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Leverage Agent Spotlight: Carol Koffel, Avenue 8

As part of our ongoing series, Leverage sat down with San Francisco Bay area agent Carol Koffel. A real estate professional with a diverse background as an artist, entrepreneur, interior designer, and project manager, Carol views real estate as an essential part of one’s investment portfolio.


How did you get into real estate?

When I turned 60, I was an artist going to residencies and showing my work in Galleries after earning my MFA at 57. I realized I was too young to begin using my retirement funds gathered during my earlier careers as a design entrepreneur so began to contemplate what skills could I gather to begin my last career. 

Real Estate leveraged my skills as a carpenter, designer, color consultant, marketer and designer. So, I studied online and was licensed in 2015.



Tell us about one of your most interesting deals.

Ah. Each listing and buyer "deal" features an arc of individual stories. In 2022 for example, my first close(s) both occurred in early May. 49 Hillcrest Avenue was a listing I landed by referral from a LA based Avenue 8 agent. Tamar, who knew one of the two sibling trustees, also knew us all to be passionate about art/design and were graduates of California College of Art. I drove out to Larkspur from San Francisco on a wet December to meet Kerrigan and Patrick in the California Craftsmen home designed by a protege of Bernard Maybeck. We entered into a nearly 5 month relationship to divest the home of a tenant, find a suitable rental for Patrick who'd been living in the home prior to their mother's passing, and the possessions left in the close to 3000 s.f. of home. 

Sited on 3/4 of an acre, the home was in need of updating beyond the scope of a realtor's "refresh" so I elected to clean up the home and showed it with fresh Ikebana arrangements placed throughout the home using flowers cut from the property. 

I became involved as a fiduciary with the Trust Administrator, the Trust lawyer in conference calls, earning the 3% commission negotiated with the trustees in December. 

The property sold at 125.88% above list at $5,350,000 with 15 DOM. 

We received six offers, negotiated one round of verbal counters and accepted the highest offer with non contingent financing. Another detail of my engagement saved the clients multiple thousands of dollars by flagging a date of death appraisal that was seriously low to the trustees and trust attorney, who hired a second appraisal that came in closer to the sale price, thus saving on potential capital gain liabilities. The other deal that closed in May, was for a buyer who I met on Zillow who had a serious time crunch to move out from a rental in Santa Cruz to a San Francisco single family home. We met in late March and my clients moved into an amazing home in Noe Valley May 6th, just before Mother's Day. This is an amazing story that involves a late afternoon call to come up to SF to tour 170 Yukon Street, a promise of a plate of food and a ratified offer by 11:50pm that night.



What are your daily “must-do(s)”?

I have a weekly rotation of tasks for each day of the week. But every day, I review the MLS for ongoing searches and coming soon etc. 

I always prepare healthy food, walk two or three miles several times a week and I'm sure to have personal time. And, I always proactively respond to new, old and potential clients.


How do you like to spend your free time?

I spend Thursday mornings caring for my grandson August who is almost 6 and going to Kindergarten in August. 

I garden, walk with friends, cook, sew and also spend time in my ceramics studio. In January I took a wood fire class to make a Tsubi, or Japanese garden dipping stone, for my garden-to-be in The Sea Ranch, where my husband and I are designing a home on the bluff above the Pacific. Oh, and I'm working on the design of the house along with our Designer.



Share one thing on your bucket list.

Build a home in The Sea Ranch with a 800 s.f. studio space, a home and a guest house.


Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself or your business?

Prior to becoming a realtor, I had a 30-year career as a product design professional.  As such, my primary skill is captured through the phrase “design thinking”. 

Simply put, design or systems thinking is a way of seeing the relationships between disparate elements and organizing them into functional and aesthetic wholes. With this honed aptitude, I led and participated in the conceptual design and execution of a great many products across an array of business sectors. 


To connect with Carol, please email her at [email protected]

Find more about Carol:

Visit her real estate website.

Follow her on Instagram.


If you would like to be interviewed for a Leverage Agent Spotlight, please contact the Leverage team at [email protected].

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