Cares Foundation board members; and Reneé Gonzales, CEO of Long Companies.

Per a TMC Foundation statement, the patio is “a place where our health-care heroes can go to meditate, practice yoga, enjoy a peaceful lunch, or simply sit down and enjoy the ambiance. It includes a new space with artificial turf where employees can meditate and practice yoga, and lounge tables and chairs for employees to sit down and eat a meal.”

“On behalf of its many donors, the Long Realty Cares Foundation is grateful to those health-care professionals who are on the front lines of the pandemic,” said Thom Melendez, foundation board president. “This is but a small way to thank each of you for your dedication to our community.”

Established in 2002, the foundation has given more than $3.5 million, which goes to support hundreds of community groups focused on education, health, community services, the arts and the environment. The foundation is funded by Long Companies and contributions from agents and employees.

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Long Realty’s Lisa Bayless funds robotics program for area schools

Lisa Bayless

Renowned for her donation of two police dogs to the Oro Valley Police Dept., Long Realty’s Lisa Bayless shifts her philanthropy from the biological to the electromechanical with her latest gift: a $25,000-plus grant to Pima County schools to fund a pilot elementary-school robotics program.  

Bayless’ donation brings the STEMAZing/SARSEF Elementary Edison Robotics Pilot to fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms in three area school districts. The pilot program will supply more than 500 Edison educational robots, classroom sets of robotics books and supporting supplies, plus two full days of professional-development training for the participating teachers.

The orange, two-wheeled, sandwich-sized, child-friendly programmable robots are designed to introduce the principles of robotics, computer programming and engineering. And it doesn’t stop there: Lessons will cross subject-area boundaries into language arts, social studies, math and everything in between.

Participating teachers will receive a robot for each student—around 30 per class—plus one more for the teacher.

Four of the six schools are in the Amphitheater Public Schools district: Copper Creek, Donaldson and Harelson Elementary, plus Innovation Academy. Dove Mountain CSTEM K-8 is in Marana Unified; Oyama Elementary is in Tucson Unified. Twenty teachers will take part in the pilot project.

Established in 2013, the STEMAZing Project is an initiative of the Pima County School Superintendent’s Office developed to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in Southern Arizona. SARSEF is perhaps best known as the organization hosting the local science fair.

“Robots are a fun way to learn, but there’s a serious purpose behind this program,” Bayless said. “It helps students and teachers from Pima County’s suburban and inner-city schools share ideas and solve problems together, both in person and by Zoom. It brings together diverse groups of people so they can collaborate and learn from one another. It builds community.”

A native Tucsonan, Oro Valley resident and head of the Lisa Bayless Team from Long Realty’s Oro Valley office, Bayless has been a sales professional since 2007. Focusing on residential properties across greater northwest Tucson, she ranks in the top one percent of all Tucson-area agents and was 2020’s top seller, by dollar volume, of all Long Realty agents. She is active with numerous nonprofits and is a past president of the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson.

The funding is part of Bayless’ “Community First” program, which returns to community causes at least $500 from each commission she earns. The program is on track to donate some $80,000 in 2021, Bayless said.

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Long Companies adds escrow to its suite of services

Never one to rest on its laurels, Long Companies has added escrow services to its “everything real estate” business model, creating a new entity, Agave Title Agency, to offer both escrow and title insurance services. Agave Title Agency opened for business on Sept. 7.

Staffing the new agency will be a cadre of veteran escrow officers and support staff. They join the crew of professionals already in place at Long Title Agency, whose operations—and decades-old tradition of service excellence—will continue with the new entity. 

About that “Agave” name – founded in 1926, Long Realty is nearing its centennial year. The name refers to the Agave americana, that sturdy desert denizen better known as the century plant. Long Realty launches the new agency in partnership with its parent company, HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. HomeServices of America has established title and escrow operations in other markets outside of Arizona.

Coordinating the new escrow organization is Erin Fitzgerald, Long Cos. director of core services. At the outset, Agave will be housed at the company’s main office to serve the Tucson and Southern Arizona markets. Plans are for Agave to grow incrementally into a statewide brand, serving the Phoenix metro area and other communities. The agency’s services are available to consumers and agents not affiliated with Long Realty.

With the new agency comes a fresh, local approach to corporate culture and operations. Dubbed “The Agave Title Way,” the escrow officers in each market will interact directly—and often—with sales agents on both sides of the transaction, and their clients, while a local back-office team provides administrative support.

