Small business owner talks about handling the growing pains.
Glenn Phillips’ business, Lake Homes Realty, was only started in 2009, but has made a big impact in six years.
“Our business model is unique in that we are not just a web-driven business and not just a brick-and-mortar brokerage; we are a true hybrid of these environments,” Phillips says. “We are now one of the fastest growing real estate companies in the country and the largest lake-focused real estate company.”
The Lake Homes Realty team includes approximately 50 staff members and agents spread across seven states.
“I love the opportunity and challenge of building a business that provides meaningful value to clients,” Phillips says. “When we bring real value in a properly structured business, the financial aspects work out so that both we and our clients benefit.”
That has certainly proved true for Lake Homes Realty, which has doubled its revenue every year over the prior year since brokerage operations began in 2013. This is very exciting, Phillips says, but does mean constant growing pains as processes are adjusted, more team members are hired and brokerage operations are added to more states to keep up with demand.
“Our biggest success is bringing to life a new business model in a very traditional industry,” he says. “It has required finding staff and agents who have the vision to understand how a genuinely new approach can bring an unfair market advantage. Our biggest mistake was in our first year, failing to anticipate how long it would take real estate agents we were recruiting to trust a new business model.”
Beyond the hiring challenges associated with an innovative business model, federal healthcare changes and other policies are a source of frustration for Phillips, which is where NFIB comes in.
“I initially joined NFIB because I appreciated the access to someone at state government who could answer my questions when we had a problem,” he says. “Since then, I joined the NFIB State Leadership Council for Alabama because I was frustrated with federal healthcare changes. I don’t have time, nor interest, in running for office, but embraced that NFIB had an influential voice in my state and Washington, D.C. NFIB helps our business when we have challenges with state government entities, opening doors, and backing me as a business owner in need of help.”