Name: Vivian Martinez
Company Name: Marks Paneth LLP
Real estate associations or organizations that you are currently a member of:
- Association of Women Accountants in Real Estate
- Board Member, Asian Real Estate Professionals Association
- Long Island Real Estate Group (LIREG)
What steps have you taken to ensure the continued success of your firm?
Our firm slogan at Marks Paneth is “Success is Personal,” which focuses on our longstanding tradition of valuing client relationships and placing the highest priority on helping clients reach their unique goals. To that end, maintaining our success is predicated on continuing to build strong and robust client relationships and growing our existing business. I have made a concerted effort to do just that.
Why should women consider a career in commercial real estate and related services?
Being a woman partner in a public accounting firm is very challenging, but it enables you to network with people in different industries. The real estate industry is also generally financially stable and offers untapped leadership opportunities for women.
How have you adapted and changed in the last 12 months?
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, I have had to learn to be more creative and flexible. Working from home and using Microsoft Teams or Zoom for meetings has become the new norm. Although it took a lot of adjustment, I have switched from using paper to going paperless. My work hours now are much more flexible, and the time I would have ordinarily taken for commuting has turned into work hours.
How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles?
I believe communicating is the key to making a remote working situation successful. In this new environment, you must educate staff on how to work efficiently and effectively while working remotely. It is important to continue to motivate staff with new assignments and to encourage them to build their career paths within the firm.
In the past year, what project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of?
Commercial real estate was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a partner in the Real Estate Group at Marks Paneth LLP, I focus on serving commercial and residential real estate clients and assist clients with many types of real estate transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions. During the past year, I have been involved in multiple acquisitions of storage facilities and film studios on my client’s behalf, as my client has had to pivot due to the pandemic.
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?
As a mentor to many women within the firm, I encourage women to work hard and to ask for what they deserve. They have to be confident and believe in themselves to advance within the profession.
What books or social media influencers would you recommend to other women?
Jenn Im, a Korean-American fashion vlogger and fashion designer, immediately comes to mind. Forbes magazine named her one of the “top influencers” in fashion in 2017.