When ABC15 ran a story about the outlook for the residential real estate market in 2019, it turned to Bliss Realty & Investments for an interview. Co-owner Mara Benson offered insight into market conditions, as well as what areas of the Valley offer prospective homebuyers the most, while Bliss client Matt Esaena described the challenges he has encountered in his search for his first home.


2018 was a milestone year for Bliss Realty & Investments’ Kimberly Samu—she sold more than $6 million of homes, topping her previous record of $5.2 million in 2016 and earning her Bliss’ Special Agent of the Year Award.

“Clients choose to work with me because I will go the extra mile for them,” she says. “Real estate agents are not created equally; I do light staging to vacant homes to make them look better for pictures, and always use professional photography. I also go through the entire home before listing to tell my sellers what needs to be changed or repaired to make their home most marketable.”

Whether representing a buyer or seller, she also ensures each client gets the best possible deal. “Pricing a home for sale is critical; everyone thinks their house is worth more, and I help provide the strategy needed to get the most offers,” Kimberly says. “I also counsel buyers to come in with their best offer when they love a house, because submitting a lowball offer and hoping for a counter offer usually results in losing out to someone else.  I love when they take my advice and I’m able to deliver news of an accepted offer!”

Although Kimberly’s wisdom makes her seem like an industry veteran, she is a relative newcomer. “I got into real estate later in my life; I turned 50 and decided to switch gears for a better life for myself and my family,” she says. “I like people, so a relationship business that allows me to meet new people and listen to their wants and needs while resolving their concerns about the market is a perfect fit for me.”

Besides going above and beyond for her clients, Kimberly enjoys horseback riding, snorkeling, attending music concerts and watching football. She is a member of the Southeast Valley Regional Association of Realtors and is working on her Graduate, Realtor® Institute (GRI) certification to obtain in-depth market knowledge and increased proficiency in a broad array of real estate subjects. She also participates in a Mastermind Group for peer-to-peer mentoring.


Southeast Valley Real Producers’ January 2019 cover story features Bliss Realty & Investments’ co-owner Mara Benson. Mara shares one of the big secrets behind her and Bliss’ success—community involvement and engagement, as well as advice for rising stars.

The Arizona School of Real Estate & Business interviewed George Bliss and Joan Krueger about commercial investors.

Bliss Realty & Investments  ​


Although buying a home is one of the most important purchases people make in life, it can also be one of the most stressful. Whether they are buying their first home or are looking to downsize, buyers working with Bliss Realty & Investments’ Stephanie Bishop know she will guide them every step of the way.

“I love helping people reach their dreams of home ownership,” she says. “For some, it happens early in life and for others it happens much later, but regardless of where my clients are in their lives, giving them the keys to their dream home is one of the greatest feelings.”

A former teacher, Stephanie applies those skills to educating her clients about what is happening and why throughout every part of their transaction. “My passion to help people and my love of learning brought me to where I am now,” she says. “I understand what a big decision buying or selling a home can be, and I am always available to offer personal, one-on-one help. It is free to ask questions, and you will never bother me!”

Stephanie graduated from the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business and is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and the Southeast Valley Regional Association of Realtors. Her clients appreciate her extensive knowledge of the Southeast Valley, Phoenix area and Pinal County that comes from living in the area for 17 years.

When not making her clients’ dreams come true, Stephanie enjoys hiking, interior decorating and crafting as well as spending time with her family and dog.

Induction the latest in a series of awards honoring Bliss’ civic and professional accomplishments

GILBERT, Ariz. (Nov. 1, 2018) — Few people embody the U.S. Air Force motto to “Aim High” as well as George Bliss, one of 28 Arizona veterans inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Bliss, who served in the Air Force for 10 years, was chosen not only for honorably serving his country, but also continuing to serve and inspire his fellow American citizens with civic deeds and accomplishment outside his military service.

Earlier this year, Bliss received the 2018 Dr. Clifford Harris Oakwood Dignifies Award for his 10 years of support of Oakwood Creative Care, including serving on its board of directors. His service to Oakwood was one of many reasons Bliss was selected as the Mesa Chamber of Commerce 2014 Volunteer of the Year.

“George believes true success is about more than growing his real estate portfolio, and devotes countless hours each year to charitable causes that make Arizona a better place to live,” said Mara Benson, co-owner of Bliss Realty & Investments, which Bliss founded in 1995. “His involvement with the Mesa Chamber, Mesa Public Safety Foundation Board, Banner Baywood Foundation Board and Mesa HoHoKams inspires the entire Bliss team to be more actively engaged in the community.”

Likewise, Bliss sets a high bar for professional development and contributions to the real estate industry, including his past involvement in the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Commercial MLS Committee, Southeast Valley Regional Association of Realtors’ (SEVRAR) Board of Directors and Commercial Section Chair, Arizona Association of Realtors (ARA) and International Council of Shopping Centers.

“George has left an indelible mark on the Arizona real estate industry, as shown by his 2015 and 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year awards from the Women’s Council of Realtors,” said Joan Krueger, director of Bliss’ commercial real estate division. “Thanks to his example and encouragement, several Bliss agents, including me, have pursued leadership roles in ARA, NAR and SEVRAR.”

Bliss also led his company in earning Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Small Business of the Year award.



Bliss’ local expertise and relationships assist Potato Barn in acquiring property for $7.4 million, 100,000-square foot headquarters

MESA, Ariz. (Sept. 24, 2018) — With East Valley Partnership estimating 17,000 new jobs coming to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport by 2028, commercial real estate in the area is booming. Having helped several businesses acquire property in this burgeoning location, Bliss Realty & Investments has the expertise and relationships to broker optimal deals for businesses looking to build there.

Most recently, the Gilbert-based full-service real estate brokerage represented The Potato Barn-Unique Home Furnishings in acquiring 8.4 acres for its 100,000-square-foot headquarters and warehouse at 7316 E. Ray Rd. in Mesa. Additionally, the Bliss brokerage team currently represents two other buyers planning construction of new buildings on properties in the area in the near future.

“The team members at Bliss Realty & Investments assisted in every step of the Potato Barn acquisition process and made the transaction seamless,” said David Hrizak, president of Streamline Development, LLC. “The experience was so good that we have entered into a contract for another site that is being brokered by Bliss Realty.”

“Phoenix-Mesa Gateway is a strategic location for businesses wanting to capitalize on the growth coming its way,” said Joan Krueger, who leads the Bliss commercial division. “Because Bliss Realty & Investments has worked extensively with both Phoenix-Mesa Gateway and the City of Mesa, we’re primed to assist companies in finding the location that perfectly meets their needs.”

Krueger, who served as a member of the Gilbert Town Council for four years as well as on the Gilbert Planning Commission, frequently draws on her experience with the civic side of commercial real estate transactions when negotiating for Bliss clients. 

“The area around Gateway has become a destination location not only for citizens from around the region, but for businesses as well. Investment in the area has led to tremendous opportunities for businesses to grow and prosper, and Bliss’ extensive knowledge of local zoning ordinances and local issues proves invaluable in taking advantage of those opportunities,” says Kevin Thompson, Mesa City Councilmember representing District 6, which includes the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway area. “Joan’s background and knowledge proves invaluable as she anticipates and addresses challenges before they arise.”