Biz Diaries: The Nichole Story Group
Welcome to Biz Diaries!
We’re going behind the scenes of women-owned businesses. One at a time.
Your Name: Nichole Story
Location: Newport Beach
Business Name: The Nichole Story Group
Describe your business in a sentence: All things home. Real Estate and Interior Design Consultant.
What’s the best business advice you’ve received?: Rome wasn't built in a day.
What's one thing you wish you knew when you started?: I would have invested more of the money I made into the business sooner.
Tell us about your journey to start company: I was 20 working as a fundraiser for a non profit organization and loved my job but didn't love that I was living pay check to pay check and there was no way to really grow with that organization. I wanted to get into a business that was networking savvy and allowed me to also give back through my business, which I do. I decided to go into real estate sales and along the way went to interior design school and have incorporated that into my business as well.
What is your company’s mission?: We are full service, we want to get the best possibly outcome for our clients. We look at dollars versus pennys on every project we take on. If it's a home for sale we go though and put a little money into it and set record pricing because people pay top dollar for luxury and convenience. If we are helping someone design a space for an investment we look at finishes and improvements with the highest return on investment. And finally if we are designing a home for a client to live in we look at functionality and budget and try to come up with creative ideas that make the most statement for the budget.
Tell us about your work day!: Every day is different, which I absolutely love. Today I started with an appointment with a gentleman that is looking to sell his home. We went through the home and came up with a strategy to improve some things to get a bigger return. I did a walk through on another home coming on the market soon, the floors are being demolished now and was keeping the crew on track. I came to my home office and spent 2 hours on the phone with potential new clients and now I am going to my last appointment of the day with a family that wants to purchase a new home.
How many employees do you have?: I have 1 agent, 1 agent/design assistant and 1 transaction coordinator.
What legal steps do you take to protect the business?: I am licensed with the State of California which requires I have specific insurance. I also use contracts, get everything in writing and keep detailed files.
What’s your biggest business expense?: Marketing, by far.
What’s your favorite accomplishment from the past year?: I chair a Make a Wish fundraiser which raised over $200,000 for children with dire health situations. I was featured on the cover of Executive Agent Magazine, I completed my first 5,500 square foot remodel for a client which is their dream home and I went to Italy to a cooking school for a week.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the past year?: I underestimated how much time I was going to spend on a specific project and underestimated my proposal, which means it took my time off of other projects and I didn't as much money.
What’s next for the business?: I am currently working on a staging course for Realtors and Interior Designers. I have a very specific system we have developed and I think it would be great for this industry.
Share your favorite business resource: conferences, podcasts, books: Harvard Business Review, Tom Ferry Conferences ( Real Estate Speaker), multiple design publications