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Keller Williams Realty OUTFRONT Magazine

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Keller Williams Realty Outfront Magazine

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Keller Williams Realty OUTFRONT Magazine

  1. 1. VOL. 15.2 2018 Turning professional failure into tremendous success
  2. 2. JOHNDAVIS President & CEO At its heart, Keller Williams is a company of growth – growth of our people’s businesses, mindset and abundance. The journey of personal and professional growth is not always clear-cut – hurdles may pop up and, yes, we may stumble or even fail. We grow by learning from those who have gone before and from the obstacles we encounter along the way. Success doesn’t mean never failing – it means picking yourself back up after a failure and soldiering on with a new perspective and just as much energy and enthusiasm as before. Within every failure and challenge lies opportunity. When, shortly after Gary Keller co-founded Keller Williams, 10 of our top agents packed up and left to join a competing brokerage, Gary convened the first Associate Leadership Council (ALC) and reinvented the company. In 2011, after going backward in agent count and profitability, we launched the Growth Initiative and started down a historic path to unprecedented prosperity for our people. And now, recognizing that technology is rewriting the rules of our industry, Keller Williams formed Labs to ideate, test and develop the next generation of real estate technology, side by side with our agents. In this issue, we highlight failures together with subsequent successes. You will meet agents who have leveraged setbacks – both personal and professional – to drive them to all new heights. And, you’ll find practical turnaround strategies to power through any obstacle toward the big business – and big life – you’ve always imagined. FROM THE DESK OF JOHN DAVIS
  3. 3. VOL. 15.2 2018 Look for associates accelerating their success with KW MAPS Coaching. KW MAPS Mastery Coaching Client BOLD Graduate 308 264 36 12 40 16 22 43 JENNIE WOLEK: YOU ONLY FAIL WHEN YOU QUIT Jennie Wolek knows the pains of poor hiring and the rewards of rebounds. Through BOLD, she rediscovers her passion for selling real estate and builds an expansive referral network. RYAN AND HEATHER BIGGER: USE YOUR PAST AS MOTIVATION A leap of faith into a career in real estate takes Ryan and Heather Bigger from food stamps to six figures in just 18 months. TOM FRANCIS: TWIST, TURN AND BUILD THE CAREER YOU LOVE Instead of being sidetracked by industry changes, Tom Francis harnesses twists and turns as chances to build a business that supports his fam- ily of 10 and BIG life! HI BOSS, WELCOME TO THE KELLER CLOUD With 170,000-plus agents as technology partners and the powelful data of the Keller Cloud, Keller Williams is moving at record speed to respond to the evolving needs of agents and their consumers. SHANNON SELIG: CHANGING LIVES THROUGH MY VOICE Unwilling to compromise her morals, Shannon Selig, a team leader in Portland, Maine, puts her music career on hold to find her true voice – train- ing others to be successful at Keller Williams. VIJA WILLIAMS: A BIG LIFE RE- QUIRES BIG FAILURES Vija Williams lost $10 million worth of listings in a matter of moments – and most of her team within a few months. Looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened to her. HEAD-TURNERS Meet hundreds of the industry’s top producers who are now proud to call KW home. PUERTO RICO SE LEVANTA (RISE UP) KW Puerto Rico embraces their country’s rally cry, Puerto Rico se Levanta, to become the number one real estate company just months after Hur- ricane Maria. KW RESEARCH: WHY ARE THEY RENTING? Learn about homeownership desires and hesita- tions among U.S. renters and how you can help bridge the gap. NUMBERS Congratulations to our top performers of Q1 2018!
  4. 4. FAIL OFTEN. FAIL FAST. FAIL FORWARD.
  5. 5. ONE OF THE SECRETS TO GREAT SUCCESS IS TO CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON FAILURE. YOU SEE, EVERYONE EXPERIENCES FAILURES BEFORE THEY ULTIMATELY SUCCEED. SOME LET THEIR FAILURES STOP THEM. SOME KEEP TRYING. IT MAY SOUND LIKE DOUBLE TALK, BUT FAILURE IS PROGRESS. AT THE VERY LEAST, IN ATTEMPTING TO ACHIEVE A DREAM AND FAILING, YOU’VE LEARNED TO ELIMINATE THAT APPROACH THE NEXT TIME YOU TRY. USE YOUR FAILURES AS STEPPINGSTONES. THE NEXT TIME YOU TRY SOMETHING, BEAR IN MIND THAT HISTORY HAS MADE IT VERY CLEAR THAT YOU WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO FAIL A FEW TIMES BEFORE YOU GET IT RIGHT. TOO MANY PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES UNDER THE MISTAKEN ASSUMPTION THAT SUCCESS IS A MATTER OF AVOIDING FAILURE. THE PROBLEM WITH THAT APPROACH TO LIVING IS THAT WHEN YOU ACTIVELY AVOID FAILURE, YOU TEND TO AVOID CHALLENGES AS WELL. SUCCESS IS NOT ABOUT AVOIDING FAILURE. FAILURE IS ABOUT AVOIDING FAILURE. SUCCESS IS ABOUT TRYING. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent
  6. 6. 4 VOL.15.2 2018 Jennie Wolek of the Keller Williams Realty Advantage (Okla.) market center knows the pains of failure as well as the rewards of the rebounds. JENNIE WOLEK  TULSA (OKLA.) 4 VOL.15.2 2018
  7. 7. 5 In 2010, after nine steady years in real estate, Jennie Wolek enrolled in her first BOLD. She was hungry for new learning opportunities and looked forward to enhancing her business. Little did she know, but the experience would be one of many to have a profound impact on her life. With each BOLD would come new lessons that would propel her forward. In BOLD, a transformative eight-week program by KW MAPS Coaching, she remembers being pushed out of her comfort zone, restructuring her mindset and truly rec- ognizing the missing link in her business – consistent lead generation. The importance of lead generation had been a con- stant refrain in her life, but still, she avoided it. “I knew it was important, and yet I wasn’t doing it,” Wolek says about her hesitation with calling her data- base daily. “BOLD coached me to change my mindset from, ‘I’m bugging people’ to ‘I’m great at helping people.’” It infused her career with a newfound energy that allowed her to approach each call knowing she had something great to offer. Her genuine desire to help was well received by clients and her business doubled in one year. Band-Aid Hiring To keep up with the influx in clients, Wolek would need help. “When you go from 20-something units to 50-some- thing units in a short time, it’s chaos without help,” she reflects. This increase in business as well as the pressures of raising a family propelled her to quickly make her first hire. Hiring without training or a KW MAPS Coach proved to be a costly mistake. “Because I had not been at this level in business “You only fail if you quit.” JENNIE WOLEK before, I was in the middle of the chaos of how busy I was, so I hired out of desperation ... I made Band-Aid hires,” Wolek says. “I hadn’t yet attended any training to teach me how to hire and train a team, and I didn’t yet think of myself as a business owner either. I needed help − fast.” It didn’t take long for Wolek to experience the conse- quences of her rush decisions. With her first hire in place to assist with administra- tive tasks and another to help with buyers, she was still just as busy as before. By not properly training, Wolek was paying salaries for positions that weren’t helping bring more money into the business. This increased pressure caused her to believe she needed more team members to ease her situation, although her KW MAPS Coach advised otherwise. “My coach and I talked about how my production wasn’t at a place to have a listing agent,” she says. "How- ever I was so stressed, I decided to trade time for money with his blessing.” Even with a coach advising Wolek in a successful direction, her mindset was her true navigator. “Many think a coach will push you to do something you don’t want to do, and that is not the case,” she says. “You are only held accountable to what you say you want.” A coach will coach and it’s up to the individual to choose the play they want to make. Still overworked, Wolek was now in a tough spot financially and emotionally. A lack of training and accountability for her team members led to fur- ther strain. “I didn’t properly hire, train or hold my team accountable, which is a very expensive lesson I learned,” she says. Wolek withdrew and began to lose even her passion By Allison Teegardin | Photography by Ryan Kelly FAIL FORWARD  14
  8. 8. AD 2 It’s what you expect from a home warranty. Smiles are on the house ENROLL: 2-10.com/agent | 800.795.9595 Keller Williams Approved Vendor Program members are business entities independent from Keller Williams Realty, Inc. Neither Keller Williams Realty, Inc. nor its affiliated companies warrant 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, their products, or their services.
