grow from what was helping friends and family with real estate deals to now serving hundreds of people with properties in Tennessee and Mississippi. “When talking about success, it makes me think what is real success?” Skipworth asked rhetorically. “For Dan and me, real success is people using the talents ambitions, and opportunities to serve others and glorify God. What we’re trying to do is to encourage our em- ployees and colleagues to do the same.” A native of Dallas, Texas, Butler agreed, noting that CrestCore has helped at least 10 of its employees go on to launch real estate investment businesses of their own. By helping to instill their values in others, Butler believes that it will not only help their community and the real estate industry, but the world. “To me, that’s a big deal,” Butler said. “We want others to succeed — whether it be with us, or starting their own thing or going on to the next level of another company, we want to see the best use of their skills … Putting that footprint in other businesses and industries is just as good as them continuing to build with us.” The two also work to help better the real estate industry. “We love helping people, and our peers in the in- dustry in Memphis and across the country,” Skipworth said. “Whether it’s a Think Realty conference, other conferences, or Mastermind groups, we love sharing best practices and resources … We’re just constantly wanting to see everybody get better.” With a stronger real estate industry, everyone wins, Butler said. Just recently, Butler said he had lunch with a Memphis competitor with the purpose of helping connect them with a quality virtual assistant. “When we make them stronger, they’re a stronger competitor — but that’s OK,” he said. “We’re all trying to win together.” By rejecting a scarcity mentality and embracing an abundance mindset, Skipworth believes that the compa- ny is opening itself up to more opportunities to connect with others. Ultimately, CrestCore’s values are what set the business apart from its competitors, Skipworth said. “Some of those core values, the way we operate and who we are sets us apart over the long term — even if others use the same tools,” he said. “Somebody can lace up with the same sneakers and use the same equipment, but that doesn't mean they're going to be able to get the same results.”

become more collaborative in recent years. In general, Skipworth added that that the buy-and-hold landlord business has become more professionalized — particu- larly from third-party management groups. Aided in part by a growing library of public resources, a more collaborative environment and more inexpen- sive tech tools to help manage portfolios, more people are seeing entry ways to become real estate investors or launch real estate businesses. Skipworth added that renters and landlords have greatly benefited from improved insight into the world of real estate. “The technology improvements that have happened in the last 15 years have really upped the game,” he said. “And the transparency for residents and clients has been really great for the business as a whole. They all benefit from that.” While there hasn’t always been the best reputation for property management firms, Butler thinks such ef- forts to encourage transparency have helped weed out bad actors and generate more trust among brokers, investors, and renters. In addition to its other strong values, Skipworth said that CrestCore’s culture of constant improvement and evolution set it apart from its competitors. CrestCore’s leadership acknowledges that the real estate industry can change quickly, and that to keep up, it must be willing to adapt. “We are constantly evolving,” Butler said. “We are constantly trying to build systems, processes, and foundational tools to scale the business to take it to other markets, and into other segments.” Over the years, Skipworth said that CrestCore’s biggest obstacle is finding people that deeply connect with their values so they can also live them out in the course of their business relationship. When employ- ees, clients or others identify with and exemplify their values, CrestCore can optimally operate knowing that everyone strives for the greater good. When there are disconnects, however, it can create not just operational challenges, but also ethical and moral obstacles that can create difficult situations. At times, CrestCore has found itself extending grace to clients when it should’ve likely cut ties with the per- son. As a result, it prolonged and intensified the dam- age, Skipworth said. It’s especially challenging because CrestCore so highly values personal relationships and trust, he added. “Our biggest challenge has been finding like-minded people,” Skipworth said. “Whether it be employees, clients, or prospective clients, learning how to communicate our

values appropriately and vividly such that they can come in and get aligned with these values has been [challenging]. If someone isn’t a long- term relationship type of person or they’re more of a ‘what’s in it for me’ type of person as opposed to a service-oriented person, or if they lack personal accountabil- ity, that can be hard for us.” Finding employees that strive for excel- lence and keep the company’s values top of mind was also a challenge, Butler said. “Once we decided that we weren’t go-

recently entered its third market in The Volunteer State, which checks off a 2019 goal for the company to reach more people and real estate in west Tennessee, Skipworth said. Skipworth said the company’s goal is to integrate the new market into its operations and get its team focused on providing world-class experience with that opportunity. In addition to cap- italizing on its new Tennessee market, Skipworth said that the company is looking to expand its regional foot-

ing to be the only team members, we’ve been fighting hard and putting in long hours over weeks and months to get those values at a high organizational level,” he said. “Excellent customer service and performance is what we want and expect from ourselves, which exactly ties to values and finding the right people.” Coaching clients and developing their skills is one of Butler’s most cherished duties with CrestCore. In par- ticular, he loves to find opportunities for students and to cultivate their professional skills to help advance their careers. For Skipworth, supporting CrestCore’s team is what deepens his passion for this work. Skipworth’s drive to help others succeed reminded him of high school basketball, wherein he relished any opportunity to help the team win. “In high school, I played point guard and just loved that position for so many reasons,” he said. “In that role, it’s mainly how the other players do and how that point guard can help those team members succeed and do well. That’s how the point guard wins. For me, seeing our team members win, get better, and put that ‘W’ in the win column is important to me. Everybody getting to shine is what makes me happy.” With its expansion into Dyersburg, Tennessee, CrestCore

print and look for other metro areas that might benefit from its services. CrestCore is also looking to grow its business within its existing markets and is exploring other offerings that might augment its buying, selling, and managing services. “We want to be opportunistic as well as look for new opportunities to grow our business,” he said. “We’re not looking to do things totally different but rather find things that complement what we’re doing now.” Seeing CrestCore grow from a small business that helped only its friends and family to a team of 75 helping hundreds of clients has been incredibly gratifying, Skip- worth said. Experiencing the company’s steady growth energizes him for the future and makes the “It’s been very fulfilling and rewarding to see where things are now,” he said. “Being able to provide for our families and to make people look at the industry differently has been a blessing. There’s definitely pent-up excitement about what the future holds … We often say to each oth- er that we feel like we’re just getting started.” •

PLACE IN THE MARKET While there’s still room for improvement, Skipworth believes that the real estate investment world has

Bobby Burch is the Founder of Bobby Burch Creative, a small business storytelling studio. Learn more at and contact him at

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