Partner/Co-Founder, CTO, Top Producer
- Climb Top Producer 2006-2015
- Top 1% of San Francisco Real Estate Agents
- Luxury Urban Living (Condos and Lofts)
- SOMA/South Beach Resident
- Fluent in Mandarin
Mark is co-founder, partner, CTO of Climb Real Estate and was instrumental to lead Climb to being one of the top residential real estate brokerages in San Francisco. Mark has led the strategy and development of CLIMB since its inception in 2006 as a sales group, later as an independent brokerage in 2010, and through to the successful acquisition by NRT, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage. Today, Mark helps direct the strategic vision and long term plans of Climb and serves as founder and Managing Director of CLIMB | LABS, the company’s innovation arm.
He served as SFAR MLS and Technology Committee’s Co-Chair, where he contributed to SFAR’s MLS long-term strategic direction, vision for the MLS, and was instrumental in his contributions to SFAR’s RealTime MLS, the association’s innovative service to share off-market property information. While co-chair, Mark helped pioneer a new “Coming Soon” status in the SFAR MLS – widely seen as a ground-breaking feature for any MLS to adopt.
Mark is also one of the top-selling real estate agents in San Francisco, consistently among the top 1% of agents in both buyer-represented and seller-represented sales, and was in the top 5 agents in SF condo sales volume from 2011-2016. Mark is also the #1 lifetime agent at Infinity, Lumina among others, representing the most sellers and buyers in both new sales and resales. Mark is also the founder of the blog, SF New Developments, where he pioneered the usage of a blog as a platform for real estate agents – providing resources for clients to navigate the booming San Francisco residential new development landscape.
Mark also currently invests and advises in various real estate companies especially those with a technology component.
Other positions of note
- Sindeo Advisory Board 2015-2017
- Zillow Agent Advisory Board 2015-2016
- Trulia Agent Advisory Board 2014-2015
- SFAR Strategic Planning Board Member 2013-2015
- SFAR MLS and Technology Committee Co-Chair 2012, 2013
Mark’s Media Appearances / Awards
- Podcast: “Mark Choey: How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Real Estate Brokers, and other Tech Trends“, REAL Trends, April 2018
- Interview: “4 Advanced Tech Tools: That REALTORS® are Using Now“, Illinois Realtors, March 26, 2018
- Panelist: “Panel Discussion: The Future of Real Estate Technology.”, Real Estate Tech Expo, San Francisco, April 28, 2018
- Speaker: “Real Estate Technology Trends in 2017 and Beyond“, Silicon Valley Real Estate Technology Conference 2017
- Mark was named a T3 “Top 20 Trend Setter” 2017 and 2018
- Panelist at T3 Summit 2017
- Mark was named to the Inman Real Estate Influencers of 2017 List
- Mark Choey was named to the Swanepoel Power 200 Trendsetter List
- Speaker: “Technology for Real Estate Professionals“, Tech Estate Today, Founders Space, San Francisco, October 2016
- Mark was interviewed by San Francisco Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius. Economic law finds new home in some S.F. neighborhoods, September 9th, 2016
- T3 Summit Panelist: THE CTO FOCUS DISCUSSION: Leading with Technology (youtube) April 25th, 2016
- Mark rang the NASDAQ Closing Bell with Zillow Group in 2015
- Mark was named to the 2016 Trendsetters Swanepoel Power 200 List
- RealScout Customer Profile: A Look Inside the Brokerage That Acts Like a Startup
- Agent profile interview by Trulia, 2015
- Inman Panelist: Best Practices in the Digital Age, Inman Connect SF 2015
- Inman Panelist: The Lender and the Broker: What is the ideal model for this Relationship? Inman CEO Connect San Francisco August 4th, 2015
- Mark was interviewed by the San Francisco Business Times: How Tishman Speyer is Building a Luxury Condo Kingdom in San Francisco, January 30th, 2015
- Mark was interviewed by the San Francisco Business Times: Buyers ‘Chomping at the Bit’ for Tishman Speyers’ Massive Lumina Luxury Condo Complex, September 17th, 2014
- Inman Panelist: “Portal Hacks,” Inman’s Real Estate Connect San Francisco, July 16th, 2014
- Mark was interviewed by Trulia’s Industry blog: Leveraging Technology & Innovation to Build a Better Business: Q&A with Top San Francisco Broker Mark Choey
- Contributing author, “Local Einsteins: What to Know Before Buying or Selling a Home in San Francisco“
- Mark was interviewed by Investor’s Business Daily. Read the article here. (Alternative link)
- Panelist: “Roundtable Forum on Mid-Market and Castro Real Estate Development,” October 3rd, 2013
- Panelist: “From the Broker’s Perspective: Embracing and Rejecting Technology,” RealTech SF 2013, April 30th, 2013
- Panelist: “Top Producers Round Table,” SFAR Young Professionals Network, May 18th, 2011
- Mark was recently interviewed by The Registry, The Bay Area Real Estate Journal. Read the article here
- Mark lectures at the HAAS School of Business, UC Berkeley (Youtube | MP3 | Transcript Doc)
- It’s official, Mark is the SEXIEST realtor in SF. See the proof here.