  9. 9. 7 for selling real estate and helping people. “I didn’t want to talk to anybody,” she recalls. “I wasn’t a good leader because I wasn’t growing and nurturing my team at that time and I just burned out,” she remembers. In the same week in March of 2015, both agents left the team. Still having her administrative team in place, she knew it would be okay. She recalls feeling sorry for a moment before she real- ized she had been given a clean slate and it was time to start fresh. When you are at the bottom, the only way to go is up. The first thing Wolek did was get right back into BOLD. In fact, that year she took BOLD four times and has taken it a total of 14 times to date. This time though, Wolek got even more strategic with her BOLD experience. Rather than staying close to home, she purposefully took BOLD in cities that were approximately two hours away so she could extend her referral partner network. “When you go to a market center two hours away from your own, it is very likely that agents there will know people in your city and vice versa,” Wolek says. With 32 percent of her referrals coming from fel- low agents, Wolek’s strategy has paid off. Last year alone, she received 111 agent referrals and returned as many as she could. Through her blog and KWCon- nect, Wolek maintains relationships with her referral network by sharing business tips and sparking big thinking among the group – something she is ex- tremely passionate about. She is also an avid user of the Agent-to-Agent Referral Platform and has connected with over 1,700 agents! Wolek has also attended Career Visioning several times to tune up her hiring process. Through CV and the help of her coach, she has rebuilt her team. Paying It Forward Going from financial strain to gain has allowed Wolek to not only take care of herself and her team but the community they serve as well. A certified Quantum Leap (QL) instructor, she is passionate about inspiring young adults to dream their biggest life possible. Already donating a percentage of her commissions to her clients’ favorite charities, Wolek formed her own nonprofit, Keys to the City, which is also funded by a percentage of her closings and used to offer training, classes, mentorship, and scholarships to young adults. “I know when I get up every day and I am talking to people, it helps bring in business, which helps my agents on the team have an awesome big life, and it allows me to keep doing what I love – traveling, train- ing and sharing,” Wolek says. “When you know why you are doing what you are doing, it is easy to go to bed at a good hour and get up to tackle it with a time- blocked schedule.” Having learned from her own lessons, Wolek advises that if you are lost at the moment and need to get back on track, understand your personal talents, find and follow your passion and do not stop. You only fail when you quit. “WHEN YOU ARE AT THE BOTTOM, THE ONLY WAY TO GO IS UP.” FAIL FORWARD 
  10. 10. 8 VOL.15.2 2018 With $9.75 million in production and just one year in the industry, Ryan and Heather Bigger of the Fort Mill, S.C., market center are making a splash. But it's a far cry from where they were two years ago. At that time, as their family grew to include three children, the Biggers opted for Heather to stay home, while Ryan left his sales job for a better-paying oppor- tunity driving a truck. Ryan later suffered a shoulder injury that left him unable to work, and one month after returning to that driving job following surgery, he was let go, meaning the Biggers went from having a single income to no income at all. “Being a one-income family for three-plus years, we were cutting things tight as it was,” Ryan says. “What I didn't realize before I took a job driving a truck is that no one wants to hire a truck driver for a sales job, even though I had a very good career in sales before.” With more money going out than was coming in, the Biggers were forced to take drastic action – depleting their savings and 401(k), selling things online, borrow- ing money from family, and eventually requiring govern- ment assistance. “I was out of work for about a year, and we were at a point where we were pretty close to putting our kids on free and reduced lunches,” Ryan says. “I was taking classes and trying to make opportunities happen, and nothing was happening.” An Unexpected Opportunity Coincidentally, some friends were on the hunt for their first home, and Ryan, born and raised in Rock Hill, S.C., would send them home listings he found online in between job searches – Heather did as well. After complimenting Heather and Ryan at how great of a job “We use our past as our motivation.” RYAN & HEATHER BIGGER they were doing, the friends asked if the Biggers had ever thought about getting into real estate, and a lightbulb turned on – real estate would be a meaningful career that would help them live the life they wanted. Plus, they had been wanting to enter into a business together for years. “From the moment we started dating almost nine years ago we have been inseparable, so starting a business togeth- er was a no-brainer,” says Heather. “We had always really enjoyed touring open houses and viewing homes together, but starting a real estate business had never dawned on us.” So, they decided to take a leap of faith and borrowed money from Ryan's parents to go to real estate school, knocking out the classes in eight days. When they finished, they reached out to several brokerages, many of which weren't returning their calls. Another friend had recently joined Keller Williams and connected them with his assistant team leader. “The moment we walked in the door, we were wel- comed with Keller Williams culture,” Heather says. “It was very warm and inviting, with everybody smiling and saying hello. It was just a feeling. Mind you, we didn't know anything at that point about real estate, but our decision was made up the minute we walked in.” The Biggers joined Keller Williams in September 2016 and enrolled immediately in Ignite – an action-focused, results-driven course that teaches lead generation, lead conversion, and contract negotiations. Sticking to the Plan “We were beyond blessed to join the market center at the same time as our productivity coach, Jake Dixon,” Ryan says. “We plugged in, doing everything they told us to do.” Yet, one month in, the Biggers were concerned. Ryan continues, “We looked around a month or so in, Words by Shelby O'Neill | Photography by Ryan Kelly RYAN & HEATHER BIGGER  FORT MILL (S.C.) 1
  11. 11. 9 In less than 18 months, Ryan and Heather Bigger of the Fort Mill (S.C.) market center went from food stamps to six figures by taking a leap of faith. FAIL FORWARD  9
  12. 12. 10 VOL.15.2 2018 and others were getting appointments and contracts. So we asked Jake, ‘What are we doing wrong?’ He as- sured us that we were on the right track, saying, ‘Keep doing what you're doing. Look at the weekly scorecards. You're leading in trainings and contacts. When we look back in 90 days, you're going to start seeing the results from the hard work you're doing today.’” The Biggers continued performing the activities they were taught: contacting everyone they knew, hosting open houses, door-knocking, and calling expireds and for sale by owners. “We didn't try to reinvent the wheel,” Heather says. “When we did those basic lead generation steps, like door-knocking, we didn't have any budget for fancy- color paper fliers, so we put three black-and-white fliers on one piece of paper. That's three fliers for a nickel.” Ryan adds, “It goes to show you that it's just about doing the activity. It doesn't have to be fancy or flashy. It's about getting out in front of people. Gary Keller tells us to lead with revenue. That first six months, there was no revenue to lead with. It was going out and knocking on doors, sending text messages, and talking to friends and family. The important lesson from that is, as a new agent, it's more about how many people you talk to and not at all about how much money you spend to talk to people.” Building a Business without Business When they weren't lead generating, the Biggers invested all of their spare time into education, taking every course offered. “We weren't busy with business, so we made our- selves productive by going and learning all that we could,” Ryan says. “We didn't know anything about real estate or how to build a business, so we were just sponges. We would take people out to lunch or go get coffee and try to absorb everything they would tell us.” They also made an effort to come into the market center every single day so they could avoid the distrac- tions of home. Without offices, they would sit in com- mon spaces, the kitchen, or training rooms. “We would lead generate and, in between, listen to the conversations these agents we looked up to were having,” Ryan says. “I think it's so important for newer agents to be present and to surround themselves with people that are where they want to go.” The Biggers also knew that to get business, they needed to look like they had business. “In the beginning, when we would go on appoint- ments, we didn't have numbers to refer back to, so we used the Language of Real Estate (LORE) and the market center numbers, because that's volume,” Heather says. “When we got into social media and made our Bigger Group Facebook page, we didn't have listings and weren't closing deals, so we would share our market center's listings, and it started to look like we were suc- cessful and busy.” Fruits of Their Labor In November, the Biggers secured their first listings. Then, days before their annual dues to the National Association RYAN & HEATHER BIGGER  FORT MILL (S.C.) “IN THE BEGINNING, WHEN WE WOULD GO ON APPOINTMENTS, WE DIDN’T HAVE NUMBERS TO REFER BACK TO, SO WE USED THE LANGUAGE OF REAL ESTATE (LORE) AND THE MARKET CENTER NUMBERS, BECAUSE THAT'S VOLUME.” - Heather Bigger
  13. 13. 11 of REALTORS® were due, with nothing in the bank, they had their first closings on Dec. 27 and Dec. 28. “Those two closings in 2016 were the only income we had for the year – just shy of $10,000,” Ryan says. “In 2017, with GCI, profit share, and the amount of money we made off of referrals, we made over $300,000 and sold 40 units.” What changed? “We maintained our level of lead gen and narrowed our focus,” shares Heather. “When we first started, we were literally trying everything: open houses, door- knocking, calling FSBOs and expired listings, social media, and of course prospecting through our sphere of influence. We realized fairly quickly that our biggest return was going to come from our sphere. So, for all of 2017, we focused on consistently touching our SOI and being consistent on social media.” They began posting about how they would go above and beyond for clients on social media, and, as a result, have built a core group of raving fans. “We go to great lengths to help our friends and clients because that is what we love to do. Ryan has been known to cut the grass at listings before pictures, trim bushes, clean out gutters, and he once even ripped up the floor- ing for a first-time homeowner. By doing these things, we are growing our sphere with fans who love sending us leads. They don't want their friends and family to work with anyone else.” At the core of their business is a commitment to stick- ing to the activities, says Ryan. “We just did what we were supposed to do. If you follow what your coaches and the MREA and your mentors say, you can drastically change your life in a very short amount of time.” The Biggers’ success comes with a “big why” driving it – their three children. “As parents, there are times when you have to say no to your kids, and you don't want to have to say no because you can't afford something,” Ryan says. “That's an awful feeling, and one that we'll never have again.” Heather adds, “We got to take our kids to the beach for the first time, the first family vacation we've ever had. One of the most eye-opening things was not having to look at our bank account when we took our kids back- to-school shopping. Keller Williams gave us the opportu- nity, and our lives truly did change.” LEAD GENERATE It’s more about how many people you talk to and not at all about how much money you spend to talk to people. LEVERAGE When you go on appointments and don’t have numbers to refer to, use the Language of Real Estate (LORE) and the market center numbers, because that's volume. STAY POSITIVE Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see your business grow right away. Stick to the activities. It takes 90 days to see the results of your hard work. COMMIT TO LEARNING When you aren’t busy with business, make yourself productive by going to your market center, enrolling in classes, and learning all you can. RYAN & HEATHER’S WORDS OF WISDOM FOR NEW AGENTS FAIL FORWARD 
