Friends since birth, Frank Balleste and Bryan Levy dreamed up their Cisca empire long before either of them knew exactly what it would mean. Balleste, who brings decades of construction experience, and Levy, a longtime real estate attorney and broker, may have their friendship to thank for the initial spark of idea, but they have years of hard work and client service to thank for the reality of the seven companies they now oversee. Serving almost every part of the real estate market, the Cisca family of companies (see sidebar) works closely with clients to offer them a veritable one-stop shop of high-end services. “Directly or indirectly, the services we offer and experiences we have had in the industry influence the companies across the board,” says Levy. We spoke with Levy and Balleste to better understand the extent of their offerings, explore just how each of the companies work in harmony and find out what keeps the longtime partners on the same page after more than a decade working together.
How did you team up initially?
Levy: Our parents grew up together in Cuba and knew each other since they were toddlers. Frank and I have known each other since birth, and although our respective interests carried us into different fields, we always talked about working together. In 2006, we decided to join forces and it was the best decision we ever made.
How closely do the companies work together on both a daily and long-term basis?
Levy: Directly or indirectly, the different services we offer and experiences we have had in the industry influence the companies across the board to the benefit of our clients. Having a construction background assists with the legalities of construction liens, title searches and closings; having a legal and real estate background assists with all the parameters of construction, and asset protection. The combined experiences under one roof are virtually unmatched in the industry, which begs the question why a client would go anywhere else when dealing with real estate or construction.
Balleste: When we meet with a client, we have a casual sit-down in order to determine their needs and the best strategy for their specific situation. Our diverse backgrounds usually end up benefiting all of our clients, no matter what services are specifically needed.
How does the family of companies benefit your clients?
Balleste: Usually, a client who comes to see one of our companies will require many of the services we provide and not even realize it. They’re usually at a loss as to where to find those services until we sit down with them. For example, a buyer looking to close on a home will always need title and lien searches done, as well as some remodeling (no matter how large or small) — which is something we provide in-house. Another example would be a property investors who is looking for investment opportunities, such as a fixer-upper, and is pleasantly surprised when we can assist them with their contract and closing, as well as with the remodeling and construction aspect, and then ultimately the protection or sale of that investment property.
What percentage of your clients work with more than one of the companies under your umbrella?
Levy: The vast majority of our clients actually end up using more than one of the boutique services provided by our offices. In fact many of them end up using most of the services, and benefit from a lower overall cost, combined experience, and the convenience of having everything they need under one roof…not to mention the relief of having one contact person to check in with throughout their process.
What are you most proud of in building this empire?
Balleste: The fact that we have been able to extend the highest level of service, with integrity and commitment to all of our clients across the board, has made us incredibly proud. We are dedicated to that level of service every day.
What is the secret to working together for so many years?
Balleste:The secret is really to have love and respect for each other and a shared commitment to assist our clients in any way possible, to the fullest extent of our abilities. It also helps that we have a blast while doing it.
Cisca Construction: ciscaconstruction.com
Cisca Real Estate: ciscacrealestate.com
Title 24-7: title24-7.com
Cisca Painting: ciscapainting.com
Legal Liens: legalliens.com
Cisca Property Services: 305-595-2246