By GABRIELLA BOCK | Reporter
The relationships between real estate agents can often seem marred by competition and market slumps.
But behind the “sold” signs of Rodeo Realty’s Wallace Leifer and Francesca Muller is a Palisadian couple who hold the keys to marriage, moon missions and working together in a cutthroat industry.
The couple, who moved to the El Medio Bluffs area after getting married in late ’80s, are integral faces at Rodeo’s Pacific Palisades office.
There, the two are a dynamic sales force who delight in helping families find the right Palisadian place to call home.
And surprisingly, it wasn’t the market that moved them into the neighborhood.
“I had attended DePauw University in Indiana,” Muller told the Palisadian-Post, “and when I saw that a house on De Pauw Street was up for sale, I looked at Wallace and said, ‘Well, that’s the one.’”
Just like that, the couple bought the house on De Pauw where they have remained residents ever since.
Stepping away from their role as real estate agents, Leifer and Muller are a true renaissance couple.
Before entering the world of residential real estate—or “retirement,” as he called it—Leifer was a civil engineer who focused more on commercial construction rather than on homes.
Such focuses even took one Leifer to new heights.
As an engineer, Leifer designed the Grumman Lunar Excursion Module landing gear used by astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong during the 1969 Apollo 11 moon mission.
“I hid a photograph of my daughter, Lorin, in the inside of the landing gear,” he revealed with twinkling eyes. “And [because] the equipment was left behind, my daughter’s face has remained on the moon ever since.”
Besides helping to ensure that America’s first-ever moon landing was a success, Leifer is an accomplished landscape and portrait artist whose paintings hang in galleries and homes all across California.
He’s even painted a family portrait of American rapper-turned-actor/author LL Cool J and his wife.
And as for Muller, she’s got roots right here at the Post.
Her grandfather, Herman R. “Doc” Klauser III, was an original publisher of the Pacific Palisades Post before the newspaper merged with the long-standing Palisadian periodical.
Muller, who grew up in Los Angeles, has a celebrated history in consulting and sales negotiation—a quality that her husband said gives her an edge over the competition.
“She really knows how to talk to people and cater to their emotional needs,” he explained. “Francesca is a true asset to have on board.”
Together, Leifer and Muller synergize their analytic and creative strengths to cater to the needs of their clients.
And, according to Muller, some of those needs can change overnight.
“Right now people want a large kitchen, a home theater in the basement and an instant response from their Realtor,” Muller told the Post. “Like in any industry, real estate has been changed dramatically by technology.”
Other client needs are timeless—like a well-maintained backyard with ample space to entertain.
“Palisadian families love being outdoors,” Leifer noted before mentioning that he’d previously served on Potrero Canyon Park’s advisory board. “You can tell that the people who live here hold a lot of appreciation for our beautiful surroundings.
When asked if there was a “secret” to working together as a couple, Muller shrugged.
“For us it comes pretty naturally,” she explained. “After 20-something years of marriage we know what to expect from one another.
“With that being said,” she continued, “it also helps that we both love the industry and the community we work in.”
“It’s a win-win for all of us,” Leifer added. “There’s really no other place like the Palisades.”