  14. 14. 12 VOL.15.2 2018 Instead of being sidetracked by industry changes, Tom Francis of the Keller Williams McLean market center has harnessed twists and turns as chances to build a business that supports his big family and an even bigger life. TOM FRANCIS MCLEAN (VA.) 12 VOL.15.2 2018
  15. 15. 13 It wasn’t long after Tom Francis and his brother-in-law, Kevin Shiner, started flipping homes as a side gig that Francis realized that his renovations weren’t as popular as he had hoped. What buyers in this area of northern Virginia really had their eyes on was the land. Small and midsize builders, Francis learned, wanted lots – specifically within the Capital Beltway near the Washington Metro – where they could demolish older structures and build large custom homes. The Pivot Realizing he was in the right market but chasing the wrong opportunity, he pivoted. Francis secured a real estate license and ran with the wind, scouting and then strategically buying properties in highly desired locations that he could sell “as is” for a nice profit. After all, the father of 10, who was still working seven days a week as an area supervisor for The Washington Post, knew the meaning of working hard to pay his bills. And, it didn’t take long before Francis was in demand for his abilities to find the perfect lots, grasp zoning intricacies, and craft winning contracts despite heavy competition. “The plan quickly changed to adapt to what the market wanted,” Francis says. “It was the right place and the right time, and you had to select and understand what you were doing.” This is just one example of the tenacious dexterity that Francis has displayed throughout his career, a skill that helped him sell $41 million last year as an independent agent. Instead of being sidetracked by industry changes, he harnesses these twists and turns as chances to improve in a career that he loves and build a business that supports his big family and an even bigger life. “Tom exemplifies what we want the public and consum- “Twist, turn and build the career you love.” TOM FRANCIS ers to know about KW agents and our culture,” says Amina Basic, team leader of the Keller Williams Realty McLean Market Center. “He is extremely successful but humble, always has his client’s best interests in his heart, is hardwork- ing, learning based, and a man of faith. Working with Tom in any capacity means winning.” The Journey to Keller Williams When Francis began a full-time career in real estate a little over a decade ago, the market sank. While he still occasionally found lots for builders, Francis shifted again to working with buyers because that was where the opportunity was. Then an agent with RE/MAX, he was making decent money but was frustrated with stagnant sales, no matter how hard he worked. “I did the same every year,” he recalls. “Four to five million. Four to five million.” So, after talking with a colleague who had recently left to join Keller Williams, Francis also made the leap. His mission: to learn how to create a scalable business, no matter the market. Francis also discovered what it meant to be part of a learning-based company rooted in the belief of leading with contribu- tion. As he points out, “There’s always somebody who’s doing better than me who I can go to and say, ‘Here’s where I’m stuck – what do I do?’” Embracing Listings At Keller Williams, Francis was introduced to the impor- tance of a listing-based business because seller listings bring exposure, buyer leads, and more seller listing leads. After an initial period of telling himself he was too busy with buyers to also take on listings, he decided something had to change and embraced the advice. “I realized that having builders buy the property is only one part of it,” Francis By Lindsay Mader | Photography by Ryan Kelly FAIL FORWARD  3
  16. 16. 15 says. “They’re going to build these new houses – I should be selling those houses.” Francis became the listing agent on a few newly built homes, but was still working with buyers and spending considerable time apart from his family. Eventually, he saw that he could streamline his efforts and produce a high volume by working with just a handful of builders on multiple transactions. So he transitioned to working primarily as a listing agent, for the same builders he was helping find lots, selling homes in the $1.5 million to $2 million price range. The strategy is paying off. Since joining Keller Williams, Francis has consistently increased his business every year because of the unique value he brings to transactions with his specialized knowledge of interviewing and hiring build- ers, construction lingo and costs, sale pricing, and what makes a property more or less desirable. “The builder can talk to me and they know I’m speaking their language,” Francis says. “They know that I understand. You can’t just decide one day I want to work with builders. You have to prove it to them.” Francis helps builders find lots and obtain financing, forms tightknit relationships with title companies to speed up that process, and starts his day early – often tak- ing calls at 6 a.m. By going the extra mile in all of these areas, builders hire him as the listing agent down the line. “I forged these partnerships that gave them every- thing they needed to save them time so they valued me,” Francis says. All of this has resulted in a highly referral-based business. In fact, Francis can track about 92 percent of his business back to three people. Home builder Matt Rzepkowski, who has worked with Francis for more than 10 years, knows firsthand why he is a good partner. “I owe a lot of my company’s growth and success to Tom because of his continued dedication to providing exceptional service and expertise in buying and selling homes,” Rzepkowski says. “He is one of the most honest and hardworking agents, and that is why he is my go-to agent.” Leverage Takes Francis Higher Francis will be the first to tell you that his success wouldn’t be possible without the help of his assistants – especially his daughter Claire Wright. At first, he was resistant to the idea of adding people to his team. But he also found that he kept maxing out his ability, and at the same time wanted to spend more time with his fam- ily. “I was in this new business and I was doing well,” he recalls, “but it was all dependent on me. I felt bad that I couldn’t be there as much.” By focusing on listings and using the leverage created by employing two assistants, Francis grew his sales by more than $10 million in a single year. His assistants manage all administrative duties, including customer inquiries, the contract-to-close process, paperwork and financial systems, while he focuses on dollar-producing activities. His business is also well-insulated and primed to succeed in the event of a market shift. Most importantly, these experiences and a less demanding schedule have allowed Francis to put his “big why” into action by becoming more balanced and making time with his family a top priority. He recently traveled with his wife to Europe to visit their oldest son – the first time he’d been overseas since he was 4 – and he now enjoys planning and following through on two-week beach vacations. Francis, who for eight years served as the culture committee chair on his market center’s Associate Leadership Council, aims to encour- age these values in others. “When I experienced the Keller Williams culture and saw from the very top that God, family and business was what the company was about – it was in perfect alignment with how I wanted to live my life,” he says. “I can’t really put into words what it’s done for my family.” “WHAT HELPS ME, I BELIEVE, IS THAT I REALLY DON’T CONSIDER MYSELF A SALESPERSON. IT’S MORE ABOUT ME HELPING SOMEBODY FIND WHAT THEY’RE LOOKING FOR.” FAIL FORWARD 
  17. 17. 16 VOL.15.2 2018 Hi boss! Welcome to the ... TECHNOLOGY OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY TODAY MASTERMINDS Labs participants brainstorm potential tech solutions to the referrals problem. COLLABORATION A lab kicks off with ideation and screenshot exercises. DESIGN Product is designed and agent participants sign off on the direction and sketches. INCUBATION Development team builds the first iteration from agent designs. Developers continue to refine Referrals from agent feedback. GENERAL AVAILABILITY All of Keller Williams receives access at Family Reunion and are invited to break Referrals through user testing. REFERRALS – BORN IN LABS. DEVELOPED BY AGENTS Within six weeks of Keller Williams’ release of its agent-to-agent referral tool, Sarita Dua received $430,000 in inbound referrals and sent $1 million in transaction volume to agents across the country. In the same time period, Dua added 886 agents to her network through Kelle – the company's AI- powered personal assistant – and made over 1,400 outbound requests to agents she carefully selected after reviewing their profiles on KWConnect: the compa- ny’s education and information-sharing platform. “It is real business that motivates me to build my personal referral network,” she shares. “I’ve added agents in the KW network with whom I have an established relationship, but also sought out top pro- ducers in strategic locations with whom I’d like to do business with in the future.” This platform is the result of a process called Labs – a program where Keller Williams invites its 170,000 agents to help build the next generation of software that will power their business. "We’re trying to solve real-world business problems that agents are facing every day by asking them to come sit in a room with us and solve them,” explains Josh Team, KW’s chief innovation officer. Prior to September 2017, Referrals wasn’t on the company’s radar. It unexpectedly surfaced through a series of labs for KWCommand, the agent operat- ing system of the future. Agents were struggling to find qualified referrals, were exhausted from shuffling through referral requests on Facebook, and were hav- ing difficulty communicating the status of referrals to agents on their teams. While this wasn’t an obvious challenge initially, it soon became clear that KW and its agents could design a better experience. This was in September. A lab, containing over 225 teams with a collective $50 billion in volume, was formed in November for the sole purpose of solving this challenge. And, in February, just three months later, all Keller Williams agents were invited to use the platform. This speed of development would have been a large feat for even the most agile of technology companies. KELLER CLOUDBy Lalaina Rabary | Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons
  18. 18. 17 FAIL FORWARD  Meet Kelle, your AI-powered personal assistant and expert to navigating the Keller Cloud.
