Excerpted from the March/April 2009 issue of OutFront
A Different kind of Real Estate Company
STILL ATTRACTING THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS
OutFront magazine is Keller Williams Realty’s semi-monthly publication designed to support our
agents with news and features that cover success strategies, business-building ideas, coaching
Photo by: Michael Balistreri
breakthroughs, technology updates and upcoming events.
This special, new-agent edition includes articles excerpted from recent issues that encapsulate
the Keller Williams Realty difference – growth, training and coaching, culture, profit share, and a
26-year tradition of putting agents first. REAL ARGEST
KELLER WILLIAMS D-L U.S.
Mo Anderson after the historic IS NOW THE TH Y IN TH
announcement. REAL ESTATE COMPA
Built to Last: Solid Systems, Emphasizing during his keynote Keller Williams Realty's total active agent count declined by
abundant blessings fuel growth trajectory address at Family Reunion last month that “Life is 10
percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react
about 7 percent. “Comparatively, Keller Williams did more
than 30 percent better than NAR.”
Excerpted from the Nov./Dec. 2008 issue of OutFront to it,” Clint Swindall may as well have been setting forth the Citing the 2008 REAL Trends 500 report, Willis added,
theme of the entire event – or for that matter, summarizing “Keller Williams was the only real estate franchise that
Keller Williams Realty started Realty would not be what it is today had it not been for how Keller Williams associates have responded to a seismic experienced a positive growth in the total number of sides,
as a grand experiment launched out of my house in Mo. Her practicality, wisdom and emotional connectivity shift in the real estate market. the total number of offices and the agent count per office.
Austin, Texas in 1983. It was built on my belief that the to the values of this company have inspired so many Indeed, back when the real estate market started to Every other franchise went backward. Between 2003 and
best way to run a real estate company was to partner of us to be our best in business and in life – serving as shift, Keller Williams Realty stood as the fifth-largest real 2007 Keller Williams increased its U.S. market share by
estate company in the United States. By January of 2007, more than 161 percent, while only one other network
with agents and put their career development as our role models to lift up our teams and our market centers,
Keller Williams Realty officially claimed the No. 4 spot. gained, and their increase was less than 20 percent.”
biggest priority. I believed then, as I still do today, that building great careers and doing things that matter.
Last month, during Family Reunion 2009, Mark Willis, Comparing Keller Williams Realty to the 10 largest
when the company builds the people then the people As Mo moved to focusing on continuing to strengthen
CEO, brought nearly 7,000 cheering attendees to their feet independent firms in the country over the last five years,
build the company. our culture, Mark Willis and Mary Tennant stepped up to
with the announcement that Willis enthusiastically noted that
I have always believed that no one succeeds alone, further the strong leadership and support that has always
Keller Williams Realty has now KELLER WILLIA MS HA S SHIFTED! “Keller Williams grew by 65 percent
and that the quickest path to success is through and with been at the heart of our company. Coming from their climbed to the third-largest more in associates per office, 61
The To p- r anked Real Es tate F r anc his es by A gent C oun t
another person, not around them. And so even from the experiences as top agents and incredible team leaders, real estate company in the percent more in transactions per
start, I focused my energy on helping others to succeed. they have both advanced our causes and our culture. United States. RA NK C OM PA NY 2008 2 007 %
associate and 32 percent more in sales
Our company grew over time because we surrounded And they have recruited and nurtured a strong team at Sharing her story of per office.”