- Mark was interviewed on ABC7 News (fast forward to 2:27). Read the article. Watch the video.
- Mark was interviewed by the Epoch Times. Article here (PDF). Chinese Version
- What is some advice for a first time home buyer? Watch the Video.
- How is the state of the SF condo market? Watch the Video.
- Mark makes an appearance on Days with Zahrah Watch the Video.
- Mark Choey – vFlyer Testimonial Watch the Video.
Mark’s Background and Experience
Mark’s background and experience comes from consulting, high-tech start-up companies, R&D, and real estate investing. An entrepreneur at heart, Mark brings all the skills required of successful entrepreneurs to being a successful real estate agent including being:
- Results driven: delivering his client’s needs in the most effective manner possible
- Resourceful: has a keen eye and an “ear-to-the-ground” for the right opportunities and deals for his clients
- A clear communicator: providing feedback and reassurance to all parties in every step of a transaction
- Tenacious and creative: a tough negotiator and excellent deal-maker – “win-win” is the name of the game
- Ethical and professional: has integrity, honesty, and a refreshing “straight-forwardness” in all dealings with all people
- Analytical: has a firm grasp on the numbers and market data. Knows how to look through the market data and identify trends and spot opportunities
- Loyal and a true advocate: representing client interests above and beyond his own
Mark’s experience Outside of Climb includes:
- Vice President at Citigroup’s CTO office: he actively invested in startup companies and forged new alliances with technology vendors to enhance Citigroup’s businesses.
- R&D Manager for a high-tech startup specializing in developing PC board fault detection systems utilizing advanced neural network and pattern recognition algorithms.
- Founder of a dot-com startup in Greater China headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan in the online travel industry.
- Successfully awarded two patents: one in the field of advanced intelligent networks/wireless networks and another in the field of cellular location-based services applied towards credit card fraud detection.
- Principal of Rincon Investment Group: an investment and property management company with holdings around the US
- Principal of Topaz Properties LLC; a real estate investment company specializing in distressed properties
- Mark has an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado – Boulder. He did his undergraduate work at Rutgers University where he dual majored in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Economics. He studied artificial intelligence, wireless communications and economics throughout his studies.
- Mark has several research publications in well known journals including Nonlinear Trading Models Through Sharpe Ratio Maximization which he was invited to present at the prestigious Fourth International Conference on Neural Networks in the Capital Markets in 1996.
Mark’s Sales Highlights
- Top 1% in sales of San Francisco real estate from 2006-2016
- Top 5 in SF condo sales ranked by dollar volume (2011-2016)
- #1 agent at LUMINA San Francisco
- #1 Lifetime agent at Infinity (number of sales + volume) and represented the most buyers in both new sales and resales and sellers
- Highest Infinity 1 bedroom sale (both highest price and highest $/sf) – multiple years
- Highest Infinity 2 bedroom sale (both highest price and highest $/sf) – multiple years
- #1 Lifetime agent at Shipley Square (number of sales and volume)
- “21 Club” Winner (Top Producer) 2008-2009
Mark has deep knowledge in the condo and loft buildings in the SOMA, South Beach, Yerba Buena, Rincon Hill, Mission Bay, Potrero Hill, Central Waterfront/Dogpatch, Inner Mission areas and constantly monitors the market for the latest deals and the newest developments for his clients. As such, Mark’s deep understanding of the market gives him a great sense of how to optimally position buyers and sellers to get what they are looking for, namely, the best deal possible.
I was looking for 5 things in a real estate agent: someone who knows the neighborhood I was looking to buy in (SOMA, South Beach), someone who took the time to understand what I was looking for, someone that has resources and connections (e.g. mortgage bankers, general contractors, etc.) that can help you pre-and post-purchase, someone that is good at negotiations, someone with integrity that I could trust.
