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In 2000, professional archer and sporting world executive Don Vallee made a life-altering decision: Alongside his wife, Kathy Vallee, he traded the boardroom for the bustling world of real estate.
Oro Valley, where the Vallees raised their family, has become the backdrop for their thriving real estate business.
Having successfully sold over 2,500 homes, the Vallees stand as a beacon of dedication and professionalism in the real estate industry. Their journey from the archery range to real estate magnates is not just about transactions — it’s about community, passion, and legacy.
The captivating boulders, majestic saguaros, and stunning Pusch Ridge Mountains made the Vallees move in 2001 from Northeast Tucson to Oro Valley — a heartfelt choice.
Kathy, a native Tucsonan, fondly recalls her annual Thanksgiving ATV adventures in the Tortolita Mountains – long before OV was developed. Don can remember quail-hunting in OV where he now sells homes.
Kathy first attended a house showing in Tucson when she was 10-years-old. Her mother was a local realtor for 38 years, and mentored Kathy in all of the tricks of the trade.
“Real estate is in my DNA,” says Kathy.
And for Don, once he found real estate, he never looked back.
“How many people will tell you they should have listened to their mother-in-law earlier?” he laughs.
Kathy and Don complement each other’s skills perfectly: Kathy brings the marketing and human connection expertise, while Don brings the business and management prowess.
They have both earned a long list of awards, certifications, and designations:
As of October 2023, they’ve already sold 201 homes this year, with a combined value of $98 million.
Hence their motto: “ From Gold to Sold”.
Kathy says, “think of me as your ‘stepping stone’: a friend who listens to your dreams and goals and works like crazy to help you achieve them.”
And Don: “since 2000, I have been listening, caring, and consistently working to find the perfect home for folks like you.“
Don and Kathy Vallee demonstrate unwavering support for local charities and their clients’ personal charitable endeavors, standing prepared to provide generous contributions whenever the call to action arises. Their steadfast dedication to community enrichment stands as one of the four foundational principles guiding their business initiatives.
Kathy brings something truly special to the table — she’s a graduate of the Western School of Feng Shui, which is all about “creating good vibes in your living spaces.”
“I’ve got a different way of looking at things, thanks to my Feng Shui background,” Kathy says with a friendly smile. “When it comes to selling homes, I’m here to help make your place look and feel its best. That means giving you some tips on how to make your home cozy and inviting, like putting away personal stuff and making sure the energy, or ‘chi’, flows smoothly.”
Kathy also holds a B.A. in Interpersonal Communication, which helps with the emotional side of selling a home. “Sometimes, it’s tough to say goodbye to a place you love. That’s where I come in. We have the resources to assist with preparing your home for its next chapter.”
Don explains that “in the real estate industry, we get consumed by mechanical stuff, like square footage. Kathy creates an emotional, lifestyle hook.”
Kathy provides a simple example: “Whenever someone stops to look at your pictures, they are emotionally getting involved with the people in the photo…this makes it hard to move into the home mentally.”
Don concurs: “They can get involved with the sellers – not the house.”
Kathy often uses the example of LED versus incandescent lighting, noting, “each casts a distinct ambiance.”
She emphasizes the paramount importance of first impressions, pointing out that potential buyers’ initial encounter with a property is typically its online photos. “If the lighting isn’t spot-on, the house won’t be showcased in its best light,” she adds,
“I have a keen eye for details — some might even say I’m a tad OCD about it. Just the other day, I spent three hours prepping a home solely for its photo shoot.”
The Vallees are tuned in to every detail when it comes to presenting a home.
Don gives the example of the buyer’s first interaction with the house at the front door.
What can happen at the beginning of a less-than-ideal house walkthrough? The realtor might fumble trying to find the right key for the front door. The problem, Don says, is that 90% of people enter their house through the garage or a side door – i.e., they may not be used to opening their front door.
“The buyer’s impression starts at the curb and the front door. As realtors, we come across these kinds of situations all the time. Maybe the seller hasn’t been advised that the door isn’t working. Then the buyer gets anxious. That’s not a good way to step into your first impression…or how you want to make a buyer feel.”
The Vallees are deeply dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. (“We are both gym rats,” jokes Don.)
“We both have a keen interest in fitness; we indulge in golfing whenever our schedules allow, and Don has a particular fondness for snow skiing,” says Kathy.
Don and Kathy eagerly bring their local knowledge to the forefront as hosts of the renowned show, American Dream TV, with their debut episode premiering this November. The Emmy-nominated show attracts viewership in the tens of millions.
In their TV hosting roles, they are always looking for standout homes and businesses to showcase. They warmly invite any inquiries or submissions from those interested in being featured. Please contact Don Vallee at 520-730-1478.
By Tom Ekman, J.D., M.Ed