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RISMEDIA, July 30, 2007–It’s become a playground for the affluent. Beyond the glitz of
‘The Strip’, Las Vegas has grown into a sophisticated city with a high number of affluent people moving to the area. RISMedia recently sat down with longtime Broker James Beasley to discuss what’s on the minds of these home buyers and sellers and how he maintains a successful business targeting this important niche.

James Beasley 
Principal Broker/Partner
Beasley & DeVarreau Sotheby’s International Realty
Las Vegas, Nevada

In real estate since: 1988  Number of offices: 3, plus a project sales office  Number of agents: 30  Average sales price: $1 million  Average listing time: 90-180 days  Most creative thing you ever did to market a home: “I built a $3.5 million custom home with Bob Vila called the ‘Dot-Com Dream Home.’”  I love the region where I work because: “I had a vision that Las Vegas was going to become an international destination back when I started in the business and the opportunities in this town—especially in the luxury markets—are the best anywhere in the world.”  The best professional advice I’ve ever received is: “You really only get one chance to make a first impression, so do everything first class.”

Why are people relocating to your market? I think 60% of our business this year will be second-home business. Those relocating are looking for the lifestyle. We have some incredibly beautiful suburban areas with some amazingly good private and public schools. The area has a lot to offer. Anybody who moves from California gets an automatic pay raise because there are no state taxes here.  I’ve seen Las Vegas grow up into an amazingly sophisticated city with a tremendous number of affluent people moving here.

What’s on the minds of home buyers and sellers in your region? A lot of the negative press about the national market has contributed to a downturn in our market. Today is certainly one of the best times to buy or sell real estate in Las Vegas. While some speculators got caught up in the boom, prices have generally adjusted. I see this as a very opportunistic market if clients can visualize selling a bit lower now and re-buying more advantageous property at a similarly lower price.

Tell us a bit about your experience selling Las Vegas’s most expensive home last year. What’s most important when dealing with any affluent or celebrity clients is to respect his or her anonymity. While it would certainly be a wonderful marketing tool to publicize our handling of these clients, the Sotheby’s International Realty® network has a tradition of being discreet. Sotheby’s International Realty agents have represented some of the most affluent people in the world, who are savvy and refined.

Does it take a specific kind of sales professional to be successful in dealing with the personalities of the ultra-rich? Las Vegas certainly does have its unique culture of affluence, and it is something I try to help my agents handle in the utmost professional and appropriate manner. Mentoring and development is a big part of our business here. It’s important that we always make the best impression on each of our clients, and to reflect Sotheby’s distinct brand in this market. When our agents get into a challenging or difficult position, I often go with the agent personally to visit the client to help set them at ease, and generally mentor the agent on the Sotheby’s International Realty style of handling of VIP clientele.

—John Voket