Meet Alisa Zotimova, Founder and CEO at AZ Real Estate, a company that services private clients looking to buy, rent or invest in UK residential and commercial property in London
A Russian national by birth, Alisa Zotimova, is now a top real estate entrepreneur in London. She grew up in Moscow, when Russia was still a part of the Soviet Union and has seen a lot changing ever since. She inherits her entrepreneurial spirit from her father, who established his own business even though it was not typical in the late USSR. He took a chance and acted as a source of inspiration for Alisa. Growing up, education was the top priority, and she was exposed to several extracurricular activities and also learning English. She has been working to become financially independent since high school graduation.
Alisa worked as a waitress and then a restaurant manager, while she was still in college pursuing a degree in Economics and Management. Next, she started working as a real estate consultant and found her true calling. Starting in Moscow, five years later, she put in for a transfer to London, a city which she now proudly calls home. Before starting her own business, Zotimova worked at prestigious real estate companies like Cushman & Wakefield and JLL. With a decade of experience under her hat, she carefully prepared to start AZ Real Estate when she exhausted all her growth opportunities in the corporate world.
Sharing a bit about her organization, she says, “My company AZ Real Estate is a London-based Property Consultancy that helps clients buy, sell, rent and invest in real estate in the UK. We know how important the decision to buy a new home is for our clients. We really make sure that they spend their money wisely and end up with the best possible property and location for their home. When it’s an investment, we also make sure that they get the best returns and income for their money.”
As Zotimova moved to London, she worked hard to stay connected with her professional network in Russia. In the real estate industry, connection and maintaining a relationship is everything. As most of the time, they are recommended in person, the trust that comes with a word of the mouth means a lot. Therefore, it is extremely satisfying for the team to be able to maintain that trust.
Alisa notes that real estate and investments are still very male-dominated. In the UK, she was not only a woman in the industry but also an immigrant and relatively young person. But this was her cue to start working for herself. Now, her challenges involve running the business in a sustainable way which means improving processes, KPIs, CRM system, branding, and quality standards whilst finding new clients amid unplanned macro factors like Brexit and COVID-19.
On the personal front, Alisa is a mother to a little boy and a stepmom to a teenage daughter. Running a business of her own, she was able to make time for her family. This would have been impossible with a corporate career. She believes in the power of sisterhood and the importance of women helping women. The team consists entirely of women, three of whom work remotely, and four are mothers. She has a mentorship program in place to empower and support other women and is also passionate about making the world a better place.
Alisa is soon coming up with a nonfiction self help-cum-autobiography book. Its Russian version is set to hit the stands in September this year. The next step will be an English edition so watch this space. Being a female entrepreneur is no game, but Alisa did it, and that too in a foreign land, which she has now made her own. Leaving an inspiring message for her readers, she says, “Believe in yourself. Work hard. Put things in perspective on a regular basis: health is more valuable than money; your family being safe is bigger than a new contract won at work; if you have love in your life, be it romantic, of your friends or community – you’re richer than many.”