Arizona Real Estate News

Category: News

HomeSmart International Promotes COO Ashley Bowers to President of International Franchising Company

HomeSmart International has promoted Ashley Bowers to the position of president for the international franchising company. Bowers, who joined HomeSmart International in 2013 as chief operating officer (COO), has been instrumental in spearheading the company’s recent growth initiatives and is also credited with attracting top real estate industry talent to the HomeSmart International leadership team. Bowers will continue in her role as COO in addition to her new responsibilities as the company’s president. HSI-AshleyBowers-2015 Throughout the last two and a half years, Bowers has worked in conjunction with CEO Matt Widdows to streamline the growing franchise company’s expenses and increased profits all while investing in newly updated technology platforms, and franchise service offerings. All of the new franchise programs Bowers and her team have launched exist to help brokers under the company’s brand expand their businesses nationwide by providing cutting-edge real estate technology and high touch service to agents at a low cost.   “From day one I knew hiring [Ashley] was a great decision to help propel HomeSmart International forward,” said Widdows, who is also the company’s founder. “Her high level strategy and ability to motivate teams towards common goals makes [Ashley] an ideal leader for this brand and I can’t wait to see what other achievements are on our horizon with her at the helm.”   Prior to being recruited to HomeSmart, Bowers led the domestic division of TTI Success Insights, an advanced assessment and talent management solutions company based in Arizona. For nearly 20 years Bowers honed her organizational and strategic leadership skills in various roles at TTI until she left the company as president to start her own productivity and talent calibration firm, Uptiviti. Her experience in industries outside of real estate gave Bowers the ability to approach HomeSmart’s growth and expansion initiatives from a unique perspective and with fresh methods.   “I’m passionate about people and, specifically, about helping people to grow their businesses to achieve new levels of success,” said Bowers. “That’s one of the reasons I love HomeSmart and the real estate industry. We’re able to make a difference in thousands of people’s lives by supporting franchisees and agents in their businesses.”   In addition to her role as president and COO at HomeSmart International, Bowers also holds the same titles for other Widdows-owned companies including HomeSmart LLC., the founding brokerage under the HomeSmart brand and one of the top real estate brokerage companies in the United States.

New VP of marketing at HomeSmart International

Jeannie Blancq has joined HomeSmart International, the largest residential real estate company in Arizona, as its vice president of marketing. Jeannie Blancq 2 “Jeannie’s experience and understanding of both B2B and B2C marketing in multi-layered industries is incredibly valuable to our company as a whole including franchisees, agents and customers,” says Todd Sumney, chief marketing officer at HomeSmart International. “Her experience, coupled with strong analytic, strategic planning and execution skillsets, make Blancq the ideal leader to help us implement marketing initiatives across multiple segments of business.” Blancq has spent the last two decades working in marketing and brand management. She moved to Phoenix in 2015 from Lexington, Ky., where she oversaw the marketing for Valvoline’s key national accounts within its installer business channel. Prior to that, she worked in the equine and veterinary industries. “I’m excited about leading this marketing team inside a company like HomeSmart International which is always focused on innovation and strategic growth,” Blacq says. “I feel my past experience and cross-channel marketing knowledge will enable me to bring fresh ideas to this already cutting-edge company and the real estate industry as a whole.” An avid equestrian, Blancq enjoys riding horses in her spare time.

HomeSmart CEO Matt Widdows Named to 2016 Swanepol Power 200® List

Matt cropped

HomeSmart International is pleased to announce CEO and founder Matt Widdows has been named to the 2016 Swanepoel Power 200 (SP 200) list of the most influential leaders in real estate. Widdows, who has been named to the list several times, increased his ranking by 10 spots to come in at a strong No. 29 for this year. Widdows’ 2016 ranking on the prestigious list also makes him the highest ranking leader included in the list from Arizona. Matt cropped “I’m honored to be in good company with such esteemed people and such a well-respected organization for another year on the Swanepoel Power 200,” said Widdows. “My inclusion in this ranking is thanks, in large part, to the teams I have supporting my businesses and me.”   The SP 200 annually ranks the top “Power Players” in the residential real estate industry and publishes nine lists covering corporate executives, power brokers, technology executives, women leaders, association/MLS executives, outsider powers, trendsetters, social influencers and the overall POWER 200. This year, more than 1,000 leaders were reviewed and researched, resulting in a total of 270 listed in the nine SP 200 lists. Widdows was named to the power brokers category but is also recognized for his leadership role at HomeSmart International. In the past year, Widdows and his companies have been recognized by other leading industry and local organizations for exemplary leadership, high levels of production and dramatic growth. Some of these include a “Best CEO” award, 2015 Real Trends 500 (top 20 for sales volume and transaction sides), 2015 RISMedia Power Broker Report (top 20 for sales volume and transaction sides) and 2015 INC 5000 (No. 2986 for 120 percent growth in last three years).