Mark is pretty unbelievable. He provided me with the expertise and dedication I would have expected had I been selling a $10 million house, not my two-bedroom condo. I would have felt like I was his only client had it not been for the fact that many of my neighbors were getting just as good service from Mark at the same time. I’m not sure how he does it. Mark also works smart. He was always there for me and has a great team behind him that makes him an expert at every aspect whether it is negotiating the deal, staging, marketing, financing or the real key, pricing.
What matters are results, however. Mark delivers. The man has his thumb on the pulse of downtown and knows the ins and outs of the market, the sale prices for comps that no one else knows about and opportunities before they hit the market. In my case, I could not be happier with how he handled my sale and the results. Plus, it is not often that I come across a person I trust unquestionably.
—A satisfied seller
Mark is someone I trust and would recommend to my friends without hesitation. Throughout our buying process, Mark was not only knowledgeable, professional, but also forthright and best of all, patient. As first time home buyers, Mark walked us through all the complexities and we felt totally supported during the entire process. Mark is a great negotiator and we relied on him to get our asking price. Bottom line, if you are looking in the SOMA/South Beach area, go see Mark – you will be taken care of.
—S.L., satisfied buyer
I’m pretty sure my boyfriend and my decision to buy a condo together could be categorized as “whirlwind,” and one of the smartest choices we made during the process was to choose Mark as our agent. We wanted to find someone who was extremely knowledgeable, accessible, honest and not one bit snooty—Mark fit the bill and then some. Right off bat, Mark gave us an honest estimate of what he thought we could get our condo for. It was right within our range and not what we had expected just based on visiting the sales office on our own. I truly doubt we would have taken the plunge if we didn’t tap into Mark’s knowledge. But Mark’s help didn’t end there; throughout the buying process he walked us through the system and was always available to answer questions over phone, email or text messaging (that’s why he carries two phones with him all the time!). He never gave us any pressure to buy; in fact, he always suggested that we look around and know what our other options were, just in case. And he always referred to things in personal terms, like “us” and “our offer”… maybe it’s a real estate agent tactic, but it works!
—A.C., satisfied Infinity homeowner
Mark is best in class in all of those requirements. I had a very positive experience working with Mark and I would work with him again to buy or sell any property. I was looking to buy a place in the SOMA/South Beach area and I asked several of my friends for recommendations. One gave a strong recommendation for Mark and after speaking with several agents I felt like Mark understood what I was looking for—a unique loft property in SOMA. Over several weeks, Mark and I looked at several places and I ultimately ended up buying the first unit he showed me. In addition, Mark was very resourceful during the closing process helping me line up different financing options that is important in the current market. I would highly recommend Mark to anyone looking to buy or sell in SF.
—J.C., satisfied buyer
I had a great pleasure of working with Mark Choey when I purchased my condo in San Francisco last August. Being new to the bay area I feel really really lucky that I met Mark because he is without a doubt one of the best agents in San Francisco. He is very knowledgeable about the San Francisco market, sincere, hard working, and honest. The other thing that I really liked about Mark is that he listens very carefully to understand your personal situation and what you are looking for and get you the best deal that fits your need.
Purchasing a home can be very emotional and stressful but he handled the whole process from the beginning to negotiation and to signing of the contract so smoothly and patiently, I always felt very confident in him as my agent. I absolutely love my new condo and have been very happy with my decision. In fact since the purchase of my home I have met other people who have known Mark and worked with him and have heard nothing but great, positive things about him as an agent. I will honestly highly recommend him to anyone who is considering either buying or selling a home in San Francisco because he is definitely one of the most knowledgeable, professional, and hardworking agents you can work with in the city.
Mark is a great agent. Along with all the previous praise, Mark is always available, and ready to help out. He is always reachable, and is ready to get things completed. He even spoke to me while on vacation in Hawaii! I have had 3 separate transactions with Mark, and all were successful because of his great knowledge of the market. He is superb and made the process painless. If you are buying or selling in SF/SOMA, use Mark. It is that simple.
—A.N., satisfied buyer and then seller and then buyer again!