  19. 19. 18 VOL.15.2 2018 However, in addition to Labs, this was possible for KW due to the foundation that the company had started lay- ing two years prior with the creation of the Keller Cloud. Building Our Data a Home in the Clouds Anyone who wants to build the most powerful technology solution for their business possible – and outstrip the competition – first has to build an innova- tion engine. In technology, an innovation engine in its simplest form is a cloud service with artificial intelli- gence built on top of it. The Keller Cloud is a very specific cloud service ecosystem that leverages the collective power of the largest real estate sales force in the world – Keller Wil- liams agents. By putting to work its massive collection of agent, transaction and client data, Keller Williams has an incredible competitive advantage above anyone else entering the space and can ultimately create new consumer experiences at lightning speed. “Everything we do is about reaching the consumer,” says Team. “The development of the Keller Cloud began 2 ½ years ago after we realized that there would be no way for us to deploy the consumer experience of the future. We didn’t have a platform.” For years, Keller Williams had affiliated itself with technology companies who offered “bolt-on” products to their agents. This resulted in silos of data, multiple systems that didn’t speak with one another, and an inability to access important insights that would move an agent’s business forward and allow the company to develop world-class experiences for consumers. With the industry going through a period of rapid modernization, time was of the essence. Keller Wil- liams could no longer stick to the conventional product development route of deciding to go build something, disappearing for long stretches at a time, and then releasing a product with fingers crossed. Instead, they would have to bring a product to life in 90 days – a milestone that was successfully reached with Referrals. A Courageous Decision Is Made Keller Williams abandoned the traditional product de- velopment model and decided to pivot. Leaders were confident that there was a better way – a route that MASTERMIND All labs begin with masterminds. This is where an initial group of agents share a problem they would like solved and collaborate, brainstorm and whiteboard potential technology solutions for the KW team to build or features and components they would like to see added to an existing product. COLLABORATION From there, KW technologists and product teams connect with the agents to design what a potential solution and an ideal experience might look like. DESIGN Information gathered at the collaboration and mastermind phases are delivered to designers who create initial designs to give everyone a visual representation of what a product may look like. INCUBATION Designs are sent to the product development team. The team develops initial samples of how the product will look and function. At this stage, the product really comes to life! USER TESTING Agents – hundreds or thousands – are invited to help technologists test the product and give direct feedback on bugs, as well as features and components they’d like to see in future iterations. ITERATION Agent feedback from the user testing phase is consolidated and delivered to product teams to iterate and create the next version of the product. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT THROUGH LABS TECHNOLOGY
  20. 20. 19 FAIL FORWARD  would allow the company to move with the shifting landscape of technology and engage their user base. “It was uncomfortable. There was frustration, but we knew the model had to change. We could no longer be accountable by the dates if we wanted to be agile and innovative,” reflects Adi Pavlovic, director of innovation. “Gmail was in beta for 10 years. Amazon put out the Fire and Facebook rolled out a phone. That’s when we realized that all of the companies we look up to have done coura- geous things that didn’t work out at first. Why not do that in real estate? Why not release products and get the ball rolling forward?” Going Back to the Roots The same conversations that occurred in 1983 when Gary Keller launched the company were happening in market centers across the country. Agents were engaged, excited and open to sharing their business challenges. “As we spent more time with top teams, we saw that the feedback we were receiving was direct, honest and nonbiased,” says Pavlovic. They showed a genuine interest in being co-creators of their technology. The model became clear – in order to be successful, Keller Williams could no longer build prod- ucts for their agents, but WITH their agents. At the same time, they would build a collective of data together. So, the team reorganized and refined the model of Labs, day after day. And today, Keller Williams has evolved into a technology company with a vision to rede- fine the real estate experience. Paramount to this vision is keeping the agent, with their hyperlocal knowledge and expertise, at the center of the real estate transaction. A Competitive Edge The Labs methodology is proving to be superior to oth- ers for many reasons. Pavlovic outlines several below: FAST FAILURE Usually, you have user testing with a focus group after a product is developed. With Labs, however, we are able to brainstorm ideas, quickly validate them to see if agents find them valuable, and, if not, can catch red flags at the incubation level and avoid failure. A major- ity of companies would figure that out way later in the process after spending a significant amount of money on resources. BIG IDEAS The process allows anyone to throw out a big idea that may not prove valuable today, but it could redefine how real estate is done tomorrow. IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK We can get feedback immediately from core users that other companies would long to have. SCALE At Family Reunion, the technology team was able to host several labs on-site. Within 72 hours, and with the feedback of 400 agents, the team was able to design three products agents would find useful. That’s powerful. No other tech company would be able to do this. But with our army of 170,000-plus technology partners, we can. The Innovation Engine Roars The core of the innovation engine has been built with Keller Cloud and the innovation within it is powered through Labs. Now, with allied partners like Dua and the company’s large agent base, development cycles will become even shorter, products will become smarter, and Keller Williams is primed to respond rapidly to the evolving needs of agents and their consumers. With this remarkable leverage, Keller Williams can move past companies who are pouring billions of dollars into technology designed to disintermediate the agent from the consumer. “EVERYTHING WE DO IS ABOUT REACHING THE CONSUMER.” - Josh Team, chief innovation officer, Keller Williams
  21. 21. FITBIT TRACKERS MAKE GREAT CLOSING GIFTS Help your clients celebrate their new home, explore their new neighborhood, and get some exercise! With Fitbit, your clients can check out their new neighborhood while getting active and tracking their steps, heart rate, calories, exercise, sleep and more. Choose from a selection of Fitbit activity trackers and smart watches for your clients and receive special pricing as part of Keller Williams’ exclusive wellness program. Visit www.fitbit.com/welcome/kwgift to purchase your closing gifts today. Keller Williams Approved Vendor Program members are business entities independent from Keller Williams Realty, Inc. Neither Keller Williams Realty, Inc. nor its affiliated companies warrant Fitbit, Inc., their products, or their services.
