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    Bay Area Ace Realtor: Laura Martell

    Realtor Laura Martell and her team at Albany-based Winkler Real Estate Group are among the most successful agents in the East Bay, being in the top 10 percent for that expansive region. With many prospective home buyers traveling across the Bay seeking good deals, large properties and other benefits, we were eager to chat with Martell to learn more about her and her work.

    San Francisco Bay Times: Please tell us a little bit about your background and why you decided to become a Realtor.

    Laura Martell: I started my career after being disappointed working for a local government as a management analyst in human services. I was going back to school with an emphasis on Public Administration, when I realized this is not what I want to be doing. I am a people person and tend to bond with folks quickly, I have a counseling background and wanted more in depth professional relationships. 

    San Francisco Bay Times: Do you have a business partner?

    Laura Martell: My business partner Danielle and I started working together almost ten years ago. She came to the Winkler Real Estate Group right out of UC Davis and started as my assistant. Now we can almost complete each other’s sentences in our business at this point! We have recently expanded our team to include Jeffery Vu and Gabrielle Degen-Nosek, both new to real estate and who are outstanding individuals.

    San Francisco Bay Times: We’ve heard that you are part of the top producing team in your office. Congratulations also on being among the top 10 percent of all agents in the East Bay.

    Laura Martell: Please take a look at our status on Yelp or Reach150. We don’t chase this stuff and generally stay below the radar. Our clients are super important to us, so we try not to make it a personality rock star contest. The client is the rock star!

    San Francisco Bay Times: What do you think is the most underrated neighborhood now in the Bay Area? 

    Laura Martell: Richmond Annex is a very diverse neighborhood in all ways. Much of it feeds to El Cerrito schools, and has a great community feeling with prices that are a little bit easier than most of the East Bay. There is easy access to BART and AC Transit. We love all of Berkeley too! My wife and I live in Berkeley and adore it. I am a native San Franciscan who has fallen in love with the East Bay!

    San Francisco Bay Times: What are some of your favorite neighborhood small businesses, and why?

    Laura Martell: I love Philz’s iced mint mojita, Lucia’s in downtown Berkeley for the margarita pizza, and César (in Berkeley) for tapas. I also love the green goddess salad at Little Star Pizza, and Gordo’s crispy carnitas tacos on Solano Ave. There are so many wonderful places in the East Bay … Grand Lake Kitchen in the Dimond and Lake Merritt districts. The Lake Merritt area is another fantastic place similar to Dolores Park, only sunnier! I love 4th Street in Berkeley for shopping and food, too.

    San Francisco Bay Times: For bargain hunters, what home do you have for sale now that is a best buy?

    Laura Martell: We have a property at 5826 Avila in El Cerrito. It’s a 2/1 great condo alternative with a deck off the kitchen and a private backyard. Listed at 499K, this is a deal! We also have a 2/1 in the NOBE district in Oakland, 899 54th Street. It’s cute, cute, cute and is move in ready.

    San Francisco Bay Times: What is one of the most unique homes that you have for sale right now, and why do you think that it is special?

    Laura Martell: We have a newly built home in Albany, 4/3.5. We have this one listed at $1,495,000. It is a new craftsman and with excellent schools. This is an amazing home with fantastic flooring and tilework. It has Thermador appliances, a powder room and really stunning finishes. It is unique to Albany both because of its size and the fact that there is very little new construction available in this town. This is the Urban Village by the Bay, and it’s a great lifestyle in this amazing community!

    San Francisco Bay Times: What advice do you have for those looking to purchase a new home now? 

    Laura Martell: Rates are excellent, so the time is now! Make sure that you trust your agent and are well represented.

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