Byzantium Brokerage Pays it Forward, Helping Neediest Among Us

Posted by Karen Monroe — October 15, 2007

Pacific Union GMAC’s Steven Mavromihalis Shows Gratitude by Giving BackSAN FRANCISCO – (Oct. 16, 2007) – At Byzantium Brokerage, the leading real estate team at Pacific Union GMAC Real Estate, San Francisco, it’s all about paying it forward. Team founder Steven Mavromihalis is a man best described as grateful: grateful for all of his blessings, and devoted to sharing those blessings with others, particularly with nonprofits serving the neediest among us.“I am very fortunate to be surrounded by remarkable people who bring out the best in each other,” said Mavromihalis, 47, who is happily married with four young children. “Grateful is a word I’d use to describe everyone on our team. This outlook on life not only motivates us to joyfully exceed our clients’ expectations, but also inspires us toward active social involvement, and by helping others, we are working to create and sustain a healthier community and a better world; one small step at a time.”Since 2002, Mavromihalis and his business partner, Gilbert Fleitas, have employed a full-service team of four real estate professionals dedicated exclusively to the often complex and demanding needs of their clients. But they have also made it a priority to give back to the community as often as possible.One of the many nonprofits Byzantium Brokerage supports is the Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP) in the City. Mavromihalis is a founding board member of the HPP and both he and Fleitas have served on the board in a variety of posts including as past presidents, dating back to the organization’s formal inception in 1992. This award-winning non-profit organization is dedicated to providing our city’s homeless women and their families with a safe and nurturing environment where they can “turn their lives around”. Many of the staff at HPP are, themselves, former clients who are able to lead by example through enrolling pregnant women in the prenatal care program, helping them beat substance abuse, believe in themselves, seek education, housing and employment and thus, ultimately, help them become productive members of our community.The son of immigrants whose father was a milkman when he was born in the Mission District, Mavromihalis grew up in a modest family home in Westlake (Daly City), so he does not take his success as San Francisco’s top real estate broker lightly. He works hard, tries to treat people kindly, and shares his good fortune with others, whether donating the entire commission from a large property sale to local charities, or teaching courses at Bay Area universities.Sometimes referring to himself as a “closet academic,” Mavromihalis has a bevy of degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University – two bachelors, two masters and he hopes, one day, a PhD from Stanford where he continues to toil toward the completion of his dissertation. Mavromihalis has taught in the History Department at San Francisco State, the Rhetoric Department at Cal, and also at Stanford as part of his doctoral program.Fleitas, who is often described as the perfect "yin" to Mavromihalis' "yang", is typically too modest to mention his own humble beginnings, or his distinguished academic and professional achievements. Also the son of  immigrants, Fleitas was born and raised in Harlem, yet earned an undergraduate degree in government from Harvard College, a degree in law from Stanford University, and went on to become a managing director and partner of the Trammel Crow Company.Together the two of them bring an impressive array of practical and intellectual skills to the table."I believe the study and teaching of history has enabled me to provide valuable insights to our clients, as we help them negotiate the process involved in acquiring or selling real estate assets," explained Mavromihalis. “The very best scholars with whom I have studied are those that understand things in nuanced ways. The most interesting truths lie in the smallest details. Our clients are some of the smartest and most successful people in the world. You can’t "sell” them anything. Our best results are achieved when we supply them with mounds of information and critical analysis, educate them as to the realities of the marketplace and let them draw their own conclusions. We are their faithful guides, their trusted advisors and, working as a team, we help them achieve their goals.”For more information, visit Union GMAC Real Estate – PresidioAs global headquarters with more than 200 sales associates and employees, Pacific Union GMAC Real Estate Presidio office is located at Letterman Digital Arts Center in the San Francisco Presidio. Since 1975, Pacific Union GMAC has thoughtfully matched generations of buyers and sellers throughout the Bay Area. As a leading, locally managed real estate company with knowledgeable, experienced real estate professionals, Pacific Union focuses on a global vision, using technology and superior service to deliver a quality experience to a full spectrum of sophisticated clients. Pacific Union is a member of the Christie’s Great Estates network and is a GMAC Home Services company. For information, call 415.929.7100 or visit

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