Exeleon Magazine

Bo Menkiti – Strengthening a Community Brick by Brick

Bo Menkiti_Exeleon Magazine

For Bo Menkiti, Founder and CEO of the Menkiti Group, “Leadership is all about having a vision on how to make the world a better place and the passion, purpose, commitment, and grit behind that vision to bring it to fruition.” A belief that he has himself come to epitomize in his own journey.

It was with the zeal to make a difference to the community that prompted Bo to dabble in the field of real estate. Today, what started as a modest venture has now blossomed into one of the fastest growing companies in the real estate space. Yet, even today, there is a focus on strengthening neighborhoods that propels his entrepreneurship efforts.

And his commitment towards transforming lives and communities remains unshaken when he firmly says, “For us, it’s all about helping to curate a sense of place that drives impact through both profit and purpose.”

Finding His Calling

Bo Menkiti started his career working in corporate strategy. He followed it up with a stint in a non-profit organization that focused on helping low-income, high-school students with good potential to navigate the college admission process.

It was during this time, that he had an experience in his neighborhood that influenced him to change his career path altogether.

His next-door neighbor died alone in her house, unattended. The incident moved Bo deeply and propelled him to do something concrete in order to strengthen the neighborhood community.

The approach he chose was through real estate. “I got to thinking about how I could make an impact in my own neighborhood and started noticing potential with the vacant / abandoned homes.” He started acquiring and selling houses in his spare time.

Though he was new to the real estate industry and had no idea of what to do with the houses he bought, what kept him going was the intent to make a difference through the industry.

Once he realized the financial potential of working in residential real estate sales, Bo made up his mind to utilize the cash flow from this business to fulfil his altruistic purpose. He says, “It was my mission to make an impact in my neighborhood (and to) provide the resources to improve my community.”

Thus, formed the vision behind The Menkiti Group “To harness real estate as an omni-present and powerful force in society.”

Community Building as a Business Mission

Bo had the acumen to realize that money from real estate could improve many lives, and could be harnessed to address social injustices, and build intergenerational and community wealth.

The Menkiti Group is driven by the mission to partner with similarly committed people and works diligently to enrich the neighborhood. Bo asserts, “With each new project we take on, we strive to establish ourselves as a viable anchor in the community and are often the first to invest and believe in the roots of that neighborhood.”

And he is proud of the fact that his enterprise is working on improving conditions for the community. He says, “By focusing on the communities that we serve and partnering with local businesses and entrepreneurs, we are able to provide exceptional service and deliver on our projects.”

Leaders in Real Estate_Logo_Exeleon Magazine

The Menkiti Journey

Bo Menkiti defines his journey with the 3 P’s: Purpose/Passion, Persistence, and People.

His passion to pursue goals and have an impact for the greater good is what marks his journey as an entrepreneur. It is his passion that fuels him and inspires him to get back up after being knocked down.

His persistence has goaded him to stay committed through setbacks and successes. And finally, he acknowledges the role of the amazing people who encouraged and mentored him. This includes his partners and the entire team of The Menkiti Group.

It is this vision that has been the bedrock of his enterprise. Bo is justifiably proud that his team members too are passionate about transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate.

Leadership Goals

Leadership for Bo Menkiti is all about creating new opportunities – for his own team, and for the community at large. He is committed to help his talented and passionate team members to become what they aspire to be. He believes “It’s important to me to provide opportunities so my team members can feel empowered to grow into the professionals they’re destined to be.”

Quoting Albert Einstein, he says, “The leader is the one who, out of the clutter, brings simplicity… out of discord, harmony… and out of difficulty, opportunity.” Bo tries to integrate Einstein’s thoughts into his everyday leadership style. This philosophy, he believes, helps fuel his passion and push his organization forward.

He considers it important to have people with similar vision and aspirations as himself in his team. “Finding and nurturing talented people whose goals and aspirations matched those of our organization is crucial, and I love when The Menkiti Group is a vehicle that helps members of our team achieve their goals.”

Under his deft leadership, The Menkiti Group has been recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in the nation. He was named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017.

The COVID -19 Thunderbolt

The emergence of the ongoing pandemic was difficult for people all across the globe, irrespective of their profession or livelihood; Bo Menkiti was no different. “The pandemic showed us that things we could never imagine – like vast swaths of the economy shutting down – could in fact happen.”

What helped Bo stay afloat was his alertness in recognizing the need for flexibility, change, and the ability to adjust at a moments’ notice. He prides himself and his group in being able to adapt quickly to the changes forced by the pandemic.

He says, “As a business, we realized that we could successfully pivot and creatively manage new methods of collaboration, communication, and service delivery by incorporating new technologies and embracing the new normal.”

His group created a COVID-19 rent relief program and implemented it early on to help lessen the financial blow that the pandemic had dealt to their clients.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship is all about delegating control and power, he admits, and the biggest challenge for him has been to assign responsibilities and shift the focus from “I can do it to “We can do it”, and finally, “They can do it”.

Bo stresses that a leader must delegate authority so he/she can constantly grow, evolve, and master new skills and make the necessary transition from being the starting player and star to coach and cheerleader.

His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to bring in their fresh perspective and set of skills to the table, and then build on those. He believes players in the real estate domain need to “…Embrace the fact that you have something to offer. Identify what your skills are, think through how you can contribute those skills to the industry, and then begin to work hard and learn as much as you can.”

It is important to keep learning and honing one’s skills constantly. Self-belief and keeping faith in one’s core ideas are vital cornerstones to success.

The way ahead for The Menkiti Group looks optimistic, with Bo reiterating his commitment to community building. He will lead his group ahead in expanding their territories and in supporting neighborhood-oriented projects.

Finally, when asked about the most essential traits to be a leader, Bo Menkiti points out, “Passion, a learning-based mindset, the ability to surround oneself with great people, and the grit it takes to withstand the trials and tribulations in order to turn a vision into a reality.”

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