Orna and Leon Gilman are one of those lucky couples who, in addition to their great love for one another, also share fields of interest in their personal and professional lives. They made the professional connection in 2012 when they opened a firm for marketing projects and real estate brokerage in Kfar Saba, after each of them built their own career for more than thirty years in management positions in high tech.
When they thought about a name for their real estate agency, it was obvious to them what it would be. “We are called ‘Anashim veNechasim’ (People and Properties) because we first of all deal with people – and touch their lives by means of the properties that we help them to find,” explains Orna. “Our love of working with people is something that has always guided us – and there is nothing I enjoy more in my work than the privilege of accompanying people at the points that are considered most meaningful in their lives.”
And so, in line with the professional direction that guides them, when a customer comes to them to sell, buy or invest in a real estate property, it is clear to both of them that they emphasize personal attention – but not that alone. “We are sticklers for giving our customers a comprehensive, professional, in-depth review of the market in order to help them make a decision,” says Leon. “We have extensive knowledge of everything to do with the real estate market in the city – second-hand apartments, new projects, supply and demand and smart pricing. The knowledge helps us ensure that we get the best deal for our customers.”
A vibrant market with demand that exceeds supply
2020 was a unique year of upheaval and the first half of 2021 has also not exactly been characterized by very great stability. However, interestingly, the long period of uncertainty led many people to think about bringing some stability into their lives. Orna and Leon Gilman see this wish being manifested in the city they work in, and it is worth considering.
“In the period of COVID-19, many people sat on the fence and waited to see where the market would go,” Orna explains. “Today we see that the market is very vibrant. Many people want to buy properties and demand exceeds supply. Anyone who had nursed thoughts over the years about possibly upgrading their home or moving to another area saw proof in the recent period that there is no time like the present to fulfill their dreams. We live in a situation where you can’t tell what tomorrow will bring – and that motivates people to follow their wishes.”
Strangely, just when COVID-19 dictated to all of us how our lives would look, Anashim veNechasim conducted a number of transactions that managed to surprise them also. Leon says: “We had a few special properties that had been on the market for a long time, and in the period before the pandemic people who wanted to upgrade were very indecisive and hesitant. For some reason, specifically in 2020, people made brave decisions much faster. As Orna says, perhaps it taught us to live the moment and not wait so much for the future. Today people realize that the future is here and now.”
Advice with commitment
Purchasing a home that will serve for many years and sometimes for a lifetime, or alternatively when selling a property that was a home for many years, is a decision that arouses apprehension that cannot be dismissed lightly. Therefore, in the nature of things, many people approach the decision to purchase a home with numerous thoughts and questions. The role of the real estate consultant is not to persuade them to buy or sell, but to assist them by giving detailed explanations, which may resolve their concerns and questions.
“People come to us when they want to purchase a new apartment, but still have not sold their existing one and they don’t know whether to sell, when to sell or altogether how to time the connection between these transactions, which can be delayed by months or years,” says Leon. “We are familiar with these concerns from our personal experience, as we have conducted such transactions ourselves and contended with the same fears. Therefore, we understand the importance of advice and guidance throughout this path.
“In this context, we always promise advice without commitment, but I always emphasize to our customers – this is advice without commitment on their part, but with a lot of commitment and investment on our part,” Orna adds.
When Orna and Leon give advice, they make sure not to spout empty slogans that are only intended to advance and close a deal. Their advice is based on information that the customers really need to know in order to be sure they are making the right decision. “We never simply throw numbers or promises in the air that have nothing behind them,” they explain. “When we advise customers, it happens after we have done in-depth work, including market research backed up by figures, projections and an order of actions that we recommend.”
Orna continues: “In these meetings we talk extensively about taxation, about financial aspects that will help support a decision and, if necessary, we refer them to professionals whom we have worked with for many years and we know we can rely on them and the advice they give.”
Living in the city center without compromising
Kfar Saba is a city with hardly any land reserves. Therefore, most of the new projects involve urban renewal. One of the most interesting projects carried out recently and marketed by Anashim veNechasim is a TAMA 38 project, located in the heart of the city’s iconic center.
“Two buildings are now being constructed in the framework of this project,” Leon explains. “All the apartments in the first building have already been sold and marketing the second building has now begun. The properties are in a place designated for people who want to live in the beating heart of Kfar Saba, in a place that is both central and green and also classic Kfar Saba, but with a new feeling.”
Orna adds that “Among other things, this project contains luxurious penthouses on one level, which may suit older people who for years have raised families in big houses but at some stage decided they want to move to a more friendly, new apartment, of a high standard. The location of these apartments in the city center means they hardly need to move their car and they can entertain their guests as they have been accustomed to do throughout their lives without giving up on anything.”
In addition, the project also contains smaller apartments that, according to Orna, could suit a wide variety of people. “For example, apartments such as these are suitable for young couples, or for older people who want the convenience of living in the city center, without become tied to maintaining a large apartment with everything that this involves. We call them small apartments, although they can consist of up to five rooms, to a very high standard and again, in a location that many people only dream of.”
When you hear the Gilmans talking about the apartments they market, you feel the enthusiasm in their voices that attests to the fact that they wholeheartedly believe every word they say. This is because they are looking not only for new customers but for new neighbors and friends in the community that they themselves belong to. “All our customers become our neighbors and many of them also remain in touch with us years after the deal,” they say.
“We have been residents of Kfar Saba for forty years and that means that we are much more than a business here and our interests are not only business ones,” they both say. “When customers move to live near us, we always invite them over and do everything to guarantee them easy acclimatization. We also feel that customers rely on our opinion. For example, a couple of our customers who purchased an apartment through us told us with a smile that they had been unsure which color paint to choose for their home and asked one another what Orna and Leon would say. It is moving to know that the people we accompany rely on our opinion even years after signing the deal.”