Style Observer

COCKTAILS With... Shanese Murdock

Sunday, July 02, 2017

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Oozing laissez-faire glam with a Farrah Fawcett-esque feathered coiff and a fab wrap dress for her nighttime outing to the recent Hope Zoo-hosted Wealth 500 party, property manager Shanese Murdock had us intriguted. We catch up over drinks.

Working in the real estate industry, does your gender soften the edges of rough negotiations?

Honestly, not as much as one would like to think. In my particular domain, dealing with everyone from contractors, architects, developers to agents, etc, I have found that not only my gender, but also my age as well, can sometimes make it challenging to command a certain level of respect and be viewed authoritatively. It is a male-dominated industry filled with a myriad of characters who are quick to underestimate you and try to pull the wool over your eyes. When it comes to negotiations, surely charm has its place, but ultimately assertiveness and a thorough understanding of the industry prove more of an asset and go further than just a pretty face and leveraging my gender.

When do you have to put on a figurative hard hat?

Mainly when important deadlines have to be met. I'm also very particular in how I want things done

so sometimes it is necessary to be hands-on on a project and see to it myself.

What's your go-to cocktail?

I'm the kind of girl who has an appreciation for spirits or a good liqueur, but as far as cocktails go, lately I've become partial to a good mojito.

A lady never...

...compromises her integrity for the short-term gains.

Where exactly is the burgeoning housing market on the island that we should be paying attention to and buying early before real estate value doubles?

I think the market is booming right now in our tourist areas, where you now have the emergence of more housing developments/schemes that are not only contained but have a wide offering of amenities that almost create a resort-like environment within a reasonable price range. They are a perfect opportunity for even the average Joe looking to acquire a vacation home and own a piece of paradise, but also they provide a great investment opportunity. with travellers looking for more relaxed and integrated vacation experiences and the increasing prominence of AirBnB and the like, they have become great income earners as short-term/vacation rentals, increasing their desirability greatly. I foresee the market gravitating more in that direction in the coming years.

Is a sisterhood ideal for meaningful friendships? Or do men make better pals?

I'm a little bit split on this one. as far as quantity goes I have predominantly male friends. I grew up as a bit a of tomboy and have always gravitated more to the company of my male friends and even now I find them to be a great source of information and motivation when it comes to my professional life, my hustle so to speak, and surprisingly they also prove to be a great source of insight when it comes to matters of the heart. But at the core of my inner circle are my two closest friends who are female and are pillars in my life and give the kind of emotional and spiritual support that my male friends may not be able to give. I suppose you could say they both have their place and both give my life balance.

What's your killer outfit to not only slay, but leave pretenders at bay on a best dressed list?

My go-to outfit is usually something that accentuates my best features. I'm usually inclined to go with a deep v-cut top or dress, but I also like to show a little leg. I like to show my figure but I also like to leave something to the imagination. I don't have to be overexposed to feel sexy or stand out; I simply play up my best features. I like effortless looks but I also try to never forget my grandma's one cardinal rule, which is to always have good hair and good shoes.

Whose words resonate when you're looking for a picker-upper to charge ahead?

My sister. she passed away six years ago but even now she is still the voice in my head that encourages me to follow my dreams. or when things aren't going right I still hear little things like “the race is not for the swift; just focus on you”, or “no matter what you do out there in the world, always come back here (to family)”.

Pity is wasted on ...

... the old.

What movie do you find yourself re-watching on random occasions?

I would have to say Ever After. I love a good Drew Barrymore movie but also at the heart of this tough exterior I am still a true hopeless romantic. The Cinderella story is one that is timeless and has been told so many ways but somehow I have never grown bored of this depiction. I can appreciate that the main character was not portrayed as a helpless damsel in distress but, in fact, a strong female lead who despite unfortunate circumstances remained passionate and strong and in fact in the end she was her own heroine and in some ways proved to be her prince's saviour, as well. I liked that it wasn't your typical run-of-the-mill fairy-tale depiction and was a good portrayal of women in general.

After being crucified as ineffectual, is Jamaica ready for a post-Portia female prime minister, and what should be the hallmarks of the next?

Honestly, I am appalled by the presumptuousness of suggestions that her shortcomings were linked to her gender and thus we would even need to bring into question whether or not another female should again be allowed to assume this role. I think she has done great at paving the way and if anything making it easier for the next woman ascending the ranks. Our country is undoubtedly ready for another female prime minister, but most importantly, one who is committed to the betterment of our country, who is a visionary, forward-thinking, intelligent, charismatic and can relate to the broad spectrum of people in our society.

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