Success Stories: Making a Difference and a Profit

The Menkiti Group's Bo Menkiti shares how he balances a social mission with a profit driven industry.

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Video Transcript

00:07 Bo Menkiti: Hi, I'm Bo Menkiti and with the Menkiti Group. We are a values-based real estate services company that's focused on transforming lives in communities in urban areas through real estate.

00:22 Menkiti: Our core mission of community impact is what drives everything that we do. We are profitable as a company, but we're not profit-driven. The company is not driven purely from a profit motive. It's driven from an impact and a mission motive and profitability is one of the metrics that we see as core to being able to sustain ourselves over time as we grow.

00:45 Menkiti: Core to our value creation strategy has been get the middle of the market above where people can't afford stuff, but in a place where sometimes people don't want to service it and bring high level services into that market, especially where there's existing assets. It's not that these folks who we're working with shouldn't be homeowners, aren't capable of being homeowners. It's that they're often overlooked by the process. Sometimes because maybe there's not... People don't see exactly how it can be done in the most profitable way. Same thing with the real estate assets that we develop. We're often times working with historical assets in areas that have suffered years of decay, but there's a tremendous underlying physical asset there that you can tap into that and bring it back. The theme that ties it all together is that ultimately it's about trying to find ways to solve problems that people haven't solved before, and to create value where value hasn't been created before. And partly driven by a sense that you see value in something other people don't see value in.

01:45 Menkiti: Because we come from a commission-based business, there's been a flight of talent. As folks get better at the business, they gravitate to the highest priced homes. We've sort of been counter-cyclical in that, is that we've focused sort of at the bottom of that pyramid with bringing highly educated and talented salespeople into that space. And because there's very little sophisticated competition, we've been able to thrive as a business while delivering a much-needed social service.

02:13 Menkiti: And we believe that we sit in a space where there's an opportunity to actually be an even greater steward of capital. And increasingly, folks are looking for capital to have their money make a difference in the world and also make a return. And we are playing this interesting space where we can take an even higher level of stewardship that goes beyond return and goes into impact. And so we confuse sort of money and meaning together in a way that we believe eventually will move this world forward at a faster pace.

Last updated: Oct 6, 2011




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