Like the other reviewers have mentioned, Mark is an excellent real estate agent that specializes in the SOMA/South Beach area. We utilized Mark’s service when we sold our condo (@ 88 Townsend) in October. Prior to listing officially on MLS, Mark provided a thorough overview of market conditions and brought in a number of resources (including the opinions of other top agents from his firm) to provide us the best insight on pricing our home. In addition, he had an eye for staging us with ‘just the right amount’ of our own furnishings. His company’s website provided a great marketing platform for our home’s listing and his vast network of contacts within the industry provided us a large base of potential clients to view our open house. Speaking of open houses, we listed our home on a Friday, had the first open house that Sunday, and had an offer the next day! After only 72 hours on MLS, we accepted an offer to our liking! 72 freakin’ hours?! The process was so quick! And in this market… wow! I would confidently recommend Mark (for buyers/sellers), as I think his services for the SOMA/South Beach is second to none!
—D.K., satisfied seller
The Bottom Line: Mark Choey was able to negotiate a phenomenal deal for us—a deal we didn’t think possible! Throughout our home buying journey Mark was always by our side. He provided us his candid opinions on different properties, explained the future outlook of the housing market, and always promptly answered our numerous questions and concerns. As mentioned above, when we finally made an offer, Mark was able to negotiate an exceptional deal! In addition, Mark went beyond his role as a real estate agent as he also provided us advice on breaking a rental lease, recommended an insurance agent and internet/cable company, and suggested contractors (for upgrades, i.e. such as blinds). If you’re looking for a real estate agent call Mark Choey! He’s very knowledgable about of the South Beach/SOMA real estate market, extremely professional, easy to get along with, and a go-getter! There’s no question to why Mark is a top producer. Thanks for all your hard work, Mark!
—C. L., homeowner in The Infinity
I have worked with Mark Choey and Climb Real Estate for the past several years in both the rental market and the real estate sales market. I highly recommend Mark to anyone interested in receiving professional, personal and hassle-free real estate transactions. Mark’s services for me in San Francisco were particularly helpful since I did not live in the market area where he conducted my transactions, so his ongoing communication with me was essential and flawless.
We lucked out finding Mark Choey. If you are looking for a home in one of the new developments in San Francisco, you will not find a better agent than Mark. He knows all the properties like the back of his hand and will give you a frank assessment of the pros and cons of each one in detail. Do not even think about trying to buy directly from a developer without the help of someone like Mark. He gave us invaluable advice on issues that we never would have thought about on our own. Mark also has extraordinary knowledge about property values and he pushed to get us absolutely the best deal possible. In addition, he was extremely helpful in guiding us through the entire purchase process and was able to get the developer to respond promptly to all of our questions and concerns. We would not hesitate to work with Mark again and highly recommend him to anyone interested in buying into a new development in San Francisco.
— T. & R., homeowners at The Infinity
It was truly a pleasure with Mark. He did an excellent job assessing my needs, finding the right property, and negotiating hard to get the best deal. I’ve moved into my new home and couldn’t be happier with how smoothly the transaction went. I always felt that Mark was the consummate professional and had my best interest at heart. He knows the market better than anyone and really stands out among the agents in the city. He is well connected in the real estate community and he was able to use his relationships and experience to push where he could push and truly act as my advocate during this transaction. Buying a home can be a process that can be fraught with stress, emotion, and missteps, but with Mark’s honest and direct approach, I always felt that I was in the loop and he had a good handle on every part of the transaction, ensuring a smooth process from start to finish. In addition to his strong market knowledge and experience, I found Mark to be very personable, down to earth, and easy to work with. Honesty and integrity are also traits that I believe that he possesses and brings to the table. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to buy or sell real estate in the city.
—S. D., homeowner at The Infinity
If you are looking for an agent in SF, Mark is your guy. We house hunted in SOMA, South Beach, and Mission Bay for several months without a specific broker. Of all the brokers we encountered, Mark stood out: he was genuine, easy going and exceedingly knowledgeable about the market. After a short time, it naturally fell into place that Mark was our broker; we did not feel like we had a “real estate agent” – we felt like we had a friend who was looking out for us and helping us find the perfect place. When we got into the final month of our hunt, Mark knew exactly how to best position us for success: the price was unbeatable (shocking, really), and the incentive package increased the power of our dollar. Many thanks, Mark!
—T & C, homeowners at The Infinity
Mark is the consummate professional. As we only had a narrow time window to shop for a home, he came through by communicating with us to find out exactly what our needs are. In the span of a week, we saw all the listings that we talked about and then some. All the while he showed great patience and dedication, and would go the extra mile to make sure things are done right. We will work with Mark again in a heart beat.