  22. 22. FAIL FORWARD  “If our innovation engine allows us to build anything we want in 90 days, that means there is a race any time a disrupter comes into the market,” emphasizes Team. “Be confident that as these disrupters come to take your mar- ket share, you have the largest, strongest platform behind you pivoting. In order to be successful, they would have to get more market share than you and your 170,000 fellow agents have combined in less than 90 days. This is our greatest strength.” And, because KW operates with only the best interests of the agent in mind, the company has made a data pledge to its people: We will always respect your data as your business and we will always allow you to take your data with you. “I am very excited about the future of technology at Keller Williams and am a firm believer of the team,” Dua exclaims. “It became very clear to me, as I sat in the Vi- sion Speech at Family Reunion listening to Gary [Keller] and Josh [Team], that we’re doing things differently. We’re moving faster than ever before. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this company.” The Loken Group, one of Keller Williams’ top teams and the first to get involved with Labs, has reveled in the opportunity. “We really wanted to be a part of Labs so we could be allowed to present ideas that would help our agents,” shares Sara St. Marceaux, VP of Luxury for the group. The team enjoys the collaborative and trans- parent process, which keeps the agent at the heart of the initiative. “I love having the opportunity to see the bigger picture and vision at the beginning of a lab. And then breaking into small groups to see how it could work well for our business,” says Amy Flynn, VP of The Loken Group’s inside sales division. For Lance Loken, owner and leader of the team, Labs works because it gives agents a microphone – an opportunity that doesn’t exist in any other brokerage. “When we’re in a lab and suggest changes, within a week the changes we request are implemented. It allows us to see changes in real time. And, instead of having something launch and have glitches, we see the glitches as they happen.” DATA PLEDGE WE WILL ALWAYS RESPECT YOUR DATA AS YOUR BUSINESS AND WE WILL ALWAYS ALLOW YOU TO TAKE YOUR DATA WITH YOU. FEEDBACK FROM THE FIELD 21
  23. 23. 22 VOL.15.2 2018 From the age of 9, Shannon Selig wanted to be a pro- fessional singer. “I want to change people’s lives with my voice,” she told her mom. For the next decade, music would take Selig on an unexpected journey, where she would eventually use her voice to change people’s lives at Keller Williams. A First Album – and a Turning Point – at 14 With her parents’ support, Selig began training profes- sionally in the classical music genre and released her first album at the age of 14. That led to the opportu- nity to sing on stage with Mo Anderson, vice chairman of the board and a pillar of KW culture, at that Inspi- rational Morning. The annual program, which features stories of service and acts of kindness, concludes every Family Reunion event. A seed was planted as Selig listened to teenager Ryan Hreljac, who through Ryan’s Well Foundation had pro- vided access to clean water to many people in develop- ing countries. “I remember sitting there thinking, ‘If he can do that, then what’s stopping me from anything?’” she says. Selig left Las Vegas more determined than ever to succeed in the music industry. So, after high school, she attended McGill University as a classically trained soprano for two years and Berklee College of Music. A Stint in Nashville At Berklee, Selig’s eyes were opened to the competitive nature of the music industry and she felt ready for her next move – Nashville – where she would build a country music career. Once she raised $15,000 for her first na- tional album, she began working with a producer. Soon, “I want to change people’s lives with my voice.” SHANNON SELIG a record deal was on the table, but something didn’t feel right to Selig. “I walked away from a record deal because they wanted to compromise my morals and they wanted me to change,” she says. So she opened her own record label, Blue Chicory Records, and released an album as scheduled in 2013. “Without compromising a single moral, and doing it the way I wanted to,” Selig says. She started touring around the country and won several music awards. But Selig was still being told she’d have to change if she wanted to get airplay. “I kept saying no,” she says. The Start of a Real Estate Career Every penny Selig earned went into music, rent and student loans. She was struggling to stay afloat. Her mother, who had just transitioned from an agent to the role of team leader, suggested Selig use real estate to fund her “perfect life of music.” She was licensed at the end of December 2013, and in January, despite several unexpected housing expenses, Selig bought a ticket to Family Reunion, knowing the impact the training event could have. “I couldn’t even afford my electric bill at the time,” Selig says. “When I came home, there was a lock on the box, but it was worth it.” Family Reunion had her fired up. The event and the training in her market center equipped her with the models and systems she needed to hit the ground running. As her business began to grow, she decided to put her music career on hold. From the Field to the Classroom Selig did well and paid off debts, but soon she began falling off track with her lead generation. On Jan. 1, By Dorothy de Souza Guedes | Photography by Ryan Kelly SHANNON SELIG  GREATER PORTLAND (MAINE) 6
  24. 24. 23 When Shannon Selig of the Greater Portland (Maine) market center temporarily put her music career on hold to sell real estate, she found her true voice training others to be successful. FAIL FORWARD  23
  25. 25. 24 VOL.15.2 2018 2015, she was in the same position she’d been in a year earlier: broke and unfocused. Selig started over, this time focused on her ONE Thing, which was practic- ing scripts. She re-enrolled in BOLD and became so effective at role-plays that many other agents requested to be her partner. This led to a mentorship with one of Keller Williams’ top agents, David Huffaker, and a teaching role at her market center. “I spent a lot of time in the classroom teach- ing. And I realized that teaching wasn’t making me money, yet it was fueling my soul,” she says. In the fall of 2015, just two years into Selig’s real estate career, Sara Stephens, team leader at the Nash- ville - Mt. Juliet market center, asked her to be the productivity coach for the office of about 140. Although young, Selig had a made an impression on Stephens when they met in 2014. Selig had a vi- sion for building a business in real estate and she led with relationships first. “It was that she had an amazing energy about her,” Ste- phens remembers. “I thought, ‘This girl is going to blow up the real estate world.’ She stays positive and thinks big and is passionate about people. She makes their struggles her own and that’s a part of failing forward.” An Unexpected Offer Selig loved her new role and intended to stay in Nash- ville, but after a call from Dottie Bowe, one of the founders of Keller Williams Maine, in May 2016, her plans changed. The two had known each other since Selig was a child – Bowe had even invested in her first album – but they had lost touch. Bowe had reached out to Selig after speaking with her mother, Janice Ryder, hoping for a lead on a pos- sible team leader for the Maine market center. Selig talked to Bowe about the open position and wound up flying out to Maine to interview for the role herself. She described herself as “scared out of my mind” to be 26 years old and interviewing with one of the top market centers in the entire company. From the moment she met with investors, Selig was well-liked. However, without a proven track record of leadership with a market center of their size, they questioned if she would be the right fit. Knowing that “WHEN YOU TRULY FOCUS ON YOUR PEOPLE, COMPLETELY AND UNSELFISHLY, YOU GET EVERYTHING YOU DESIRE. AND THAT’S WHAT I DID.” SHANNON SELIG  GREATER PORTLAND (MAINE)
  26. 26. 25 success leaves clues, Bowe trusted her instincts and de- cided to move forward with the interviewing process. “I had known Shannon since she was in grade school. I was well aware of her commitment to suc- cess, watching her pursue her singing career and succeed at a high level as a KW sales agent and as a productivity coach.” After taking Selig through Career Visioning – Keller Williams’ proven path to hiring – and a group interview with the Associate Leadership Council, the team agreed she possessed what they needed to take the market center to the next level. The job was hers. Rebuilding a Culture, Changing Lives Under her leadership and training, the office swelled to 450 agents, a net gain of 111, and slowed its attrition from 30 percent to 17 percent in two years. She did this by building relationships. “I spent quality time with the agents to learn about their personalities, hobbies, families, etc. I also made sure to spend a lot of time with our Associate Leader- ship Council. The ALC really helped fill the market center with positivity and the culture of Keller Williams began flowing,” she says. “When people know they are loved and cared about by their leadership team and peers; it makes a differ- ence. When you truly focus on your people, completely and unselfishly, you get everything you desire. And that’s what I did,” Selig says. Selig also adhered to the principles of the Growth Initiative. “The Growth Initiative gave me a clear path for hitting our market center goals and made the role of my job clear. I spent the first year focusing on our cap management to purposefully increase our profits.” The unexpected twists and turns in her life have allowed her to “connect with those agents who are exceeding at a very high level, as well as the ones just coming in,” Bowe says. Steven Chicoine, a team owner based in South Port- land, Maine, has been a beneficiary of Selig’s energy and unwavering commitment. “I wouldn’t have all the talent I have today if it wasn’t for her,” Chicoine says. “I have utilized her as a resource and am always running things by her to get her opinion.” Chicoine’s goal was to have the No. 1 team in Maine. “And in 2017, we were! She’s helped me achieve my goal, and I know she’s helping all the other teams as well,” he says. Free to Be Me At Keller Williams, Selig can be herself without judgment and pressure to change; something she craved but was unable to experience in the music industry. She loves that she can succeed at a high level, without compromising her morals, and have support from others on the team. For a long time, Selig thought failure was bad. But she’s changed her mind … failure is just a stumbling block around which she can reroute and try again. “If you give up, that’s failure to me,” she says. “Fail- ures are just like little struggles along the way.” These days, real estate is Selig’s focus, although she hasn’t given up on Nashville altogether. “I want to change people’s lives with my voice. I al- ways assumed that was music. And now I realize that is just who I am. And that’s what I’m doing every day.” FAIL FORWARD  “I PROBABLY WOULDN’T HAVE ALL THE TALENT I HAVE TODAY IF IT WASN'T FOR SHANNON. I HAVE UTILIZED HER AS A RESOURCE AND AM ALWAYS RUNNING THINGS BY HER TO GET HER OPINION.” - Steven Chicoine
