There is nothing more rewarding and inspiring than to see women of color set new standards and trends through entrepreneurship. African American women were among the fastest growing group launching and owning new businesses according to Forbes. Tenisha Williams is no exception. In just over 2 years, she has established and grown the largest brokerage firm in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale (South Florida) area owned by a Black woman. While this is an extraordinary accomplishment and milestone, Williams and the Elite team show no signs of slowing down but are accelerating their success by remaining positioned and purpose-driven to help more individuals and families achieve their goals of home acquisition and ownership. To date, there are 140 agents with virtually ZERO marketing efforts. Much like the Chick-fil-a customer model, the agents simply keep on coming and coming—oh, what a fantastic problem to have!
What would you attribute to your business growing so rapidly?
Favor! I cannot attribute the accelerated pace of my business to anything but the favor of God. Before I sold one house, I thought of the name “Your FAVORED Realtor”, not favorite but favored! It was as if He told me from day one that He was going to favor whatever I touched in this business and order my steps as long as I put in the work and remained faithful. I remember in 2016 telling my former partner, “God is going to give us a platform so big because He knows that He can trust us with it.”
At what point did you realize that you were going full-fledge as an entrepreneur?
By the end of 2017 is when I knew. As a former county worker, where employees were simply happy to land a position so they could retire and have great benefits, I knew that I was not there to stay from my very first day on the job! I would always say that I was quitting but it was not convincing because other co-workers would say the same, but look up and 25 years have gone by.
In September of 2017, I took my daughter to St. Lucia for her birthday on a mother/daughter trip. While there, I realized that I did not want to go back to work and made up my mind after speaking with my husband. From there, two things happened: I found my purpose by loving real estate and made my first 6 figures part-time.
What do you think sets your brokerage apart from other brokerages?
The main thing that sets us apart is that we are truly an Elite family. I have witnessed and experienced friendships form, agents from all walks of life partnering up and winning together along with willing to help each other like I’ve never seen. An ideal family where no agent is an island.
Owning a brokerage, was it natural for you or did you have to “grow” into it?
Both. The passion to help and develop other agents and being good at what I did came natural. However, the ability to manage so many personalities effectively was initially a struggle for me. Being a former correctional officer and teenage mom, I have a strong personality that can seem curt. So, I had to learn less is more and everything does not need to be said while mastering the right delivery that does not completely water down who I am without hurting or offending others.
As the CEO, how do you keep your team(s) motivated and empowered?
I would say that I am more than a CEO. I am a coach that allows me the desire to pour into our team which keeps many of them pumped and motivated to crush their goals.
Is there a lot of pressure in the responsibility of managing your teams?
The pressure is unimaginable. Sometimes I cannot sleep at night because my brain will not stop thinking of ways that I can add more value to everyone on the team. I truly am invested in their careers, so I take the responsibility very seriously.
Please tell me, how do you BALANCE being a wife, mother of a blended family and boss?
Whew! I have no idea. I can say that this life is not a task for the weak at heart. I have learned that Sundays are exclusively family days and pampering (self-care) is a must.
Talk about the transformation in some agent’s lives since joining your brokerage?
I get so emotional when I think of how Elite Realty Partners, Inc. is considered a ministry to so many agents and customers. I have gotten to witness an overabundance of customers and agents break through various hardships and come out on top with the help of our brokerage. My private coaching sessions sometimes turn in to life changing sessions for me and them. For example, I have had the opportunity to witness agents who did not sell ONE house at their former brokerages, then come onboard with Elite and become our top producers selling millions in real estate. In addition, agents that come through the doors timid and withdrawn, evolve into a bold and assertive real estate warrior. It is beyond amazing to witness.
As being the largest Black, woman-owned brokerage in the South Florida area, how does that make you feel having been in business for under 5 years?
This all is truly surreal. We have sold well over 100 million in sales in just over 2 years! Sometimes I cannot stop telling The Lord thank you. I am humbled and grateful that someway, somehow, I was deemed fit to take on such a big role here in South Florida. There is so much work to be done to ensure we change the narrative and diversify the faces in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area as it pertains to real estate. I am ready to do the work and see all what is in store for us here at Elite Realty Partners, Inc.
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Featured Image by Brandon Smith, Just B. Still Photography, Inc.