According to Forbes, African-American women are among the fastest group launching and owning businesses. Despite COVID-19 forcing many businesses to close, particularly, Black-owned businesses, African Americans are still winning big.
One such entrepreneur is Tenisha Williams, who is the CEO of Elite Realty Partners, a real estate brokerage firm based in the South Florida area—Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Her firm is the largest Black, woman-owned brokerage in the South Florida area.
Williams’ story is inspirational, braving the pandemic to achieve economic success. Her company raked $100 million in sales within two years. What is more, she and her elite team are not showing any signs of complacency or slowing down. Rather, they are positioning the company to deliver more homes to families.
Williams attributes her success to God’s favor as she could not have managed a thriving business without divine favor. “I cannot attribute the accelerated pace of my business to anything but the favor of God,” she told Sheen Magazine.
“Before I sold one house, I thought of the name ‘Your FAVORED Realtor’, not favorite but favored! It was as if He told me from day one that He was going to favor whatever I touched in this business and order my steps as long as I put in the work and remained faithful. I remember in 2016 telling my former partner, ‘God is going to give us a platform so big because He knows that He can trust us with it.’”
Before venturing into full entrepreneurship, Williams was a county worker but said she did not plan to stay on the job till retirement like her colleagues, who were simply happy to land a position so they could retire and have great benefits. However, it was not until 2017 that she made her final decision not to return to work while she was on a holiday at St. Lucia with her daughter. “While there, I realized that I did not want to go back to work and made up my mind after speaking with my husband,” she said. “From there, two things happened: I found my purpose by loving real estate and made my first 6 figures part-time.”
Williams is more than a CEO. She is also a life coach and uses a chunk of her time to teach, motivate and guide others to achieve their desire goals. Nonetheless, she is sometimes under unimaginable pressure. “Sometimes I cannot sleep at night because my brain will not stop thinking of ways that I can add more value to everyone on the team. I truly am invested in their careers, so I take the responsibility very seriously,” she said.
Williams describes the reality of being the largest Black, woman-owned brokerage in the South Florida area as surreal. She however said there is so much work to be done to change the narrative and diversify the faces in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area as it pertains to real estate.
The real estate guru considers her firm a “ministry” to agents and customers. Over the years, she has witnessed an overabundance of customers and agents break through various hardships and come out on top with the help of her brokerage, she said. “My private coaching sessions sometimes turn into life-changing sessions for me and them. For example, I have had the opportunity to witness agents who did not sell ONE house at their former brokerages, then come onboard with Elite and become our top producers selling millions in real estate,” she said.