#1 Coldwell Banker 101,170 109,167 -7.3
ourselves with others who also shared this philosophy. our international office who are pushing us toward even personal adversity in 2008, Mo “This is your money, your
Over the past 26 years, we’ve done a lot of things right higher goals. #2 Century 21 95,390 105,461 -9.5
Anderson, vice chairman of production, and it thrills us,”
as a company, and we’ve also lived through our share of This has been an incredibly challenging time for Keller Williams Realty, opened #3 Keller Williams 72,794 78,441 -7.2 he said.
course corrections. But when we look at the big picture, our economy and our industry, but I don’t believe that the State of the Company From the very outset, the shift
#4 RE/MAX 69,108 85,737 -19.4
my best explanation for our success as a team and as any of us were put on this earth to skate through with Address with a testimony to the in the real estate market has been
individuals is to say that we have been incredibly blessed. certainty. We have come together to build careers worth fact that every problem has a #5 Prudential 62,000 68,000 -8.8 viewed within Keller Williams Realty
How else could we explain the gift of crossing paths and having, businesses worth owning, lives worth living and purpose. And the problem of the as an opportunity, and never has that
then getting into business with Mo Anderson back in the legacies worth leaving. Our work is not done and we shift in the real estate market has been more apparent than it is right
early 1990s, and then Mark Willis and Mary Tennant – or know it. We are a company that was built to last – for all further crystallized both the “purpose and the promise for now. “The promise of the shift for our market centers who
for that matter every one of you? of the right reasons – and as we travel this road together Keller Williams Realty,” Willis emphasized. nail the model, and grow in this market, is greater than in
Mo is an extraordinary woman who we brought on to we will emerge individually and collectively stronger “While we cannot escape the trends of the industry, any other market, because this is when the best agents and
serve as the head of our company as CEO. Keller Williams than ever before. kw we have definitely outperformed it,” Willis said, noting brokers gain market share,” Willis emphasized.
that compared to the National Association of REALTORS®, Now is the time to “gather ourselves, get focused,
which lost 140,000 of its members, or a decline of 10.5 follow a plan of action and charge.” kw
percent between December of 2007 and December of 2008,
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RALEIGH’S RISING STAR ENTREPRENEURIAL EDGE STILL SHARP
Ashley Wilson, a prominent player in During his four-year real estate career,
the Raleigh, N.C., real estate community, Robert Grunnah quickly became a force
joined Keller Williams Realty in May. in the Austin, Texas, real estate market.
She has posted $76 million in sales over He founded Castle Hill Investments
the past three years, won the MAME to specialize in the sale of investment
Award for Top Producer in 2007 and properties and sold close to $70 million
2008, and was recognized with Coldwell at the height of the market in 2006. In
Excerpted from the Sept./Oct. 2009 issue of OutFront
Banker’s National Sales Team of the Year Silver Award. And August, he joined forces with the Austin-Southwest market
she’s only been in the business for six years. center, where he knows he can remain an entrepreneur,
Wilson got her start selling houses in the Triangle while taking advantage of industry-leading training
region. It didn’t take her long to get the industry’s attention. opportunities.
Robert Grunnah She’s been named one of REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 Under “More experienced agents are now looking at Keller
Isabel Stephenson 30, she’s built relationships with 25 homebuilders, and Williams Realty as a viable business model,” says Grunnah,
Jupiter, Fla. she’s sold 200 homes in six years. who closed $21 million in 2008. “I can see the tide turning.
Raleigh, N.C. Kathleen Bucher Deciding that the time was right to start building Mega agents are recognizing the value proposition.
Austin , Texas her business, rather than the business of the company
David and Sally Hansen she worked for, Wilson observes, “At Keller Williams, it’s INROADS INTO MILWAUKEE
Madison East, Wis.
about the people. I want to build my team. I want to help A Milwaukee suburb, that’s approximately
build the wealth of others. I believe in the Keller Williams 90 minutes from Madison, the Brookfield
Fla. philosophy. That’s why I made the move.” market has barely heard of Keller
Williams Realty. That’s all soon to change.
