More than just a waiter

The Scoop Cafe in Tel Aviv offers the usual array of coffee, cakes, local gossip... and some pretty sound advice about the real estate market.

by: Reuters: Yoav Appel | 20 Apr 2007

In a creative bid to get in to the city's red-hot property market, cafe owner Yaffa Golan has encouraged her waiters and waitresses to become licensed real estate dealers like her.

Their real estate licenses hang on the wall alongside the daily specials from the kitchen and they serve up the latest tips on penthouse prices along with piping hot cafe latte.

"If someone comes and he wants to order a meal and at the same time he asks you about apartments, and you can do another deal with him, it's great isn't it," says waitress and real estate agent Miri Cohen.

Waiters and waitresses flip open their laptop computers and take a seat alongside their customers as they pore over construction plans for new developments in this vibrant Mediterranean city.

Tel Aviv property prices have risen by as much as 50 percent in less than two years.

In one luxury residential block currently under construction, apartments are priced as high as $18,000 per square-meter, on a par with London, New York or Tokyo.

With prices like that, Yaffa Golan says she can afford to be a little bit generous when it comes to closing a deal.

"When we need to close deals, we do it here over a cup of coffee and a meal... on the house," she says.

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