Principal and managing broker, Divaris Real Estate Inc., Richmond
When Loretta Cataldi started out in the real estate business 25 years ago, only a handful of agents were women. “Not very many doors were open,” she says, “so I had to climb in through the windows.”
That determination has taken her from being an executive assistant to principal and managing broker at Divaris Real Estate’s Richmond office, where she leads office operations and leasing activities, representing both tenants and landlords.
“Being assertive is what it takes in a male-dominated business,” Cataldi says, but that doesn’t mean going it alone. “Help others succeed, and you’ll succeed with them.” To that end, she started a mentorship program at Divaris. Through Realty Resources, a national alliance of independent brokerage firms, she also initiated monthly Zoom sessions to help newbies learn things that they might not learn day to day.
“They can ask what they are nervous about asking,” she explains. Cataldi also recently was accepted into Virginia Commonwealth University’s Real Estate Circle of Excellence, a position in which she will share career insights with students.
Not surprisingly, Cataldi’s choice of leisure activity — running trails and 50-mile ultramarathons — requires buckets of determination, and, next up, she’d like to start a running organization for girls. She envisions a program that will build girls’ self-esteem, so that one day they might have the confidence to run not just races but companies.