Leadership Lens: If you're not growing, you're dying

Concierge Auctions founder and president Laura Brady shares what’s behind her phenomenal journey of growth

This winter, Inman is obsessing over leadership in real estate. We’re publishing profiles, Q&As, strategy guides, and an in-depth 5-part report on what the industry wants from its leaders. Then, on March 26-28, we’re going to gather those leaders in the California desert to digest all of these inputs and figure out where to go from here.

This is a collaborative process. Please engage with our posts, and send us feedback to leadership@inman.com. And if you are a leader who wants to join us in the desert in March, or if you want to recommend a colleague, send a note to brad@inman.com and tell us why.

As the founder and president of international luxury real estate auction firm Concierge Auctions, Laura Brady is responsible for leading the company and its aggressive growth.

In less than ten years, she’s driven the firm to nearly two billion dollars in sales and placement on Inc. Magazine’s list of the fastest-growing companies in America four years in a row. We recently sat down with Laura to ask her views on the current state of real estate leadership.

As a leader, what keeps you up at night?

My pursuit of continued innovation and staying ahead of the curve is what keeps me up at night. Concierge Auctions has been on a strong growth trajectory for 10 years now, and we’re always racing to find and retain the best talent, keep a strong pulse on industry changes and constantly beat our prior records.

My most common nightmare is about losing my teeth, which signifies that important changes are in the works. Ah … the beauty of entrepreneurship! If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

Laura Brady

If you could change one thing in real estate, what would it be?

The biggest problem I’m committed to solving is the lack of transparency and time certainty in real estate transactions. In nearly every other area of our lives, we’re able to transact on our chosen time frame, and the terms are clear. Most other purchases can be made digitally and anonymously, if we so choose, but when it comes to real estate, the typical sale process is confusing and lengthy.

We created the Concierge Auctions marketplace to give listing agents and sellers control of the timeline of sale and instill confidence in buyers. All parties can see every offer, real-time, and trust that the final sale price was fair and market-driven.

How have your expectations of your management team changed over the past two years?

In the past two years, we’ve nearly doubled our annual revenue, employee count and geographic service area, so our leadership team is consistently being held to higher standards. We’ve added bench strength from both internal and external hires, which has allowed internal candidates to rise from employees to managers to c-suite where earned.

Our leaders are responsible for knowing and reporting on their growth metrics, for fostering collaboration between their teams and for pursuing an “Always be learning” practice of ongoing education.

How do you keep your team competitive?

The first step is that I’m fiercely competitive myself. One of our core values at Concierge Auctions is to “Make history,” and in some way or another, every employee competes every day in our business, whether it’s to close a deal, launch a marketing campaign more quickly than the last, or to break our prior highest-priced sales records.

We compete not only for ourselves and our business success, but also to better the world. Through our Key for Key™ program in cooperation with Giveback Homes, for every home we sell, we fully fund a home for a family in need. Launched in April of last year, Key for Key™ drives our team towards a higher and common purpose.

With so much disruption in real estate, what’s your best advice for managing change?

My best advice is to embrace it. We’re wired to be fearful of the unknown, so my philosophy is to not only be aware of but also knowledgeable about as many topics as I can.

Knowledge is power and instills confidence. On average I spend three to four hours every day reading and listening to books, podcasts and news. I not only focus on real estate but also entrepreneurship, history and other finance, tech and business sectors.

Want to connect with Laura? You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Email Matthew Shadbolt.