Meet the Agent: Maria Góralczyk
Meet the Agent: Maria Góralczyk
Maria Góralczyk is one of the best premium real estate agents in Poland, which last year handled record transactions on a national scale. She works with our best clients who come to her primarily on the basis of recommendations. For 6 years of work at Lions Estate, she proved to be a reliable, experienced, responsible person, caring for quality and good name for herself and the company.
Why did she quit acting? How has her career changed since she works at the Lions Estate? What does she likes most about her job and how has the Warsaw premium real estate market changed? About this, among other things, she told us during the interview.
QUALITY: LET’S START FROM THE BEGINNING OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER. HOW DID YOU COME INTO THE WORLD OF FILM?
MARIA: It’s a complete accident! I found myself in the world of film and broadly understood show business before I started my studies.
I was already involved in working in front of the camera before, because I worked as a model, hosted TV programs, played in commercials … When I was 5, I was in Tik-Tak Show, and when I was 10 – in 5-10-15 TV Show. Television has always been close to my heart.
Later, as a 19-year-old, I was spotted on the street for a specific project – the film “Bellissima”. I went through all castings and played the role of the daughter of the main character, played by Ewa Kasprzyk. The film was quite successful and after it I decided to move towards acting. My journalistic side was also intertwined with acting (I was finishing journalistic studies), because I also hosted several TV programs. From automotive to lifestyle.
But it is known that the specificity of this job is that sometimes it is there and sometimes it is not. Just 20 years ago, I had a lot of it. I also worked on advertising, film and music video productions on the other side of the camera – in production and post-production. Also, my entire professional life, from the end of high school, up to a certain point revolved around film and advertising sets.
QUALITY: WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY OF ACTING?
MARIA: A memory I come back to often is modeling in Tik Tak TV Show. I was 5 then! It was a fashion show, shot in Smyk Shop in Warsaw at Aleje Jerozolimskie. It’s amazing that even though I was only 5 at the time, I remember it so clearly. It must have been a great experience for me. These were my first steps in modeling and in front of the camera in general. Later I also have good memories of the performances in 5-10-15 TV Show. But the most important for me is the production of the film “Bellissima”. It was a very fun time, but also very intense and tiring. Without a doubt, he directed me strongly both professionally and in life.
It’s funny how I thought I was an adult then. I was 19 and heroine I played was 16. I thought to myself: “How will I play such a teenager ?!”. Now, when I look at my niece who is that age, I can see how wrong I was. A lot of film projects and programs appeared later. All experiences have certainly directed me and I am richer thanks to them, but it is difficult for me to point out one specific event that I remember best.
QUALITY: WE KNOW THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR PRIVACY. WAS POPULARITY TIRING FOR YOU?
MARIA: When a lot was going on around me, it was a completely different time than now. The media did not enter our lives with shoes. The Internet was not that developed, so there were also no gossip portals. And the gossip newspapers weren’t as bold as they are today. At a time when the media was interested in me, it was like I was giving interviews to Gala, Viva, Twój Styl or Elle Magazines and we talked about the topics I wanted to talk about.
The current media is one of the reasons why I excluded myself from living in show business. I have only been working on one series now, Na dobre i na złe (For Good and Bad), for 18 years. The show crew is like my second family and the movie set is my second home. Besides, currently taking care of my acting career includes attending industry events, but at this stage of my life, I prefer to stay with my family in the evening. Despite the fact that I love working with a camera (which is why I worked in production and post-production), I completely do not fit in this new shwobusiness world. Standing on the walls, preparing the outfits, hairstyles and makeup a few days before the party is something I consciously gave up.
QUALITY:WAS WORK AS A REAL ESTATE AGENT AN EFFECT OF THIS?
MARIA: Real estate is also a coincidence! I felt that acting wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I have always wanted to be financially independent, and show business has made me understand that regardless of your job and competences, you are often dependent on someone’s whim.
Therefore, apart from acting, I tried to do something that would give me a more reliable source of income and an interesting job every day. Hence the production at the beginning. Later, I got a job offer in real estate and it turned out that I had results in this industry quite quickly. It turned me on positively and made me follow this path.