PROACTIVE IN PALM BEACH The mega agent, husband-wife team of
Eric Pruitt was the No. 1 agent for RE/ David and Sally Hansen began putting
MAX in Palm Beach County, Fla., before their 30 years of experience to work for
he joined the Keller Williams Realty Palm Keller Williams Realty this summer. Having been aligned
Beaches Market Center in July of 2009. with one of the largest independent brokerages in Madison,
Although Palm Beach County is one of Wisc., they signed on with Keller Williams Realty on July 4,
the hardest hit real estate markets in a day they now refer to as Independence Day in more ways
the country, Pruitt is taking a proactive than one.
approach to selling real estate by specializing in "highly “We believe in education and training, so Keller
motivated sellers." Williams Realty was very attractive to us from an
In the midst of the downturn, he remains at the top of operational perspective,” he adds. “This company also
his game. focuses more on the agents rather than the brokerage,
“I believe in win-win or no deal,” Pruitt says. “So Keller and they have a much sounder approach to growing. The
Williams’ commission structure and business model were business model just makes sense.”
attractive to me, but it was more than the money. It was the
culture and the professionalism of the agents.” LUXURY ALIGNMENT
Pruitt is raising the bar higher than ever before, and Kathleen Bucher has been a major player
has set new goals for listings, sales and revenues. He points in the Austin real estate market for nearly
out that the support he’s found at Keller Williams Realty is two decades. She first hung her license with
preparing him to double or triple his million-dollar RE/MAX and then with Coldwell Banker
annual commissions. before transferring to the Austin - Southwest
market center in August to capitalize on the
“THE WHOLE PACKAGE” city’s luxury housing market.
Isabel Stephenson’s RE/MAX office A member of the Elite 25, who consistently sells more
was closing and she had a decision to than $20 million a year, Bucher concedes, “for an agent
make. In July, she opted to join forces who does as much business as I do, transitioning to a new
Keller Williams value proposition is resonating with top producers like never before. with Keller Williams Realty – the real company can be complicated. I always have properties
estate company that’s dominating the under contract. I always carry a high inventory of listings
Jupiter residential real estate market. and I always have closings."
A bright light is shining on Keller Williams Realty, as mega agents throughout North America
Her decision followed 18 months of Nevertheless, she determined that Keller Williams
re-evaluate their options in a tight market. reflection. The 12-year real estate veteran wanted the Realty was a move worth making, and she took the leap.
training and support Keller Williams Realty offered to help “Keller Williams is agent-driven,” Bucher says, “and the
her rebuild her business in a down economy. luxury division really enticed me because I’ve been growing
The word is out about the education, the support and business model that has helped make Keller
“This company has the whole package: the commission that part of my business. The opportunity to be a part of
Williams Realty the third-largest real estate company in the United States. As a result, market structure, the support system for agents and the brand such a strong luxury program was a big plus.”
centers are growing, operating principals are putting together merger deals to roll in neighboring recognition in the local market. All told, she’s wondering why she didn’t make the move
two years ago. kw
brokerages, and the momentum is building.
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TIDE TURNING P RO F I T S H A R E
Talent surge sweeps North America Building
Excerpted from the May/June and Sept./Oct 2009 issues of OutFront
A POWERFUL MESSAGE foundation for growth.
TO THE ORLANDO MARKET
In March of 2009,
The deal was not on the table until Wukasch’s friend
and colleague, who had been managing the Moreland
Properties office in Georgetown, suffered a stroke.
when agents at the
Photo by: Sarah Kerver
Photo by: Titus Bartos
Photo by: Mark Blinch
Photo by: Ben Arnold
Realty Executives Wukasch visited her friend in the hospital many times,
Longwood, Fla., with no thought or discussion of acquiring the office.
office gathered for Having known Wukasch for many years, Emily
Photos by: Scott Wheeler
Moreland contacted Wukasch concerning an Excerpted from the July/August 2009 issue of OutFront
their annual awards Jamie Purvis David Fogg Courtney Yates David Kupfer
ceremony, the owners acquisition of Moreland Properties’ Georgetown office.
explained that in a One phone call between two well-respected leaders Talent follows talent. At Keller Williams Realty, every time a talented associate opens the doors to Keller
shifted market, there in the Austin-area real estate market was all that it took
Jay Crow Denise LeHeup
are changes that real to set the deal in motion that created a Georgetown,
Williams Realty for another promising professional, they become stakeholders in the market center’s
estate agents need to make in order to stay competitive. Texas, business center for Keller Williams Realty. profitability and growth. In 2008, 22,000 Keller Williams associates received profit share income.
