Many years before Michelle Shang became a REALTOR® in 1999, her parents laid the foundation for a valuable skill she uses today. She can communicate in English and Chinese.
“I learned Mandarin from my parents as we always spoke Chinese at home,” says Shang, who grew up in Elmhurst and of course, attended English-speaking schools there. “Also, I grew up going to Chinese school on the weekends.
“Speaking Mandarin definitely helps international clients feel comfortable, and they are able to convey their thoughts and requirements more clearly. More importantly, it’s necessary to understand the slight cultural nuances and why international clients do things the way they do.”
Not only has Shang found the ability to communicate in Chinese valuable in her own real estate business, she has applied it to the Illinois REALTORS® Consulate General Liaison Program. She is one of the original eight members of the growing program.
“Working as a liaison is great because I want to give REALTORS® a voice and educate people from other countries about the importance of REALTORS®,” she says.
Learning by example
Shang, who started helping her mother, Catherine Shang, at Unity Realty in 1989, says her mother’s example and encouragement has helped her succeed in the business too. The two are co-owners of the business today.
“My mother has always been very involved with the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® (MORe) as a board member, Commercial Committee member and Global Committee member. Her example of working hard and getting involved in the local association has encouraged me to become active myself.”
She earned her Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation through the NAR Invitational and has served as a panelist at a recent event organized by the Chicago Association of REALTORS®’ Global Real Estate Council. She is also a member of MORe’s Global Committee and Illinois Realtors Global Working Group. In addition, she’s been active in the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) of Greater Chicago, joining its board and serving as the organization’s current treasurer.
“I became involved in the Consulate General Liaison Program through referrals from MORe and AREAA, and I am connected to China’s representative through my continued work in the Chinese community,” says Shang. “I have worked with international investors from China to purchase property in Chicago.”
This is the second in a series of stories about members of the Consulate General Liaison Program which began in early 2016 with eight members. To read the first story (about Jim Kinney) click here and watch this blog for future stories in coming weeks.