Looking to revamp your management style? Glean top tips from the following interview with Peter Mendiola of Coldwell Banker West.
Years in real estate: 9
Region served: San Diego
You run one of the fastest-growing Coldwell Banker affiliates in the U.S. What’s the key to your success?
We’ve done a very good job of leveraging the Coldwell Banker brand, but if I have to pinpoint one key to our success, I would have to say it’s the culture here. When you walk into any of our offices, people say there is a “buzz.” Our agents are motivated and energized—everyone can feel it.
How do you differentiate your offices from others in the industry?
As you know, we are expanding very rapidly. In the next 12 months alone I hope to open three offices in the East County. Everything we do is geared toward taking care of our agents. As a consequence, we are outselling the competition and, of course, we have a very high retention rate.
Your newest office will be located in Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. How did this come about?
One of our agents asked me to look at this space and it was really exciting. Building the office in Petco Park has been a challenge because of all of the permits and regulations involved. But I expect it to be a huge money maker because it opens the door for us in downtown San Diego.
Many of your agents are said to be young and aggressive—is this part of your strategy?
It has not been strategic on our part, but it’s what we are attracting. It is true that in our San Diego offices, we are very diverse and represent every color of the rainbow. Also, we recently hired more seasoned agents. We span the gamut. When you can draw the best and the brightest agents from all walks of life, I believe it makes us uniquely qualified to help all of our clients, older and younger and everything in between.
How do you motivate your team?
I really do not know how to explain this and remain humble, but I have a very positive mindset and I have been told that this mindset radiates out. It’s contagious.
How would you characterize your management style?
I surround myself with very bright people, people who are smarter and more experienced than I am. It is very powerful to have people around me who know what not to do. I have managers with 30 and 40 years of experience who can tell me, for instance, not to spend money in a certain way. I can come up with very creative ideas, but I do not make decisions on my own. I ask my managers and work very hard to be a collaborative thinker, making informed, responsible decisions. Also, I know it’s a cliché, but I always try to leave my ego at the door. I don’t need to always be right. I need to do what is best for each agent and, in turn, each office. That way everyone prospers and our customers are given the best service possible.
What are you working on for the future?
We are growing rapidly, and my goal is to also grow strategically so that when there is another downturn in the market we will be ready for it. We want to thrive no matter what comes our way and that means besides working on the obvious aspects of the business, we also plan for that rainy day.
For more information, visit www.coldwellwest.com.