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Women in Real Estate: Violetta Viganò

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Violetta Viganò, Associate Director, Lettings and Sales at BNP Paribas Real Estate Italy began a career in real estate as an Office Manager. After seeing the opportunities available to her within the industry and thanks to a supportive mentor, she was able to study to become a chartered real estate broker and forge a career that has challenged her both personally and professionally.

Can you tell us a bit about your role?

Working in Rome, I’m part of the Office, Letting and Sales Advisory department where we manage transactions from both the landlord and occupiers side. This includes property marketing and more generally, strategic advice on the positioning and pricing of their properties. 

How did you end up in a role in real estate?

After graduating with a degree in humanities, I decided that I wanted to find work in a support function role and found a job as an Office Manager at a real estate firm. 

From entering the industry, I immediately found it to be very interesting and discovered the number of opportunities that were available to me. At first, I knew nothing about this area of work, but was really helped by a great mentor at the beginning, who encouraged me to pursue a career in real estate. 

I then decided to study alongside working fulltime and passed my exams at the Chamber of Commerce, which enabled me to become a chartered real estate broker. In order to strengthen the education that I had already completed, I sought out and completed a number of postgraduate courses in business administration and finance, helping balance out what I had learnt so far. 

Since then, I’ve worked for a number of real estate companies, both international and local, steps which have contributed to what I do today. BNP Paribas Real Estate is for me a step up in my career as it’s a company very focused on cultivating talent and encouraging professional paths within the company. Having started within the company as a Senior Advisor, I have now been promoted to Associate Director

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

Striving to satisfy the multiple stakeholders in a deal requires a lot of problem solving, and as much as my experience, year after year, has helped me find solutions, each transaction has its unique specificities and difficulties. This means that keeping everyone’s priorities in check whilst trying to close a deal can be tough.  

Violetta Viganò, Associate Director
Lettings and Sales at BNP Paribas Real Estate
Italy

What has been the most important thing you’ve learnt whilst working at BNP Paribas Real Estate?

Working in this role has helped me develop a whole set of skills that I didn’t think I would ever master.  

These past few years have most definitely taught me a great deal because the industry in general has faced challenging times due to the health crisis and we’ve had to find new ways of working and adapt to major changes. This has certainly meant that I’ve learnt how to deal with new situations and potential issues. 

What’s been so crucial throughout this time however is the working environment that I find myself in. It’s a team where knowledge and experience are shared, which I find very enriching. These are skills I’ve been able to strengthen since I’ve been working at BNP Paribas Real Estate. 
 

What are you most proud of achieving in your career?

I’m proud of how I’ve developed as a person and as a professional. I would never have thought that a career that demands such active and challenging interactions with people would have been rewarding, particularly as an introvert. Previous to working in the real estate industry, I would have found this difficult but I believe over time I’ve found my own balance and I’ve developed an approach both personal and professional that is appreciated by my clients and colleagues. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career similar to yours?

To keep an open mind and learn from those around them, qualities that I really benefited from. I’ve certainly always valued any opportunity to learn from my peers and it’s really helped me throughout the years, so this for me is key to having a career like mine. 

Which powerful women do you most admire?

It’s not in my nature to be drawn to power in general so I admire the sort of person whose power lies in staying true to themselves. I think Michelle Obama is a good example of this because she has an undeniably powerful partner in life but was able to find her own power and her way to influence and inspire others and pursue her own ideas. That’s a quality that I really admire. 

What does success mean to you?

I believe that a successful career is only part of the greater picture. I’m a full-time worker and mother of two and the balance can sometimes be a struggle. My idea of success is doing my best in all aspects of life. If I feel that I’m able to progress in my job, whilst looking after and spending time with my children, I’m succeeding. It’s not about perfection but managing to juggle the parts of your life that are important and being able to enjoy what you gain from each of them, whether personal or professional.