4 Lessons I've Learned in 10 Years of Building a Luxury Real Estate Brokerage
A decade after starting The Agency, here are the most valuable lessons I've learned.
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When I first set out to build The Agency, I wanted to create a boutique brokerage with a global reach. I had no idea we would be here 10 years later with more than 47 offices and almost 800 agents around the world. As fellow entrepreneurs know, the driving force behind your thoughts and ideas stems from the desire to create an innovative product or company that disrupts the industry and makes a lasting impact. Ask any entrepreneur, and they'll tell you that their spirit lies in the heart and hustle of their craft, and if I've learned anything in this last decade, it's that growth is paramount, but losing sight of where you came from and your core values is never an option. Here are several lessons I've learned throughout the last decade of building my company.
The value of a cent
As I mentioned, I was raised by entrepreneurs. Both my father and my grandfather sold textiles, and I was always fighting for pennies when I joined the family business early on in my career. I remember coming home from work so excited to tell my father that I'd sold 100,000 yards of fabric at 97 cents a yard. He would swiftly tell me to go back and ask for $1 or 99 cents a yard, because fighting for those one or two cents made a difference. This helped me to learn very quickly the value of a cent and how everything counts. I've certainly adopted this mindset and work ethic when building my own company, never losing sight of how each piece of the puzzle amounts to the greater picture.
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Choose the right partners
In business and in life, the old adage rings true, "you are who you associate with." Surrounding yourself with the right people, especially when building a product or company from scratch, is incredibly important. I truly believe that your people are the foundation and heart of your business. I have been lucky enough to work alongside many of the most brilliant minds in the real estate industry and have only been able to elevate my offerings and services because of the inspiration and knowledge provided by my team.
Related: Embrace the Superpower of Simplicity
Stick to your mission
Your company's mission statement is your creed. Never stray from it. If you look at many of the great entrepreneurs in our history, you'll find a common thread and ethos behind the way they do business: They stuck to their mission. Yes, visions might evolve and growth might follow, but maintaining a streamlined focus on why you started your business in the first place — or what kind of impact you wanted to make on the world and in your industry — will continue to fuel and inspire your work. At The Agency, we've experienced many changes throughout the years, but our collective vision for what we wanted the company to be and become has remained the same.
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Pivot when necessary
Throughout the last year, we've all experienced immense change and new adaptation due to the pandemic. What this time has taught me most is the power of the pivot. When things seem to be trending downwards, look for new ways to reinvigorate that listing or harness the technology and digital tools at our disposal to drive a sale forward. No is never the answer, you must always remain creative and switch gears when necessary.