Nominee of the «Main Women 2023» award. Founder and CEO of the full cycle real estate agency «Real Estate Territory FQF». Practicing lawyer in real estate. Invited expert in the federal media.
Attitude: The Power of Choice
Tell us how your career in law began and why did you choose real estate?
My career in real estate law began, one could say, by accident. When I was 17 years old, my favorite older sister Elena worked as a lawyer. After graduating from school, I could not find my vocation for a long time and, at that time, changed two institutes. Then my sister offered me to try to work as her assistant. At first I helped her with the preparation of documents in court, over time, my sister began to assign me more complex tasks on real estate registration. After the completion of cases, people often wanted to sell the property they had formalized in court. Gradually, people started coming to me with questions about selling and buying real estate. I began to formalize transactions and help them with legal issues in this area. At the age of 20 I had my own small company, a real estate agency, with a small cozy office in the city of Shchyolkovo, Moscow region. At that time I had several employees working for me: they were friends of friends, some acquaintances, etc. But even then we provided clients with a level of service and service at the highest level, which in our city was not and is not to this day, except for my company. It can be said that real estate chose me, not I chose it, and I am still happily engaged in this profession to this day.
You came to real estate in 2007, and in 2008 you already opened your first office. What was such a quick start? Why immediately own your own company, and not hire?
For the first year and a half, I was engaged exclusively in paperwork, and at that moment I did not need an office. However, when I started actively selling real estate, I realized that I needed my own office. It has become a necessity, a goal and a main desire! I have never worked for anyone and have always felt uncomfortable in subordination. Since childhood, I could not stand being commanded and ordered what to do and where to go. This problem was also relevant during the school days. I didn’t like lessons because I always felt that I was being forced to do something, and this annoyed me a lot. It was obvious to me back then that I wouldn’t be able to work for someone. Before I came to real estate, I tried to work as a manicure and pedicure master, and, by the way, I was pretty good at it. I worked in this field from the age of 15 to the age of 17. But, by the age of 17, I realized that it wasn’t mine at all. I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t stand being manipulated and manipulated. Therefore, for me, opening my own company and office was a natural step. I decided to go where it’s scary and fun at the same time.
What do you think makes you a trustworthy real estate lawyer and consultant? How do you maintain your reputation and credibility?
A combination of professionalism, honesty and openness to my clients, and to people in general, play an important role in my work. I don’t just «work» for money and make it look like work, as many of my colleagues do, unfortunately. I just do what I love. My main motivation is a genuine love for my profession. I am insanely passionate about my work and chose the legal field of real estate, and real estate in general, not because I was forced to, but because it was my conscious choice. I love this profession and strive to be a competent professional in this field. I have a law degree, which confirms my qualifications. I am very meticulous and attentive to details. I delegate many things to ensure tasks are completed more efficiently. My reputation as a reliable specialist has long established itself, and now I do not need active advertising. I have learned how to solve complex problems. Often clients come to me already in despair, and know that I can always close their «pain».I have learned to cope with such situations and achieve results thanks to my passion for work and willingness to take on difficult tasks. Many of my other colleagues refuse such cases because of «hemorrhoids» and the inability to earn a lot of money, as it seems to them. But for me, pleasure and, as they say, butterflies in my stomach from successfully solving complex tasks are much more important than financial gain. I really appreciate such moments and strive for them! Money is a consequence of work.
Tell us about your experience working abroad, in particular in Dubai, in the field of commercial real estate.
