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MVI Spotlight: Zinat Naderi

Zinat Naderi, the MVI Real Estate Developer, is celebrating her 2-year MVI Anniversary today! Since most people we come across aren’t quite sure what exactly a Real Estate Developer does, we thought we would ask Zinat a few questions to find out more about her, and her job. If you have more questions for Zinat, share them in the comments below!


Q: How did you and MVI first find each other?

A: One fine September afternoon, I came across Mon Valley Initiative’s Real Estate Developer job listing on the NonProfitTalent website, formerly known as Dewey & Kaye. I honestly could not believe how well my knowledge and experience matched up with the responsibilities and qualifications of the position, as well as the overall mission of the organization, and how natural it was to convey that in my cover letter and my interview!


Q: What was your first impression of the organization and its real estate program?

A: When I was applying to MVI, I reached out to a friend that was working at the City of Pittsburgh Planning Department and asked if she was familiar with the organization. She praised MVI’s work and told me I would enjoy working for them.

Once I started working here, right away I witnessed how well MVI connected with the community at large. Throughout their 25 years, MVI has been able to evolve to meet the ever changing needs of the communities it serves. I believe we are able to implement workforce, community, and economic development in a very unique method, through the diverse set of resources MVI offers.


Q: In your own words, how would you describe what you do for MVI?

A: I am a key part of the search, acquisition, and rehabilitation process of single and multi-family dwellings. I also perform various asset management duties for the MVI rental portfolio, including energy upgrades and budget analysis.


Q: What is one thing that makes your job most rewarding?

A: I think the most satisfying aspect of my job is that I have the opportunity to witness the transformation of a house from a blighted dilapidated structure into a welcoming home for an eager home buyer.


Q: What are some common comments/questions you get when you first tell people what you do?

A: “How do you earn a salary working for a non-profit?” “How does real estate development work in the nonprofit sector?” “I thought Real Estate Developers were men who wore boots and hard hats”- true story.


Q: What do you wish other people knew about your position?

A: Working in the real estate development industry can be very rewarding. It is possible to earn a salary working for a non-profit, and the nonprofit sector of real estate is crucial to the positive development of our communities.


Q: What is your personal philosophy about why real estate development is important in the Mon Valley?

A: The Mon Valley has been through some tough times economically, socially, and geographically. These communities have some great human capital as evidenced by the commitment they have shown in forming the Mon Valley Initiative over 25 years ago.


Q: What would you tell someone who is thinking about going into real estate development?

A: It is a very exciting industry. It’s one thing to just make a living, but it’s an entirely different thing to wake up every morning with the passion to go to work and impact a family, a street block, a community, and even an entire region.


Stay tuned for more MVI staff spotlights and “101” posts that will help you learn more about the industry. Check out our Real Estate Development Program on our web page!