Learn how Mike McElroy built and scaled Center Coast Realty with Cultivate Advisors

About Center Coast Realty

Since filming this video, Mike McElroy has successfully sold Center Coast Realty

Since filming this video, Mike McElroy has successfully sold Center Coast Realty

Center Coast Realty is a boutique residential real estate brokerage based in Chicago. Agents work with buyers, sellers, renters, landlords, and investors across Chicago’s city center neighborhoods. They empower their agents to build rewarding, profitable careers in real estate by coaching them to become true business owners, leveraging technology to help them win more clients, and immersing them in our innovative culture.

Industry:Real Estate
Company size:6
Skill focus:Vision, Recruiting, Marketing
Year Founded:2013

Cultivate Advisors Impact

Mike McElroy started Center Coast Realty as a solopreneur. Through his work with his advisor, he was able to grow and scale, and ultimately sell the company.

Cultivate Advisors partnered with Mike to

  • Built an organizational structure and 5-year business plan
  • Create turn-key systems and processes
  • Build a plan for recruiting, hiring, and training top talent
  • Refine services and create business packages to increase revenue
Cultivate Advisors Impact

Cultivate Advisors Impact




Sold the Company


of Leads Generated from Marketing Funnel


Recruited, Hired, and Trained

Mike McElroy

When I met my advisor, I was starting pretty close to from scratch on my business, so I had to figure out a recruiting plan, sales, and marketing plan, financials. All of these things that, as an entrepreneur, I was excited about tackling but the truth is, by working with an advisor, I saved a ton of time putting it all together. More importantly, I had confidence it was right, which gave me the confidence to go out and execute on it.

Mike McElroy

Center Coast Realty

Challenge Solution Outcomes


In 2013, Mike McElroy was just starting his business. He was a solopreneur with a vision to create a new experience in the industry. He saw success on his own, but he struggled to connect his vision of what the company could be and find real estate agents to join his brokerage.


When Mike met with his advisor, they sat down and developed a plan. Mike wanted to scale. A big challenge was attracting talented agents to his boutique brokerage in a market saturated with larger firms offering extremely competitive commission rates. It became clear that Mike would need to work on his differentiator and create a unique model to attract talent. Together, Mike and his Advisor worked on the company vision and marketing the brand to be attractive to recruits. Over the first few years, they grew the business from 1 to 13 employees. As the company grew, Mike and his advisor saw an opportunity to pivot to an employee model for higher profit control and sustainable growth. They implemented the employee model, flipping the traditional real estate model on its head by hiring agents on salary instead. Mike scaled back agents, rebuilt his firm to 6 employees, and continued looking for ways to increase profitability. They worked on their core offering, refined services, and created business packages to increase revenue. After spending time growing and proving out the model, Mike shifted his focus to marketing. With the help of another advisor, they implemented a lead engine that now generates 60% of the firm’s leads.


With a marketing funnel, recruiting processes, and leadership systems in plan Center Coast Realty was running like a well-oiled machine. In 2021, when Mike was looking for a change and wanted to take the next step in his entrepreneurial journey, his advisor connected him with a local real estate investment firm that was interested in taking their unique model and rolling it out to other businesses in the industry. In early 2022, Center Coast Realty was successfully acquired by Elmdale Partners.

How We’ve Helped Other Businesses

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Kogut & Wilson

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  • Develop leadership skills and best practices
  • Identify, track and measure KPIs
  • Build a plan for recruiting, hiring, and training top talent
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B2B Recruiting

Red Circle Technology

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  • Set achievable goals to increase revenue
  • Hire and train new team members to own key processes
  • Refined services, increase pricing, and create a monthly retainer with clients to increase revenue
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Food Tour Pros

Shane Kost

  • Build and develop his executive team
  • Convert operation from owner-operator to scaled
  • Recruit, hire, and train 15 new employees
  • Implemented new products and services
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Software Implementation

The WFC Group

Neil Shah

  • Hire a sales team and develop a sales engine
  • Improve customer retention
  • Create alignment and transparency in the business
Watch full story
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