Name: Michelle Lala
Title: Real Estate Salesperson
Company Name: RM Friedland
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?
Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing women who have given me advice that I will carry on with me and can now pass along to other women. Rather than see the women I meet as competition, I see them as someone I can learn something from, collaborate with, or even give advice to. It’s important we work together and encourage one another!
What books or social media influencers would you recommend to other women?
Working out is something I try to do almost every day – because of that I catch myself looking at a lot of fitness influencers on Instagram, one of them being Megan Roup, founder of Sculpt Society. Not only did she create her own fitness app but she created a community in which women can find confidence and strength through some pretty amazing workouts. Another social media page I would recommend following, that might not necessarily be an influencer, but it should be imperative that almost everyone in real estate follow, Traded.NY. This page will absolutely help you stay on top of what is going on in your market!
Why should women consider a career in commercial real estate and related services?
Commercial real estate is a very exciting career! Sometimes it might not always seem that way, but every single day you are given the opportunity to learn something new, speak to someone new and help people along the way. Another great thing about commercial real estate is it gives you the freedom to be creative with your work whether it be putting together the marketing materials or putting up videos/photos on social media or even coming up with solutions and new ways to get a deal done for your client.
In the past year, what project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of?
One of the transactions I am most proud of is a 90-unit, two-building package we sold in the Bronx this past July. Negotiations for this deal had begun a little before New York City went into lockdown but despite the uncertainty and having to learn new ways to get to the finish line my team was able to navigate our way through these uncharted territories and get the deal done.
What steps have you taken to ensure the continued success of your firm?
The steps that both I and my team took to continue the success of our firm included: staying motivated, getting creative and constantly learning and being in the know. Uncertainty has been high these past few months and it is up to us as real estate professionals to constantly have a handle on our markets to be able to be property owners “go to” source of information. It is also up to us to get creative to help bring awareness to your firm and what it has to offer. Whether it be putting up videos of our listings and the team or strengthening our social media presence, it was our ability to get innovative that helped us maintain success.
How have you adapted and changed in the last 12 months?
Within these past 12 months I have become very familiar with Zoom and I have probably received quadruple the number of emails than ever before. Because of this, I personally had to improve on my organization skills and keeping track of these increasing amounts of emails, zoom calls, etc. Another big adjustment was getting used to less facetime with your clients which led to modifying the way we did our pitches, inspections and marketing materials. This year has been about creating and maintaining relationships in an entirely virtual world.
How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles?
Keeping a team motivated in a time of so much uncertainty can be tricky. I would say the most important part of our strategy was to keep our team motivated and have constant communication by keeping each other in the loop. In addition to constant communication, it was important for us to start setting very clear goals for each other. By setting those goals we were motivated not only to complete them but to hold each other accountable in getting them done.