As president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Carolinas, Pauline Bennett has led operations of the company’s 19 sales offices and nearly 1,200 affiliated sales associates across North and South Carolina since 2015. Bennett set ambitious goals for her company in 2017, which included substantially increasing organic growth, driving company profitability and enhancing the team’s talent. In 2017, the company grew its agent body by nearly 20% from the year before. A portion of that growth was a result of recruiting 66 independent sales associates, who assisted in an additional $123.8 million in total sales volume. The company closed 27% more sales in 2017 and overall revenue was up.
The success was not isolated, it was seen in each of her three regions. In Charlotte, the number of total agents increased 27% and the region saw 22% more closed units. In the smaller marketplace of Charleston, growth occurred in revenue, closed units and agent count. Columbia also saw significant increases in all areas. Coming off the heels of a major acquisition in 2016, which doubled the size of the company, Bennett was tasked with settling the tides of change and focusing intently on growing the bottom line. Serving very distinct marketplaces to include Charlotte, Charleston and Columbia, the company needed to harness a value proposition that would work in a very competitive landscape.
In her first year of leadership, Bennett was tasked with introducing a different culture, implementing new infrastructure and rolling out a bevy of tools, processes and resources for the company, all while establishing strong relationships with independent agents in a competitive landscape. This required a steadfast approach in her role, to plant the roots of a company under new ownership and leadership. Bennett led a bold strategy that would double the size of her company. In March 2016, she played a key role in the acquisition of the largest independent real estate brokerage in Columbia, which included nearly 600 sales agents.
An important part of Bennett’s overall recruiting strategy is to be able to proclaim that the company indeed has the best leaders in all areas. She takes a hands-on approach to hiring, training and growing the talent on her leadership team.
In addition to forging the path for her company, Bennett has also taken responsibility to ensure that the real estate industry as a whole is well represented in the local marketplace. In a time when the industry is evolving quickly, changing much of the landscape of how business is conducted, it is important that leaders be fast to embrace technology and flexible to change quickly. Bennett welcomes this role, and has stepped up to advocate for enhancements to consumer and professional tools.