Industry News

The making of a merger

Co-owner of largest Sotheby's franchise shares art of the deal

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Equitable Sotheby's International Realty in Scottsdale, Ariz., has merged with Russ Lyon Real Estate Co. in Scottsdale to form the largest franchise in the Sotheby's network. The franchise network, a part of Realogy Corp., has about 9,500 sales associates in about 485 offices in the United States and 32 other countries and territories. The following is an Inman News interview with John Vatistas, who founded Equitable Real Estate in 2005 and in October 2007 became the first Arizona affiliate of Sotheby's International Realty. Vatistas is now co-owner and co-chairman of the new company, Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty, along with co-owner and co-chairman Jim Lyon. Q: How long has this merger been in the making? A: Five months. It took four months and three weeks longer than it should have, but it was well worth it. Q: Why is it a good fit for both companies? A: Our agents and management team from both companies are made from the same ilk. We competed intensely aga...