Rouleau Real Estate Group has a passion for service

October 3, 2019

Pierrette Rouleau isn’t your ordinary real estate agent. With twenty years of experience as an English professor and four years with Keller Williams Real Estate under her belt, she formed Rouleau Real Estate Group in 2018. Her regional boutique is grounded in a passion for service: for clients, consumers, and to the agents and staff who work alongside her.

Tell us about your business.

Hi, I am Pierrette Rouleau, and I am the owner of Rouleau Real Estate Group, a regional, boutique firm. We serve the mountains of NC from West Jefferson in Ashe County to Waynesville in Haywood County. I founded the company one year ago in July of 2018 with a desire to create a real estate firm grounded in service: to our clients, to consumers, and to the agents and staff who work alongside me.

What is your background, Pierrette?

I worked as a real estate agent and then as a team leader with Keller Williams for four years. Before entering the real estate industry, I had a 20-year career in academia as an English professor. Teaching is an altruistic profession, serving others in their lives, and I believe that the real estate profession is one of service, as well.

Keller Williams trained me extremely well to be a successful real estate agent. My time with them helped me realize that I could be successful financially AND be guided by a servant’s heart. When people ask me the mission of my company, it is to extend generosity and caring to others, to extend myself for the good of others’ lives. Corporate America sells a lot of real estate, but its focus on the bottom line doesn’t necessarily serve the higher and deeper good of a company’s agents or the clients and staff they serve.

At Rouleau Real Estate Group, we are guided by abundance, caring, and integrity. We are building our business intuitively by always asking ourselves two questions: Who does our business serve, and how are we most authentically serving them.

What is the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?

One thing I often think about is how to reframe actions in the business world to align with our individual values and the growth of our character as human beings. As a business owner, I have learned that it is not enough to be a good manager of people. In fact “managing others” takes little account of who people are. My company mission has required me to reframe my idea of leadership.

What does it mean to be a good leader? What does it mean to be truly of service to people? If we say that we are “community oriented” and “value driven,” what does that actually look like in practice?

A leader’s job is not to get everyone to step in line. A leader’s job is to help people find what their gifts and talents are and to help them grow in those gifts so that we all can excel, as individuals and as a company.

When I was a professor, I didn’t think of myself as community-oriented because all my energy was focused on building one-on-one relationships with students. After getting involved in the very public profession of real estate, I have realized that being present with each individual who crosses my path is community!

How has your company’s idea of success transformed?

We measure our success by how well, how authentically, and how open-heartedly we are serving our clients, our agents and staff, ourselves, and our community. Authentic, generous service to others has always been our mission.

Community outreach is a cornerstone of the Asheville business mindset. We, too, are involved in our community. We support the schools in West Asheville, the home of our corporate office. We support the businesses of Haywood Road in West Asheville with community clean-up days as well as with the marketing of local businesses in marketing materials at our listings and on our social media sites. We provide cool water in the summer and warm tea in the autumn for pedestrians outside our office. We sponsor the Asheville Museum of Art, to provide grounded, helpful support to the artists in our community. We are guided in all these activities by our heart and our desire to do good, be good, and serve well. Not by our pocket books.

Success is also knowing your own limits because then you can be honest about what you bring to the table. We are interested in learning how to deal with loss as well as success. Obviously, our goals are for all our clients to be extremely well served and for our agents to be highly successful – that’s what every real estate firm wants! But part of creating success for yourself is learning how to evaluate, handle, and learn from setbacks and failures and missteps. We reevaluate our emotional and psychological profit and loss every day.

All these are things cannot be squeezed into a contract or accounted for on the bottom line, but they are the things that make living worthwhile for others and for ourselves, and that is our mission.

What is most important to you/your company now?

Our ability to hold space for people is of paramount importance. First of all, we desire to hold space for our clients by being singularly focused on their needs throughout every step of a transaction. Any real estate agent should be able to get a client to the negotiating table, but it takes extra care, attention, and devotion to be flexible, attentive, compassionate, and kind. Most clients don’t expect that their real estate journey will be an emotional experience, but it usually is. When Rouleau Real Estate Group talks about elevating the culture of real estate, that’s what we mean – holding kind, true, even sacred space for our clients.

We want to do that for our employees, too. We are a certified living wage company, which is really important in such an expensive city! We are also in the process of setting up a 501(c)(3) foundation for our charity efforts, as well.

One of the most rewarding things about having your own company is that you don’t have to play by corporate rules. We’re trying as hard as we can to be driven by generosity, kindness, truth, authenticity, abundance, integrity, and not money.

What’s on the horizon?

Rouleau Real Estate Group has big goals. The best business advice I ever heard was from Keller Williams: set your goals high, high, high, so that your drive and devotion will push you to massive success, even if you don’t hit that goal.

Our business goal is to have every agent in our service be highly successful. Then we will fulfill our raison d’etre: to provide a level of service to buyers and sellers and the agents who serve them which honors, intentionally, their lives and the life complexity a real estate transaction symbolizes.

At the end of the day, I want to do business with my hands open, not holding onto money, status, or anything else, and I want to do it alongside people who are self-aware, mature, and understand their place in the world.