The payoff: better communications and customer service, greater consistency in documentation, and a smoother experience for all parties. The model upgrades traditional escrow services, which rely on individual escrow officers and their individual processes, that can produce a sometimes-uneven experience.

“We are building an all-company local service experience, not an individual-office experience,” said Reneé Gonzales, Long Companies CEO and President of Agave Title Agency. “Our mission statement says it all. Our goal is to provide an exceptional real estate service experience that builds long-lasting relationships. Agave Title Agency is built from the ground up to deliver on that promise. We’ll be doing things the Agave Title way.”

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Long Companies steps up to help Community Food Bank

Understanding that “community” means much more than just houses, Long Companies is once again gearing up to host food-collection boxes inside its company-owned real estate offices across greater Tucson, including those in Green Valley, Sahuarita and Sierra Vista. Donations will help stock the larder of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.

A complete list of Long Realty offices is online at LongRealty.com. Those offices not identified as “independently owned & operated” are participating in the drive. Donation boxes will be available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

In addition to hosting drop-off sites throughout the region, Long Companies is sponsoring all 6,000 of the “Feed the Need” boxes, to be placed at numerous public sites within the food bank’s service area. When a given box is full it will be replaced with a fresh empty one, until the supply of boxes is exhausted.

The food drive is set to run the month of August. Especially in demand are nonperishable foods labeled as low sugar, low or no sodium, or whole grain. Pre-opened items, those packaged in glass containers, and baby food—other than cereals—cannot be accepted. Most-needed items include peanut butter; canned soup, fruit, tomato products, vegetables and meats (such as tuna and chicken); oatmeal, cereal and granola bars; condiments; cereal; packaged nuts and seeds; and rice and pasta. Monetary donations are welcome too.

“We’re so happy to be part of this important effort. Nobody in our community should go hungry, and we all need to do our part to support those who are confronting food insecurity. Please donate what you can, generously and often.”

Reneé Gonzales, Long Companies CEO
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Record Setting Tucson luxury homes sales

Leading the way in a scorching luxury market, Long Realty Co. sales professionals represented buyers or sellers in nine of the 11 Tucson-area residential sales for 2021 closing at or above the $3 million mark.

Long Realty’s sales are setting records throughout the greater metro area, from the Ventana Canyon neighborhood of Tucson proper ($4,063,564), the highest priced home sales in Tucson in 14 years, to Catalina (Miraval Resort and Spa: $3.9 million) to Oro Valley, where three of the company’s transactions involved homes on the same street in the ultra-posh Stone Canyon community. Two of those properties tied for highest price in Stone Canyon at $3.75 million.

Ventana Canyon Mountain Estates | Sold for $4,063,564 | Represented the Buyer and Seller

A perennial leader in the luxury market, Long Realty lays claim to 48.1 percent of the segment, with far more listings and buyers than any other company. Its closest competitor’s market share: 10.5 percent. In this metric, luxury is defined as homes selling for $800,000 or more.

Stone Canyon | Sold for $3,750,000 | Represented the Seller

The high-dollar sales reflect the strength of the luxury market in general. Year-to-date for 2021 there were 361 luxury closings in greater Tucson, a 187 percent increase from year-to-date 2020.

Stone Canyon | Sold for $3,750,000 | Represented the Buyer and Seller

Another measure of market “hotness”: available inventory. Luxury listings in May totaled 146, down 35 percent from May 2020, with months of inventory dropping from 11.9 months (May 2020) to 1.7 months. May closings totaled 87, up a whopping 358 percent from a year earlier, with the median price rising 10 percent, to $1,029,954. “What’s driving these incredible numbers? Lifestyle shifts, and how attractive Tucson and Arizona is for people coming from other markets” said Kevin Kaplan, Long Realty’s vice president of marketing and business development. “Our participation in nearly all of these $3 million-plus transactions shows the trust consumers place in our agents, who bring specific expertise in high-end residential listings and sales.”

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Ventana Canyon Mountain Estates record sale.

Long Realty Company once again seals its reputation as a powerhouse in luxury-home sales in the Tucson market. $4,063,564 sets the new record as the highest priced home sold in the last 14 years. The property, located in Ventana Canyon Mountain Estates at 6780 E Resort View Place, closed on June 15, represented by Long Realty agents, listing agent Leslie Heros and selling agent George Palmer. This is the 11th home to sell over $3 million in 2021.

The sophisticated seven-bedroom, eight-bath property, showcases a low-maintenance yet “exquisite desert-inspired design” of masonry construction, steel roof, and natural stone, overlooking Tucson while snug within the mountains of Ventana Canyon with incredible panoramic views. The immense 11,539 sq. ft. property, rests on land valued well over $1 million itself.