QUALITY: DOES THE ACTING EXPERIENCE HELPS IN THE WORK IN LUXURY PROPERTIES?
MARIA: A lot of people think that thanks to the fact that I am a “lady from television” it is much easier for me in this job. Meanwhile, it is my bane! It is even more groundless as I work a lot with foreigners who do not know me at all from television. The techniques that I learned on the set do not apply here either. A real estate agent must possess certain qualities without which it is difficult to prosper in this industry. These are competencies that you may or may not have, regardless of your previous occupation.
There are a lot of people at Lions Estate who have done something different before. Actually, I don’t think I know any agent who devised such a career path in high school or college and followed it consistently.
QUALITY: AT LIONS ESTATE YOU WORK WITH THE MOST RICH CUSTOMERS AND HANDLE TOP TRANSACTIONS. WERE YOU EXPECTED THIS CAREER DEVELOPMENT WHEN YOU ENTERED THE LIONS ESTATE RANGE?
MARIA: In fact, before working with Lions Estate, I was working on completely different budgets, with different properties. At that time, it seemed to me that if I sell a property for 1 million PLN or a little more, it would be a great success. Now these amounts are completely different and I also have a different perspective. Although, of course, I respect every customer and every budget. Besides, I’ve learned that regardless of him, clients always have specific requirements. Often it is not easier to find your dream property with a smaller or larger amount at your disposal.
QUALITY: YOU ARE ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZED AND RECOMMENDED AGENTS OF LUXURY REAL ESTATE MARKET IN POLAND. WHERE DO YOU THINK THIS SUCCESS COME FROM?
MARIA: During the 6 years of work at Lions Estate, a lot has certainly happened. Undoubtedly, it is a great merit of the company, because it provides wonderful development opportunities, if only someone can and wants to use them. It’s just like in your private life, if you are with people who are pulling you down, it’s harder for you to stand up. At Lions Estate, it is certainly easy to achieve ambitious goals and develop.
Besides, I have been working in real estate for 8 years. For 8 years, you can really achieve a lot in any field – gain the necessary experience and know-how. In the first two companies, I was just getting to know the market, I was finding out what I really wanted to do. I have already come here decided.
QUALITY: WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST IN LIONS ESTATE?
MARIA: First of all, I like working with people by definition. I definitely prefer contact with other people than working in front of a computer. Here I have a lot of contact with my colleagues and clients – and I appreciate it very much. Besides, we have a lot of autonomy. We stick to certain rules, but they are pretty loose. We don’t have rigid hours when we have to be in the office. The agent’s effectiveness is easy to see. It is known that working 4 hours a day is not enough to be successful and good at something. Bartek, our boss, does not need to see someone non-stop in the office to know if a given person is fulfilling their duties well. Effects count.
And the atmosphere! It’s fun to be here, it’s fun to meet the band. The management makes sure that we are willing to come to this office. I also appreciate the support of other agents. There are no conflicts between us, if we can, we help each other. It is definitely more of a family business than a corporation. We don’t have an extensive hierarchy here, no control, nothing of these things.
QUALITY: WHAT DOU YOU THINK – WHAT DOES SUCCESS IN THE PREMIUM REAL ESTATE DEPENDS ON?
MARIA: Professionalism is on my lips, but I know that he should be in every industry and segment. Regardless of whether we are talking about premium real estate or customer service in a local store.
The most important thing is probably the knowledge of the market and such know-how, which I did not have 7 years ago. You need time to learn about premium addresses, customer requirements, and the nuances that add value to your property.
The appearance and clothing appropriate to the situation are also important. This is what premium customers definitely pay attention to. Although I am convinced that we express our respect for the client with the right outfit, so it should always be aesthetic and neat, regardless of the segment in which we work. Besides, we spend a lot of time with our clients, so you need to be able to talk to them. I guess you just have to like people.
QUALITY: WHAT ARE THE KEY EXPECTATIONS OF PREMIUM CUSTOMERS?
MARIA: Location for sure. Top buildings, top addresses. Well-kept common areas, concierge present. Renovated pre-war tenement houses, such as the one where our office is located, are also popular. Is there a car park and what is it like? Does the property have a terrace or a balcony? Is it bright or dark? Is there a gym or swimming pool?
