In the age of huge, multinational corporations, it’s easy to forget that family businesses remain the cornerstone of the world economy. That includes S&P 500 companies like Walmart and Ford, as well as thousands of small and medium-sized businesses. In fact, it’s estimated that a staggering 90 percent of all U.S. businesses are family-owned.
Whoever you’re bringing on to your team, [it’s key] to ensure that they have those same values, that they’re going to work just as hard as you are.
— TAMARA STONE
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, entrepreneurs who build businesses with family in mind tend to take a longer view of the market, and are often better at engaging employees and customers. This is especially true of real estate, where family ties in business often come with a strong connection to the community.
Still, just because family businesses are common, doesn’t mean they’re more successful. In fact, less than 30 percent of family businesses survive into the third generation of family ownership. But those that survive can reap amazing rewards.
Consider Tamara and Shannon Stone, for instance. Twenty years ago, Tamara decided to follow in her parents’ footsteps, entering the real estate business in her hometown of Kelowna, British Columbia. Her sister Shannon joined her in 2005. Together, they became The Stone Sisters, one of the most successful real estate teams in their market.
At the start, Tamara and Shannon weren’t sure if they’d be in business together long term. “We’d actually even set up to have a mediator in the event that we had any issues or problems,” Tamara admitted. But the Stone Sisters soon realized that they made a great team. “We trust each other…we’ll often say that Tamara is the gas and Shannon’s the brakes, or vice versa.”
Today, the Stone Sisters are leading producers at RE/MAX Kelowna, and consistently rank in the top 100 agents for RE/MAX in Western Canada. While the company has grown beyond the Stone family, Tamara and Shannon stress the importance of having a tight-knit team that shares their values. “Really, there is a sense of family amongst all of us,” Shannon told us. That family comes from a shared vision and drive among all team members. “Whoever you’re bringing on to your team, [it’s key] to ensure that they have those same values, that they’re going to work just as hard as you are,” Tamara explained.
In this interview, Tamara and Shannon explain how new realtors can leverage more experienced colleagues (family members or otherwise) to get their business of the ground, and discuss why a money mindset is often a red flag when it comes to recruiting agents to join their team.
- Matt & Seth