John Norheim Head Shot

John Norheim

(510) 527-3400 ext. 10  |
CalBRE #00770171

John Norheim is the managing partner of Norheim & Yost, the premier commercial real estate brokerage working in West Berkeley. He co-founded the company in 1982 and since then has come to know virtually every property and development site in this area- its history and its potential. Norheim & Yost has sold or leased properties on virtually every block in West Berkeley. He started the company with his long-time partner, Don Yost who has since retired. They would meet for coffee at the French Hotel on Shattuck Avenue, opposite Chez Panisse, then they would head out to West Berkeley looking for deals. In the 35 years since then, Norheim & Yost has completed more than 3,000 transactions, representing landlords, tenants, developers and investors, primarily in Berkeley.

John specializes in the selling and leasing of office buildings, industrial properties, retail, and leased investments. He works all through Berkeley, Emeryville and surrounding areas but his particular strength is in West Berkeley, where he has also been involved in the development and management of commercial real estate since 1982. Norheim & Yost is respected and trusted and because their clients tend to stay with them, they have sold and leased many properties two, three and four times, over the years.

John is known for his straightforward, honest style and has worked with many clients for 30 years plus. He understands the sometimes-quirky workings of Berkeley’s real estate regulations, and has learned the most efficient ways to get things done at City Hall. He has spent long evenings at the Zoning Adjustment Board and City Council meetings making his case, or advocating for clients. For more than 10 years, he worked on the West Berkeley Area Planning Committee, rezoning all of West Berkeley.

John has had a long-standing commitment to the community. He served on the board of directors of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, West Berkeley Area Plan Committee, and the Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay.

Before he got into commercial real estate, John was the General Manager for 8 years for the John Beery Company. It was the largest yacht sales organization in California including retail stores, wholesale distribution, plus a boatyard and sailing schools.

John is a bay area native, having grown up in Oakland. He graduated from the California Maritime Academy with a B.S. in Nautical Science, was licensed by the US Coast Guard as a Second Mate, and was a Lieutenant in the US Navy. As a young man he was world class sailor, winning the North American Championship in the International 505. He most recently raced in the Pac Cup in 2016, sailing from S.F. to Hawaii.

Steve Smith Head Shot

Steve Smith

(510) 527-3400 ext. 12  |
CalBRE #01330154

Steve Smith joined Norheim & Yost in 2001 and is one of the firm's partners. He has worked and lived in West Berkeley since 1991. His background is in construction, metal fabrication, furniture prototyping and production, project management, and structural engineering. He holds a bachelors degree in architecture from UC Berkeley and the College of Environmental Design. Steve has represented landlords, tenants, buyers and sellers alike. His real estate leasing and sales experience covers a broad range of commercial property types including industrial, retail, office, and investment. His knowledge and understanding of the idiosyncrasies of East Bay cities and their politics and zoning ordinances is a critical asset to his clients. His diligence, ethics, and loyalty to his clients is evidenced by a solid reputation. Steve serves as a board member of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce.

Elena Holman Head Shot

Elena Holsman

(510) 527-3400 ext. 11  |
CalBRE #01731812

Elena Holsman began her professional real estate career in 2006 as a broker specializing in office sales and leasing in Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland with Colliers International. Simultaneously, Elena began working with her family managing commercial property in West Berkeley. Elena has a history of working with local landlords to position their assets for optimal market potential as well as developing and maintaining a strong base of tenant clients with unique business needs and desires. As a native of Berkeley, Elena is dedicated to the community and the development of the East Bay, and takes great pride in the relationships she has fostered throughout her real estate career. Elena received a bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Elena joined Norheim & Yost in 2018.

Don Yost Head Shot

Don Yost

CalBRE #00364108

Don Yost passed away in April, 2020, after a 40+ year career as a real estate broker in the Berkeley, Emeryville, and Oakland commercial markets. In addition to brokerage, Don was active in formulating zoning and planning issues in Berkeley, served on the West Berkeley Plan, the Mayor's planning and zoning task force, and the City of Berkeley Planning Commission. He successfully represented many clients before the Zoning Adjustments Board and the Berkeley City Council.