After many months of anticipation and careful planning, Family Development is pleased to announce that models at The Ridge at Troon North are now open. GATORBOARD-_SITE_MAP-1(1) Five, fully-furnished luxury models with varying floor plans, each with its own atmosphere and style are available for touring. Features throughout the residences include granite countertops, soaring nine-foot ceilings, rich color palettes, elegant birch cabinetry, ceramic tile and stainless steel appliances. Comfortable master bedrooms feature walk-in closets, resort-style baths and direct patio access.   “We are thrilled to debut this development as these homes provide a lifestyle unlike anything available in this market,” said Vincent J. Barbato, Principal of Family Development. “The condos mirror the beauty of the natural surroundings inside and out, and we are excited for potential homebuyers to see this firsthand.”   Condominiums at The Ridge at Troon North range from 1,381 to 2,086 square feet with prices starting in the mid $300,000s. The gated community is set amidst breathtaking natural scenery, surrounded by golf fairways and meandering hiking trails.   Low-maintenance living at The Ridge at Troon North allows residents to enjoy resort-style amenities such as the pool, spa and fitness center, and leave plenty of time for relaxation. With year-round sunny skies, residents can bask in the warm Arizona sun, explore the charm of nearby downtown Scottsdale or play the impeccably crafted fairways and greens of the Pinnacle Course of Troon North Golf Club.

Eastmark celebrates over 500 new home sales for 2015

Eastmark, DMB’s newest masterplanned community, recently celebrated over 500 homes sales to date in 2015, bringing the community’s total sales to about 900 in just over two years.  Real estate experts continue to herald the East Valley as a strong housing market and those rising communities have had a number of key economic development wins in recent months that will bring more high quality jobs to the area. 500eastmark “The sales numbers have exceeded our expectations and so we have accelerated amenities here to meet the growing demand at Eastmark.  In just over two years, these neighborhoods have become vibrant places to live and play,” said Dea McDonald, General Manager for Eastmark and Senior Vice President for DMB. Nearly 900 homes have sold at Eastmark since opening in June 2013, and the community was recently ranked as one of the top 10 fastest selling masterplanned communities in the nation by RCLCO.   Eastmark’s signature Community Life programming has led to strong neighbor referrals as well.  Suzanne Walden Wells, Director of Community Life for Eastmark explained, “When choosing a home, the first things most of us consider are price and floor plan. At Eastmark, there’s another equally important element – community. Nothing can compare to the joy of an impromptu porch party or dancing with 1,000 of your new best friends at a First Friday concert. Eastmark attracts people who want to be a part of a community where neighbors connect and are truly engaged.”   Today, Eastmark’s 10 national and local homebuilders are offering more than 50 different home floorplans in 23 neighborhoods.  This includes  the Encore community, which offers buyers 55+ a unique neighborhood with exclusive amenities within the masterplanned community.   Eastmark’s Growing Amenities   In response to the rapid sales pace, Eastmark launched its next phase of the amenity package and will open the community’s first resort-style pool for residents this spring.  The ‘Mark, the community’s welcome center, will be transformed into an indoor/outdoor recreation center connected to the exclusive pool area for kids and adults to enjoy.   High Quality Schools, an Apple and a Stronger Economy   Apple’s Arizona Global Operations Center resides at Eastmark and DMB’s Operations team is working to bring more high-quality jobs to the area.  A 3,200 acre development, five square miles, Eastmark will be home to thousands and is planned for millions of square feet in commercial uses, hotel and recreation.  Over time, this community will be a hub for the Phoenix East Valley.   Anchored in the civic center of Eastmark, two world-class elementary schools educate more than 1,000 students today.  BASIS, one of the leading charter schools in the nation, operates their only Mesa campus at Eastmark and Sequoia Pathfinder Elementary focuses on STEM education for their students.  A new A-rated public school opened this year to serve the community and it is just a short walk from Eastmark neighborhoods.