HGBA Member Read & Greet

Haymarket Gainesville Business Association Member Spotlight

Malena Panopoulou

Long and Foster Real Estate INC.

309 Maple Avenue West, Vienna

240-204-1803

longandfoster.com/MalenaPanopoulou

Why did you become a realtor and what made you decide to join Long and Foster?

I decided to become a realtor because I wanted to make a difference in the world. I support organizations like Mission Outfitters which builds orphanages and wells in impoverished areas of the world, and part of my proceeds goes to them and other organizations. I chose Long and Foster because it provides agents great support and constant training to keep up with the current trends in real estate.

How does your business serve the local community?

By helping people sell or buy a home, I contribute to the health and well-being of the overall community. Statistics show that homeownership results in higher rates of civic participation which in turn helps lower crime rates. Believe it or not, statistics also show that homeowners have better health. It’s nice to watch families settle into their new homes and know I’ve helped contribute to all those things.

Tell us about one of the greatest moments you’ve experienced as a realtor.

It’s hard to just pick one great moment but, when I find the right home for my buyers or sell a home in two days with multiple offers, it’s very gratifying. It shows I’m doing my job right and taking good care of my clients. It also means means I can keep supporting the organizations I believe in and that makes me very happy.

Tell us about your experience with the HGBA. How has it supported you in your local business?

It has been a positive experience. It helps me put myself out there and meet wonderful people every month. Through the HGBA, I’ve discovered companies that are helping Gainesville, Haymarket and the surrounding areas thrive and develop. I can see the value of belonging to this association as we all need to help each other and support the growth of our businesses.

What are the top three business tips and tricks can you offer other professionals?

  1. Stay humble and grounded, it’ll help you succeed.

  2. Ask questions before judging or assuming, and genuinely listen to the answer. If you don’t want to listen don’t ask, and don’t pretend you care when you don’t. People notice that.

  3. Always take time to rest, recharge, and reconnect with others.

Are you from this area? If not, what brought you here and what do you like about our town?

I am not a native of this area. What brought me to Haymarket was the nature and open spaces, peace and calm. When I decided to buy a house here I pictured myself resting and connecting with God and nature after work, walking in the woods, meditating on my deck, enjoying the big sky above us and having my kid play with his new neighbors. There is a lot to discover here in Northern Virginia, you never get bored. I love it.

What is your favorite season in this area, and why?

I love both spring and fall. The temperatures are perfect. In spring, everything is new and fresh again. And in the fall I never tire of admiring all the colors.

Are you involved with any nonprofits? If so, which one(s) and why?

As I mentioned, I support Mission Outfitters, based in Colorado. I also support 4Ocean, and recently joined a veterans’ organization as my husband was in the Navy. Lately I’ve been looking for a more local organization, a place I can be financially and physically part of, and am considering the Haymarket Regional Food pantry. As for why I’m involved, it’s because I believe we cannot turn our heads away and pretend all is well.

What was your first job, or your most interesting job prior to your current profession?

I think my very first job was the most interesting. It was at a company that specializes in supplying medical equipment and at that time (18 years ago) they didn’t have an established marketing department. I studied communications and specialized in marketing, and was hired as soon as I got my Bachelor’s Degree. It was very exciting to apply all the knowledge learned in class in real life.

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