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Chinowth_Sheryl_2016When Chinowth & Cohen REALTORS® opened in 2004, it had just one office and 25 sales associates, but thanks to the leadership of co-founders Sheryl Chinowth and Lee Cohen, it has grown to become one of Oklahoma’s largest real estate companies, with more than 420 associates in eight offices.

“We are a truly family-owned business, and the four leaders of the company are part of the same family. We care about each other and every associate and staff member who has joined our family,” Chinowth says. “We are a family culture, and not only have we maintained an outstanding marketing department, we’ve kept on the edge of technology.”

Chinowth notes that the Tulsa market has rarely been affected by the ups and downs of the economy, and the firm has seen a steady increase in sales and business, resulting in the company’s expansion.

“Every year since we opened, our firm has had steady and strong growth. Our agent count has grown steadily and, therefore, we have opened new offices to support the growth,” she says. “We have grown into a few new markets, yet we are not a company that has grown much from mergers and acquisitions. The majority of our growth has been organic.”

The firm kicks off every year with training for its employees, offering great motivators, and for 2016, the company held a mini-conference where its top producers shared their secrets to success, as well as the tools they use.

“The first of this year, we brought in the Ninja Selling training and our agents were charged up and are ready to go,” Chinowth says. “We have 52 classes running continually and we teach the DiSC personality class where we cover working with millennials as well as first-time homebuyers.”

Currently, the biggest obstacle to homeownership in Tulsa centers around low inventory—especially in the under $500,000 price range.

Another concern is government regulations that are making it hard for appraisers to keep prices current with the market.

“Many appraisers are concerned about the ‘under the microscope’ culture we are seeing in many aspects of the real estate industry today. The mortgage industry, as well as the title industry, share these sentiments,” she says. “Although it is necessary to monitor the practices of all of the above industries to make sure no one is being taken advantage of, the pendulum has moved so far to one side, many seem to be feeling they must move toward safety rather than fairness.”

Still, the firm’s biggest challenge has been keeping up with growth.

“We do not hesitate to add staff to make sure our associates have plenty of support to make it possible for them to spend as much time with their clientele and their ‘at home’ families as possible,” Chinowth says. “As Tulsa becomes more of an international business city, our business will grow as long as we keep our associates and our clientele in the forefront.”

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