Both agents are seasoned veterans of the Tucson luxury market: Heros, licensed since 2005 sells more than 70 homes a year, a proud member of Long Realty Luxury Alliance group and the 1926 Circle of Excellence – Platinum for 2021 ranked in the top 3% of REALTORS® nationwide. Palmer, licensed since 1986 and an associate broker with Long Realty since 1989, is a member of the Director’s Circle ranking in the top 17% of REALTORS® nationwide.

Heros herself couldn’t be happier for the sale: “This is so exciting for Tucson to have a home sold for over $4 million,” she says, noting “shifts in the market, like people wanting more space this last year and Tucson becoming increasingly more enticing to people—as it deserves” as major contributing factors to the successful closing. “We are grateful for the support of the community—both within Long Realty and Tucson—and all the new people who have discovered our gem of a city over the last year.”

Leslie Heros
George Palmer

Palmer agrees: “The limited inventory in the luxury market made it difficult to find just the right home for my clients. After viewing many foothills homes, my colleague (Heros) put the perfect home for my friends on the market in Ventana Canyon. The transaction was very smooth as all parties… worked seamlessly together to complete the sale.”

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Long Realty Reaches Yet Another Sales Milestone

Two Long Realty agents continue to break expectations, recently selling a home in the Oro Valley area for $3.75 million, making it the eighth home this year to sell for over $3M. That’s more homes sold over $3M than in the last three years combined.

Long Realty represented both sides of the transaction, with Cindie Wolfe representing the buyer and Suzie Corona representing the seller. Both from the Long Realty Oro Valley office.

Situated at 1277 Tortolita Mountain Circle, in one of the most luxurious neighborhoods in Oro Valley, Stone Canyon. This four-bedroom, four-bathroom contemporary home screams luxury from the moment you walk in. This property closed at $3.75 million on 5/18/21, tying for the record of the highest priced home sold in 2021.

Cindie Wolfe has been with Long Realty for 19 years now at Long Realty’s Oro Valley office and is a member of the Luxury Alliance. She previously sold a house for $2.5 million in 2015 and works with buyers and sellers to facilitate more than $100 million in sales for the company.

Suzie Corona is a specialist salesperson since 1999 and specialized in the Stone Canyon area since 2002. She also works at the Oro Valley office. She is a member of the 1926 Circle of Excellence, Platinum level, Long Realty Luxury Alliance, and holds a career sales record of more than $250 million, including the previous record-breaking $3.75 million property sale in March 2021.

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Long Realty West Valley has been named BEST REALTOR by the Sun City Independent.

Stars of Sun City West 2021 has named Long Realty West Valley as Best Realtor

Sun City residents have voted and the results are in. The Sun City Independent announced the winners of the 2021 Stars of Sun City West on Wednesday, April 28th. Congratulations Long Realty West Valley for the win in the BEST REALTOR category.

Describe your business: Long Realty West Valley opened for business in 2009 with offices in Sun City West and Surprise. With the acquisition of Tempus West Valley Realty on March 1, 2021, we enhanced our position of market leader in all three communities combined.

What is your business philosophy? Positively impact people’s lives by providing exception-al service. Create an exceptional real estate services experience that builds long-lasting relationships. Provide exceptional ser-vice above and beyond what is expected. Give back to the communities we serve.

What do you want your customers to feel after they have come to your location? I want them to feel valued, respected and heard. I want them satisfied that all of their expectations were not just met, but exceeded. I want each and every person to feel as if all of their needs and goals were serviced with dignity, style and grace.

What is your biggest opportunity? To provide all clientele with exceptional real estate service in this fast-paced, challenging market. Maintain a good reputation and continue hiring outstanding Realtors who attract and serve buyers and sellers.

Biggest challenge: Continuing to grow the business while also maintaining our customer focus and one-on-one relationship with each and every one of our customers.

What is the most import-ant business lesson you were taught? Promote and protect the client’s interest and success will follow. There is no greater aspiration than helping other obtain their dreams. Being a catalyst for helping dreams come true is truly a great achievement.

Long Realty West Valley | 13551 W. Camino Del Sol, Sun City West, AZ 85375
(623) 209-2900 | LongRealtySunCityWest.com

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Long Realty’s Suzie Corona closes huge Stone Canyon sale

Long Realty Co.sales agent Suzie Corona celebrates her biggest sale yet with the March 12 closing on a near-record-price estate in the exclusive Stone Canyon golf community, nestled within Oro Valley’s Rancho Vistoso development.

