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Charleston Business

Clear, Consistent, Aligned Company Culture Inspires High Commitment, Steady Growth

By Tabitha Cooper, CCIM

Director of Vision & Execution, KDS Commercial Properties

A 20th anniversary in commercial real estate is a great time to reflect on what makes a strong company culture and how to sustain it. Building a successful commercial real estate firm is not simple. When you work in commercial real estate, your compensation is directly tied to company transactions and client relationships. Oftentimes, how effectively you meet your client’s needs and solve problems is tied back to the company culture set by its leaders.

A company’s culture is its intangible personality, and if you aren’t intentional about fostering growth, treating each teammate with respect, valuing family responsibilities, encouraging community participation, and celebrating all wins, then reaching a 20-year milestone may be quite difficult. When leaders and managers create a clear, consistent, aligned culture that inspires high commitment, employees believe in and live out the organization’s purpose every day. At KDS, we’ve seen the importance of integrating a growth mindset into our company’s culture. A team working together with this mindset thrives on challenges and sees failure not as evidence of inability but as a springboard to strengthening existing abilities. 

Companies that prioritize growth are committed to learning and value new knowledge. Teammates come alongside each other to help one another learn and get better. Individual wins are celebrated by the team because a win for anyone in the organization is a win for everyone. Wins push us towards growth. If the vision for growth is ever present, you will always provide the best value to your clients and community.

If you want a growth mindset to shape your company, consider this advice:

Change is the only constant. Commercial properties and the new dynamics around occupancy during Covid were unimaginable at the beginning of last year. The need to quickly change and adapt has never been so high. When you see a dead end, blaze a trail and find a solution.

Work as if you can solve anything. Always be a problem solver and encourage a collaborative environment. Many of us had to solve complex problems and adapt to change in 2020 like never before. You can make excuses, or you can make moves. Ask for help and offer it to others to find the best solution for your clients.

There are no secrets or shortcuts and that actually makes the process more rewarding. Doing hard things is possible, and oftentimes the reward on the other side is well worth the effort. Hard things are only hard until you have done them.  

Honesty is saying what you did. Integrity is doing what you said you would do. Operate in both. When companies openly communicate and reinforce the link between individual jobs and team objectives, the organization’s goals and mission keep people on track. Open and honest communication can help employees understand the value of their work and can help instill a greater sense of belonging.

A successful organization has a culture based on a strongly held and widely shared set of beliefs that are supported by strategy and structure. Integrating a growth mindset to the KDS culture has allowed for company change that continues to result in adding value to client’s lives and fostering employee success. KDS looks forward to many more years of growth and hope that you find ways to incorporate a growth mindset into your business.

Tabitha Cooper, CCIM, is a native of Midland, Michigan, a Michigan State University graduate, and has called Greenville home since 2013. She has a passion for serving clients with a personalized approach and is dedicated to finding innovative solutions to successfully help clients with brokerage, development and investments needs. Tabitha earned her CCIM designation and is a former member of the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).