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Columbia Business Monthly

2019 SC 25 Fastest Growing Companies: No. 6 Jeff Cook Enterprises

Nov 19, 2019 01:12PM

LEADERSHIP Jeff Cook, CEO & Owner

INDUSTRY Real Estate

LOCATION North Charleston

FOUNDED 2013

What is the one thing that you would want others to know about your company?

Our company is a place of work that feels like family, but even more than that, we are changing lives! It's more than real estate sales. We care for one another in times of need, such as donating PTO to coworkers who need to take off to be with family members who are ill. We also care for our community through our 1% for Good program called Jeff Cook Cares. For every family we serve, we take 1% off the top of the commission and put it into our Jeff Cook Cares program fund that gives back to the community.

Giving back to the community is one of our favorite things to do as a company. What is even more amazing about giving back to the community is that by doing so, the company is giving people in our organization the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than anything they could have done by themselves. We have found that this has created longer retention with people in our company because they love being a part of something that is bigger than just their job.

What interview questions do you ask or what hiring techniques do you use to hire the right candidate? 

Our favorite interview question is, "Do you love to win or hate to lose more?" 

How do you manage fast growth? What advice would you give to a company in growth mode? 

It is crucial to have the right people in place and to empower them to make solutions-based decisions. In a rapid-growth mode, systems will break and have to be redeveloped. You need a team that always will bring solutions with the issues.

What lessons did you learn the hard way? If you could go back five or 10 years, what advice would you tell yourself?

We learned very early on that success on our team is not solely based on production. Company culture and core values trump production! The longer you keep someone on the team who doesn't adhere to the core values set, the more toxic they are to the company that you are growing. 

After you reach a certain number of people, regardless of how well you think the vision is communicated, you have to keep casting and make sure they understand their seat on the bus.

What marketing tips would you offer other companies? 

My three tips would be to: 1.Take risks, but go for the low-hanging fruit first, 2. Know your demographic and 3. Don't be afraid to have fun!

What is the secret to your success?

Stay humble or God will humble you! I'm not the smartest, I just got here first.

Endure more pain than anyone else is willing to.