I really have now gone a little into the international market, and of course, this is the UAE, and more into commercial real estate. Commercial real estate is a very interesting niche, and I myself am an investor in the residential real estate market in Dubai, as well as commercial real estate on the market in Russia. Dubai, as a city, is actively developing and attracting investments from all over the world. This is one of the countries that provides unique economic opportunities, and it is a sin not to invest here. Now it is one of the most profitable and, in my opinion, easy areas for investment. Dubai has collected all the money in the world, and you need to use it! I often hear lately that the Russian market has sunk a lot. Yes, he sank, but not so much that it was impossible to make money on him. Even with the changing global economic situation and different views on Russia, many investors continue to work successfully in the Russian real estate market. From an investor’s point of view, Dubai provides tremendous opportunities for future growth and profitability. The latest technologies are being actively introduced here, outstanding branded real estate is being built, and apartments on the primary market are being sold, renovated and furnished, which makes them ideal for investment and subsequent rental. Even in a volatile market, real estate in Dubai remains a promising investment. Cities, such as Abu Dhabi, offer many opportunities for investment and profitability. Real estate in Dubai and neighboring Emirates has the potential for a quick and good income. This market is much more attractive today than many others. I’m honestly still a very ardent fan of investing in land. It will always be in price and brings stable growth over time. In my opinion, it is an investment that justifies itself in the long term, especially in the Moscow region and other regions. I call land gold. Land increases in price annually by about 30% and remains in demand, which makes it a profitable investment. Land is a key resource that is not produced, it is important to remember that. Investors who have realized the potential of the Russian market foresee that land plots will be worth much more in the future. For example, it is now possible to purchase impressive areas of agricultural land in Russia at a relatively low price, but with the prospect of increasing value, especially near expanding cities and adjacent areas. Especially now there is a tendency to sell off and bankrupt massive enterprises outside of major cities. This is leading to the increasing popularity of land plots among smart investors, especially in provincial areas. The division and sale of land brings tangible profits, and also contributes to the development of regional economies. In the Russian real estate market and beyond, land investments are recognized as promising and bringing long-term benefits, despite their relatively slow payback and not instant financial results. In Russia, despite the increase in Central Bank rates and the complication of access to mortgages for the secondary market, new buildings remain in demand. There is an increase in the popularity of family mortgages and investments in land plots. Official statistics, including Sberbank data, indicate a strong increase in the number of mortgage transactions executed. I believe that the Russian market has not lost its attractiveness for investors, especially given the long-term prospects. However, it is important to have a competent approach to choosing investment objects, and not follow the general flow. A slight decline in the market is predicted, but no more than 10%. After 2024, a gradual recovery and growth in the value of real estate is expected, especially in the Moscow region. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that modern real estate investments require special attention and analysis. It is recommended to invest wisely, based on specific market conditions and considering the investment as a long-term investment.
How do you manage yourself and your organization to balance work and personal life? After all, you are also a wonderful wife and mom of two daughters!
I try to stick to the «8-8-8» principle. I devote 8 hours to work, 8 hours to my family and 8 hours to sleep. That balance is enough for me, although I’m having a hard time with that in 2023, of course. The year is filled with learning and working on myself, my skills, fitness, and developing my company and personal brand. This year is active in both personal and business development. It doesn’t always, honestly, manage to balance everything perfectly, but I’m not complaining. Saturday and Sunday are my stable weekends, when I spend time only with my family. And there have never been and never will be exceptions here. We don’t plan anything these days and we are always together. I don’t even answer work calls and texts, fully devoting myself to my family and getting to work moments on Monday. My husband is certainly supportive of me. He works in the civil service, which means he is a man of clarity and organization. He also helps with the daughters. Incidentally, my eldest daughter, Margarita, who is 13, now resides in Dubai. This step, of course, was not easy and it was difficult for us to decide to let our daughter go from under her parents’ wing. She goes to school here in the British education system. When I see my child happy and enjoying her studies, the climate and the facilities here, it is a special pleasure!
We can’t help but ask you, as a specialist! How do you assess the current state of the real estate market in Russia and abroad?
The real estate market in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is beyond competition, as I said earlier, for today. And it is my separate love! This market will continue to grow and develop in the next 10 years, definitely quite calmly. All the money in the world is concentrated here now, and the dirham is a strong and stable currency. I believe that if not even to earn, it is definitely necessary to save without losses, and at the moment it is the UAE. As for the Russian real estate market, I also appreciate it very much. Although it is less fast in terms of payback and not as promising in today’s reality as foreign markets, to date the Russian market has shown an increase in sales of about 8%. Compared to 2021, the Russian market has exceeded all expectations for 2023, especially in August, which closed with a gain of 12%. In Russia, the main investment is in new buildings, while the secondary real estate market remains less popular. Commercial real estate has recently been more actively purchased by investors, but the supply market is very limited, unfortunately.
Tell us about moments when you realize that your work has a positive impact on clients’ lives.
As I mentioned earlier, people come to me with different needs, whether it is buying or selling an apartment. However, they come not just to make a transaction, but with some special feeling, sometimes with a heavy burden on their soul. My job is to ease that pain for them. And I get satisfaction from watching their happy faces and breathing as if they have taken a weight off their shoulders. This brings me far more satisfaction than the material aspects or financial gains. I appreciate the opportunity to deliver emotional satisfaction to others. Each returning client confirms the success and usefulness of my work. This incredible sense of fulfillment is enhanced when they express their gratitude in moral and material ways. I’ll even give you an example. I rent an apartment in the secondary market in Dubai, but it’s empty, unfurnished. Instead of taking the help of professionals, I decided to do the staffing and design myself. Three weeks passed and I realized that trying to tackle it on my own was a mistake. It was a disaster – nothing matched, nothing worked. You should not skimp on the services of professionals, wasting your time in vain. The time I spent could have been used to do something useful, both for me and for others. It is important to appreciate the work of others and to do only what you know how to do, without interfering in things you are not asked to do.
