Founder + Affiliate Broker
Marcus Miller’s tried-and- true holistic approach to working with clients has made a noteworthy ripple throughout the San Francisco real estate community. For nearly 17 years his hallmark commitment to being an advocate for his clients has fostered a well-respected and trustworthy reputation. Balanced by a rich history of unique experiences as a decorated U.S. Navy veteran and accomplished academic, Marcus has built a momentous and honorable real estate career.
Attributed to his time in the Navy’s “silent (submarine) service” deep in the North Atlantic during the Cold War and ending with the removal of the Berlin Wall, Marcus shines as a testament to the designation of stress-tested. By embracing his ability to thrive in demanding environments with a balanced calmness, Marcus assuredly leads his clients on exhilarating journeys as they navigate the extraordinary San Francisco real estate market together. Graduating summa cum laude from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor’s degree in broadcast and electronic communications along with his Masters in management have strengthened Marcus’s foundation as a relationship- based advisor. He continually asks his clients the questions that lead him to carving out engaging and personalized paths to their real estate goals. Grounded by his entrepreneurial spirit and cheerful demeanor, Marcus wholeheartedly establishes himself to each client as a real estate consultant for life.
After his tenure at one of San Francisco’s premier luxury brokerages, Marcus and his wife Marlena established their own brand, Helm Real Estate. With the thoughtful naming of the business, their team of real estate consultants have vowed to lead their clients toward their goals, strategically encompassing all factors along the way. As San Francisco residents and homeowners themselves, Marcus and Marlena guide a team of like-minded professionals who have a passion for the unique culture and diverse landscape of the city. Raised in the Caribbean, Marcus is bilingual with fluency in Spanish, serving as an asset in the city’s multi-cultural community.
Attracted by their qualitative nature and pioneering approach to the industry, Helm Real Estate partnered with Reside, the most innovative and tech-forward brokerage in the Bay Area. For Helm Real Estate, the partnership presents the opportunity to maximize their ability to improve the quality of life for its team members in a nurturing environment to generate superior care for their clients. Marcus has traveled extensively throughout the world, enjoys public speaking, is a student of martial arts and loves to cook for his family and friends. With an established work/life balance within Helm Real Estate, Marcus has the time to appreciate life and spend quality time with his wife Marlena and their son and daughter.View My Profile
Founding Associate + Consultant
Ryan Bakalarski’s jovial spirit lends a warm energy to his life as a real estate consultant in the Bay Area. The fluid combination of his people skills and industry acumen have generated a rewarding career with energy spilling over into each relationship he ignites. A California native, Ryan’s family support system stems up from San Diego into his San Francisco home where he and his wife enjoy the vibrant community within the renowned Marina district. As Founding Associate with Helm Real Estate, Ryan’s passion is strengthened by those around him as they extend unrivalled services to the people they serve.
Ryan finds there is no better way to stay connected to the city he adores then to help people realize their dream of living there. His relationship-based approach keeps his focus narrowed on introducing his clients to their ideal home surrounded by a community that resonates with their personality and lifestyle. He provides services to a rich client base, spanning from first-time referrals to lifelong friends and family, finding no better way to extend his love for the city than to find homes for people who want to enjoy it with him.
After attending UC Davis and receiving a BA in the Sociology of Law, Ryan’s long-time magnetic attraction to living in the City came to fruition, organically leading him into the hospitality industry. Naturally charismatic with a flair for creative conversation, he found himself enthralled with his life as a bartender and restaurateur. After many years, and eager to continue enjoying everything San Francisco had to offer, Ryan gathered his transferable skills and adventuresomely joined the real estate arena where his love for real estate has continued to expand with his experience.
