With the mission to empower their real estate clients, through combined real estate experience and resources and enabling them to make the best-informed real estate decisions, ALMA Real Estate was established in November 2001. An inventive mind behind the company is Charikleia Stouka. With her perseverance and roll-up-your-sleeves leadership style, Charikleia is leading by example.
Let’s shed some light on her undulating entrepreneurial journey in an interview conducted between Charikleia and CIO Look.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Please brief our readers about your leadership position at the company
Everything happens for a reason and it was that reason that led me to start a real estate business 20 years ago. Today, CHARIKLEIA G. STOUKA -Founder and “ALMA Real Estate Hellas”, are the Winners of the “Global Business Intelligence Awards 2020”, for the Categories: “Outstanding Public Relations”, “Outstanding Entrepreneur” and “Outstanding Customer Service Initiative”. Also, Charikleia has won many distinctions as well as press and TV presentations.
What people, what books, what life factors have influenced and impacted you?
My family, my parents and grandparents have influenced me with their integrity, purity, morality, and strong family bonds and taught me the ¨fair play”. The books of Jay Conrad Levinson on Guerilla Marketing Tactics inspired me. Obviously good health is first and foremost. Making and supporting a family is of utmost importance, freedom of time and financial, travelling, helping the less fortunate, supporting delicate animals and plants, exercising the body and mind, all these factors have influenced and impacted me.
What were the challenges you came across since founding the organization?
My journey was not an easy one. There were many challenges on the way, lack of finance, no previous experience, family obligations, the huge financial crisis in Greece, my inner fears, the strong and growing competition, now the COVID-19. But it was the staying power of my intense, burning desire to achieve goals which helped me to overcome everything.
Being an experienced business leader, what is your opinion regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your industry? And how has your company managed to overcome this significant challenge?
People and life will be much different from now on. Our business has been affected by Covid-19 as their operating model is being designed to serve customers in their close vicinity. We are putting health and safety first. The fact is that the world has become seriously cleaner after this. Technology and application of safety rules is the solution to this challenge.
Technology tools allow access to information within seconds from any device anywhere, and strengthens the organization of data, so we will be able to work efficiently in remote environments and being closer than ever. Virtual meetings replaced in person meetings and results are being delivered. COVID-19 has been the catalyst for the transformation of our way of working.
What is your thought on the necessity of a positive work culture? In what ways do you implement it at your organization?
A positive work culture and core values are the pillars of our work culture. We devote our time to make sure everyone is aligned, set clear targets for each one, we continuously train them, we recognize and reward employees for achieving outstanding results. A friendly competition is recommended, also some fun time.
In what ways have you or your company contributed to the community? If given a chance, what change would you bring to help other companies? Is there a better way to contribute to community than helping others?
We support organizations who help those people who need more, especially children, as well as pets. Community involvement is quite necessary. We like to help others and make the world a better place. To help other companies, Collaboration is the k e y. The real estate work is all about connections.
What would be your advice for aspiring and emerging women entrepreneurs in your industry?
Real Estate career is very demanding, but it gives flexibility and freedom, in a way that they will have more free time in their life to support their family, take better care of themselves and the community. At first, they should make pillars of support, like family and friends, always make plans and set goals, educate themselves for life, have strong work ethic. In addition, they should be able to work tirelessly until their name is written in the book of Success.