For years Gary Lucido had been perplexed by the residential real estate brokerage business. Many of the agents he had encountered over the years just weren't that impressive and the commissions were exorbitant. It was no surprise that the FTC had investigated the industry for anti-competitive practices going back to 1995. It just didn't seem right to have to pay 6% to an agent who was little more than an order taker and didn't do that much to sell your house. In fact, when it came time to leave Richmond, Virginia to return to Chicago his wife and he sold their home themselves (no agent on either side of the deal) and saved $18,000.
After several years of wondering aloud to everyone he knew, Gary decided to get to the bottom of the mystery himself. His curiosity wasn't totally motivated by altruism, though, because his business career had taught him that when something didn't make sense there was probably a business opportunity lurking somewhere. So he spent the next few months reading industry studies, reading articles, talking to industry insiders,studying the competition, and reading economic studies. In the end his conclusions surprised him. A good real estate agent really could provide real value to buyers and sellers. The problem was that there just weren't that many good agents out there. Even more surprising,Gary discovered that there was not a mass conspiracy in the industry but there was mass inefficiency. Therein lay the business opportunity.(If you are interested you can request a copy of our white paper summarizing our findings about the real estate industry.)
As the business opportunity began to emerge Gary began to discuss it with Sari Levy, whom he knew from his last job and whom he knew to be hard working, professional, smart, and customer service oriented. They both received their salesperson licenses, their broker licenses, and went to work for traditional brokers. Their work experiences reinforced and complemented the findings of Gary's research so they decided to build a business together.
Based upon what Gary and Sari learned they created a business model for their own brokerage, Lucid Realty, that distances it from traditional brokerages and provides a better value to the consumer:
Lucido, President and Co-Founder
Gary brings over 20 years of experience in customer service, finance,operations, and information services, and has an obsessive passion for getting the job done quickly and correctly. His corporate experience includes many multi-million dollar contract negotiations that resulted in wins for both parties. Prior to working with a well-known traditional real estate brokerage, Gary was President of a national concierge company, where he worked with Sari. He was also one of the founders of Shop Local, a leading provider of Web shopping services for retailers, where he served as the President and Chief Operating Officer, responsible for client services, operations, and technology. His team built the company to more than 150 employees serving most of the top retailers in the country.
Gary's experience also includes 7 years at Circuit City Stores as Director of Inventory Productivity and Extended Service Plans, where he was responsible for the company's $500 million warranty program and led Circuit City's first supply chain initiatives. In addition, he was a Corporate Business Development Manager at General Electric, where he led a one-year customer service improvement study for GE Financial Services. Early in his career he worked in the strategy practice at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and in corporate finance at Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Gary received a B.S. degree in math and physics from Duke University and an MBA from Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management,where he concentrated in finance and management policy. He has lived in the Chicago area for over 19 years, including Evanston, Lakeview,Lincoln Park, and University Village.
Connect with Gary on Linked In.
Sari Levy, ABR,
SFR, Managing Broker, and Co-Founder
Sari brings over 15 years experience in the service industry and a solid background in operations, account management, vendor relations, and customer service to her role as Managing Broker at Lucid Realty. Sari brings a "whatever it takes" attitude to each day and thoroughly enjoys helping others. Prior to working with a well-known traditional real estate brokerage, she held the position of Vice President of Operations for a national concierge company. During her tenure, her team grew from 15 employees to over 100 and under her direction the company's operations grew from 6 locations in the tri-state area to over 35 nationally.
Prior to that, Sari served as the Customer Care Manager at Nicor Energy. She spent two years as the Operations Manager for VirtualSellers.com, an Internet start up company. Additionally, she spent eight years with Waste Management where she held various positions including Customer Service Manager and Business Analyst.
Throughout her career, Sari has developed a strong passion for exceeding expectations and treats everyone that she meets with respect and empathy and expects the same from those on her team. She and her clients can count on her to consistently go above and beyond expectations. She's been described as "customer obsessed."
Sari holds a B.A. in communications from Roosevelt University, where she graduated with honors in 2004. Sari is a Chicago native who has lived in Rogers Park, Uptown, Lakeview, Portage Park, Niles, Glenview, Wilmette, Lake Bluff, Lyons and Wauconda and settled in Addison where she has been since the late 90's.
With a strong belief in service, Sari is active in her community and in the community of animal rescue. Sari currently holds the position of Vice President of the Addison Chamber of Commerce where she has served for several years. She is passionate in caring for animals. After serving on the board of a local rescue for a few years, Sari joined the board of Realtors to the Rescue which is a group who focuses on raising money and awareness for homeless animals and helped the organization raise over $100,000.
Connect with Sari on Linked InEddie Nusinow, Real Estate Representative
Mark started in sales and customer service in 2001. He understands and appreciates being customer focused and offering the highest level of attention and detail to all your needs. He moved to the Lake View neighborhood in 2006 and has lived in several different neighborhoods in the city since, offering a first-hand perspective.
Mark brings 8 years of experience investing in real estate , having bought his first place next to Wrigley Field in 2008. Since then he has added four more properties to his portfolio. Owning and managing his own properties has provided valuable experience for Mark. Having dealt with all sides of buying, renting, dealing with association boards, tenants, move in/move out procedures, leases, handling security deposits, assessing and repairing any damage , he is well versed in getting through the process.
While a Futures Trader at the Chicago Board of Trade, as Mark was doing some of his real estate transactions he noticed the exorbitant commissions some realtors were taking in for doing very little work........in his opinion. Believing he had identified an inefficiency in this market he set out to correct it. He signed up for real estate school, passed the IL State and National Exams and set out to start his own company, reduce commissions, save people money and make a living while doing so. However, he discovered Lucid Realty was already successfully doing what he set out to do - and here he is.Arif Molla, Broker
Barb has over 20 years of experience in the financial industry with a primary focus in mortgage securitization. As a Senior Vice President at LaSalle Bank and Bank of America, she managed several teams of people in transaction management and quality assurance, and in the completion of multiple high-profile projects. Her expertise in relationship management, contract review, risk management and regulatory reporting is demonstrated by Barb s conservative nature and keen attention to detail.
Barb left the corporate world in 2011 to explore her entrepreneurial side by starting a company specializing in personal disaster recovery software and getting her license as a realtor. Barb leverages her experience and attention to detail when assessing the market. She has had years of experience as a landlord and having been a buyer and seller several times herself, she knows how to efficiently facilitate a real estate transaction.
Barb knows how important it is to do your homework before selling your home or committing to a large purchase, and that includes finding a realtor that is reliable and responsible. Barb is committed to doing her best for each client. Get the service you expect from a professional. Get the best from Barb.