November 15, 2021
In honor of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we interviewed RCR’s founder, Michelle Rich Goode, about how she got her start in commercial real estate, her relentless focus on tenant and buyer representation, and the biggest lessons she has learned from owning her own business.
What first drew you to working in commercial real estate?
After teaching for 8 years as a history teacher and librarian, I was dissatisfied with the amount of income I was earning and having to be dependent on the NC Legislature for salary increases that were not forthcoming in the late 70s. I decided to get my real estate license and I sold a house to a doctor who needed office space – which opened my eyes to the world of commercial real estate in the early 80s. At the time, there were no women in the field and that really made me desire it even more!
Why was it important to you to start your own CRE firm?
I had the goal to own my own firm eventually, but I thought it would be much further into the future. As soon as I started in commercial real estate, I came to realize that tenants in commercial markets were vastly underserved. As a landlord broker, I saw the disadvantage that tenants had when trying to negotiate with experienced developers and brokers who sometimes took advantage of the tenant’s lack of knowledge. It was important to me to serve only tenants to remove that conflict of interest and get to provide the best service I could to the tenants and buyers.
What was the biggest adjustment in the first few years in owning your own business?
Learning to manage my business. I never had any accounting or business courses but, with the help of a business coach, I learned quickly about strategic goal setting and how to make a profit.
How has RCR maintained its boutique feel – and how does that translate to client success?
For more than 30 years at RCR, we have always focused on connecting with our clients’ needs and understanding their mission, values, and goals in achieving success. Finding the right space that matches these critical elements creates a win/win outcome and builds a network of clients who appreciate our expertise and become valued customers for more than one transaction.
What is one personality trait you have that has been most important to your success?
I am not sure if this is a personality trait, but my father was a small-town pharmacist who taught my siblings and I that customer satisfaction was a key to success. His customers most appreciated and valued his professional advice and availability. I have tried to build that customer-first mentality into our business too.
What are you most proud of what RCR has become over the last 30 years?
I’m most proud that RCR continues to be a valued resource for small business owners who need our assistance in making decisions about their commercial real estate needs. Our firm continues to be able to adapt and grow, with this past year being a great example. COVID obviously changed many aspects of business decision-making, but RCR was able to effectively advise our clients through this difficult time. We remain optimistic about the future of Raleigh-Durham and in our ability to continue to adapt as a firm long into the future.