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Stockholm Real Estate might be a relatively new entrant to the Dubai real estate market, but it has been a timely move for the refreshing and dynamic women dominated company.
With a management team comprising four highly ambitious sisters, the company has set high goals in an extremely competitive and well-established industry in the region.
In an exclusive interview with Property Weekly, Paula Enander, Partner at Stockholm Real Estate, explains what she and her sisters at Stockholm Real Estate are hoping to achieve and why being in an industry dominated by men does not have to be a daunting experience.
- Tell us about Stockholm Real Estate.
Stockholm Real Estate is a family-owned business, run by me and my three sisters. We are a real estate agency with an all-women management team.
We are currently in an expansion phase. We are recruiting and extending the regional scope of our business by branching out to other countries. We are also tying up with developers to market the projects that we believe will be a good investment for our clients.
- Tell us about your management team.
My sisters — Saana, Daad and Roba — and I are of Palestinian origin but were brought up in Sweden. We have different professional backgrounds. Two of my sisters have a master's degree in finance and my third sister is a lawyer. I have been an entrepreneur most of my life, with a main focus on the real estate and health care sectors.
Saana, the youngest, was a recipient of a Female Economist of the Year award from the Stockholm School of Economics and was the youngest to ever receive it. Daad used to be in the national team in two different sports, while Roba is a top lawyer.
Meanwhile, I had one of the most prominent health care clinics in the heart of Stockholm. We come from a family of high ambitions.
- What has it been like setting up an all-women company in this industry?
Before starting the company, we were expecting some challenges. We were warned many times that an all-women management would not be taken seriously in the market and that it would hinder our opportunities to succeed.
However, what we have noticed is that the region shows a high level of respect and regard to women, as long as we work with high integrity and professionalism.
- Do you feel that the property sector is dominated by men and have there been any challenges because of this?
Yes, the industry is dominated by men. In a few cases we have been approached in a less professional manner. That is a challenge. However, in business we believe that if you perform and maintain a high level of self-respect, then you are not regarded as just a gender, an age or an ethnicity — your performance speaks for itself.
- What do you think it takes to be successful in the property industry?
For both women and men, the same skill set is required to be successful in this industry. You need to be able to interact with everyone, you need to be well-informed and listen to your clients.
Every day will be different and you need to never put your phone on silent mode because it is your ammunition in this field. Also, as there are many people in the market with varying standards, your word and reputation are the only things you have. Always keep your word and work with a high level of reliability.
- What is your advice to women who want to break into the property sector?
Naturally, we want them to contact us as we would gladly support and mentor aspiring agents, conveyancers and others interested in the industry.
This is a very dynamic and interesting industry, where you have to be on your toes and be ready to work long hours and extremely hard. There are no short cuts in the real estate business.
- Tell us about your experience. How did you get involved in property?
We have been associated with the real estate market for a decade as investors and now as real estate agency owners. We started in the realty sector by investing in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, ten years ago and have been active in the Dubai real estate market for the past five years prior to setting up Stockholm Real Estate.
We felt that our expertise and knowledge about the market as investors would add value for our clients.
- Who is Stockholm Real Estate targeting?
Our slogan is ''Time is money, your time is our priority''. With that slogan in mind and with our investment background, we are attracting mainly investors. However, we naturally take a lot of pride in providing the perfect home for all clients.
- What do you hope to achieve in your company?
The vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is one of the greatest and most impressive.
To realise a dream and develop it in such a short time makes you wonder what else we will be lucky to experience. We are fortunate to be here and witness this and Stockholm Real Estate's plan is to be part of the development and support in realising that vision.
Source: Helga Jensen–Forde, Special to Property Weekly
Paula Enander is a Partner at Stockholm Real Estate