  27. 27. 26 VOL.15.2 2018 Vija Williams of the Kirkland (Wash.) market center lost millions in a matter of moments – and most of her team within a few months. Looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened to her. VIJA WILLIAMS  KIRKLAND (WASH.) 26 VOL.15.2 2018
  28. 28. 27 It was May of 2016, and Vija Williams was living the dream. With her at the helm, The Vija Group was 17 members strong and closed roughly $70 million, earning the title of No. 1 sales team in the Keller Williams Eastside market center in Kirkland, Wash. After an arduous two years working to assemble her team, Williams was finally at the point where she could move out of production – her goal all along. A listing spe- cialist was on board to take over her day-to-day role, and she felt ready to ascend to the next level of leadership. With a strong pipeline and full confidence in her team, Williams took a leave of absence, spending seven weeks away on business and personal travel. A Shock to the System It was August when she returned, and she was sched- uled to meet Monday morning with the new listing specialist to regroup. Instead, her excitement turned to heartbreak as she received shocking news. The person she had handpicked to run her office tendered her resignation – then handed Williams paperwork, effec- tively canceling $10 million in listing inventory. “She had gone to each seller and had them cancel the listing while trying to take team members with her,” Williams recalls. Over the next few months, the majority of Williams’ sales team left. The final blow was in December, when her longtime administrative assistant left to join a competing team. In less than a year, her group had gone from 17 to just a handful of members. Pummeled, Williams thought about leaving the business entirely. “I had many inner analyses: ‘Should I cut my losses at this point?’ ‘Am I cut out to be a leader of people?’ I “You don’t get to live a big life without big failures.” VIJA WILLIAMS doubted everything, and I really did think about quit- ting,” she recalls. But that didn't feel like the right answer either. Dur- ing one of her lowest points, she met her mentor for lunch. Williams was so upset that she couldn't eat. Her mentor encouraged her not to give up, saying, “I'm not just going to watch you throw this talent away.” Deep down, Williams truly believed that she was meant to influence and develop people. She loved real estate and saw it as a way to accomplish both her dreams and her calling. So, she decided to stay and fight for her business. The Comeback “The rebuilding came from within, 100 percent, and the rebuilding was about me and my leadership,” says Williams. “In retrospect I was a horrible leader. Deep down I knew I was a good leader; I just had to face things I didn’t want to.” Williams began by reading leadership books and thought about Gary Keller who, in the mid-1980s, lost seven of his top 10 producers to a competitor in a tough economy. He had used the experience to make changes and relaunch with more vigor than ever before. She could do the same with the support of her husband and her KW MAPS Coach. During this period of deep introspection, Williams began to embrace the idea that this devastating fallout held important lessons and opportunity. “I had to face weaknesses and face who I’ve become, which wasn’t easy,” she reflects. “It’s not easy to change and I had to change everything. I’m a very fast-paced person and I like fast growth, which is what happened and why my team ultimately crumbled. We did 700 By Gwen Moran | Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons FAIL FORWARD  3
  29. 29. 28 VOL.15.2 2018 “IT’S BEEN INCREDIBLE TO BE A PART OF VIJA’S GROWTH OVER THE YEARS. ONE OF HER GREATEST STRENGTHS IS REALIZING AND PUTTING INTO ACTION WHAT HER TEAM NEEDS TO BE SUCCESSFUL.” - Josh Parker percent growth in four years. And for me, that was too fast.” Losing her team humbled her deeply. Now, it was time to get back to basics and implement the models and systems that Gary Keller outlined in his book The Millionaire Real Estate Agent – the lessons that count- less agents worldwide had used to build their thriving real estate businesses – and take another run at fulfill- ing her dream. Rebuilding on a Strong Foundation Even after suffering such a setback, Williams wasn’t going to shrink her goals. And now, when those around her assume she is going to downsize this time around, she’s got a standard response. “I always say, ‘No – the goals have not changed; I have not wavered on my goals.’ What has changed, though, are my tactics, and that means the speed of growth has been changed, not the actual growth itself,” she says. She did, however, change her approach to hiring. No agent becomes part of The Vija Group until they come to a team meeting and gain fellow team members’ ap- proval. She also vowed to commit to Career Visioning – Keller Williams’ systematic approach to hiring. “When I was doing my analysis of the breakdown, I realized I was skipping a lot of steps and following a very broad outline of the Career Visioning process and not really adhering to it. We adhere to it now.” Additionally, Williams realized that she had been so focused on hitting her numbers that she didn’t pay enough attention to culture. Even if it takes more time to find the right people, it’s essential that they are a good fit with her new team, she says. “My job is to preen and recruit. I find the best candi- dates and attempt to assess whether or not I think they can cut it in real estate. If I think they will do well, it’s then up to my team to determine if the candidate is a cultural fit. Culture is of paramount importance after what happened,” she says. No More ‘Business as Usual’ Williams also implemented a new approach to some of her internal office norms. No one has a private office anymore, including herself. The “open floor plan” ap- proach boosts collaboration and transparency. Wil- liams is able to maintain a clear picture of everyone’s day-to-day activities as she works right alongside them. “Before, I had an office that I would just kind of walk in and hole myself up in. And I would go through almost whole days without any interaction with team members”. That’s changed. “Gary says that, in a certain sense, leader- ship is wandering around, being there,” she states. Additionally, Williams and her team members have adopted “massive accountability.” Every Monday, the team meets for a Power Up at 8:30 a.m., where every- one puts their ONE Thing they want to accomplish that week on a white board, and she checks up with them throughout the week. “What’s your ONE Thing for the day?” she asks. Or, “How did you do on your ONE Thing today?” They report daily numbers on a Slack channel – an instant messaging system – to ensure everyone is meeting their goals for contacts, appoint- ments, listings, recruitment, and to provide support to one other. Each team member sees everything because transparency is now a core value, she says. “Our culture of transparency allows us to have buy- in into one another’s goals and successes,” shares Josh Parker, a member of The Vija Group. “If I know my VIJA WILLIAMS  KIRKLAND (WASH.)
  30. 30. 29 “YOU DON’T GET TO TAKE BIG SWINGS IN LIFE AND LIVE BIG HUGE LIVES WITHOUT BIG HUGE FAILURES. YOU DON’T GET ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER. AND SO, THE QUESTION ISN’T, ‘ARE YOU GOING TO FAIL?’ THE QUESTION IS, ‘HOW WELL ARE YOU GOING TO FAIL?.’” teammate’s goal for the month and they aren’t pacing, we can have a real conversation as to what’s going on and how we can get back on track. Likewise with my own goals. If I’m not on target to reach my monthly or quarterly numbers, Vija and I work together to map out additional prospecting ideas.” Williams realizes that, while she thought she was be- ing transparent in the past, she really wasn’t. She made decisions and sprung them on her team members ... she called the shots. Today, she is mindful about seeking buy-in, and the team is now invested in the decisions that are made, she says. The concept of congruence – the alignment of beliefs and actions – is vital to the team’s success. Five of her team members have decided to model their belief in real estate as a wealth-building tool: each has agreed to buy a home by the end of the year. It may be a primary residence, vacation home, or investment property, but the goal has given each member a big why in motivat- ing them to reach their goals. A Big Vision Stands Resolute Although the team is smaller than years past, the vision is still big, Williams says. Her goal is to have 20 agents and close $100 million in the next few years. By stripping emotion out of her experience, facing it, learning the lesson quickly, and then pivoting; – with her new team by her side – Williams is confident she’ll get there. Her renewed focus on leadership has made a significant impact on her team. “It’s been incredible to be a part of Vija’s growth over the years. One of her greatest strengths is realizing and putting into action what her team needs in order to be successful,” says Parker. Williams says she’s “awesome at failing” and encour- ages more people to get good at it. “You don't get to take big swings in life and live big huge lives without big huge failures. You don’t get one without the other. And so, the question isn’t, ‘Are you going to fail?’ The question is, ‘How well are you going to fail?’” When you get good at it, you can bounce back stronger than ever.” FAIL FORWARD 
  31. 31. 30 VOL.15.2 2018 HEAD HEAD-TURNERS While the reason for making a brokerage change is personal for each and every agent, the desire to grow personally and professionally is evident in all. Top-notch agents choose Keller Williams for the value they receive and the endless opportunities they have to build careers worth having, businesses worth owning, lives worth living, experiences worth giving, and legacies worth leaving. In every issue of OutFront, we celebrate these individuals. Here’s a look at a few who are now proud to call KW home.
