If there’s one city considered the foodie Mecca, it’s Los Angeles. In L.A., the cuisine is influenced by everything from the city’s history to its diverse melting pot of cultures. It comes as no surprise, then, that Mercer Vine’s own Justin Naoe and Gilad Schiowitz have found a way to cultivate the city’s foodie culture into selling Los Angeles luxury real estate.

Justin Naoe & Gilad Schiowitz: Harnessing the City’s Food Culture to Sell Homes

With their previous experience in New York, Justin and Gilad are no strangers to the hyper competitive world of luxury real estate. In a collaboration with Rice Bar’s Chef Charles Olalia, Justin and Gilad have organized a dinner event at their new listing in Venice. For Justin and Gil, an event like this not only showcases 1060 Palms, but also the dynamic network of talent and community that they have cultivated throughout the years. We sat down with Justin and Gilad to ask them about their unique culinary approach when selling luxury real estate in Los Angeles.

MV: Can you describe your approach to real estate?

JN: We really like to focus on making the experience different. We're very hands-on with our clients, and in each situation, we always try to add elements that are creative and fun. Just the other day at our listing in Venice, Gil was washing the home’s windows and scrubbing the floors and it was, honestly, fun. We're not able to clear our heads at night if we know there is something unfinished about a property. We take even the most minor issues with a home very seriously–we want to leave nothing to chance.

MV: How did you both meet and become business partners?

GS: We met in N.Y.C. in 2008. Justin had just moved to the city, and I had just changed careers. Previously, I was a hairstylist. We were both brand new to New York’s real estate industry. We started with Blackstone properties in the financial district and business rapidly grew from there. 2010 is when we both decided to partner up and branch out to create our own firm: Manhattan Residential Group.

MV: How do your experiences in N.Y. real estate inform your experiences as agents in L.A.?

JN: New York is extremely fast-paced. For every property that is priced well, there are always multiple buyers. For every seller, there are multiple agents. Working in N.Y.C. definitely gave us an edge because that market always has urgency. Similar to Los Angeles, it’s common for homes to be listed and sold the same day.

GS: Working to give our clients the upper-hand in the market translates well across any market, especially in fast-paced ones like L.A. and New York. Real estate experience in New York translates to any market since it’s one of the most intense markets in the country. We're always on our toes for our clients, and we want to ensure that we're a step ahead of the competition.

MV: How did you conceive the idea of combining gourmet food with real estate?

GS: It's all about making our profession fun. We want to create relationships that aren't just about business, and we've been fortunate enough to build relationships with clients beyond the deal. We want to make sure that we are reminding our client how their trust allows us to pursue our passion for real estate. Justin and I both know that there are thousands of agents out there, but our clients trust us with their listings. The gourmet approach is our way of showing thanks to our clients.

MV: What is it about Chef Olalia that inspired a collaboration?

JN: We're very fortunate to have some very talented people that we can actually call friends. It's also very important for us to showcase our talented peers in any way we can when given the opportunity. Chef Charles has been a close friend for many years, and it's been great to see him bring Filipino food to the L.A. scene. It's really humbling to have someone with such an amazing culinary talent and following to work with us.

Check Out Justin and Gilad’s Venice Listing in Person

Interested in Justin and Gilad’s approach to Los Angeles real estate? Check out their latest listing at 1060 Palms in Venice Beach. Justin may be contacted via phone at (310) 920-4445 or at justin@mercervine.com. Gilad may be contacted via phone at (917) 748-3795 or at gilad@mercervine.com.

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