Launch Real Estate looks to disrupt local real estate marketplace

Launch Real Estate is at 4167 N. Marshall Way in downtown Scottsdale. (Submitted graphic)

Launch Real Estate is at 4167 N. Marshall Way in downtown Scottsdale. (Submitted graphic)

In the real estate world sometimes it’s more important who you know rather than what you know — and Arizona real estate entrepreneur John Vatistas says he knows all the right people.

Scottsdale-based Launch Real Estate,, which opened its doors about a month ago, is setting its sights squarely on the local luxury real estate market.

Mr. Vatistas says he expects to cultivate a sales team comprised of the cream of the real estate crop within the Valley of the Sun, and has already recruited top-producing listing agents from several of the area’s best-known real estate firms.

Mr. Vatistas is no stranger to the world of local luxury real estate. He was the founder of the Equitable Real Estate Company of Scottsdale — an affiliate of Christie’s International Realty — where he grew the agency from two to 275 agents in under two years.

In 2007, Mr. Vatistas’ company was offered the exclusive franchise rights for Sotheby’s International Realty in all of Arizona, which became Equitable Sotheby International Realty. In May 2008, Mr. Vatistas purchased a 50 percent interest in the Russ Lyon Realty Company launching Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. He sold his stake in Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty at the close of 2012.

“I think as a company, in Paradise Valley in particular, we will do a tremendous amount of business and have already done so,” Mr. Vatistas said in a Feb. 2 phone interview.

Mr. Vatistas contends Launch Real Estate will be a success due to the caliber of his founding partners — Sandra Baldwin, Ronnie Gilbert, Robert Joffe, Heather Maclean, Chris Morrison and David Newcombe.

Mr. Vatistas says the proof is in the pudding.

“Our co-founders have invested in Launch, all of whom are top producers in this market,” he said. “Our co-founders collaborate with all of our agents, who are hand-picked. It’s a collaborative effort instead of a competitive one.”

Mr. Vatistas says the approach Launch Real Estate aims to take is a departure from the typical buyer experience.

“When you hire one of us, you hire all of us — It is a huge differentiator in the market,” he said. “In an environment where you have top producers, not everyone wants to play nice in the sandbox. It has everything to do with serving our clients needs.”

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at

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