  32. 32. 31 &JULIE DORGER SARA MCCARTHY CHICAGO, ILL. “We’ve found at Keller Williams you can be whoever you want to be. And there’s support to help you get there.” In October of 2017, realizing they’d outgrown their brokerage, Julie Dorger and Sara McCarthy – of the Chicago-based Dorger McCarthy Group – left Coldwell Banker after 13 years.“The growth potential at Keller Williams was definitely appealing to us,” Dorger says. “It’s where our heads are focused – being with a company supportive of growth for our team and ourselves, for growing who we are within our community and within our market center.We want to shift our focus to giving back, and we envision being able to do that with Keller Williams.” Since joining the Chicago-O’Hare market center and closing out 2017 with $30 million in volume and 65 transactions,Dorger and McCarthy have become part of the leadership team opening the new Chicago-Lakeview market center.“We’re really looking to create a synergy-filled environment – helping each other out, helping with training, helping people build their businesses,” McCarthy says. “We’ve found at Keller Williams you can be whoever you want to be. And there’s support to help you get there.” The new market center will be nestled in one of the many unique neighborhoods of Chicago … neighborhoods the Dorger McCarthy Group enjoy exploring every day with their clients. “We are passionate about educating our clients on the diverse neighborhoods within our great city and we are encouraged by their confidence and trust in our market knowledge and negotiation skills,” McCarthy says, while Dorger adds, “The culture and education offered at Keller Williams is really helping us grow in our mission to provide first-class service to our clients.” Team Production | 12 months: $30 Million | 65 Units | $600,000 GCI
  33. 33. 32 VOL.15.2 2018 HEAD-TURNERS 32 VOL. 15.1 2018 CHRIS KNIGHTON GRIMSBY, ONTARIO, CANADA “My big why in life is to help people create the biggest lives they can. It’s selfish of me to hold myself back. Not living life to the fullest doesn't do anyone any good.” When Chris Knighton launched his real estate career three years ago, it wasn’t his first rodeo in the industry. He’d worked in commercial real estate in Houston for 10 years, but after moving back to his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, he made the leap to residential and found his perfect fit at Keller Williams. “In every company I’d had before, I really tried to build this culture of knowledge- based learning, this team atmosphere-type thing,” he says. “I didn’t even realize that Keller Williams had done that with 130,000 agents at that point.” Three years later, Knighton’s team ranks number four in the country, with just under 200 transactions and $89 million in volume for 2017. He would never have gotten there without Keller Williams and, specifically, KW MAPS Coaching, he admits. “My coach asked me, ‘What would success look like to you?’ and I said, ‘Walking away with a few million bucks and not having to work too hard,’” he recalls. “‘That’s pretty selfish,’ she said. ‘You’re going to limit the people that help you get to where you want to be.’ Once I had that shift in mindset, that's when we started building our team out and building something bigger than myself. It’s selfish of me to hold myself back. Not living life to the fullest doesn't do anyone any good.” Today, Knighton is out of production and instead focuses on helping his team leaders build big lives. “My life is centered on diving into leadership, coaching and training our people,” he says. “It’s not just my vision; it's the visions of 14 or 15 people. None of that would've been possible without Keller Williams and my MAPS Coach, who pushes me every day.” MARY GILBERT ROSEBURG, ORE. Team Production | 12 months: $92 Million | 189 Units | ~ $2 Million GCI “Learning from others and hearing and seeing firsthand from top producers has helped me remove the barriers I’ve placed on myself. There are no barriers, and the opportunities are unlimited.” For Roseburg, Ore., native Mary Gilbert, Keller Williams gave her the opportunity to grow her business in ways both visible and not. Since leaving Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices to join Keller Williams on Oct. 28, 2016, Gilbert has experienced a considerable boost in name and photo recognition. “Being able to have my personal branding on my signs has made a huge impact on my business,” she says. “Everywhere I go, I run into people that recognize me or want to list their property with me because they say they see my signs everywhere.” As for those less tangible ways, Gilbert credits Keller Williams with eliminating limiting beliefs. “Learning from others at regional events and hearing and seeing firsthand from top producers has helped me remove the barriers I’ve placed on myself. There are no barriers, and the opportunities are unlimited.” One now-obliterated limiting belief was the fact that the nearest Keller Williams market center was 70 miles away. “I worked for exactly one year out of the Eugene Springfield market center, and my team enjoyed our best year ever in real estate, closing the most units and volume out of our MLS area.” For 2017, that checks in at 157 closed units at just over $37 million in volume and more than $1 million in GCI. Gilbert also received a boost as a member of KW Luxury International. "It has provided me with additional marketing avenues and education to best service my clients,”she says. “The global exposure is also a huge benefit to my clients. I am the go-to agent for luxury listings in the area. Many clients explain that they want someone that is experienced with luxury and high-end properties, so that is why they call me.” Team Production | 12 months: $41.5 Million | 156 Units | $1 Million GCI Words by Shelby O'Neill
  34. 34. 35 Jeffrey Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colo., had been looking to Keller Williams for inspiration for a while before he officially joined in November 2017. While at RE/MAX, Johnson found wisdom in Gary Keller's The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.“It blew my mind and rocked my world with just a simple statement: ‘You only hire empire builders,’” recalls Johnson, whose team closed 367 transactions in 2017.After finishing the book, he attended Family Reunion for the first time. “Between those two things, it changed the entire way I ran my team,” he says. Eventually,Johnson realized that a change of brokerages was in order.“I had nothing negative about RE/MAX, but it was all just better at Keller Williams,” he says. “When I stopped and thought about what had gotten me to where I am, RE/MAX had nothing to do with it. I wasn't even with Keller Williams, and Keller Williams had a whole lot to do with it.” Johnson’s team posts more transactions than anyone in Colorado, but adding to those numbers isn't what drives him. “The culture of God, family, and then business is what attracted me to Keller Williams, because that's how I run my team,” Johnson says. “I keep seeing the whole. It’s like nesting dolls – you take our team, fit it inside a market center with the same values, put that franchise within a corporation with the same culture and values, and it's just awesome.” Community giving aligns with Johnson’s values, as well. His team gives close to $20,000 annually to local charities, with foster care as the main beneficiary.“The really big thing for me was the heart behind the people higher up in Keller Williams and how much they give back,” he says. “That's our heart as well, and we want to surround ourselves with people like that.” JEFFREY JOHNSON COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. Team Production | 12 months: $93 Million | 367 Units | $2.9 Million GCI “It’s like nesting dolls – you take our team, fit it inside a market center with the same values, put that franchise within a corporation with the same culture and values, and it's just awesome.”
