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How To Build An Empire With Your Favorite People

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Imagine starting a new company with your best friend. For many, the idea of working closely with someone they know sounds appealing—the perfect recipe for entrepreneurial success. For others, it sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Despite the differing opinions, history has provided examples of high-profile partnerships that have worked tremendously. Think Ben and Jerry’s or Hewlett-Packard.

Friends understand the vision and endure setbacks

Given that friends already understand each other’s subtle signals, there is less chance of being offended, or surprised, by someone’s communication style. Friends can detect and read intentions with greater ease. Moreover, companions tend to have ‘history’—whether from working in the same industry, sharing life experiences or educational paths—which gives them a particular outlook, and, therefore, the ability to agree on the direction of the business. 

Emerging research suggests businesses founded by friends in the startup sector are more likely to prevail under financial pressure. When companies go through financial loss, or lack of funding, existing partnerships within management help to solidify the team. Conversely, teams composed of ‘strangers’ were found to be less likely to endure financial storms.

Kortney Murray, CEO and Founder of Coastal Kapital LLC—a commercial equipment and asset-based lending company—has become a leader in the financial services industry by building her core team with friends and associates.

“My company is molded around the people that I care for most,” says Murray. “Although I’ve never had children, my management team has become a part of my ‘family’. We co-create vision, we have fun, and we share in the fruit of our success. As we grow, I add to the team those who feel like the ‘right fit’.”

Is this person the ‘right fit’ for your company? 

Working with friends does have its unknowns. How will people act or perform in any given scenario? To avoid this, some specialists advise ‘dating’ a prospective employee, running through a number of business scenarios in an attempt to gauge strengths and weaknesses. Whilst Murray describes her approach to people as ‘empathic’—understanding needs and reading emotions—she has also invested in a highly sophisticated screening tool that measures one’s ‘culture index’.

Murray explains: “The index provides a deep insight into natural ability, creativity and best-fit within the organization. It highlights stress points and helps me to anticipate when someone might feel stretched. The mathematical index is based on sound science and removes much of the guesswork, so I don’t have to try and be ‘psychic’. I can focus my energy on growing the company, whilst getting the best from each employee.”

Never assume you know what others are thinking

Assuming you know what someone is thinking, planning or feeling is one of the most common mistakes when it comes to teaming up with friends. Murray, for example, would once have described her best friend from college as being “the same person”.

“We are so vibrant, excited, and constantly laughing,” Murray continues, ”but, in fact, she absolutely can’t stand sales or being on the phone. She’s timid in her approach…If I had not asked those probing questions at the outset, I would have hired her for sales!”

Preserve friendships and prioritize marriage

Balance, like most areas of life, can be difficult to achieve. As the ‘boss’, how can you have the tough conversations with people you know, without jeopardizing relationships. To keep potential friction to a minimum, Murray advocates “being sensitive to employee needs”. She explains: “I don’t like to micromanage. They respect my business, I respect their time. It’s a mutual agreement. If you have to finish up early because you have family matters to attend to, it’s fine as long as we maintain that level of trust and respect.”

For any would-be entrepreneur, the toughest challenge must be working with family members. Business spats can quickly spill-over into home life and place added strain on relationships. Murray is quick to point out the reality of growing a business alongside her husband: “We’ve had 12 years of marriage; 10 of those in business together. He probably takes on more than he should; I should allow him a little bit more space. Although we work well together, I want to find time to date my husband again. In some ways, our business has taken away from our personal life.”

Murray continues: “Entrepreneurs are often guilty of forgetting about themselves. You ask everybody about themselves, but sometimes people don’t ask you about you. You have to be the strong one. I’m really trying to make time for myself. If I’m thriving, it’s going to have a positive impact on others.”

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

Robert DeFalco Realty Leads the Way with Strategic Expansion and Philanthropy

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Robert DeFalco, the visionary founder and Owner/Operator of Robert DeFalco Realty, cemented his reputation as a huge force in the real estate industry. His firm, recognized as the #1 real estate company in Staten Island, embarked on a significant expansion this year, solidifying its status as a comprehensive hub for real estate services in New York and New Jersey.

Strategic Growth and New Partnerships

This growth involves not only a physical expansion, but also a strategic partnership with Think Mortgage, a prominent mortgage firm with a strong presence in Brooklyn and Staten Island. The collaboration aligns perfectly with DeFalco’s vision of providing seamless and integrated real estate transactions.

“We are creating a holistic experience,” stated DeFalco.

By partnering with Think Mortgage, Robert DeFalco Realty ensures clients can find their ideal home and secure the best possible mortgage rates, simplifying the process into a smooth journey from start to finish — all in one building.

Comprehensive Services Under One Roof

The firm moved to a new location in Brooklyn, occupying an entire corner block to house its operations. The expansion ensures that clients can access all necessary services under one roof, including real estate and mortgage services, in-house title services, legal expertise, and more. The move underscores DeFalco’s commitment to providing unparalleled convenience for clients.

“We are creating a synergy where all real estate needs are met promptly and professionally, right here,” added DeFalco.

A Legacy of Philanthropy

Beyond his professional achievements, DeFalco is renowned for his philanthropic efforts. He believes in the responsibility of businesses to give back to their communities. Under his leadership, Robert DeFalco Realty is a leading sponsor for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, raising substantial funds annually.

In 2019, the Emergency Children’s Help Organization honored DeFalco for his significant contributions, recognizing him with the Man of the Year Award. His dedication to philanthropy also earned him the Service and Dedication Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in 2022.

Community Engagement and Support

Robert DeFalco Realty’s commitment to philanthropy extends to various community events and local charities. The firm supports a wide range of organizations, including the American Cancer Society, City Harvest, Monmouth University, St. Peters High School, and many more. Their efforts make a substantial positive impact, with total donations surpassing $1,000,000.

Most recently, DeFalco attended and sponsored the ECHO Foundation, GRACE Foundation, and Tunnel to Towers events in various capacities.

Looking Forward

With its recent expansion and continued commitment to comprehensive real estate services, Robert DeFalco Realty reaffirms its position as the premier one-stop real estate shop in the northeastern region. The firm continues to uphold its foundational philosophy of treating people well, a mantra that has guided its operations since its inception in 1987 and continues to inspire its growth and innovation today.

About Robert DeFalco

Robert DeFalco Realty was founded in 1987 by Robert DeFalco, a real estate Broker/Owner who wanted to help families achieve their dream of homeownership. Through the philosophy ‘Treat People Well,’ Robert DeFalco has grown into a successful real estate agency led by a professional team of highly motivated real estate associates with experience in residential, commercial, and new real estate development. For more information, please visit https://www.defalcorealty.com/ 

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