Saturday, July 23, 2011

Luxury-home broker Danley opens his own firm

Walt Danley, one of the Phoenix area's top-producing real-estate brokers, said Thursday that he has severed ties with franchisor Realty Executives and established his own independent brokerage.

The Paradise Valley luxury-home brokerage, formerly known as the Walt Danley Group operating under the Realty Executives umbrella, has been renamed Walt Danley Realty LLC, he said.

"Opening my own brokerage has always been a dream of mine, and this seemed like the right time to do it," said Danley, a 35-year industry veteran.

Danley's brokerage consistently ranks among the top-selling residential real-estate teams in the U.S. Its combined sales since Jan. 1 total $72 million, Danley said.

In addition to operating under the Realty Executives name, the brokerage also has been affiliated in the past with Coldwell Banker and Merrill Lynch Fine Properties, he said.

Danley summed up his reasons for going independent in one word: "autonomy."

"I wanted the ability to spend the marketing dollars where it made sense for my clientele," he said, adding that large franchise operations have a responsibility to market to a much broader geographic and demographic base.

The brokerage comprises 14 real-estate agents, including Danley, who also holds the title of company president.

Walt Danley Realty also has a six-member office staff, Danley said, led by manager and designated broker Thomas Snyder.

Arizona Corporation Commission records show that Walt Danley Realty was approved as a new limited-liability company on June 9, with Snyder as the LLC's manager and Danley as its sole member.

The Walt Danley Group had been affiliated with Realty Executives since 2010, and Danley said he also had operated under the Realty Executives brand earlier in his career, for about a decade.

Phoenix-based Realty Executives Inc., which operates under the name Realty Executives Phoenix, filed recently for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

The company has submitted a reorganization plan in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and has said it hopes to emerge from bankruptcy by late September.

Its parent company, franchisor Realty Executives International, also based in Phoenix, is not involved in the bankruptcy except as a creditor to which the franchise owes money.

Realty Executives and owner Rich Rector also are embroiled in an employment lawsuit with former company President John Foltz.

Realty Executives has accused Foltz of theft and mismanagement, while Foltz has accused the company of severing his employment contract under false and defamatory pretenses.

Danley said legal issues at Realty Executives did not factor into the decision to set out on his own.

"I have nothing but positive things to say about the people over at Realty Executives," he said.

by J. Craig Anderson The Arizona Republic Jul. 22, 2011 12:00 AM

Luxury-home broker Danley opens his own firm

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