There is nothing more rewarding and inspiring than to see women of color set new standards and trends through entrepreneurship. African American women were among the fastest-growing groups launching and owning new businesses according to Forbes. Tenisha Williams, CEO of Elite Realty Partners, is no exception. She has established and grown the largest Black woman-owned real estate brokerage firm in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale (South Florida) area—breaking $100 million in sales in just over two years.
While this is an impressive milestone, Williams and her Elite team show no signs of slowing down but are staying focused by remaining positioned and purpose-driven to help more individuals and families achieve their goals of homeownership and real estate acquisition. Currently, there are 140 agents with virtually no marketing efforts. Much like Chick-fil-a customers, agents keep on pouring in—what a wonderful problem to have.
Williams, a former county worker, knew from the onset that she was not there to stay. While fellow employees were content with great benefits and the future hopes of retirement, her sights were set on higher aspirations. In 2017, during a mother-daughter trip to St. Lucia, she was settled after speaking with her husband that she was not returning to work. She was convinced that she found her purpose through the love of real estate, and she had made her first six figures working part-time.
When asked to what she attributed the accelerated growth of Elite Realty, Williams credited it to her faith and favor from God. She was determined to put in the work and remain faithful. Although she manages a large team, there is a culture of family where no agent is an island. The benefits are the friendships that have been established, the collaboration of agents, the joys of winning together, and the willingness of helping one another succeed.
Williams says that she is more than a CEO, but a coach at heart that pours into her team keeping them pumped and empowered to crush their goals. Her passion to help and develop other agents are innate. However, the ability to manage so many personalities synergistically was initially a struggle. As a former correctional officer and teenage mom, her strong personality seemed curt at times. She quickly learned to master the right delivery in communication and messaging without hurting or offending others in the process.
“The pressure is unimaginable. Sometimes I cannot sleep at night because my brain will not stop thinking of ways I can add more value to my team,” Williams says of the pressure of running a top brokerage firm in South Florida. “I truly am invested in their careers, so I take the responsibility seriously. This is not a task for the weak at heart.”
Of course, striking a delicate balance between work and family is vital, so self-care is a must and Sundays are exclusively reserved for family.
Elite Realty Partners is also considered a ministry (serving the needs of others) to many agents and customers. There has been an overabundance of customers and agents breaking through various hardships and setbacks, bouncing back to victory with the help of the brokerage. For example, some agents did not sell one house at their former brokerage, and after coming on board with Elite, they become top producers selling millions in real estate.
“Some agents come through the doors timid and withdrawn, then evolve into bold and assertive real estate warriors. It is beyond amazing to witness,” she says.
As the head of the largest Black woman-owned brokerage firm in her area, Williams remains humble, grateful, and thankful to the Lord for being chosen and entrusted with such a huge role. Her mission is to change the narrative and diversify the faces in real estate throughout the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. She and her team are always ready to do the work and reap the rewards that lie in the days ahead.