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Curbed's Real Estate Hotties Contest Begins Right Now

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Let the races begin! We've rounded up all the nominations for the Bay Area's hottest real estate folk and compiled the smoking-hot candidates into a bracket which we'll be running through at lightning speed this week. Here's how Week 1 works: Today through Thursday we'll have two polls per day where we pit two real estate gurus against each other for your voting pleasure. We'll divulge some interesting tidbits about each candidate to sway your vote. Voting begins as soon as the posts publish and continues until 10am tomorrow. On Friday we'll review the bracket in anticipation of next week's matchups. Let's get this party started with our first match!

On the left: Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties

Have you always been in the real estate industry or did you have a different career before entering brokerdom? I am a recovering lawyer of 6 years. Let me put it this way: it's more satisfying when people come together to make a deal (real estate) than it is to be coming together after a lawsuit has started (law). One friend asked me at my first listing in Mission Dolores why I was in the Mission selling a small TIC when I had went to Berkeley for law school. I answered him it was because I went to Berkeley and am smart enough to get into something that fits my personality and skill set a lot better.

What's the best part about selling real estate in San Francisco? Access and getting to see how people really live. Of course it's great meeting new people all the time without having to depose them for a trial. And it's wonderful getting to see all the pretty houses and realizing opportunity when others don't see it. But what is far more interesting is seeing high-power lawyers, CEOs, start-up gurus throw their laundry on the floor just like anyone else -- it's seeing people's dirty laundry, literally.

What do you like to do when you're not selling real estate? Is there such a time? Well, I like taking my former seeing eye dog trainee to Duboce Park. I love biking with all the good folks with the AIDS LifeCycle and I love to shop and to eat...locally sourced, fair trade of course.

What separates you from the others in this competition? I am me and they are them. But in all honesty, I'm pretty "on" all the time and I get pretty intensely involved with taking care of my clients. I give broad, lawyer-informed advice and I like to take pictures and YouTube videos that I send to my clients in the moment so we can get going and fast. For example, I get use technology not just as a novelty to play Angry Birds, but my latest escrow only happened after I broadcast/Skyped an open house walk-through to a client based in Seattle for a great place in NoPa that was on the market for about 48 hours. That's what I do differently I suppose.

Everyone give it up for Kevin!

On the right: Sheldon Rilliet of Alain Pinel Realtors

Funniest anecdote from life as a broker: You never know what you’re going to walk into, every open house, lock box showing, it’s always different? you simply can’t be shocked as a broker? There is always the potential to walk into any of the following: sexy time, hoarding, explicit drug use, grow rooms, every possible pet in the book - snakes, chickens (indoors), mice, rats, pygmy goats, pigs - all in The City. This Incredible City.

What's the best part about selling real estate in San Francisco? San Francisco is such a diverse world renowned city, the people that come here are fascinating, knowledgeable & all have such interesting back stories. The City has so many distinct neighborhoods and it’s great to narrow down the “right” location for clients. Listing in The City also provides such great opportunities to showcase the differences that every home possesses be it view, history, neighborhood etc?

What do you like to do when you're not selling real estate? I enjoy friends and family. My Wife Lauren, Daughter Sloane & Son Jake; to cook, create art & design (home, furniture, etc.). Admittedly, I enjoy television and spend a fair amount of time on the internet.

What separates you from the others in this competition? I’m a considerate, unpretentious guy & I don’t drive a Mercedes.

Poll results