Q.1 Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Ans. Founded in 2014 by Phil & Janet Aitken, the Phil Aitken Team exists to assist the great people of Jacksonville, Florida in all real estate endeavors. From buying to selling or investing, our team works diligently to help others achieve their real estate goals.
 
Q.2 Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

Ans. I earned my real estate license in 2005. The 2009 recession forced me into internet marketing and business-to-business sales as I had no job, no savings and no alternate source of income. In 2014 I returned to real estate and developed a vision to build a multi-faceted, team-driven business. I launched said business only one month later, hired a Director of Operations and closed the year with nineteen home sales at a total volume of $3,706,171. The following year, my team and I nearly doubled final sales volume at 33 sales totaling $6,226,650. We went tripled total service experiences in 2016 closing seventy-four transactions totaling $18,495,970. In 2017 we conducted 113 transaction experiences with a volume of $25,731,578. In 2018, we closed over 130 transactions totaling in excess of $34,000,000 servicing more than 200 families. My team has made the list of top ten in volume of home sales each month, thriving on a nearly 70% repeat clientele/customer referral basis. We are projecting a total sales volume of $82,000,000, with a goal of assisting 330 families next year and 500 families in three years.
 
Q.3 What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

Ans. Gary Keller’s book, “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent”, has been instrumental in Phil’s life. It was this publication and the near loss of his home in 2009 which drove Phil to build a business that would sustain his family regardless of life circumstances.

Q.4 What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Ans. 1. “Rip off & duplicate” as enthusiastically stated by Phil! Work smarter, not harder! Find a PROVEN model and duplicate it! Why innovate when you can simply duplicate?
2. Don’t hire employees! Hire leaders to build your team. Leaders will keep you accountable. Surround yourself with them.
3. Create several unique selling propositions and guarantees for your clientele.

Q.5 What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans. 1. Cast a vision and stay organized.
2. Be tirelessly tenacious.
3. Hard work!

Q.6 How many hours do you work a day on average?

Ans. Roughly ten hours per day.
 
Q.7 To what do you most attribute your success?

Ans. Constant prayer and hard work.

Q.8 How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Ans. We market to those whom we already know; to those who trust us. Connecting with people is key. We have also developed a strong social media presence.

Q.9 Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Ans. We are 100% self-funded.

Q.10 What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Ans. Create a five-year plan and reverse engineer that plan. Where do you want to be in five years? What is it going to take to fulfill your goals annually or even weekly? Stick to your plan!

Q.11 Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Ans. We will be serving 1,000 annually and we will be the largest real estate firm in Florida.

Q.12 Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Ans. Chick-fil-A! We share the commonality faith-based principles. I admire the way they’ve conducted business without sacrificing the faith for which we both stand.
 
Q.13 How important have good employees been to your success?

Ans. I do not hire employees. I hire leaders to fill management roles. If you are looking for someone to fill a role who is lacking in talent, you go nowhere. When you have good leaders who can share in your casted vision, they are inspired to share that vision in order to partake in the future success story.

Q.14 How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Ans. When operating on a proven system or model, there is never a need to give up. If you are operating on your own original idea, you may need to consider that it might be a bad idea.

Q.15 What motivates you?

Ans. I never want to repeat the financial hardship of 2009. I almost lost my home and it was very difficult to provide for my family. I only netted $23,000 that year and I had two kids in college. In addition, my wife was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, she is cancer-free today. However, I work to make sure my family is never again subjected to such risk.

Q.16 What are your ideals?

Ans. The Aitken Home Team operates under a mission statement which reflects our ideals: Enrich lives and fulfill dreams while glorifying God. In addition, we are working to become the largest real estate business in Florida in order to reinvest in a community which we love. We are also striving to raise $200,000 for the Tim Tebow Foundation in five years.

Q.17 How do you generate new ideas?

Ans. Again, work smarter, not harder. Find that proven model and stick to it.

Q.18  How do you define success?

Ans. Success is defined by happy customers. When we help others get what they want or need, we will always get what we want or need.

Q.19 How do you build a successful customer base?

Ans. Draw from those you already know because they trust you. They will drive your business and generate referrals. CONNECT with every person you meet.

Q.20 What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Ans. Creating something from scratch and seeing the fruits of my labor.

Q.21 What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Ans. Helping people transfer from negative to positive real estate circumstances.
 
Q.22 What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Ans. Ownership! Entrepreneurs must take ownership of everything: failures AND successes!
 
Q.23 What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

Ans. We are a God-centered business with really only one goal: please Him! If we do that successfully, we will serve all clients and team leaders with excellence.
 
Q.24 In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.

Ans. Learner.
 
Q.25 If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Ans. Spend more time researching models and systems. Learning that the steps which brought me to three years of success might not be the same steps which would bring me to six years of success. However, there is no success without failure, but more research would have prevented some mistakes along the way.
 
Q.26 How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Ans. We are able to spend more time together and give back in a way that we could not give before.
 
Q.27 What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

Ans. Repeating the circumstances of 2009: no job, no savings, no income source. That fear is my motivation; my “why”.
 
Q.28 How did you decide on the location for your business?

Ans. Twenty years ago, my family and I relocated to Jacksonville, Florida from the Midwest. We love Jacksonville because the city is known for giving back. In addition, I knew we could achieve long-term goals in Jax as the city supports our family values, it is a fantastic place for entrepreneurs as there is a multitude of start-ups throughout the city. Those characteristics make for a healthy economy. Jacksonville is a great place to work, live AND retire.
 
Q.29 Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

Ans. Find the proven model which works for your business and stick to it.
 
Q.30 If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?

Ans. Jesus. I will talk to Him face-to-face one day.

Q.31 Who has been your greatest inspiration?

Ans. My faith is ultimately what drives me. As a result, God inspires me to give my very best in all that I do. My wife, Janet, is also my greatest earthly inspiration. She is a cancer survivor. She is a fighter who never gives up and my greatest cheerleader.
 
Q.32 What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)

Ans. “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent” by Gary W. Keller.

Q.33 What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Ans. I failed to delegate, initially, and tried to do everything myself.

Q.34 How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?

Ans. Stick to your proven systems and models.

Q.35 What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

Ans. I enjoy being with children and grandchildren. I also enjoy boating and water skiing.

Q.36 What makes you happy?

Ans. My family and successfully serving clients while building lifelong relationships with them.

Q.37 What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans. I have sacrificed personal time and finances. Lots of trial and error.
 
Q.38 If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?

Ans. I’d ask you about yourself and your family.

Company Detail:

Company : Phil Aitken Home Team
Contact : Phil Aitken
Address : 8702 Perimeter Park Blvd
City : Jacksonville
State : FL
Zip Code: 32216
Country : USA
Phone : 904-568-7445