North America

Celebrating women in property management on International Women’s Day

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Group photo of the five women of Valor Property Management wearing blue, standing on stairs, smiling for the camera.

This International Women's Day, PayProp is celebrating the women who are making their mark in the North American property management industry.

Our female clients are dynamic leaders who bring passion, innovation, and expertise to everything they do. Join us as we share their stories and honor the progress they have made towards a more equitable and inclusive property management industry.

We are also proud of the remarkable women on our own team at PayProp!

Marissa Zuliani
Property Management Solutions
Windsor, Ontario

When and why did you enter the property industry?

I became involved in property management in 2011, when I was working at Windsor Essex Community Housing in the Asset Management Department.

During that time, I completed my accreditation in Property Management and in 2018, I started my own property management company. Shortly thereafter, I became a Board member of the Institute of Housing Management (IHM). I am also IHM’s Chair of the Marketing and Membership Committee and Chair of the Southwestern Ontario Chapter of IHM.

I find the opportunity for creative problem solving in the property industry to be very inspiring! The need to multitask and respond quickly is a critical component of the job, and it provides you an opportunity to grow these skills to a personal best.

Biggest industry predictions for the year?

The industry is strongly influenced by the general level of economic growth and availability of a variety of properties; apartment buildings, duplexes, single family homes, commercial and industrial space. I anticipate that property management will enjoy steady growth as the economy stabilizes and household disposable income rises following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diane Yin
Client Experience Leader, Property Administrator
CRESI - Complete Real Estate Solutions & Investments
Burlington, Ontario

When and why did you enter the property industry?

I started in the property industry in 2021. I’ve been in customer service all my life and have always been curious how property managers balance the relationship between landlords and tenants.

Biggest industry predictions for the year?

The property industry and the real estate market are closely tied to each other. As the market slowly shifts, people will hold onto their properties longer and rent them out instead of selling them. Or there will be an influx of new landlords who have recently bought investment properties to rent out.

Any advice for women in the property industry?

Don’t take things personally. When you are working with landlords and tenants, you are the messenger and you’ll get shot at a lot. At the end of the day, as long as you’ve tried your best, that is all you can do.

Shannon Conway
Chief Operations Officer, Co-owner
Luksus Property Management
Carleton Place, Ontario

When and why did you enter the property industry?

My formal education, strangely, has nothing to do with property management! I earned a Bachelor of Science, Honours in Kinesiology, but my academic years provided me with a wealth of transferable skills such as time management, project management, and producing accurate and thorough reports. Since graduating, I’ve taken on many different roles that broadened my skill set, with business development and customer service being key components.

My life and business partner, Victor Alleslev, and I started our own property management company in 2017. His decades of experience in underwriting, commercial real estate lending and property management combined with my own skills provided a strong foundation for our business.

Biggest industry predictions for the year?

We are going to see the Ontario market calm down somewhat after years of economic instability due to the global pandemic, and hopefully will start to see positive changes and growth with regards to the housing crisis in our country.

Any advice for women in the property industry?

  1. Never hesitate to ask questions! Prior preparation and planning always makes for a more successful outcome and property manager. The more information you have, the more successful you will be!
  2. Never hesitate to create healthy boundaries between you, your clients and your tenants. This line of work can be emotionally taxing and very challenging, but by staying organized and informed, and by taking everything in stride, it can be extremely rewarding!

Lisa Cohen-Adkinson
Owner, Broker, Property Manager
Valor Real Estate Services, Inc & Valor Property Management
Cape Coral, Florida

When and why did you enter the property industry?

20 years ago, upon arriving for my first day of work as a Broker Assistant, my boss told me I was going to be a property manager for over 300 doors instead. I had zero experience and I was told to "figure it out!" 

But I am nothing if not confident in my ability to deliver positive outcomes for clients. I am dedicated to my clients' success and always strive to exceed their expectations. Today I am the proud owner of Valor Real Estate Services, Inc & Valor Property Management.

Biggest industry predictions for the year?

Cape Coral is currently ground zero for Hurricane Ian, which has been named Florida's deadliest storm since 1935. With so many families displaced, I would bet that housing prices will continue to rise, like they did historically after most natural disasters in the state. I believe we are currently in a transition phase as the service industry is being pushed inland, where there is more affordable housing.

Any advice for women in the property industry?

Property management is for a special breed. You have to be a pitbull with lipstick! Anyone in property management knows that you never finish a project without being pulled in 20 different directions first. But women can multitask, aren’t afraid of confrontation, and can make hard decisions while still being understanding.

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