Located at 474 W Tortolita Mountain Circle, the property closed at its full listing price of $3.75 million, just missing the Stone Canyon record set in 2008 by a $3.8 million sale. The home went from listing to contract in just seven days.

The four-bedroom, five-bath, single-family property—described in marketing literature as “an entertainer’s dream home”—expresses a contemporary design with expansive walls of glass for unobstructed access to just about every view Southern Arizona has to offer: city, mountain, desert and golf.

Situated adjacent to Stone Canyon’s famed golf course, the 5,938-square-foot home is on a 1.37-acre lot. The original house—since expanded—was built in 2006 as a featured home in Stone Canyon’s edition of the Seattle-based Street of Dreams fine-building showcase and charity fundraiser.

A Stone Canyon specialist licensed as a salesperson since 1999, Corona is with Long Realty’s Oro Valley office. She’s a member of the 1926 Circle of Excellence, Platinum level, for 2021—an honor reserved for the company’s highest-performing agents. Corona works with buyers, sellers, investors and banks and holds a career sales record north of $250 million, including nearly a dozen seven-figure properties.

Corona has been representing properties in Stone Canyon since 2002, when she started working with the developer.

“This is a fabulous sale and I’m sure there’s more to come,” said Kevin Kaplan, Long Realty’s vice president of marketing and technology. “Suzie provides top representation at every level of residential real estate, from modest to multimillion. Given her reputation for honesty and professionalism, it’s no surprise her business comes mostly by referral.”

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Long Realty agents on both sides of huge Stone Canyon sale

By far the sales leader in the Southern Arizona luxury-home market, Long Realty Co. once again demonstrates the power of its collaborative culture as three of its affiliated sales professionals—from the same office—come together to represent both sides of the biggest transaction in more than a decade in the exclusive Stone Canyon community.

The listing agents were Brenda O’Brien and her son Michael Lynch, of the Brenda O’Brien Team, with Barbara Bardach representing the buyer. All three agents are with Long Realty’s Oro Valley office, where both O’Brien and Lynch serve as associate brokers. A Stone Canyon resident, Bardach had a buyer (who had been referred by a mutual friend) and contacted Brenda even before the listing went public on MLS.

Located at 1130 W. Tortolita Mountain Circle, in the guard-gated golf community within Oro Valley’s Rancho Vistoso development, the property sold for $3.2 million, with a closing date of Feb. 19. The transaction is the biggest in Stone Canyon since 2008, when another home—on the same street—sold for $3.8 million.

Featured on the cover of a recent issue of the Luxury Living section of Homes & Land Magazine, the four-bedroom, six-bath home overlooks the 15th fairway of Stone Canyon’s championship course near the southern edge of the Tortolita Mountains. The 7,312-square-foot main house offers a host of amenities—a 17-foot-high entry hall, dedicated theater room, four-car garage, fully equipped outdoor-living area and a family room overlooking the 15th fairway of the Jay Morrish-designed Stone Canyon golf course, to name a few. There’s a 564-square foot guest house, too.

None of the agents are strangers to the luxury market: All three have listings—and closings—north of the $3 million mark. Bardach currently represents the Seller of a $3.25 million property also in Stone Canyon; in 2005, Brenda O’Brien sold an estate for $3.7 million, then the highest-price property in Tucson. All are members of Long Realty’s 1926 Circle of Excellence for 2021, Platinum level—the highest rung on the company’s ladder of honors for sales production.

Mother and Son team, O’Brien and Lynch,  began their real estate careers in Alaska in the early 1990s before relocating to a warmer climate. Bardach built a career as a top hi-tech sales executive in Silicon Valley and as a labor-relations negotiator before moving to Tucson in 2000, “flunking retirement” in 2004 and becoming a REALTOR® in 2005.

What’s it like to negotiate with another agent from the same office? “We’re not on opposing sides,” Brenda O’Brien said. “We’re working together for a common goal. There’s a willing seller and a willing buyer. We’re the instruments that help them get through the process.”

Bardach seconded the idea. “Our work together was professional, cordial and collaborative,” she said.  “This sale illustrates one reason Long Realty leads the market,” said Kevin Kaplan, the company’s vice president of marketing and technology. “Our agents are the utmost professionals and know the path to success is to work together to facilitate transactions that are fair for buyers and sellers alike. This collaborative culture, along with our leading international marketing exposure and knowledge of the market have led us to consistently be the number one luxury real estate company in Tucson, selling almost fifty percent of the luxury homes.”

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