Premium customers pay attention to many things. However, having experience with clients from the so-called popular, I noticed that no matter how much a person has to spend, everyone has their own expectations. At every stage and in every budget. It’s hard-earned money, often tied to a long-term loan, so it’s obvious that everyone wants the comfort of finding a property that suits them in all respects.
What distinguishes the expectations of premium customers is the feeling that the property offers something more than those of the popular market. This “something” is sometimes difficult to define.
QUALITY:WHAT ARE THE PROPERTIES THAT YOU KNOW WILL IMMEDIATLY FIND BUYERS?
MARIA: There are mainly several such addresses. The key is the location, but also the standard of the building. The more light and space in the apartment, the more willingly it is bought. Besides, terraces!
Not every building is designed to have terraces. But, in general, all premium properties that have them sell first. Regardless of the price. Conversations with clients show that due to the lack of time, they want to be able to go out to the terrace with coffee and be in their own world, away from others.
Own space and privacy are important. Buildings that do not have other windows directly adjacent are highly desirable. If there is an option of windows facing the park or the street in a given building, then of course those to the park will spread much faster.
In addition, the high standard of common areas and higher floors. Premium customers prefer to live higher than lower. Which is even easy to notice due to the fact that there are practically no ground floors in premium buildings. On the ground floor there are usually service premises, not residential premises.
QUALITY: IN YOUR OPINION – WHY CLIENTS TRUST YOU SO MUCH AND WANT TO BUY WITH YOU THE MOST EXPENSIVE PROPERTIES IN POLAND?
MARIA: It’s really hard for me to say. It seems to me that in this job you need to be in touch and the more you go out to the client, the more he appreciates it and establishes a good relationship with you. So maybe because I’m authentic? That I give my clients as much time as they need?
I hear from people who call me based on recommendations from previous clients that I am effective. I quickly sold, rented or bought something. But then I always inform you that this is not always possible. There are many factors that influence this effectiveness.
QUALITY: WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WORK IN REAL ESTATE?
MARIA: It often happens that clients have inadequate requirements for their budget or value their property well above its market value. Sometimes you have to explain it to them, and it’s not easy at all.
Besides, with virtually every sale, some problems arise, on one or the other hand. Legal, formal, personal, time-related… But it’s all manageable.
QUALITY: DO YOU HAVE YOUR FAVOURITE DISTRICT IN WARSAW?
I think I like Powiśle the most. I think that it was appreciated in the recent British Guardian ranking (6th place among the coolest districts in Europe) for a reason. It is well connected, and also green and friendly. Living in the city center you can feel like you are on the outskirts. In summer, the atmosphere is added by bars and restaurants that open along the Vistula, the choice of which is really large.
Although I really like Warsaw very much. I was born here and spent most of my life here. I have always had its topography in mind. Even before I started working in real estate, I knew the streets of Warsaw very well, I knew most of the buildings. When I was little, we lived in Ursynów and my mother often recalls that there were fields almost outside the window. Now it’s hard to see the border of the city. Ursynów, like other districts of Warsaw, has expanded tremendously.
QUALITY: HOW HAS THE PREMIUM REAL ESTATE MARKET IN WARSAW CHANGED IN YOUR PERSPECTIVE IN RECENT YEARS?
MARIA: He has changed dramatically! A few years ago there was more demand than supply. More people were looking for premium properties than the Warsaw real estate market offered. Several developers realized that there was such a gap in the market. Although the financial risk with this type of investment is much greater, there have been a lot of nice investments in recent years.
This is a plus as clients have more choice, but it is also not that these properties are waiting for clients. Rather, most investments sell out at the construction stage. People are ready to risk buying a very expensive apartment without even seeing it.
Some time ago it seemed to me that there was no room for new investments. But something new is constantly being built, even in places that seemed impossible to me to squeeze in new investments.
I wonder what will happen soon, because these free plots are really running out. Once there’s an aftermarket left, prices will surely skyrocket. Just like in Miasteczko Wilanów. Now that developers have completed all investments and only a few of them remain, the secondary market has revived.
The very difference in the development and change of Warsaw for the better as a city is colossal. I am curious what the coming years will bring.