Noting this season as the busiest summer many in the Valley of the Sun real estate market have ever seen, following an impressive first half of 2017, the local homebuilding industry is celebrating with the SAMM Awards, 4 – 7:30 p.m., Nov. 8, at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia in Paradise Valley.

“The Greater Phoenix economy is finally hitting its stride and is among the country’s leaders in employment and population growth,” said Rick Merritt, president of the economic and real estate consulting firm Elliott D. Pollack & Co. “A key element of the success of the region is the real estate industry and the homebuilders who continue to assist the economic growth of the region through employment and providing homes for new residents.”

The SAMM Awards, which stands for Builder Sales, Advertising, Marketing and Merchandising, is being described as the Oscars of the Valley’s homebuilding/real estate industry. “With the housing market now five years into its recovery and growing at a healthy clip, the SAMM Awards offer us an opportunity to gather and recognize those builders innovating and leading us into the future,” said Jim Belfiore, president of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting. 

The gala event is being powered by DLP Marketing. “This is an opportunity for builders to submit their communities for recognition of excellence among their peers,” said DLP Marketing President Lori Anna Harrison. “For those in the real estate industry, this is our time. Together the tide rises and there are so many amazing builders doing great work in our market. We want to put them on stage, front and center, to be congratulated for their tenacity in crafting the American dream.”

More than 20 categories will recognize top professionals in the business and honor them for their achievements. Celebrity photographer Gary Helland will capture the debut event on the red carpet at the Montelucia. Money Radio’s Mark Asher of Southwest Wealth Strategies will serve as co-emcee with Harrison. “I feel like the excitement and synergy going on in the real estate market is unbelievable right now. It is great to see the growth back in the state I love so much!” said Asher.

SAMM Awards judges include Valley real estate and business leaders. “I’m very pleased to participate as a judge for the premiere SAMM Awards,” said Phoenix Business Journal Publisher Ray Schey. “The quality of the work being done to promote the building industry here locally is simply terrific and those people and companies deserve recognition. The inaugural SAMM will likely be the first of many more in the future.”

“I have been working with builders for 40 years and am proud to be a judge for the SAMM Awards!” said National Builder Trade In Program CEO Steve Rider. “We are in 30 markets across the U.S., and I’ve seen new homes all over the country. Phoenix is leading the way in creativity and sophistication and it is an honor to be a judge for my home market.” 

Charity Moreland, national builder sales manager of Homeowners Financial Group, says greater success is still to come for the Phoenix area. “The years for growth and expansion in the mortgage and homebuilding industries are definitely 2018 and 2019. For years, we have waited for first-time homebuyers to commit to buying a home and now we are starting to see exactly that. If rates stay low, affordability levels off and we see additional enhancements in mortgage guidelines, it should be a very bullish time for us in the industry.” 

Real estate analyst Tina Tamboer of the Cromford Report calls the SAMM Awards a timely celebration for a noble profession. “Builders serve a vital purpose of providing balance in the real estate market, especially in a growing city like Phoenix. They provide a much-needed supply of housing and keep appreciation rates at a sustainable level. I am thrilled to participate in this event.” 

Jordan Rose of the Rose Law Group in Scottsdale agrees. “We live in the Silicon Valley of the homebuilding industry and it is exciting to be in Arizona at ground zero for homebuilder innovation!” 

Submissions for the SAMM Awards are due Monday, Oct. 9. For tickets and information, visit