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Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche of Prestige Realty Group: “Prestige Realty Group stands out because of our level of service and commitment to our clients.|

Prestige Realty Group stands out because of our level of service and commitment to our clients. We offer an extremely hands-on, boutique style service. Typically, when clients work with larger brokerages they only have access to their one agent. At Prestige, our clients have access to their agent and any other member on our team […]

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Prestige Realty Group stands out because of our level of service and commitment to our clients. We offer an extremely hands-on, boutique style service. Typically, when clients work with larger brokerages they only have access to their one agent. At Prestige, our clients have access to their agent and any other member on our team including myself. We are committed to being accessible and answering emails, texts, calls at any time of the day. We also have a lot of off-market inventory that our clients have access to even before it hits the market.


As part of my series about the “How To Take Your Company From Good To Great”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche, co-founder and managing broker of Prestige Realty Group, a boutique firm based in South Miami focusing on luxury homes and high-rise condominium sales. A Miami native, Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche possesses an unrivaled knowledge of the city and witnessed Miami’s evolution into the burgeoning metropolis it is today. He specializes in single family homes and condominiums in Coconut Grove, South Miami, Coral Gables, Pinecrest, Downtown Miami and Miami Beach. Tony plays an instrumental role in overseeing agents at his firm and works with high-profile clientele worldwide. Tony is fluent in English and Spanish and has earned a reputation of professionalism and integrity. He most recently completed a Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School in 2016. Tony has served as Director of Sales and Marketing for Las Terrazas in Belize, a 5-star boutique condo/hotel with a total sell out value of approximately 50 million dollars. Tony has also served as Vice President of the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Marketing Committee of the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District (BID).


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

In 2005, I worked for a printing company inside of an architecture and development firm’s office. The printing company printed so much for the firm that they hired me to work out of the firm’s office. As I spent time there, I started to see an opportunity to grow and learn about development. I got a job with the firm as a receptionist at a development site in a pre-construction sales trailer. I learned about what it takes to sell real estate from the sales team, obtained my real estate license and worked my way up. Now, I am co-founder and managing broker of my own real estate firm, Prestige Realty Group in Miami, Florida.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

One of the most difficult times in my career was the market crash of 2008. Real estate came to a standstill just a few years after I got my start in the industry. I realized I had to shift gears and my mentality changed to a “do anything you can to survive” mindset. I quickly realized I had to find an opportunity to grow so I started doing rentals, something outside of my typical line of work, to build a clientele base. During that time I found many investors who were looking to purchase properties and additional opportunities to grow while generating an income. In difficult situations it is important to not give up. Do everything you can do to stay afloat whether that is finding ways to reinvent the way you do business or taking on any business that comes your way.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Prestige Realty Group stands out because of our level of service and commitment to our clients. We offer an extremely hands-on, boutique style service. Typically, when clients work with larger brokerages they only have access to their one agent. At Prestige, our clients have access to their agent and any other member on our team including myself. We are committed to being accessible and answering emails, texts, calls at any time of the day. We also have a lot of off-market inventory that our clients have access to even before it hits the market.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

My biggest tip is to remember that you can’t do everything yourself. The ability to delegate is vital to success. When your business starts growing, there will come a point where you will not be able to handle everything on your own as you can only grow so much if everything depends on you. Having a trustworthy team around you who can handle the work as good as you can is so important. If not, you will burn out and reach a limit of quality output.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I would not be where I am today without my co-founder Chris Hodgson. At first, I was scared to make the move and take on the burden of a company on my own. I wanted to start my firm with a partner who would have my back. Without Chris, I would not have had the push to start Prestige Realty Group and grow the firm into the successful business it is today. For that I am forever grateful.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The title of this series is “How to take your company from good to great”. Let’s start with defining our terms. How would you define a “good” company, what does that look like? How would you define a “great” company, what does that look like?

In terms of real estate agents, I would define a “good” agent as someone who consistently has a certain amount of business and is 100% focused. They are readily available and closing deals on a regular basis. A “great” agent is someone with those qualities and an effective system in place to maximize their time and efficiency. A great agent is someone who has a strong team around them and a step-by-step process for every transaction. This would include a team member who’s job is to coordinate paperwork, another who conducts showings, one who interacts with the buyers and sellers, and so on. This kind of system allows for the team to handle significant volume efficiently and with care.

Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. Can you help articulate for our readers a few reasons why a business should consider becoming a purpose driven business, or consider having a social impact angle?

As a business owner, it’s important to evaluate what the purpose of your business will be and how each of your employees can work toward that purpose in an impactful way. Prestige Realty Group’s purpose is to help people find their homes. Our homes are so important, especially now that we are spending more time at home than ever. Finding the perfect fit for our clients is our top priority as purchasing a home is potentially the biggest financial decision our clients will make. We take this very seriously and we take pride in being there to help each client find their dream home.

What would you advise to a business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth and “restart their engines”?

Continue to challenge yourself and never get comfortable. When you are comfortable you will reach standstill. Education is one of the most important things you can do to reinvigorate your growth. There is always something new to learn about any industry. You can never stop learning and must continue to educate yourself. In 2016, I decided to complete a program on negotiation at Harvard University. During my time in the program I realized you can never stop learning and must continue to educate yourself throughout your life because education never stops.

Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?

The most important thing you can do to generate new business and increase profits is to be adaptable. In the real estate industry, especially during a difficult economy, you need to find out who your buyer and seller is. In the last economic downtown I had to refocus my efforts on markets I may have not looked at prior. I shifted my personal focus to investors rather than on vacation homes, something that would be a thriving industry if people were doing well financially and traveling often (which they were not doing at this time). The key is to stay adaptable and in the know of the current economic state.

In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?

A lot of people think owning your own company means you have more flexibility and more free time because you “work for yourself.” This is a huge misconception. When you work for yourself or run your own company, the last thing you have is free time. Your workday is no longer the typical 9 to 5 and is more like 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week. People underestimate the time it takes to run a great company.

As you know, “conversion” means to convert a visit into a sale. In your experience what are the best strategies a business should use to increase conversion rates?

In real estate, one of the most powerful tools to use to increase conversions is a CRM software. This is a system that will help send out messages automatically to your entire client base at any time of the day, allowing your firm to stay connected with your clientele and provide important information. These systems can help you work and stay connected with clients even while you are sleeping. Firms will never increase conversion rates without it.

Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that a business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?

Earning a reputation is the key phrase here. Trust is not blindly given. It must be earned by hard work, honesty and transparent communication. If you do great work and your customers are happy, referrals will start coming through and positive word-of-mouth reviews will spread.

Great customer service and great customer experience are essential to build a beloved brand and essential to be successful in general. In your experience what are a few of the most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience?

An impressive customer experience begins at the level of service a firm provides. At Prestige, we pride ourselves on our attention to detail and commitment to our clients’ happiness. It’s not just how you handle customers from the beginning of the deal to the closing table, but after the deal is done. Everything from remembering their family names and details about their lives shows you care even after the transaction is over. I remember calling a client to see how they were doing years after they purchased their home to check up on them. They truly appreciated my call to catch up and see how they are doing. Relationship building is everything when developing a customer service experience that is a step above the rest.

What are your thoughts about how a company should be engaged on Social Media? For example, the advisory firm EisnerAmper conducted 6 yearly surveys of United States corporate boards, and directors reported that one of their most pressing concerns was reputational risk as a result of social media. Do you share this concern? We’d love to hear your thoughts about this.

As a broker, authenticity and relationships are two of the most important things that make my company successful. Social media allows me to connect with my clients, other brokers, and potential business partners in a quick, authentic way. I think social media is an extremely useful tool but it is imperative to create content that is valuable for your viewers. I love sharing market data and giving my followers access to information they may not otherwise have. I also preview homes that are coming to market, market trends and celebrate the successes of my business to excite my viewers about what is to come. My go-to social media platforms are Instagram (because it is very visual) and Facebook (because of the targeted marketing abilities).

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

One of the most common mistakes CEOs and founders make when starting a business is taking on too much office space, too soon and too fast. In my industry, agents are out on the road and are not spending much time at a desk in an office. We are working in a time where people are downsizing offices or they are working from home. Sometimes CEOs and founders want to run before they walk and spend too much money on office space they don’t need. Make sure you’re making an income before spending money on a rent or retail space.

How can our readers further follow you online?

You can keep up with me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/prestige_tony. Keep up with all things Prestige Realty Group on Instagram and Facebook too.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prestigerealtygroup

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prestigerealtygroupllc/

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

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