Having spent the past several months in “There’s been a wonderful excitement about
discussions with market center leaders from the Keller Here are the stories of four of them.
bringing together our two great organizations,” Wukasch
Williams Realty Orlando North Market Center, they had says. “I’ve been watching it with joy and amazement. On June 10, 2009, the day that the SHIFT 2: Overdrive PAYING IT FORWARD
determined that a change in franchise ownership would
It’s a living example of what I tell our agents: If you go tour came to Toronto, Gary Keller addressed a crowd of Courtney Yates, associate with the Nashville-Murfreesboro
be in the agent’s best interests.
around negative, you attract negativity. If you go around 900 agents, and Jamie Purvis, associate with the Toronto market center, agrees that it’s education and training that
An office of notoriously high achievers, the Realty
Executives Longwood office had received the award positive, positive things happen.” Centre market center, added the 17th person to his sets Keller Williams Realty apart and sets its associates
for being No.1 in their region for so long that Realty profit share tree. His profit share earnings for the month up to be successful – and she’s living proof. Her team has
Executives had retired them from the competition. The amounted to $1,481.63. And he’s just getting started. skyrocketed to No. 1 in the Murfreesboro marketplace,
"ALL THE ELEMENTS FOR “We build relationships, invite agents to need-based
44 real estate agents who held their licenses there had No. 2 in the Greater Nashville market, and No. 5 in all of
an average of eight years of experience in real estate. SUCCESS ARE ALREADY IN PLACE." training and follow - up with them through the year.” Tennessee. Knowing the difference that Keller Williams
As Jay Crow, market center investor, and Denise Often, Purvis observes, when they are ready to make the Realty can make in a person’s life, she’s passionate about
When Phil Limon joined Keller
LeHeup, the soon-to-be operating principal, stepped switch to Keller Williams Realty, they proactively pick up helping others to grow and succeed and has a profit share
Williams Realty's Downey-Pico
up to the podium, the agents listened intently to what the phone and call him. tree that is now 58 associates strong.
market center in May, he didn’t come
the company had to offer and they began to weigh their For many years, the market was racing along with What goes around comes around, and Courtney is
alone. 42 agents came with him.
options. Most decided to join forces. a momentum that swept everyone up in its fast-moving investing in others the way she says that others invested
A veteran of the business and a
Photo by: Ron Murray
“Overnight, more than 200 Realty Executives current. Now that the market has shifted, it’s clear to see in her. She regularly gives away copies of SHIFT, and
broker since 1995, Limon had seen
listings were converted to Keller Williams listings, and agents who aren’t performing as well as they could be if hosts lunches during which she encourages the exchange
the market’s ups and downs before,
the message went out to the market that Keller Williams they were with a company that supported them, says David of productive ideas and freely shares her own business-
but none so challenging as this one.
is in a growth mode,” Crow says. “But what’s most It was time to rethink how he was
Fogg, associate with the Burbank (Calif.) market center. building strategies.
exciting about this,” LeHeup emphasizes, “is the new going to do business. Fogg says that even in this market, his own business is The turbulent market has led to an environment
talent that we now get to be in business with.” Limon realized that adaptability is crucial in a flourishing. Every time that he or a member of The Fogg in which agents are far more receptive to moving their
shifted market. So as someone who had made a name Team of REALTORS® is asked how they are doing it, the businesses, Yates says.
for himself in the greater Los Angeles area and had answer is always the same: “Everything I’m doing, I’ve been
FRIENDSHIPS FUEL GROWTH STRATEGY trained to do at Keller Williams Realty.” MEGA MISSION
racked up numerous awards, he was committed to
“Like everything else, it all comes doing what was best for his agents. Affiliating with Colleagues in the market can’t help but want to “Now is a great time to join Keller Williams Realty” says
down to relationships,” says Avis Keller Williams Realty was a way to stay healthy in a learn more. David Kupfer, associate with the Sonoran Living-Phoenix
Wukasch, team leader of the Round softening market. With a profit share tree that numbers 90 associates, market center. Offices are closing and agents are looking
Rock (Texas) market center. Attracted by the company's staying power in the midst Fogg’s approach appears to be working. He continues to for a change.