Working with the genuine and innovative team at Helm Real Estate is a contributing factor to Ryan’s dedication of maintaining work/life balance. Their established commitment to improving the quality of life for their clients and team members lets him enjoy taking full advantage of the city’s wide-ranging amenities. Ryan and his wife soak in the city’s diverse culture, landscape and epicurean offerings from taking in shows and frequenting wine bars, to exploring new restaurants on their way down from hiking Mt. Tam.View My Profile
Real Estate Consultant
Joy Liu is the consummate real estate professional who is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of her buying and selling clients. She combines strong client management honed from her years in marketing and advertising with creating a personal relationship to intimately understand her clients’ needs and desires. While building trust is important, Joy also knows good old-fashioned market knowledge, savvy negotiation skills, and professionalism are key to driving client success and has utilized these principles with her clients since entering real estate in 2006. Joy is a native of San Francisco since moving here with her family from Taiwan in 1976. Joy grew up in real estate as both of her parents worked as agents in San Francisco, serving the city’s large immigrant population. With real estate as the family business and her parents as mentors, Joy was exposed early and often to how the business works. Growing up in the city gave her an insider’s perspective of its many neighborhoods and market dynamics; important aspects when guiding clients to optimal locations. Prior to real estate, Joy worked in advertising for 14 years as an account executive at prominent agencies like Hal Riney & Partners and Saatchi & Saatchi, working with large automotive brands like Saturn and Nissan. It is this background that developed her strong client management and business skills she now brings to her real estate career. While she was successful, she realized that she loved directly helping people. Joy loves that real estate brings together her business and marketing skills and her desire to help people, particularly with one of the largest transactions they will ever make. Joy has been ranked top 10% in the Top Agent Network of San Francisco. Fluent in English and conversational in Mandarin, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and International Business Marketing from California State University, San Francisco. Joy spends her spare time with her other love, working with animals in need. She has been working with the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands since her teenage years, helping to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned or injured marine mammals. She also loves travel, yoga, visiting museums and playing golf. Finally, Joy actively contributes to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and is the Chair for the Man & Woman of the Year 2019 campaign.View My Profile
Real Estate Consultant
Gary Saydah brings the type of solid experience, top-notch customer service skills, and real estate smarts that one might expect from an accomplished agent who has spent most of his life in the industry. A New Jersey native, Gary followed a career lead established by his father, who was a real estate broker for 40 years. Gary broke into the industry at the age of 18 when he earned his first real estate license and sold his first house. He would go on to co-manage the family brokerage before moving to San Francisco more than twenty years ago. Throughout his career, Gary has always felt a deep empathy towards those who aspire to the dream of home ownership. He brings honesty, integrity, and a personal touch to his profession, and he is continually educating his clients on the process and the local markets. Described as easy-going, warm, and a good listener, he has earned a reputation for establishing trusting, long-lasting relationships with clients and fellow agents alike. Just one look at Gary’s warm, welcoming smile lets clients know they are in trusted hands. When working with Gary, clients team with an agent who will not only go the extra mile, but he might even cook them an amazing dinner too! That’s because Gary is an accomplished cook and baker who loves hosting dinner parties and traveling internationally so he can indulge in the cuisines of different cultures. Taking the foodie connection even further, Gary works with a local nonprofit to deliver food to various San Francisco communities and organizations.View My Profile
Founder + Operations
Marlena Miller’s elegance in developing material that draws attention to brands and businesses has fueled her marketing and advertising career for over 30 years. She is led by her passion to create, and eagerness to acquire new skills and knowledge from experiences. With an unshakable integrity, Marlena and the crew of real estate consultants at Helm Real Estate work together like a family to create memorable experiences for their clients as they move toward their real estate goals. Marlena’s momentum in shaping her mastery for marketing is directly linked to her hands-on approach for learning. With a BS in Marketing, she started in the in-house marketing department of an Anheuser-Busch wholesaler where her perseverance and full immersion propelled her up into management resulting in 18 rewarding years with the company. As her interest in the real estate world was piqued by husband’s established career as a real estate broker, Marlena shifted her focus and channeled her efforts towards Hill & Co. as their marketing manager. From here, with an intrinsic motivation to design an environment that supports a quality balance between work and life, Marlena and her husband Marcus forged Helm Real Estate, a brand resonating the core values that fuel their lives. Marlena’s professional role is supported by a combination of interdependent factors that strengthen her efforts to extend services to clients that are genuine, and advantageous for their real estate goals. Her engrained joy for helping others and enthusiasm for keeping things organized have added to the mindful shaping of Helm Real Estate, in turn, giving Marlena and Marcus the opportunity to establish, and reinvent, their position in the real estate industry. With a certification in advanced social media and partnership with Reside, an innovative and tech-forward boutique brokerage, Marlena’s marketing efforts have been fully supported as she embraces the operations side of the business. Marlena’s professional journey continues to be driven by not only her passion and skills, but by her family and the life they continue to nurture together. With their two children at their heart, Marlena and Marcus effortlessly allow their natural intentions to guide them on their adventures.View My Profile
Jessica is a Bay Area native with a background in property management, real estate sales, and start up tech, creating the perfect blend of experience for helping real estate agents take their business to the next level. She earned her Real Estate license in 2013 and has supported four brokerages in that short time, accumulating knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work for agents and brokerages. She loves researching ways to leverage technology to save time and money.
Real Estate & Tax Lawyer, Broker-of-Record at Side
Acting as our broker and in-house legal counsel, Hilary is the person our agents turn to for legal advice. Before becoming a successful broker in her own right, Hilary practiced real estate law for 5 years at a San Francisco law firm, building a solid foundation of real estate knowledge.
Ashley Bledsoe joins Reside as Channel Marketing Director following 7 years at San Francisco’s largest residential real estate brokerage. At Zephyr Real Estate, Ashley worked on agent marketing strategy, from developing novel online marketing channels to elevating and refining traditional real estate marketing efforts. Ashley is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and the proud daughter of a top producing Virginia REALTOR®.
Senior Director of Engineering
Chris started in software startups over ten years ago in North Carolina, eventually heading to San Francisco in 2013. He now leads the engineering team, ensuring on-time delivery of features, high quality of product, and secure protection of data.
San Franciscan, technology nerd, and knowledge enthusiast. As a digital marketing manager, John has led online marketing programs in web design, web development, lead generation, and SEO. At Reside he is part of a team focused on creating integrated marketing strategies for top performing real estate agents.