Jose Ramon Riestra Jr.
Encouraging Employees towards Growth | Jose Ramon Riestra Jr. | Empire Management Group
Jose Ramon Riestra Jr., President & CEO, Empire Management Group, says data analytics, planning, customer focus, and technology implementation are the most critical skills adopted by the company throughout the years that transformed the business and made them who they are today with a strong focus on the future. For the pioneering leader, planning is key to success, but any plan is wasted without good people. Without a solid clear forward-thinking vision, it is impossible to be successful at the targeted goals. “Additionally, you need to be able identify and respond to customer needs and opportunities before they arise while your competitors are doing the same thing at varying stages of success,” he says.
“However, it is essential to use new technologies to implement change that matters across the organization and customers; you need to put your employees first, which will support customers best. So, employee satisfaction and customer focus are key fundamentals, but you also need to support it with evolving technologies and empathy for the team members who support the entire operation.”
Jose’s father has been his inspiration, guiding him towards becoming the innovative leader that he has culminated into today. “My father left his hometown to travel the world in an international career with his whole family in tow on an adventure that has thus far brought us here. It takes true character and courage to leave everything you know every couple of years and start anew somewhere thousands of miles away, now that happened about 17 times,” he says. “We were always taught to be honest and straight forward, competitive but empathetic, and be fair and respectful because the table is a circle, and everything comes back around. That has been the basis for the basis and the corner stone values of our company and operation.” That basis with vital education and corporate finance international career opened up an opportunity to step into a forgotten industry to begin the transformation process from within for Jose.
Empire Management Group’s talented team led by Jose provides professional management of a client’s second home or investment property, residential or commercial. He states that managing properties, communities, investments, and development properties is not what one might consider the most challenging job globally. From the outside, it might seem simple, but in reality, from the inside, each operates as their little world with their own rules, needs, requirements, and characters. These complexities should be the basis for any property need, but what drives real palpable benefit comes from the core of any successful relationship: transparency, communication, and commitment. “Our ingredients of bank integrated reconciling technology, simplicity for managers and employees to perform their work, and customers served as diligently and educated as possible,” elucidates Jose. “A strong focus on educating our customers and being transparent as a requirement supports better more open relationships.”
Empire Management Group partners to not just be efficient in their operation while minimizing human errors, but no internal decision is made without considering the impact on the customers and homeowners. Everything is transparent and provides clarity on what is genuinely charged; in their organization, they go out of their way to support the homeowners above all else, even if a small handful haven’t noticed just yet, but will very soon.
It is pertinent to mention that the company is growing with the industry, but faster than the competition. Empire Management Group has focused on a community-building approach, and in the past, they haven’t even done any marketing focusing on word of mouth and recommendations. The advent of the pandemic threw the whole industry in a tight squeeze, and now that they are hopefully on the back end, the refocus is continued on expansion. “We have a more forward thinking, ethical, and balanced team than other competitors. We focus on ensuring quality work can be performed by choosing our clients as well to ensure a strong ethical connection on trust above all else,” says Jose. “We are also been more than accommodating to support other competitors to retire while we successfully integrate their operations into ours and bring the benefits to a strong organization that can quickly settle new accounts, and even accounts that were not properly serviced by the competition, hence our 97% retention rate year on year and 92% over a 5-year period.”
Empire Management Group has performed at least one acquisition per calendar year to support additional disproportionate growth. Most importantly, this has been after years of putting together a powerful core leadership organization, flanked with some of the best property managers by their sides. Their approach has allowed them to merge companies of similar size with astounding success while submitting for additional expansion in new service lines such as collections, lifestyles management, and short-term rentals. This growth and reputational transformation have allowed the company to go from one of the small companies in the industry to an industry leader in 6 years under the leadership and organization of Jose.
Recently, Empire Management Group was chosen by the Orlando Business Journal as one of the largest management companies in Central Florida, and Jose was celebrated as one of Central Florida’s top CEOs for 2020 during the pandemic by the Orlando Business Journal. For 2022, the company is poised to completely redesign its market approach, from the new branding, new website, new service options, added technologies for employees and customers alike, and perform a merger that is expected to put the size of the company in a position for its next significant leap forward. With new capabilities, the geographical expansion is a simple requirement as the needs for Empire’s services are being requested from even other States. “Our customers will soon receive the portal app experience that will transform how they communicate and interact their us as their management company, added with our new rebuilt and redesigned website to educate as many homeowners as possible,” says the steadfast leader.
“Our customers will soon receive the portal app experience that will transform how they communicate and interact their us as their management company, added with our new rebuilt and redesigned website to educate as many homeowners as possible. “