Christy Strub shares her thoughts about building company culture and the future of real estate.
By Courtney Runn, Photos courtesy of Christy Strub
Christy Strub first visited Austin 10 years ago and remembers thinking it could be home. Now she helps make Austin home for others through Strub Residential, the real-estate agency she owns with her husband that’s been ranked among the best real-estate agencies in Austin by the Austin Business Journal for five years running. Now a mother of two, Strub helps her husband and their team as the chief operating officer and assists in all departments to make sure the office runs smoothly.
Austin Woman recently sat down with Strub to discuss the importance of company culture, how she balances work and motherhood, and which Austin neighborhood she thinks will be the new hot spot.
On winning awards
Strub Residential has been ranked as one of the top real-estate agencies in the city and Strub thinks the recognition confirms she and her team are “on the right track.” Currently, she estimates the company’s rate of return customers is 90 percent. She attributes this success to the upbeat company culture and her husband’s character. Clients know they can trust Strub Residential to give them a fair deal and an enjoyable experience, she says. This year, local nonprofit RecognizeGood nominated the company for an ethics-and-business-community award, an achievement that deeply touched Strub.
“Awards like this that [don’t] have anything to do with money or production or anything like that, it’s more about your presence in the community and how you’re regarded, stuff like that is just amazing,” Strub says.
On company culture
For Strub, company culture is everything, and it’s what she believes sets her business apart from the competition. She sums up the company philosophy in one line: Do unto others what you would have done unto you.
To foster this culture of giving, Strub looks for employees with the shared values of kindness, honesty and integrity. While the real-estate world can get feisty, she wants her office to be a safe place and “150 percent drama-free.”
“We don’t have any room for toxic energy,” she says.
She also wants the office to feel like a home. Without family nearby, the Strubs look for family in their team, and Strub muses that with the influx of newcomers to Austin, other people may be looking for a new kind of family away from home too.
“This is our family that we’ve made in Austin,” she says. “It’s a culture of people wanting the best for each other, supporting each other and understanding when one person does good, we all do good.”
And like most families, they also have fun together. When the company met its goals for the year, the Strubs took the whole team on a trip to Mexico in January.
On work/life balance
Learning to manage a full work schedule with parenthood has taken time, Strub says.
“I don’t know if we’ve found a balance or that’s all we know now,” she says.
After her first child was born, Strub and her husband realized there could only be one on-call real-estate agent in the house, so she let her license expire. With a teenage stepson and two kids younger than 4, Strub has to constantly adjust her expectations and schedule to be able to drop everything on a whim if she’s needed at home.
She works in the office four days a week, taking time off throughout the day to take the kids to day care and drop them off with a babysitter.
“I understand this struggle for women in the workplace who have kids,” she says. “It’s hard to elevate yourself to a certain level.”
One method that’s working is staying fully present in any given moment. Whether it’s work or parenting, she has found giving 100 percent to one task is better in the long run than trying to multitask.
On giving back
For Strub Residential, giving back to the community is key to company culture. Every year, the company hosts Flashback, a charity dance party geared toward Austin’s young professionals. Strub says her husband started it in hopes of teaching younger generations the value of giving back and making it more accessible to them.
“Fundraising doesn’t have to be daunting,” she says.
March marked the ninth annual Flashback, which raised money for Explore Austin, an organization that mentors middle-school and high-school students.
On the future of Austin
Strub has seen the city change throughout the years as more people have become Austinites.
“It’s almost like we have these little boroughs now,” she says. “Each neighborhood has its own little quirks. It’s pretty easy to determine when people move here what they’re going to like the most.”
Strub and her husband currently live near Camp Mabry, and while they’re already debating their next move, she loves the area and is happy to stay for now.
Strub thinks the city will keep expanding as the population boom continues and that more boroughs will pop up. Her picks for the next big real-estate hot spots: the Riverside and Crestview neighborhoods.