March 16, 2022 - By Tom Palmer
BOSTON – This is one of a series featuring members of the Advisors Living team of residential brokers in the Boston area. Katya Malakhova is originally from Ukraine and is also currently operating a nonprofit, Sunflower of Peace, to benefit the Ukrainian people.
Katya, what is your title?
I’m a Real Estate Advisor.
How long have you been at Advisors Living?
I transferred last summer, in July, from Coldwell Banker, where I was for five years.
Where is your office?
In Downtown Boston, Boylston Street, in the Back Bay.
What communities and neighborhoods do you work in?
I work with the huge international community. I go with my clients everywhere, Andover, Stoughton, Quincy, Braintree, Newton, Wellesley, Needham. It is just how it happened, and it is still like this. Showings in Boston, Lexington, Canton. They call me “heavy artillery girl” all over. I’m here to get your home for you and get the best results by selling it.
It happened that way maybe because I am international. I am originally from Ukraine. I do not just stop there. I have many American clients that I love working with and I appreciate the fact that they choose me to be a part of the process. For many people, the experience itself is scary, so I am here to make sure they have nothing to worry about. I work with sellers as well, and besides doing open house, I love doing creative videos, staging, making Turkish coffee during open houses. Once I had a musician performing jazz outside an apartment in Charlestown. It brought neighbors together and it was beautiful by itself. It’s part of the creative aspect of the business, and I would never change it for anything else.
How long have you been in the real estate business?
Six years now.
Where do you live?
What do you like about the real estate game?
I like to give and have impact. Real estate is very fulfilling. I am consistent with what I do in life. My nonprofit, Sunflower of Peace, is only volunteer based. I made a decision – no administrative costs whatsoever. That was important. Then the dilemma was how to make money. What can be something to fulfill the need to give, to have impact, to change lives. That is the biggest piece I love about real estate. While I am doing this it is so fulfilling, and I really give all when I do something, all of me. When I negotiate. When I sell, do open houses, it is all I can think about. I want to see my clients satisfied and happy with the results.
OK, tell us about the real estate market.
The inventory is very low. However, in general the Greater Boston market is a very great investment. There are lots of industries that are very stable, medical, education, biotech. These people are less likely to lose their jobs if there is any type of crisis. Inventory has always been low, but it always appreciates and it’s a recession-proof market.
There are only two areas like this in the country, Boston and San Francisco. Mortgage rates are going up, but that should not scare people, because rent prices are still high. It is still better to buy. Same thing with selling, it is still a great time to sell. I call it a well-calculated risk. Take those risks. That is what I’ve found with my best clients – those who make decisions fast, those do well. I love to tell clients to look at the big picture and do not get stuck on a number. See what you can get with it in a bigger way, in three to five years.
How do clients find you?
I am a chatter. I like to chat, as you can see. I meet people everywhere I go. It also comes from personal referrals and social media. At the beginning of my career all my first clients came from Facebook. I like to write posts and tell people’s stories of their big achievements and dreams. Now it is also referrals and acquaintances.
What was your last deal?
I sold an apartment in Wakefield in two days, seven percent over asking price.
Katya, this is a tragic time in Ukraine. Tell us about Sunflower of Peace, your organization with a Facebook fund-raising page.
I moved here to the U.S. in 2008. All my family is still there. I founded the organization in 2015. Back then the purpose was to provide humanitarian aid due to Russian aggression. Eventually we moved to social projects, like playgrounds for kids with disabilities. We built them everywhere including the eastern part of Ukraine, for kids who experienced war. We have also brought students to a Harvard lab to do training in genetics. We have a Facebook page and a web site, www.sunflowerofpeace.com, where people can donate and help us. We have raised over $3 million since the 24th of February. All the funds go to providing medical supplies and helping the people of Ukraine in emergency situations during war.
What do you do when you are not showing houses or raising money for Ukraine?
I am a mother of two little children, 6 and 3 years old. My work and helping people in Ukraine through Sunflower of Peace is now more important than ever. However, as a former professional tennis player, I plan to start playing tennis again this coming spring.
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