Blake & Diana On: Running a Successful Business as a Power Couple
Blake and Diana Roberts (Owners of Pier to Pier Brokers) are the conductors of a runaway real estate train that's steaming down the tracks towards changing real estate for the better. While most husbands and wives would cringe at the idea of working with their partners, these two have managed to traverse the treacherous path of owning and operating their own business, as a couple. After 10 years of blood, sweat and sales, Blake and Diana have cultivated one of the South Bay's most successful indie brokerages. The power couple let's in on their secrets of how they work together, share how they handle the work/life balance, and give us a little taste test of just what it takes to run a company as a power couple.
1. How do you define the term Power Couple?
Diana: A lot of people might contribute money to power, but to us, we see doing good as more powerful. I think in our community there aren’t a lot of couples who I would consider powerful -- there are powerful individuals -- but that is why I love working with Blake. We do everything together.
Blake: For us, it’s how many people’s lives can we have a positive impact on. Any given year we are dealing with 100s of new families and clients that trust us to find them a new home, or sell their current home.
2. What is it like running a successful business your with your significant other as your business partner?
Blake: It’s sweet and sour. The sweetest parts are probably the greatest moments you’ve ever experienced in your life, and the sour parts are only sour for a moment and then they return to sweet. At the end of the day it’s all about trust.
Diana: I think there are some challenges, but when you have just a business partner, there is a lack of trust since you both have two different visions. When we work as a couple, we have the same vision and same end goals.
3. How do you apply your couple zen at P2PB?
Blake: Diana and I are 100% unified and focused when it comes to the P2PB brand and where we want to take the brokerage. We both believe that we’d rather be punched in the face than create another “me too” real estate company. When you look around the industry, we’re surprised by how many new brokers set-up shop the way it’s always been done, which is a system that adds so little value to their clients or agents. We start each days asking ourselves how we can create a better experience for our clients, agents and community.
Diana: We’re doing what we love at P2PB and don’t really care if we’re not doing things like everyone else. Our bold colors, graphics, lexicon and vibe come from our hearts. When we start the day, we’re doing exactly what we want to be doing, which makes us both extremely happy people.
4. What initially made you two decide to start the business together?
Diana: I started in real estate first and Blake worked in marketing at a Hollywood production company. We moved down here and I started doing real estate in the area, soon learning that it was a lonely business. I realized that in order to make it work I needed a partner, so I invited Blake to try it out with me.
5. Do you ever take time for yourself? Do you think that it makes you stronger or weaker?
Diana: I have my morning time and it helps me clear my mind. I believe you need to have balance in your life in order for things to work.
Blake: I do believe that it makes us stronger to have a healthy work-balance relationship with one another and individually.
6. What is one piece of advice to give to a couple thinking of starting their own business together?
Diana: First of all, clarify the job roles. In our work, Blake does the financial stuff -- pays the bills, and all that because it stresses me out. I deal with clients, our agents, and making sure things get done. Everything that is creative we work together on it. Also, once you start working together, the lines between work and home blur because you are constantly thinking about work. We love what we do and this is our baby.
Blake: People usually say, don’t work with your spouse because there is a tendency to fight about owning the title of “Boss.” I always tell people to do it, because you will have the opportunity to work with the one person in this world you trust the most.