Name: Michele Messina
Company: Quatela Chimeri PLLC
Real estate associations or organizations that you are currently a member of:
- Suffolk County Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
In the past year, what project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of?
As I am always proud of my and my firm’s accomplishments throughout the year, I am most proud of being able to keep the firm 100% operational as the world was turned upside down by the pandemic. We were able to continue servicing our clients and ease their fears of either losing their homes, their down payments and/or their transactions. We stepped up to the plate and became extremely creative in accomplishing the tasks at hand.
What steps have you taken to ensure the continued success of your firm?
To ensure the continued success of the firm, I truly believe in the “power of positivity.” I start each and every day with a smile on my face and an upbeat attitude despite what the day may have in hand for me. I believe in hitting the pavement running and going out to get the business…not waiting for it to come to me. There is business to be had and if you pride yourself in your work and provide the service your clients are entitled to, you will prevail. Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.
Why should women consider a career in commercial real estate and related services?
For over 25 years, I have practiced as an attorney with the thrust of my work in real estate and banking law. I have seen this male-dominated field of practice transform into a diverse area where women have made great strides. I truly enjoy this area of practice and as the profession continues to empower women, I encourage my fellow women to consider this area of practice or an area related thereto such as loan officer/underwriter or title closer.
How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles?
My staff is an extension of my family in my mind. Without them, I could not function. During any hiring process, one of the most important qualifications required is the ability to work as a team member, to be respectful of each other and that the job of one is the job of all. With that work ethic I promote, we work hand-in-hand to accomplish our goals as one. If we have to be at work, let’s enjoy it!!! Once again, keeping a positive attitude and always reminding them that there is nothing we cannot accomplish if we put our minds to it. My staff and I truly enjoy working together and the work environment, although demanding, is pleasant and welcoming.
Women have made significant progress in the last year towards equality in the workplace. How do you advocate for your fellow women in real estate?
Advocating for my fellow women either in my area of practice or women in a related work area is something that comes naturally for me and my staff…who are all women. We assist and will continue to assist in advising and guiding other attorneys, who may be new in the field or not as experienced as I, paralegals of other attorneys who may need some assistance from my staff, and/or the title closer who comes across a problem at a closing or post-closing that needs direction. My door is always open for them, all they need to do is simply ask.
How have you adapted and changed in the last 12 months?
Well we all know that the last 12 months of our lives have been a challenge. I and my staff put on our boxing gloves to deal with the pandemic and its many demands. We have diligently complied and mastered COVID-19 protocols and became extremely creative in servicing our clients and accomplishing our real estate and banking closings amongst the other areas of law that the firm practices with very successful outcomes.
What books or social media influencers would you recommend to other women?
As for an influential book, I would have to say, “The Most Powerful Woman In The Room Is You” by Lydia Fenet. The title alone says it all.