Better Homes and Gardens | Reliance Partners Real Estate is a full service real estate brokerage. The office has been at 3023 Grand Ave. for seven months. Before that it was at 3320 Grand Ave. Oakland CA 94610 for the 30 years. (I have to confirm this. It may be more.) It was first Mason McDuffie, then Prudential, then Better Homes and Gardens | Mason-McDuffie, and now Better Homes and Gardens | Reliance Partners. (Most realtors and clients refer to us as Better Homes and Gardens. Not to be confused with Better Homes, which is another real estate company all together.)

3923 Grand Ave. Oakland CA 94610 | Office: 510-834-2010, Mobile: 510-418-9443


My understanding is that Mason-McDuffie Real Estate was originally founded in 1887. 

I became a realtor and joined the office in 2002. At that time Amberson McCulloch was the office manager for a couple of decades. After him came Nick Falconio for a few years, and then Colin Hill for less than a year. The current office manager is Melissa Case.

The office has been a part of the Grand Ave. merchant's association. It has participated in business promoting activities, the last one being First Thursdays.

From the outside the office looks small, but it's 4,000 to 6,500 sq. ft. depending on which records you choose. Nevertheless, it's big and it accomodates 40 realtors. At one time in the early 2000s, the back was rented to an insurance company. It has 15-16 ft high ceiling that were lowered with a false ceiling.

So what is a full service real estate office? One that does everything from marketing, negotiating, inspecting, documenting, following up and closing the sale. It's an ideal for service for busy and not so experienced clients. Most clients just want us to sell their house or to buy them one.

Languages: Spanish, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Cambodian, Lao, Thai. We're a diverse lot.

For more historical content, check out

Realtor: Ernest Villafranca

Cell Phone: 510.418.9443 call/text

Specialties: Probate, Hispanic Market, Commercial

Areas: Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, and Castro Valley...but really the entire East Bay.