2017-09-07 / Business News

Michael Polly

President and managing broker at Royal Shell

Michael Polly Michael Polly Always seeking a better experience for our customers


NAME: Michael Polly

TITLE AND COMPANY: President and managing broker – Royal Shell



NATURE OF BUSINESS: Real estate sales, annual and seasonal rentals, vacation rentals.

EDUCATION: University of Kentucky – studied electrical engineering, real estate broker, real estate – Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE)

HOMETOWN: Lexington, Ky.

What is the most significant change you’ve seen in your industry over the last year?

As with most industries, the shift to digital services and the online presence that retailers have presented the consumer have left them very empowered. From the comfort of your living room or your desk, you can shop, compare, negotiate and be as stern as you’d like, as you have complete anonymity sitting behind that keyboard. However, when it comes to certain things, like buying or selling a home, owning a rental property or planning your next dream vacation experience, it is still essential for the consumer to have professional guidance and service regardless of whether it is online or telephonically. Hence the power of reviews and social media comments. Again, the consumer is extremely brave when he or she has anonymity from behind that keyboard.

The most significant change is actually a constant: The consumers’ need and desire to talk with someone who is local and not in another state managing their vacation or rental experience. They want to know that the guidance that is being given is first-hand and not being read from a script. Online companies simply cannot provide the same or better level of service and knowledge as a company whose local team works, lives and plays here in our paradise. While we and other online companies grow, we still interact with each guest and owner personally. Our housekeeping and maintenance teams with their fleet of 50-plus vehicles ensure each guest receives the treatment they expect; the treatment they deserve. For Royal Shell companies, “customer service” is not just a buzz word that is part of some mission statement or core values that sits in a desk drawer. It is a calling, a way of life and a belief that our staff embraces from years of serving our clients, many of them multi-year repeat clients. We like to tell folks that with Royal Shell you can buy, sell, rent and vacation all under one shell.

What’s your superpower?

I learned a long time ago you can accomplish great things when you surround yourself with great people. I wouldn’t call it a superpower but maybe a super-purpose. I enjoy seeing others grow and succeed. I enjoyed that with my first internet company, when we were paving the way in the early ’90s. I enjoy it more than ever today.

What will you base your success on for 2018?

The satisfaction of our buyers, sellers, owners and guests will be the measure of our success. We base everything on showing our appreciation for their trust in Royal Shell. Also, our continued growth and investment in our community. In 1997, Royal Shell began with four employees. Today we have 160 and we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary of being in business in Southwest Florida.

How are you growing and developing your employee skills?

One of our core values is the belief that we must continually learn to keep an advantage. For our real estate team, we encourage advanced training from our industry associations and industry experts. When it comes to vacation rentals we’re bringing in trainers for guest services, customer service and our reservations staff. We’re purpose driven and our trainers have worked with the Atlantis in Nassau as well as resorts in Las Vegas. Our goal is to always seek a better experience for our customers.

How are you recruiting new talent into your organization?

For real estate associates, we look for individuals with experience, values and a proven track record. We’re not a training ground for new agents. Our associates represent the finest in the business. Our rental team has a broad range of hospitality and real estate experience. We use online job boards and are always looking to hire from our local colleges.

What do you truly love about working here in Lee County/Collier County?

I get to work where people from around the world come to vacation. I love the variety of Southwest Florida — from shopping on Fifth Avenue in Naples to no stop lights on Sanibel. Baseball, golf, fishing, boating, the beaches — there is never a lack of opportunity to enjoy the area.

How do you find inspiration in today’s business climate?

I believe you either wake up inspired or you wait to be inspired. We wake up inspired and look for ways to take advantage of any business climate. Opportunity is always there to succeed — it just changes the way it looks from time to time. I do find inspiration daily when we help families find their own place in our paradise. We’ve helped buyers find a multimillion dollar beachfront compound. We’ve also heard from families who have visited our area for years and share the memories of their childhood with their parents vacationing here. And now they want to keep those memories alive for their children. That’s the nature of our business and inspires us each day.

What wise words would you tell young people entering the work force today?

Stay focused and just keep working. It’s not what those around you are doing that will be responsible for your success. Take responsibility for your failures and successes. True success only comes from you and I’ve never met a successful person who did it working 9 to 5. ¦

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