If you have been working in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area commercial real estate industry, you will have come across Efi Luzon. With over 34 years of experience in the industry, Luzon is one of the leading commercial real estate experts in the region, specializing in a range of property types, including large apartment buildings, office buildings, shopping centers, land development, mobile home parks, strip malls, hotels, and resorts. Luzon’s success is rooted in his drive, professionalism, strong investor relationships, and deep understanding of the commercial real estate market. Over the course of his career, Luzon has closed over 1,300 transactions valued at over $6.25 billion, including sales of approximately 5,300 apartment units and the development of over 5,400 residential units on large parcels of land.
After twenty years of leading his team at Intero, Luzon’s company, Luzon Real Estate Ventures, is partnering with Keller Williams Realty to expand his platform and continue to scale his business. We sat down with Luzon to discuss these plans and how he sees his work turn into a legacy founded on his achievements and unique approach to business.
What inspired you to leave your current firm and start a new real estate company?
My business has been growing, and one of things that I realized is that I needed a level of support that could help me scale the company to the size that I wanted to grow it. I needed to be flexible in how I used the infrastructure of a company so that fast-paced growth could be met. After twenty years in the company, it was very clear to me with the type of volume and the type of complex transactions I was creating, I was evolving quickly and needed a different, dynamic level of support. We are now very fortunate to be partnered with Keller Williams Realty. It is a one-of-a-kind brokerage led by an exceptional man Gary Keller. Being part of a company that truly cares about you is extremely hard to find these days. KW puts the needs of its agents first and treats all associates as family. Their motto is ‘God, Family, Then Business.’ When you follow this order, all will be well in your life. And this is a direct quote!
What unique offerings will your new company provide that sets it apart from others in the industry?
My specialty always has been locating off-market, unique, one-of-a-kind, iconic properties. Most companies work mainly the opposite way, I treat each property uniquely. I double-end most transactions; I carefully pick my partners in deals and that attention to detail in the front of the process helps me throughout the entire transaction to have the level of control required for complex commercial real estate deals. Whatever property I deal with, both buyer and seller trust me to get the best price to close the transaction without exposing the property to the open market.
How will you ensure that your new company attracts top talent in the industry?
After an extensive experience of over 30 years in the business, I was able to locate and train the top talent and put them through my own personal boot camp based on my experience – to teach them skills that ensure the new company has the most talented people in the industry. I have a personal relationship with everyone who works for me, and I spend most of my time with them to cultivate our relationship and build mutual trust. As the market evolves, I educate them on the latest changes and we are in constant communication.
What will be your primary focus or area of expertise with the new company?
Locating the right type of assets as established by the needs of my clients. The expertise of Luzon Real Estate Ventures will continue this method of locating value add deals with properties that will produce tremendous cash flow and rapid equity growth. This includes a variety of investments and commercial property. We specialize in all types of commercial properties. In addition, an expert understanding of the market in a national and international setting sets us apart from the rest.
What are some of the challenges you anticipate facing as you launch your new company?
The current state of the market with volatility in the financial sector makes most investors extremely cautious right now, they are sitting and waiting on the sideline for the best opportunity. When this happens, we adapt by changing hats and being creative. We thrive in these types of volatile markets due to the new opportunity it creates for our clients.
How do you plan to establish and build relationships with clients and investors in the early stages of your company’s development?
I am lucky to have cultivated an extensive network of high-net-worth individuals who know and trust me completely.
Will your new company have a specific geographical focus, or will you be operating across multiple markets?
We will be working mainly across the Western United States and California, additionally in Chicago and New York.
What is your long-term vision for the company, and how do you plan to achieve it?
The long-term vision is to create a boutique-style company and continue to serve our existing clients as their needs evolve over time.
How will you prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion within your new company?
We are dedicated to making sure our services are equitable and have systems in place to ensure we are hiring diverse talent from the pool of the best real estate professionals. Commercial real estate has a long history of being exclusionary by nature, our portfolio includes developments that have dedicated quotas for ample inventory of below-market housing and non-exclusionary housing that foster diversity as an asset, and ensure we are serving the community in a diverse, equitable and inclusionary manner.
What steps will you take to differentiate your new company from other real estate startups?
My sales history, production, perseverance, and consistency year after year speak for themselves. I have collected a multitude of awards throughout my career, I was the number two sales agent in the country according to Real Trends. I am a consistent CoStar Powerbroker with the latest award in 2022. I am the #1 in closed sales volume year after year. I am a well-recognized broker within the community and beyond for several, large, commercial real estate transactions. In the year 2000, I was the #1 commercial broker international for Coldwell Banker Commercial. These awards illustrate the path that I have been on and where I am headed.
What mistakes did you learn from during your time at your current firm that you will avoid with your new company?
Trust your gut. This business is built on relationships. Who you surround yourself with and do business with is very important. And when you feel those people are not aligned with the same values you live by, don’t be afraid to separate yourself. Even if it means temporary pain by doing so. No amount of money is worth lowering your values and beliefs.
What is your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own real estate businesses?
If the vision is not the same as yours, then leave, that vision got you to where you are, well known in California and beyond. If they are not in sync with what your gut is telling you, then you must leave. If you are not supported, leave. Your experience and instinct will guide you in the right direction 100 percent of the time. You may realize this too late, so pay close attention.
What legacy do you hope to leave with your new company?
This will be a culmination of my lifetime achievement and to impart the wisdom I have acquired over a lifetime to the next generation of agents who have steel in their veins and true grit. Like the Good Book says: “Before every action, there is a deep contemplation.” My legacy will show that I never acted without deep and contemplative thought.