Tucson native Lisa Bayless has worked in real estate in the northwest communities for more than a decade, but she’s most interested in people. These combined passions lead to her consistent philanthropy after every sale, most recently sponsoring the Town of Oro Valley’s Fourth of July fireworks event.
Ranking among the top 1% of realtors nationwide and at Long Realty in 2020, Bayless has set herself apart from her peers through more than closed sales.
“I have always believed that the communities that you do business in, particularly as a small business owner, [that] you rely on that community and in turn that community relies on you,” Bayless said. “It’s a very intertwined relationship. The stronger those communities become, the stronger our business becomes.”
Besides donating a portion of her commission from every sale to local nonprofits, Bayless has served on the board of the Rialto Theater and is an active senior board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Tucson and other nonprofit organizations. While striving to stay connected to “Tucson’s heartbeat,” Bayless has also recently donated to the Oro Valley Police Department, Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce, Canyon Del Oro Assembly of God Food Pantry, as well as eliminating the $2,100 school lunch debt for Oro Valley’s public schools last year.
Through this gratitude towards the community that has supported her business, both she and husband have found a sense of fulfillment.
“Not only has the community embraced us from a business perspective, but this is where we live and on a personal level, the community has also opened their arms and embraced us,” Bayless said. “We want to do everything we can to give back.”
After graduating from Green Field School in 1991, Bayless moved to Maine to attend Bates College where she obtained a degree in economics in 1995. Eventually moving to Boston in 1998 after a three-year stint in New York City, she met her husband Jeff Stitt, a real estate developer. It was while she was completing a graduate degree in social work from Boston University in 2006 that Bayless discovered her passion for real estate.
“I began to realize that real estate is about relationships and communicating with people and understanding what they need and what their motivations are and helping them find a place to go home,” Bayless said. “It was not too different, actually, than what I have been studying.”
The two moved back to Tucson in 2006 to be closer to family and with a little bit of encouragement from her husband, she began to pursue her license in real estate.
Bayless said the key to being a successful real estate agent lies in communication and an ability “to resolve problems and find creative solutions to resolving problems and working with people and helping them navigate obstacles.”
Currently “busier than ever,” Bayless said that the housing market is the strongest she has seen in 15 years. Given the considerable amount of people relocating to the greater Tucson area, the “seller’s market” has completely adapted since the pandemic.
“Something we rarely did two years ago, now we do all the time,” Bayless said. “Buyers may not actually be here, so we’ll FaceTime them through homes. That happens a lot. There are 3D virtual tours, I’ve increased staffing to help with the demand, it’s a different market than it was even three years ago.”
Given the increase in opportunities for remote work, a major shift that Bayless has observed are potential home buyers who are relocating from more densely populated areas are taking advantage of low interest rates, in addition to the increase in second-home buyers.
“People come here, they like the environment, they like the outdoor lifestyle that we offer, they like the community,” Bayless said. “So, you know, pricing is some of it, but I also think they like the lifestyle that Arizona offers.”
While keeping up with the pace of the current intense housing market, Bayless and her team are embracing this new reality of business and look forward to continuing to support the communities that they live and work in.
“We’re in that one for the long term,” Bayless said.