How has being a South Shore Chamber of Commerce member helped with your business? Relationships and economic development. It’s a fantastic medium to find like-minded professionals, which is always important. Especially as a business that’s tied to economic development, and tied to what’s going on in the communities around us. It’s also a great sounding board for various initiatives taken by the people in the community. I credit a lot of my success and growth as a business owner to the South Shore Chamber because I was able to make really strong connections and friendships through the chamber.
What do you focus on when building a team of agents? The way I view building a team is similar to building a team in sports or other organizations that foster teamwork. I think it starts with a little bit of competition, we are in a competitive industry after all. I want agents that genuinely want to be the best they can be, and believe they can do better than the competition, but that’s not everything. They also need to have respect for each other, and collaborate. One person isn’t going to take the ball and score on their own, everyone is going to rely on each other.
You also have to have good communication with your team to maintain that, offering praise and constructive feedback when you need to. It goes back to that learning mentality, if you’re a team of know-it alls, you’re not going to grow and solve the problems you’ll collectively face.
What advice would you give to other businesses that are looking to ramp up? I think the best way I found to grow was relying on advisors to help steer me in the right direction.
Getting advice from people who have the experience helped me confidently make certain decisions, and take certain actions that I otherwise might not have thought of. Whether it’s from a CPA, an attorney, a business coach, a life coach, commercial real estate broker, you name it, you should always be asking how we can do better. And once you have gotten better, I’ve found that you don’t stop asking yourself that question.
What surprised you the most in your first three years? I’d say how excited I was, and how excited other people were about the launch of Ellis Realty Advisors. I didn’t know what kind of reception we would get, from the market, different brokers, peers, clients. When we launched I had some reservations. Did I make the right decision? Does this make sense? But as I started to hear people’s excitement, I was very encouraged.
Every company has a five year plan, and we’re just about in the middle of your first five years, what are you looking to accomplish next?
I think it’s a balancing act, we want to grow in all directions, expand our different business lines that support our brokerage, and expand on our team’s strengths. But we also want to continue building relationships within our community, and adding value to the communities we live and work in. I want to continue building relationships with non-profits, and other organizations that are striving to do good in the world.
Company culture is also a focus. I’ll never tell you I know everything about something, I’m always trying to learn and educate myself on different things, and that’s the culture I hope to foster within the company, one that supports learning and growth.