The CRE Family Tree: How These Father and Son Teams are Growing
The following is a post by Lynn Kaiser Conrad, Brand Ambassador
Trees provide food and sustenance. Trees provide shelter. Trees are needed to build.
Bifurcation is the point or area at which the tree divides and branches off. This is a story about two family trees in commercial real estate that are stronger and growing because of bifurcation, or in human terms, multi-generations working together to provide enriched services to their customers.
Keith Kite, the father, and Kolin Kite, the son, are a commercial team at Coldwell Banker Commercial Paradise in Florida. Rick Read, the father, and Ricky Read, the son, own and work as a team for Coldwell Banker Commercial Read and Company in Virginia. Both fathers and sons are natives to their states. Keith has been in commercial real estate for 30 years and Rick has been in commercial real estate for over 40 years. Both sons have been in the business since shortly after graduating from college. Amazingly, both Father/Son duos had many of the same benefits and challenges.
Top 7 benefits of working as a Father/Son team:
- Each individual has different strengths, so as a team they can accomplish more and accommodate a more diverse customer base.
- They can divide the workload and work toward their strengths. Both Kolin and Ricky admittedly are more tech savvy, so they lead that part of their businesses.
- For each transaction, there is one person who is the lead and that changes per transaction. The other team member is back-up and support.
- They employ a disciplined approach to work. There is a mutual accountability, dependency and reliance that each partner respects and honors.
- Communication, communication, communication. The team members are constantly talking to each other and sharing information regarding transactions to ensure all the details are covered.
“I know my partner so well; I can anticipate his decisions or choices. Even with that level of understanding, we still talk about everything,” Ricky said.
- There is a legacy built that can transfer from one generation to the next and it gives the customer confidence in the perpetuity, process, and integrity of the quality of counsel and service.
- Shared vision for growth. Both teams plan to expand by bringing on people to allow them to be more effective and efficient, so they can provide broader customer service.
“I’m not the best teacher, but I am a good mentor,” Keith Kite stated.
They are constantly overcoming challenges by honestly identifying them.
Top 3 challenges for a Father/Son team:
- The need to fill the gaps. Learning is key, if you are not a good trainer, seek out programs or people to support that need.
- Keep your business relationship business. Put the arrangement in writing. When parties disagree, refer to the document.
- Review your business document quarterly to make sure all parties are in harmony.
“Be transparent. Ask yourself if the team goals are aligned with your individual goals. If so, this is very rewarding. Always work things out if you are going in different directions,” Kolin Kite said.
It was obvious between the father-son business partners that open communication, focused goals and a great sense of humor were keys to their personal relationship as well as skills they bring to the customers.
“Ricky doesn’t get scolded or sent to time out, but we don’t always agree,” Rick said. Both fathers agree it is a lot of fun to work with their sons. Both concur that they receive pleasure in seeing their sons grow as individuals and grow a business they started years ago.
When asked if the next generation will join and keep the commercial tree of real estate growth, the answer is: only time will tell. For now, these trees are in full bloom, and the customers reap the benefits of many diverse skills and perspectives.