Her market center’s recent of the downturn, Limon was impressed most of all by build the infrastructure for his profit share tree to grow With 240 associates in his tree, and another 184 in his
Photo by: Sarah Kerver
acquisition of an outlying suburban the Keller Williams model and supportive culture. on its own, but he says that he seldom leads recruiting wife Nikki’s tree, he says that the two plan to someday live
office of Moreland Properties, which “The company’s agent-first philosophy is what sets conversations with talk about profit. Fogg came to Keller off of their profit share income. Their profit share earnings
is based in Austin, Texas, stands as a it apart no matter how the market is doing,” he says. Williams Realty because of the training and culture, and since they joined Keller Williams Realty in 1999 exceeded
Avis Wukasch “This is a place where all the elements for success are that is what draws in new recruits, he emphasizes, but $128,876.
compelling testimony to the power
already in place.” kw he’s quick to add, “Profit sharing is a great piece of a “Ten years ago, we didn’t know what we didn’t know,”
of integrity and friendships as a
fantastic pie!” he says, explaining that the company’s events, classes and
hands-on training have made a world of difference. kw
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h Keller Williams
BreakIN h amerIc
ort captures attention of
Yale, Stanford MBAs
Culture’s impact on strategy
No "trYING," JUst "DoING" Fast track to the top
Excerpted from the July/August 2007 issue of OutFront
A nine-year veteran of the real estate Tim Heyl graduated from Texas A&M
business, Gary Budek had a solid track University last May with a degree in Imagine a classroom of 45 Yale School of Management MBA Explaining that case studies are fundamentally developed
record as a top producer – until this finance and a real estate license that students divided down the middle in a hot debate about as teaching materials, Tayan notes that the Keller Williams case
year when he describes his production he earned on the side during his last whether Keller Williams Realty’s overarching value of God, study sets forth for students the economic and cultural models
as “dismal.” semester. Turning down a solid job offer Family then Business helps or hurts the company. that have led to the company’s success. It is slated as part of
“I was letting the market get to with a steady income, he signed on with Imagine Mo Anderson, Keller Williams Realty’s vice Stanford’s core MBA curriculum for 2007-08, and made its
me and getting entrenched in all the the Austin Southwest market center in
chairman, sitting in the back of the room, taking it all in. way to the Yale School of Management this year following Dr.
negative talk.” But halfway through the June, and on July 2, he enrolled in BOLD.
Gary Budek Tim Heyl
Over the course of the eight-week The story of how Keller Williams Realty came to be a part of Baron’s acceptance of a professor of management
year, he left RE/MAX, signed on with
BOLD program, he took 10 listings and the MBA curriculums for both the Yale School of Management position there.
the Spring Hill (Fla.) market center, and
enrolled in the BOLD program. closed three contracts. His most recent listing was for a $2.99 and the Stanford Graduate School of Business began less than
million property. “If it hadn’t been for BOLD, there’s no way a year ago when Brian Tayan, research associate with the case RAPT ATTENTION
That changed everything.
that I would have gone after such an expensive property,” he writing office of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Anderson accepted Dr. Baron’s invitation to attend the class
During the eight weeks that he was in BOLD, he took 14
says. But armed with BOLD scripts and a BOLD mindset, in which he presented the case study. She says she listened
listings and closed 21 buyer transactions, quadrupling his expressed an interest in writing a case study about Keller
he fearlessly picked up the phone and got an appointment. attentively up to the point that she was asked to come to the
production from the first part of the year. I realized that my Williams Realty.
