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Bringing Wellness to the Workplace

We all know the importance of practicing wellness in our day-to-day lives, but what about wellness in the workplace? It turns out the incorporation of wellness can be good for your body, soul, and business. Halstead recently sat down with Victoria Vinokur, an agent from its Park Avenue office, to discuss tying the two together—especially in the summer months when New Yorkers tend to be more active.

Halstead agent Victoria Vinokur has been in the real estate business for almost 20 years. She studied International Business and Marketing prior to entering real estate, and worked in consulting and banking at A.T. Kearney and Lazard Fréres, among other firms.

Vinokur started incorporating wellness consciously into her life about three years ago.

“Around that time, something I was working on for a few years prior did not materialize and I simply spent too much time reflecting on what did not happen,” Vinokur said. “It wasn’t productive and I knew that I had to do something to change my daily routine.”

Vinokur’s trainer notes physical activity is not just about lifting weights, but rather pushing the mind past what the body thought it could do. As a result, Vinokur applied this mantra to her daily life, looking at challenging situations and remaining persistent while trying to push personal limits.

As a real estate broker Vinokur has a busy schedule, but finds the time to include wellness-related activities in her day-to-day routine.

“Exercise and simply slowing down to make all business-related decisions and provide responses [are important],” Vinkour said. “As part of this I make a very conscious effort not to be reactive in any aspect of my life—a tall order, especially in the real estate industry. I am far from perfect, but it’s very rewarding to work on this self-improvement aspect.

Being a real estate broker is a high stress, fast-paced, deadline-oriented occupation, but most perceptions of Manhattan real estate brokers are far from reality. Vinokur notes that these lifestyle changes have helped her to be 100 percent focused on delivering results without appearing “harried” or “busy” at all times, helping her clients achieve their goals.

Purchasing or selling in Manhattan is not for the faint-hearted. To paraphrase French comedian Gad Elmaleh, who wrote a joke while he was searching for an apartment in Manhattan, “You’re always competing with this one guy who wants the apartment; Who is this guy? Have I ever met this guy?” Meaning there is always competition.

But the daily stresses placed on both brokers and buyers create the perfect opening for wellness to be incorporated into the industry. Allowing the clients to focus on their needs and priorities and not about whomever else might be out there and what the other circumstances may or may not be.

“It truly helps us eliminate the noise and provide the best service I possibly can,” said Vinokur of her own positive shift in mindset.

Beyond the positive shift in focus, there are other aspects to wellness that are important to the public and are increasingly influencing the way people buy and sell. For example, the usage of non-toxic materials throughout the home design.

Vinokur recently hosted a Wellness & Real Estate Event to help market a property she’s representing in Murray Hill (132 East 35th Street, Apt. 8H). When she first saw the apartment and how thoughtfully it had been renovated, she wanted to showcase the property in a way that would make it shine to its full potential.

“We’re going through a period in our culture where home is becoming one’s wellness oasis. People choose to foster friends at home and truly connect,” Vinokur said. “So many of us have electronic devices and choose to be on social media, but these are not true human connections.

Vinokur’s event was deemed “low-tech,” and allowed people to truly connect, meet, and have real conversations. Most properties in Manhattan are handicapped with space and are lacking the luxury of being able to host and entertain at home, but the Murray Hill House stands out.

While moving forward into the sweet heat of summer months, it’s important to incorporate wellness into one’s daily routine. Luckily, Vinokur left us with a few tips.

“Schedule one hour a day for yourself. A non-negotiable meeting, whether it’s physical activity or simply planning and reflecting on the work you’ve done. This will add structure to your day that is unstructured by the nature of entrepreneurship.”

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