Frank Aazami On Real Estate

  • story by Frank Aazami (with David M. Brown)
  • posted on 01/2023
  • posted in: Highline Living

Top 100 Takeaway . . .

Recently, I was fortunate to share an evening in New York City with other Top 100 list revenue producers for Sotheby’s International Realty, one of the world’s largest real estate firms. Our company includes 25,000 real estate professionals working from 1,000 offices in 75 countries.

The group was told that collectively this year we produced more revenue than any relocation company worldwide; these companies move major corporations from one location to another. To accomplish this level of success through residential real estate, we network with associates to provide our clients the finest properties to buy — from New York City to the American Southwest to Dubai. For our sellers, we ensure that their homes are marketed to those select buyers who will most appreciate them.

Sotheby’s International Realty Top 100 Agents and Teams

Russ Lyon is the local franchisee, and from the Camelback office, next to Scottsdale Fashion Square, I lead the 15-member Private Client Group there; these professionals specialize in luxury and hyper-luxury Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Arcadia Phoenix homes. Their networking and teamwork maintain a high level of success for clients looking to move in or those looking to move on.

A few associate agents from the Russ Lyon Desert Mountain office joined me at the beautiful Ritz Carlton Central Park, not far from the U.S. headquarters for SIR. All of the Top 100 shared a delightful, informative time. I knew many of these local experts through our regional or Global Networking events or Zoom conferences, but meeting them, one on one, in this high-tech, low-touch world, was so important.

My associate serving the Washington, D.C. area, Daniel Heider, says of the experience: “My key takeaway from the Top 100 is witnessing the astounding network of talented real estate professionals from coast to coast that we get the good fortune of collaborating with by being at Sotheby’s International Realty.”

Sotheby’s International Realty Top 100 Agents and Teams

And, Jeremy Stein, covering Manhattan, notes: “Sotheby’s International Realty is the single strongest luxury brand in the world, and when you bring together the top 100 agents within that brand, the opportunity to forge relationships that will ultimately benefit our client base is almost unavoidable.” As co-founder and associate broker for The Stein Team, he co-chairs a group of 45–50 of the top agents who meet virtually every month and in person at least twice a year.

He adds: “If you go into such events with a goal of meeting agents in markets that are important to your own client base (where your clients summer, vacation, own second or third homes, have migrated to or from) you can create a network of like-minded, successful agents who will be able to provide to your clients the same top-tier service they have come to expect because of their experience with you.”

How Can We Do Better?


Until now, Sotheby’s International feted only those 25 agents who produced the highest volumes from company-owned offices; this year, that total was upped to 100 to include agents, like me and a few other Russ Lyon associates, who work for franchisees. The reason for this is to hone the level of networking companywide for enhanced client service and experience; that, in turn, should increase higher level of client experience and, of course, sales volume for the brand.

We asked ourselves: How we can elevate our performance for this select caliber of clientele? Sharing local-market pulls, global real estate trends and economics has gained us best practice to now.

Let’s say a Sotheby’s Top 100 agent in one of our major Arizona feeder markets, such as California, Seattle, Colorado, Washington State, Minnesota or Chicago, has a client searching for a second home in Arizona: to visit the car auctions in January, to golf, to equestrian, to warm up during the winter. Without the Top 100, he or she might have to check me out, taking hours of stressful, time-consuming internet and phone vetting.


If that agent didn’t know me, he or she could pull up my stats and find out how much volume I’ve done, how soon my properties sell, the average days on the market and how much those homes sell for. But, by working with a Top 100 agent, a high score is a given; that agent already knows I won’t disappoint their client because I am a documented high-level producer. And that saves time, and perhaps a client who might otherwise be dissatisfied and look elsewhere. They know this agent is responsible; he or she has passed the test.

Eric Iantorno, who services the San Diego area, says, “Spending time with the other Top 100 agents had a different feel as it relates to other networking events I attend. This is the best of the best. Period. Spending time with agents that do a lot of business was invigorating and rewarding.”

He adds: “The majority of my time was spent meeting and networking with new agents. I met over 40 agents that I hadn’t connected with prior and now have their contact information for the respective markets. Offering my clients the best agents in a given market is a powerful referral, and I feel good when I send my clients to a top 100 agent,” he adds. “In return, I hope the agents feel the same way about me when it comes time to send their valued clients to San Diego.”

Sotheby’s International Realty Top 100 Agents and Teams

And, San Francisco market specialist, Gregg Lynn, says, “Since 2017 I have attended all four top-agent events in New York City. I depend upon events such as this to gather our most productive agents to learn about important trends and new practices of leading agents. As our clients have homes in multiple markets, the ability to connect with top agents such as Frank to understand the current dynamics of the Scottsdale market enables me to effectively advise clients globally.”

Listening Up to the Future of Luxury 

In Manhattan, we learned about the benefits of high-level networking and more. One of our associates serving the New York City-area market discussed, for example, that he is brokering newly built residence for up to $5,000 per square foot.


That pricing level is possible not only because areas such as Manhattan have traditionally commanded high prices throughout the residential spectrum but because legacy homebuyers are requiring platinum-level fabrics, on-the-cusp technology and other amenities. One, for instance, are barndoorlike doors that flush to the wall, saving space like pocket doors, but also are art pieces themselves.

People want to live longer and healthier, and we are paying even more attention to everything that matters to well-being and lifestyle enhancement. There are apps that control mood and lighting, room to room, hour to hour. Floor temperature can be controlled, too; this is more and more popular in the colder climates. You can take hot and cold dips before and after workouts. And hydraulic work-out products eliminate weights and provide more living space. Low-voltage lighting is healthy lighting.

Today’s legacy properties are like cars, with multiple check engine lights. For example, a light goes on to tell you need to adjust your air quality or water the plants more. This monitoring process can also help us build more efficient homes. Say we place a meter on different sides of a home being built. We can determine which side is getting more rain and address that. It’s a new way of building, thinking smarter and saving costs.


Listening attentively is a key to Top 100 protocols. If a client has certain likes and needs, it’s going to take a certain amount of time for an agent to understand them and research their checklist: These are the things that they like and don’t like. But don’t frustrate them by showing properties that don’t provide all the checks. In today’s immediate-information society, they’ll find someone else.

This demand for luxury, and the costs associated with it, is global, London to South Africa to Arizona. At the same time, I am concerned that this price level will work its way down to other points, pushing the workforce out of areas and adding to our affordable housing issue. That’s a big concern for me. Everyone needs homes.

This event reinforced my view that you are who your circle is. When you’re hanging around the best, you pick up their habits, their demeanor and, most importantly, their attitude.

And, the Top 100 experience underscored my belief that I’m competing with no one. I wake up every day and ask who can I help out there, how can I better heIp existing clients? I’m not here to change the world. I want to change the person in the mirror, make myself better. I want to be a better Frank Aazami for my clients, my family and my friends.

Frank Aazami, principal of The Private Client group, offers Global Real Estate Representation. For an appointment to see a home or a consultation, text “SIRFAAZAMI” to 87778, email,, see or call 480.266.0240. SIR Frank Aazami,, offers a mobile download link for your Android, iPhone or iPad. Preview our global Listings anytime, anywhere, in 18 languages.