“I didn’t address my age; I just explained how ambitious,
mind hadn’t been in the game and I needed to take a stand Eager to participate in an endeavor that would take Keller front of the class to answer questions. “It was clear that the
persistent and hard working I am.”
and get back to being the agent that I knew I was. Even though Heyl had been in real estate for just a few Williams’ cultural and economic models to the halls of higher students had really studied the material and were very intrigued
“It’s like they say in BOLD, ‘There’s no trying, just weeks prior to BOLD, he’s very clear on the difference it’s about the systems and models that have made our company so
education, Anderson issued one caveat: Tayan would need to
doing.’ We can overthink this business, and when we just had on his business. “I got one listing before BOLD, but I felt successful,” she says.
do it, it’s amazing. It works.” So much so, that Budek has attend Launch Boot Camp.
like it was a matter of luck. Dr. Baron noted that students found Anderson’s perspective
signed up to take the program again! He did so and was quickly taken aback by the “openness
“Now I realize that it’s a matter of picking up the phone and to be a refreshing departure from the formulaic leadership style
doing things that are uncomfortable and doing them all the and enthusiasm among team leaders, operating principals and
agents. They were curious and completely forthcoming,” that they normally encounter.
time – the things that other people don’t want to do. I know
BOLD FACTS: Ro that if I haven’t talked with 25 people a day about real estate, Tayan says. “Having never taken a business class, it was with great
und 1 that I haven’t done my job. BOLD has made me realize that Following Launch, he spoke to Keller Williams’ executive pride that I stood before a class of MBA students at the Yale
A total of 599 real estate is as predictable as you make it. Successful agents School of Management,” Mo says. “As I did so, I thought about
AGENTS signed management team, where he encountered the same spirit of
the first round on for choose to make it predictable at a high level.”
generosity and cooperation. “I was truly impressed with the our associates and was filled with gratitude for everyone whose
of BOLD this su Based on the momentum that Heyl has experienced during
was taught at mmer, which quality of the people and the organization,” Tayan says. The most integrity and hard work had enabled me to have
11 LOC ATION his first four months in real estate, he says he’s on track to
S throughout striking discovery, he points out, is the degree to which “the this experience.”
North America exceed $200,000 within his first year in the business.
. Collectively, “This case study provides a pivotal lesson for MBA students
5,582 TRANSA they closed “I knew after college that I didn’t want to settle for a salary culture and the economic models work in conjunction with each
CTIONS in seve of $60,000. I wanted a job where the harder I worked, the other. The culture does not exist for its own sake.” on the important role that culture can play in strategy,” Tayan
n weeks. more money I’d make.” says. “A company’s day-to-day practices need to stand by the
BOLD FACTS: Ro
und 2 Looks like he’s found it. TEACHING TOOL values that it professes.
1,680 agents si “For Keller Williams’ associates, the case study represents a
gned on at 22 Upon returning to Stanford, Tayan completed the case
Projected transa LOC ATIONS. Excerpted from the Sept/October 2009 issue of OutFront
study, in conjunction with James N. Baron, Ph.D., who has validation for the way the company is proceeding. It should be a
researched extensively the issue of how a company’s culture source of pride to be a part of a company that is doing so many
complements its strategy. things right,” Tayan emphasizes. kw
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OF RE TH
ITY 0 H
R E D A L L OV E R N O RT H A M E R I C A
On May 14, 2009, during one of the biggest events ever undertaken by a real estate
company, Keller Williams associates across the United States and Canada set a
standard of charity, love and commitment in their communities during the inaugural
RED Day, which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate. Recognizing her leadership
in guiding the culture of Keller Williams Realty, RED Day was held in honor of Mo
Anderson’s 72nd birthday. Market centers took to the streets, and the trails, the
playgrounds, the food banks, the shelter, the hospitals and so much more!
To see more photos from across North America, or to upload your own, visit
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