—J & J, homeowners at 239 Brannan, South Beach, The Brannan
What stood out for me was his flexibility, organization, persistence (without being pushy at all!) and patience in working with me. He was also very helpful in explaining the various processes around working with the different condo management offices to reserve units, dealing with lenders, and closing. We got along well, and by the end, I felt that I had gained a friend and not just a real estate agent.
—G. L., 260 King, Mission Bay, The Beacon
It was a pleasure to work with Mark. We greatly appreciated his approach throughout the process and look forward to working together for our next purchase. He communicated with us throughout the process, was great with following through on our concerns, and was tenacious throughout the process. I highly recommend him.
—P. K., homeowner at 260 King, Mission Bay, The Beacon
The best thing about working with Mark is that, whenever you are putting an offer, he communicates really very well with the sellers agent that I think is a key issue. He saved me a good amount of money by getting the right information that the seller was in a rush to sell his place. Also during the escrow, he also took care of all the paper work very well and everything went very smoothly without any problems. I would definitely recommend working with him.
—E. L., homeowner at 855 Folsom St, SOMA Yerba Buena Lofts
We discovered Mark by accident and we could not have had better fortune in doing so. Mark was incredibly responsive, well organized and efficient and ever conscious of working with our busy professional schedules. Mark is intelligent, has a great sense of humor, is extremely perceptive and is able to quickly identify tastes so that he can weed out places you don’t need to see. We were impressed with his knowledge of the market and how well he kept abreast of developments and new listings. We saw and made an offer on our loft on the first day it was listed (preempting scheduled open houses and the mess of a bidding war) – all thanks to Mark’s help and persistence. Mark is the consummate professional and uses excellent strategy in putting together an offer and seeing it through to the end. In all aspects of the transaction, we were very pleased with Mark’s effort, responsiveness and availability. We would highly recommend him to any person looking to move to SF in general, and say it’s a “no brainer” for those looking to buy in SOMA.
—R.P., homeowner at 461 2nd St, SOMA, Clocktower Lofts
There are so many great things about Mark Choey! Mark is a great realtor. He’s very professional and patient. Mark has stuck with us through every viewing, decision, and waver. Mark is detailed, diligent, and it seems like he is always working. He has great advice and helped us to make the right decision at the right time. If it were not for his advice, we could not have sold our place so quickly and for the price we wanted. My favorite characteristic about Mark is his honesty. I can ask his opinion on any property and get a candid, straightforward response. I trust Mark and I would refer him to anyone who needs an excellent, knowledgeable, trustworthy realtor.
—U.K., homeowner at 400 Beale St, South Beach, Bridgeview Towers
For the past 10 years, real estate was easy. You buy, the price goes up, and you are sitting pretty. Yeah, those days are gone. However, instead of standing by the sidelines, opportunities abound. You can go with a hungry agent who will try to get you into any place and promise you a rebate, or you can go with Mark. Mark is my advisor in this crazy but opportunity filled market. He helped me pick up a 2 bedroom REO in the financial district for $100K less than a comparable unit that sold a few months prior. Buying REO from a bank sucks. Really, it does. They just don’t make it easy for you. But Mark was able to make the process as painless as possible. So, if your need is an investment property, life-style change, or just looking for that trophy pad overlooking the city, Mark is going to do right for you. And if you are like me, you will never look for another agent again.
—A. H., homeowner at 246 2nd St in SOMA and 425 First St, One Rincon Hill
It is rare that we find such outstanding service that prompts a personal testimonial, but we have realized this in our real estate agent Mark. From the moment we met him at an open house we knew we had stumbled on a truly professional individual that pays careful attention to his client’s needs and displays utmost integrity. Mark worked very diligently for us and found us our home in The Infinity. Mark’s follow through is fantastic and does not stop with the sale of a home. He continues to make himself available to answer questions far after the actual real estate transaction occurred. Thank you!
—L & L, homeowners at The Infinity
Dad. Extreme skier. Real Estate Entreprenuer.
Climb making the SF Business Times' list of the Top 25 Brokerages in the SF Bay Area.
To push forward on a new idea when everyone is telling you it's a bad idea.
The excitement of a new business idea to try out.
Selling fireworks to the kids in my neighborhood.
Super Negotiation XRAY GAMMA Powers!
Anywhere that is 'up-and-coming'.
Doing the right thing, period.
People who are passionate about work and life.
What do you love about San Francisco?
I love how San Francisco is so casually avant-garde—excellence is everywhere, yet the vibe is super laid-back.