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RISMEDIA, Jan. 16, 2007-The sale of Rancho El Cojo and Jalama Ranch, adjoining properties north of Santa Barbara whose collective 24,000+ acres feature nine miles of ocean coastline, 20 square miles of rolling hills and the landmark Point Conception Lighthouse, was announced by Sotheby's International Realty, Inc. The firm's Santa
Barbara office represented the seller. Sotheby's International Realty, Inc. listed the properties at $155 million, a record for non-commercial property, according to the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service.

The final sale price is confidential at the request of the buyer, who worked with Kerry Mormann & Associates.

Sotheby's International Realty, Inc. closed the sale on Jan. 9, following a short nine-month campaign involving hundreds of qualified inquiries and four offers among three potential buyers. Previously, Rancho El Cojo and Jalama Ranch were represented separately by different brokers. Sotheby's International Realty, Inc. secured both listings in April 2006 and determined to combine them to create a single, premium offering.

"Our goal was to fashion the finest real estate opportunity on the West Coast and present it to the world," said Kathryn A. Korte, president and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty, Inc. "Each ranch on its own had extraordinary attributes, and combined, they offered a value proposition that rarely has been seen, and likely won't be seen again," added Suzanne Perkins and Dan Johnson, co-listing agents on the property.

Both ranches were owned for decades by the Bixby Ranch Company-Rancho El Cojo since 1912, and Jalama Ranch since 1937.

The Campaign
After being named exclusive listing broker for the seller in April 2006, Sotheby's International Realty, Inc. re-conceived the marketing of the properties to emphasize a unifying vision of their value.

"With a property of this scale, it was easy to get caught up in tactical issues that could bog down the psychology of the opportunity," Perkins said. "However, we realized our job was to create excitement – to make sure potential buyers grasped the unique value of something this vast and extraordinary."

One breakthrough tactic used by the Sotheby's International Realty, Inc. team was arranging property tours by helicopter.

"Seeing the property by ranch truck defeated our purpose – prospects would drive for hours to reach a single boundary, after which they were tired and ready to stop, having witnessed only a fraction of the total experience," Perkins said. "Viewing the ranches by helicopter was both educational and exhilarating."

Qualified prospective buyers were required to charter the helicopter themselves, a practice designed to further ensure that only serious prospects participated.

"It's fair to say that candidates with a genuine interest had no problem chartering a helicopter for the tour," added Perkins. "We treated each outing as a festive occasion, bringing picnic baskets for lunches with the most spectacular ocean views."

The global recognition of the Sotheby's International Realty(R) brand, along with its strategic marketing relationship with Sotheby's auction house, helped stimulate buyer interest in Rancho El Cojo and Jalama Ranch on four continents. Before the U.S.-based buyer prevailed, the company worked with potential clients from Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Denmark, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Canada, Brazil and
Argentina.

At the same time, Sotheby's International Realty, Inc.'s longstanding presence in Santa Barbara County helped ensure sensitivity to local community and environmental concerns. Rancho El Cojo includes 57 legal lots certified by the County of Santa Barbara under Bixby ownership, along with significant development restrictions and environmental protections.

"We made sure that prospective buyers were as sympathetic as possible to the seller's wishes to preserve the integrity of the property," said co-listing agent Johnson. "We took into account not only the importance of the ranch, but also the perspectives of Santa Barbara County, the State of California, the federal government, local Native Americans, environmental groups and neighboring ranches. We knew we had connections to individual buyers with the wherewithal to purchase the property and an interest in retaining its pristine quality and focused our marketing accordingly."

For more information, visit http://www.siroffices.com.

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