Who are you?
My name is Philip Scarborough, owner of Elite Realty Group of JAX. My team and I provide residential and commercial real estate services and property management in Northeast Florida. We are a group of unique realtors and property managers who work to make dreams become a reality, and most importantly, we’re in the business of people. Anyone can sell or lease a HOUSE...but we want our clients to find their HOME, even when it’s not easy.
I knew we had something special when we were able to find the perfect home for a family whose wish list seemed impossible. They wanted to move to the country, on five acres, 4,000 square feet, an in-law suite, wood floors, three-car garage, a den but no formal living room, swimming pool, and a bargain price. Instead of dismissing their needs, we went to work and found a custom built home in foreclosure with everything but the swimming pool. Then there was the young single mom with three children and a limited budget. We were able to find her dream home, complete with four bedrooms, move in ready, and a big back yard large enough for their trampoline. It's a huge satisfaction to help others fulfill their dreams, and that’s when I knew I had an obligation to be in this business and try to do what is right for people.
Why Did you start your business?
I started my business because I love meeting and working with all kinds of people. If I didn’t, I’d have to be crazy to go into real estate when the market was going bust. Realtors were leaving big companies because they could no longer make a living selling homes. I saw a niche and began working with lawyers, builders, bankers, and investors even though other businesses were cutting back. I was building my personal dream, and by 2009 I had my own firm. To me it’s more than just additional income – I am helping people live better lives. Often people come to us looking to make a transaction, but I want them to know we can do more than put a roof over their heads. We want to go above and beyond to make their dreams come true.
What makes your business unique?
I am thankful my parents instilled me with old fashioned values, and I incorporate them into my company. A good name is very important to me and my family. It's not about pride or ego. We believe in the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I believe that if my clients know that I have been honest, loyal and helped them fulfill their dreams, then they will always feel confident in working with me in the future as well as recommending my company. There is so much going on "behind the curtain " with real estate. Bringing a dream into fruition can sometimes mean cleaning until midnight because a new tenant arrives the next day. A buyer, seller or owner may never know the true expense has come out of my pocket, but that's my choice and I'm okay with this. I know that at the end of the day that I am in the people business with the goal of making dreams come true.
What's the biggest mistake you've made with your business and what did you learn from it??
If I have to choose just one mistake I would say it was not taking the time to listen and learn from others. It's not that I didn't want to or felt that I knew it all. It was simply that I was so busy going about completing so many other tasks that I failed to make the time.
I now know that it is imperative to stop and consider that someone else has certainly been down this road before. I wish I would have made that extra time in my busy schedule and utilized my network of friends and business acquaintances. It certainly would have saved me lots of time, energy, money, frustration and some failures. I now encourage everyone to find a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and sit down over coffee or lunch and talk about their business. You will be surprised at what they are willing to share and what valuable information you will learn. And believe it or not you too may be able to add valuable information for their business.
Collaborating with others that are on a similar journey is such an important key factor in any business.
I now practice what I preach because I don't let a week go by without a lunch or coffee with someone that will challenge and/or inspire me to be a better person and business owner.
For this section of questioning I would like leave a little valuable saying, my Father would always say.. "Philip, where does good judgment come from? I would say I don't know? He would than say experience. Then I would say where does experience come from then? He would say Bad Judgement. Try to gain as much experience from others who paid the price.
what big goal do you have for your company and how do you plan to achieve it?
As I glance at this question, the business owner in me begins to think in numbers. Is it number of rentals I would like to manage by the end of the year, or number of agents I want working for me or number of transactions each month or is it a certain amount of money I want to earn. Of course, all of these are good to have as goals because every business owner needs to focus on a goal. But my primary goal for my company is to continue to meet the day to day challenges that are presented in a manner where my associates and clients are not adversely impacted. I want to continue to build great relationships with them and in doing so add some kind of positive value to our lives as we all move towards whatever dreams we may have in our future.
what advice or tips do you have for people wanting to start their own business or follow their dreams?
My advice for anyone starting their own business is to find out what is at the core of your business dream.
As I have mentioned, my real estate company and property management is about people. I want to find someone a home and make their dream a reality. It is not about pressuring someone into a property or a house so I can meet a number.
So my advice is to figure out what drives the business you want to open or the dream you want to fulfill. If you want to have a food truck business you of course need to consider the food and the truck but it may be more important to key in on location, create delicious food and great experience. And always be open to input from others because the more you ask the more you learn.
And my final tip is to be sure to have someone hold you accountable as well as keep you going when you hit a bump in the road. Everyone needs an emotional push from time to time. Make sure that person is someone you trust to tell you the things that you may not want to hear.