What personal traits have helped you succeed in difficult situations?
Only hard work, perseverance and, perhaps, the organization of time help me move forward and achieve my goals. I don’t see any unsolvable tasks before me. Absolutely any life problem can be solved; it only matters how you feel about it, how emotionally. One day I allowed myself to go into some kind of story of suffering. I let myself get hurt, and it was extremely difficult. It was a difficult period in my life, and I realized that I should not allow myself to plunge into sadness, regrets and other negative emotions. They suck in instantly, and it’s hard to get out of there. It is always necessary to move only forward. Sometimes, of course, I want to give up, but I immediately answer myself the question: «Why do you want to go back?» And I always understand that I no longer have the right to even think about a refund. It is necessary to go only forward and only with pleasure, to do what you really like. When you do what you love, you don’t have to strain yourself. I, for example, love sports, especially boxing and tennis. Now I’ve started playing tennis, and I’m really into it. I’m an avid boxer, and I’m always going to training and do fitness. Of course, sometimes something gets me out of sorts, like all normal people. Yes, we are all human and prone to some depressive states. But depression is a scary thing. If you let it take over and possess you, it’s a real terror. So I try not to allow such states to come to me at all, even for a moment. I just draw conclusions, write it down and move on without looking back. By the way, I never regret anything. I believe that all my actions that I went through in life were not in vain. My life journey has made me stronger. I have become strong through my losses, failures and experiences. When I remember what I have been through, I am inspired and realize how strong and amazing I have become. I realize that no task is insurmountable for me.
How do you see yourself and your contribution to real estate and investments in 10 years?
You know, I’m currently setting up my own company. It’s not just a company, not just a real estate agency, it’s something more. Yes, this is a real estate agency, but one that provides luxury services in the comfort segment. This means that a person who came to us with five million rubles, having received high-quality service, can feel how oligarchs live, how millionaires live, and feel how amazing it is. It’s wonderful, and I want people to have such inspiration that they strive for more. At the same time, they always want to come back to our company. These are regular customers who come to us and stay. We have a full-cycle company, from the moment of construction to registration, sale, purchase, insurance and mortgage, and everything related to real estate. This is a broad-profile company in the comfort segment, and it is very important to understand this. Of course, it is always more profitable to work with people who have a lot of money than with those who have less, but they are also wonderful people, they simply cannot or do not want to find the strength to prove themselves and move towards more money. I myself love everything beautiful and chic service. This is what I offer in my company. When people come into our office, no matter how much money they have, they are already inspired when they are brought a cup of delicious freshly brewed coffee in a beautiful cup. They feel more confident when they have a lawyer who helps with any needs and problems in our field. They are happy and just grateful. These are clients for the future. I am building a legacy company, not just one that operates in the present on a stream, but a legacy. It will be a big, strong and confident company. Not a network company by any means, but an international one. I don’t want it to become a network company because it immediately affects quality. Reputation suffers over time. I am also actively developing my personal brand and have long wanted to create my own real estate investment club. These will be closed serious investment projects, accessible only to a select few, as it is not always easy to work with partners and big money. I want to create an investment club where real estate partners and investors will be carefully selected.
Everyone chooses for himself the truth, religion and the road, but no matter how it is, the choice is the lot of the strong. Not to merge with the crowd, to be a level above every day and be responsible for themselves and their actions can not everyone. It is important to find your own, sometimes irrational, but the only true way to success, harmony and happiness. Gathering bits of experience from different fields: law, international law, psychology, economics and marketing, we can say with confidence that if you cooperate with us, your choice of real estate for life and investment will be 100% correct and will benefit you and your family.
How do you look at your life journey and the successes you have achieved so far?
I believe that I have had a difficult life path. It was not the most complicated, but far from the easiest and quite difficult path, and my achievements are the result of honest labor. Honesty has always been a priority for me, both in my dealings with clients and partners, and in my relationship with my spouse. Honesty can be a source of inspiration, but it can also cause misunderstanding and even aggression from others. Nevertheless, I have a wealth of experience and serious work experience, and I am proud of my accomplishments. In the last two years I have made a big leap in my life and business: from a small town in the Moscow region to an international business and global market. It was scary, but I got through it. I went back into partnership, and it was worth it. I also sent my child to study abroad. I moved from a small town to Moscow and then to Dubai. I value my life and am grateful to everyone who has met on my path. It is important that every experience, whether good or bad, teaches us to appreciate the moments in life. I don’t rest on my laurels and continue to grow. I have my flaws and there is room to strive and learn. I invest 70% of my income in my personal and professional development. Since childhood, I had no doubts and low self-esteem. I always knew that I would be successful and was not afraid to dream big and ambitious. Everything depends on ourselves, as Yolka sings, and our success is in our hands.