I’ve owned my real estate company since 2016, but how I became to be involved in real estate is a bit untraditional.
I was building a real estate portfolio while running my masonry business. My agent, Renee Cheesman, was affiliated with a small firm. We did about three dozen deals together over a few years and then her broker/owner became ill and passed away. The brokerage and the building were handed down to the owner’s nephew, who decided to close the business and sell the building. Renee and a few other agents asked if I would be interested in purchasing the building and keeping the business open. After some thought and negotiation, I bought the building and inherited the business.
Because I was not a real estate agent, I approached the business a little differently. Here are a few examples of how I infused business principles into my real estate brokerage:
Focus on What’s Important Now
My “winning” strategy has been to apply the “What’s Important Now” or WIN approach. When running a business, more money must come in than goes out. In a real estate brokerage, the best way to ensure that is to be the best place for agents to do their best work. That’s why we have a business model based on support and systems that are very agent-centric. For example, every agent has multiple brokers and trainers at their disposal during the week AND weekend. Branch managers are in the office 9 to 5 daily and treat our agents as their clients. Our guiding philosophy is that we serve our agents. We recognize that each agent is an individual with unique aspirations, so we work with them on developing plans to achieve them.
Promote Important Principles
As a leader, I uphold certain principles in running my business and I advise our agents to subscribe to those same principles.
Integrity: Always strive to do the right thing even if it may not be the easiest or most popular thing, even if it may cost us a recruit or an agent. I have found that more people respect us and stay with our company because they always know where we stand: on the side of integrity.
Empathy: Life is hard at times. People are people. We experience emotions. We have ups and downs. Understanding when people need a pat on the back or a boot on the backside is very helpful in motivating agents to do their best work. Ultimately, we want to celebrate success together and be there for our agents when times get tough.
Listening: Listen to agents, staff, and industry news and trends. We want to be the place where ideas grow into action. We love to innovate and are always searching for ways to be better. We listen not to argue but to understand and get better.
Educate: We are always trying to learn about new models, technologies, and trends to give us an edge.
Passion: We believe in ourselves and our people. We give all of our energy and heart into the things we do, and no one will work harder or care more than we do.
Surround yourself with good people: They will catch you if you fall. They won’t let you hit the ground. They protect your reputation.
I attribute these shared values as the biggest reason for our growth as a company and our retention of our agents. My best advice to other owners is to know who you are as a company and who you want to be, then own that and be committed to it.
By Albert Faiola, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Maturo Realty Group