Maria: After 3 Years as a Real Estate Market Researcher

When Maria Mihali, our real estate market researcher, started this job, she gave it around three months. As a college sophomore with some experience working in a restaurant – she even got to see how it is like to be a sous chef! – an office job sounded like a rather dull perspective.

Three years and many “Donut Evenings” later, as she fondly remembers how she and her team used to “sweeten up” the afternoon working shifts, she is still here.  She shared with us her thoughts on being part of the Yardi Matrix team, her job, and what she’s learned about herself during this time.

What does a real estate market researcher do, in a nutshell?

As a Real Estate Market Researcher I am responsible for gathering data regarding specific properties via available online sources, and then getting in touch with different real estate players in the U.S. to ensure the accuracy of the information. We have several teams doing this and each of them focuses on specific types of information. The one I’m currently part of has as main task that of talking to brokers working for some of the largest companies in the U.S. and not only.

I can proudly say that I talked to the vice presidents of big real estate companies such as CBRE or Newmark and even the CEOs of smaller brokerages. It is in everybody’s best interest to communicate closely so that every property is properly and accurately represented on the Yardi Matrix database. This process enables each of us to gain new skills – one that I can think of immediately is communication – in a very short time, besides a better understanding of our product and of how the real estate world works.

What brings a smile to your face when you think about your job?

My colleagues, definitely! I`ve been part of two teams in my three years here, so I had time to make a bunch of friends. After a while, colleagues turn into friends, and for 8 hours a day, Monday to Friday, they become your family. And I can say I have a huge family with a great sense of humor.  You won`t believe how many funny stories we have to tell!

Also, I love to cook, and whenever I get the chance I cook or bake for my team and they love it. The latest hit was chocolate brownies. They were supposed to be chocolate muffins but, oh well, I failed pretty badly, so I called them brownies. Just as an FYI, I`m a better researcher than I am a cook. The next thing I have in plan is a cheesecake, which would probably end up being a pie, or something even less impressive.

How did you adapt to afternoon shifts (3:30 PM – 12 AM)?

For me, the afternoon shift was everything I needed when I first started working at Yardi. Being a college sophomore at the time, I needed to have my mornings free for classes. Shortly after, I started to like it, as I could run all the errands in the morning (shopping, paying bills, etc).

If you’re asking how this affected my personal life – usually this is the first thing young people worry about — I found out that I needed to let go of dinner dates and go for coffee dates instead. But I judge people better with a coffee in my hand than a glass of wine, so I guess this is still a win-win situation (smiles).

What surprising things have you learned about yourself since you started working here?

Quite a few, I would say. I always thought I was a good writer and that I have a talent for story-telling. But it seems that I code better than I write, and I`m not a good programmer. I found out that I`m not as patient as I thought either. This is something that takes time, but I`m working on it. The most surprising thing, however, was discovering this tech side of myself that I would have never thought of otherwise.

Along the way, I was faced with many challenges that I had to deal with. Having to choose the way to solve your puzzle teaches you commitment, responsibility and that there’s more than one way to do it. I have been learning this for three years now and I am still learning.

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