"Courtesy of The San Antonio Express-News" - (Iszler, Top Midsize Workplace: ‘Help people’ motto drives JBGoodwin Realtors to top spot for fourth time 2022)
Top Midsize Workplace: ‘Help people’ motto drives JBGoodwin Realtors to top spot for fourth time
SAN ANTONIO — Erin Cestero, president of JBGoodwin Realtors’ San Antonio office, describes the firm’s culture as family-oriented, supportive and helpful.
In the real estate industry, where agents are independent contractors competing for business, she said that’s unique.
“Our culture really comes from a place of believing in abundance, so we feel confident that with the right tools, all of our agents can be successful,” Cestero said.
Jen and Grant Bowman, sales managers for the Hill Country and New Braunfels, echoed her sentiment.
“We don’t compete with each other,” Jen Bowman said. “We really do work as one big team helping each other. That’s really rare.”
That big team culture was among the reasons JBGoodwin’s local office was named the Top Workplace for midsize employers in San Antonio for the fourth time in six years. The firm has been on the Top Workplaces list for 11 consecutive years.
Founded in 1972 in Austin, JBGoodwin opened its San Antonio office 38 years later.
In the Top Workplaces list, the firm started at No. 6 in the small employers category in 2012 and moved up to the midsize employer list in 2016.
Today JBGoodwin has about 400 local agents, managers and support staff. Its youngest agent is 19 and its oldest is 94.
Cestero and Vice President F. Alberto Hernandez said “help people,” the mission statement set by founder J.B. Goodwin, continues to drive the firm.
Community involvement is part of that. Through the firm’s JBGiving initiative, agents raise money and volunteer at organizations they are passionate about.
“We’ve created an environment where agents feel comfortable saying, ‘Hey, this is important to me, can I bring this to the office?’” Hernandez said.
The Top Workplace rankings are based on employees’ responses to questions in a survey conducted by Philadelphia-based Energage.
“I have the flexibility to set my own schedule and opportunity for success is at my fingertips,” one survey respondent said about JBGoodwin. “The culture at the office is comfortable, professional, positive, and supportive. I always feel my voice is heard and respected.”
The Bowmans, who joined JBGoodwin almost four years ago, said the firm’s Top Workplace status and high ratings on Google caught their eye.
Grant Bowman said colleagues’ “servant leadership” stands out to him. At leadership conferences, they spend most of their time talking about how to better serve agents, Bowman said.
“We’re dedicating every ounce of energy we have to how we can help people, and that’s not just the client, but the folks who are participating in the brokerage,” he said. “I dig that, personally.”
Malary Deike, a Realtor who has been at JBGoodwin for three and a half years, said she appreciates the firm’s diversity.
The workforce includes a range of ages and backgrounds, with agents who are veterans, retired teachers and young professionals beginning their career.
“I love this company,” Deike said. “I don’t ever plan to leave because they have built a foundation of helping people and there’s so much diversity here.”
Early in the coronavirus pandemic, agents and staff members missed seeing each other.
“When you build a culture off of relationships and getting to know your clients but also your agent partners on a personal level,” an abrupt stop is jolting, Hernandez said.
In the era of the “great resignation,” “quiet quitting” and hybrid workplaces, JBGoodwin has benefited. The firm has added 120 agents over the past two years. People unable to work decided to take real estate classes or had second thoughts about the industry they were in.
“I think we were the beneficiary of a lot of people looking at what they were doing as a career and realizing, ‘that’s not really what I want. I want something that has more flexibility, that has a high-income ceiling to it. What can I do and still feel good about myself in the morning?’” said Hernandez. “Real estate was the answer for a lot of our newer agents.”
After interviews with prospective agents, Cestero said she asks staff whether they would enjoy having lunch with the applicants and whether they are passionate about “putting people first.”
“That we put above production any day, because we know if people put people first, then the production and success in the industry follows,” she said.
Iszler, M. (2022, October 23). Top Midsize Workplace: ‘Help people’ motto drives JBGoodwin Realtors to top spot for fourth time. San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://www.expressnews.com/business/article/top-workplace-midsize-JB-Goodwin-17522932.php.
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