  35. 35. 36 VOL.15.2 2018 RECRUIT CITY, STATE/PROVINCE PRODUCTION Carey Butler Anchorage,Alaska $10,200,000 Trina Hammond Fayetteville,Ariz. $20,000,000 Brad Bergamini Prescott,Ark. $22,000,000 Jordan MacNabb Port Coquitlam, B.C. $27,600,000 Russ MacNabb Port Coquitlam, B.C. $18,600,000 Dan Ledeoux Port Coquitlam, B.C. $10,100,000 Lorri Malloy Yorba Linda, Calif. $10,500,000 Richard Buckisch Burbank, Calif. $14,600,000 Marc Garbell Calabasas, Calif. $10,100,000 Susan Thomas Carmel, Calif. $13,200,000 Philip Gibbs San Diego, Calif. $11,380,000 Jaclyn Little Folsom, Calif. $10,000,000 Edmond Bina & Sherwin Soumekh West Hollywood, Calif. $50,000,000 Rod Watson West Hollywood, Calif. $10,000,000 Joshua Campbell Huntington Beach, Calif. $10,020,000 Branden Park Irvine, Calif. $11,010,000 Ashley Rosenhain Laguna Niguel, Calif. $13,740,000 Heather Albertson Newport Beach, Calif. $11,040,000 Guy Blume & Sophia Niu Oakland, Calif. $60,000,000 Robert Kalin Rancho Mirage, Calif. $10,000,000 Kim Heng Palo Alto, Calif. $28,000,000 Lauren Yoon Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. $19,900,000 Dede Hsu Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. $18,500,000 Antonia Lavender Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. $11,600,000 In the first quarter of this year, 241 of the top agents producing $10 million and above made the decision to call Keller Williams home. These agents alone represent more than $2.3 BILLION in volume, creating a $4.6 BILLION shift in market share! TAKING HEAD-TURNERS
  36. 36. 37 Kevin Cruz Burlingame, Calif. $20,000,000 Jeremy Williams San Francisco, Calif. $24,480,000 Laura Coffey Valencia, Calif. $26,000,000 Brian Ends Valencia, Calif. $20,000,000 Stefan Walker Saratoga, Calif. $20,000,000 Sheri Aguilar Stockton, Calif. $10,000,000 David Serpa Temecula, Calif. $58,500,000 Nunez Team Temecula, Calif. $15,900,000 Justin Bringas Temecula, Calif. $10,540,000 Stefanie Angel Hesperia, Calif. $11,090,000 Amit & Preeti Manchanda Yorba Linda, Calif. $14,870,000 Wendy Rawley & Brian Packham Yorba Linda, Calif. $12,820,000 Sherry Juneja San Francisco, Calif. $32,780,000 Mia Takami San Francisco, Calif. $15,000,000 Angelo Baglieri San Francisco, Calif. $12,500,000 Anna Shea San Francisco, Calif. $11,500,000 Rob Meissner Castle Rock, Colo. $10,300,000 Jami Baker-Orr Pueblo, Colo. $32,000,000 Randy Musiker Stamford, Conn. $10,300,000 Maurice McKinney Washington, D.C. $14,000,000 The Jason Kapit Group Coral Springs, Fla. $28,000,000 Ian Anderson Port Orange, Fla. $12,000,000 Robin Suslick Ft Myers, Fla. $10,000,000 Tara Olson Ft Myers, Fla. $10,000,000 Jorge Suazo Jacksonville, Fla. $32,000,000 Christina Griffin Tampa, Fla. $34,000,000 Tomika Spires-Hanssen & Kimberly Mkhwane Spring Hill, Fla. $19,000,000 The Small Group Vero Beach, Fla. $27,000,000 Hadar Goldberg Wellington, Fla. $10,000,000 Sherry Kwintner & Angela Hunter Alpharetta, Ga. $20,000,000 John Foster Suwanee, Ga. $12,000,000 Christy Hymas Boise, Idaho $10,000,000 Kevin and Carol Burnett Coeur d'Alene, Ill. $20,000,000 Kim Keefe Barrington, Ill. $15,000,000 Jackie Reed Barrington, Ill. $10,700,000 PK Johnson Chicago, Ill. $10,000,000 Aaron Greenberg Chicago, Ill. $10,000,000 Stephen Hnatow/Ryan Wells Chicago, Ill. $16,520,000 Patty Wardlow Downers Grove, Ill. $28,000,000 Brad & Brenda Chandlers Edwardsville, Ill. $15,000,000 Mike Lenz Jr. Naperville, Ill. $17,000,000 Nina Klemm Carmel, Ind. $10,000,000 Drew Tomasik Indianapolis, Ind. $10,200,000 Tony Huynh and team Bowling Green, Ky. $35,000,000 Dwayne Pierce and team Bowling Green, Ky. $18,000,000 Al Beaudoin Andover, Mass. $10,000,000 Richard Schultz/Karin O'Connor Boston, Mass. $10,500,000 Michelle Gillespie Westborough, Mass. $14,600,000 Gary Kaufman Westwood, Mass. $28,000,000 David Shapiro Westwood, Mass. $10,000,000 Lynda Hughes Westwood, Mass. $10,000,000 Gizely Guimaraes Worcester, Mass. $12,600,000 Lance Stitcher Ocean Pines, Md. $10,000,000 Robyn McGrew Westminster, Md. $13,000,000 Tracy Vasquez White Plains, Md. $11,000,000 Ashley Hines Timonium, Md. $19,000,000 Anne-Marie McKenzie Portland, Maine $14,000,000 Joy DiMaggio Birmingham, Mich. $12,000,000 RECRUIT CITY, STATE/PROVINCE PRODUCTION
  37. 37. 38 VOL.15.2 2018 RECRUIT CITY, STATE/PROVINCE PRODUCTION Marie Sexton Commerce TWP, Mich. $10,000,000 Yvonne Perry's Team Grand Blanc, Mich. $12,000,000 Mike Smallegan (Smallegan Real Estate) Grand Rapids, Mich. $24,500,000 Andy Straub (The Elite Team) Grandville, Mich. $40,000,000 Rob Montgomery Rochester, Mich. $20,000,000 Laurie & Floyd Ott Woodbury, Minn. $24,000,000 Susan Hurley Chesterfield, Mo. $15,000,000 Doug Lutz Springfield, Mo. $10,000,000 Reece Nichols Raymore, Mo. $12,000,000 Jerry Rowan Kansas City, Mo. $10,000,000 Rachel Witt St. Louis, Mo. $15,000,000 Kris Hanson St. Louis, Mo. $14,000,000 Tammy Hanson St. Louis, Mo. $14,000,000 Dustin Walsh St. Louis, Mo. $12,000,000 Andy Boyd St. Louis, Mo. $12,000,000 Frontgate Partners St. Louis, Mo. $10,000,000 David & Juliet McNamara Asheville, N.C. $11,000,000 Lisa Andres Asheville, N.C. $10,300,000 Tina Caul Cary, N.C. $67,000,000 Dylan Hale Durham, N.C. $12,000,000 Karen Tehrani Durham, N.C. $12,900,000 Jason Dapkevich Durham, N.C. $12,000,000 Henry "Hank" Saye Durham, N.C. $10,000,000 Larry and Cherri Cheeks Wilmington, N.C. $50,000,000 Jessica Zombek Ferris Winston-Salem, N.C. $11,000,000 Bill and Debbie Overbey Winston-Salem, N.C. $10,000,000 Victoria Kreck Lincoln, Neb. $15,000,000 Garrett Turnbull Ocean City, N.J. $13,140,000 Jeanette Larkin Moorestown, N.J. $20,210,000 Maria Remboski Moorestown, N.J. $12,080,000 Garry Winters Toms River, N.J. $30,000,000 Scott Riehl Hoboken, N.J. $12,940,000 Cynthia Apicella Maplewood, N.J. $10,200,000 Donna Goode Montclair, N.J. $11,850,000 Bill Boswell Morristown, N.J. $41,000,000 Ron Aiosa Morristown, N.J. $38,000,000 Barbara Lewis Summit, N.J. $20,340,000 David Axelrad Tenefly, N.J. $16,000,000 Adrianne Baird Albuquerque, N.M. $10,000,000 Sarah Lopez Albuquerque, N.M. $10,000,000 Diane Heaton Reno, Nev. $17,150,000 Shannon McCarthy Latham, N.Y. $22,050,000 Robenson Paulema Manhasset, N.Y. $10,000,000 Eileen Fennell New York, N.Y. $11,640,000 Alan & Susan Trugman New York, N.Y. $10,470,000 Liz Benuscack Team New York, N.Y. $10,170,000 Barry Paley Woodbury, N.Y. $30,000,000 Deepak Hemrajani Woodbury, N.Y. $30,000,000 Nicole Campisi Woodbury, N.Y. $10,000,000 Helen Challenger Brooklyn, N.Y. $30,790,000 Jacob Cohen Brooklyn, N.Y. $11,800,000 Mark and Jodi Rosko Beavercreek, Ohio $15,000,000 Chip James Beavercreek, Ohio $10,000,000 Rebecca Geiger & the Gieger Team Cincinnati, Ohio $10,800,000 Craig and Amy Balster Westerville, Ohio $10,000,000 Diana, Laura, Lindsey Duncan Edmond, Okla. $19,500,000 Jessica Scott Tulsa, Okla. $18,500,000 Jason Burroughs Tulsa, Okla. $10,000,000 HEAD-TURNERS
  38. 38. 39 RECRUIT CITY, STATE/PROVINCE PRODUCTION Andre Alves Toronto, Ont. $30,000,000 Nicole Brand Toronto, Ont. $11,000,000 Cam McCarroll Toronto, Ont. $10,000,000 Maggie Abril Burlington, Ont. $10,000,000 Dan Tourngeau Kitchener, Ont. $12,000,000 Nicole Brand Kitchener, Ont. $12,000,000 Cris Kambouris London,Ont. $10,600,000 Jill Johnson Mississauga, Ont. $24,500,000 Diane Salman Mississauga, Ont. $17,500,000 Julie Scarlett Mississauga, Ont. $15,900,000 Terri Hastings (Team) Newmarket, Ont. $36,000,000 Elie Nassour Toronto, Ont. $11,700,000 Andrew Doumont Toronto, Ont. $30,000,000 Don Downing Medford, Ore. $12,500,000 Yolanda Zuger Salem, Ore. $10,000,000 Merri Ott Beaverton, Ore. $13,250,000 Nancy Houston Philadelphia, Pa. $11,000,000 Erik Stroehlein Doylestown, Pa. $10,000,000 Carmen Gamone Bryn Mawr, Pa. $14,000,000 Ryan Miller & Joe Cipollini York, Pa. $48,000,000 Scott Gullaksen West Chester, Pa. $17,000,000 Sharon Dienno West Chester, Pa. $14,200,000 Candy Limehouse Columbia, S.C. $10,600,000 Handsome Properties Mt. Pleasant, S.C. $22,000,000 Deanna Kilcommons Anderson, S.C. $10,000,000 Alicia Barramore Anderson, S.C. $10,000,000 Katie Walton Anderson, S.C. $10,000,000 Eli Corum Knoxville,Tenn. $10,000,000 Jonathan Harmon Murfreesboro,Tenn. $15,000,000 The Knox Team ~ Pete Prosser & Brandon Knox Nashville,Tenn. $107,000,000 Nashville Perspective ~ Jessica Randolph & Jess Reed Nashville,Tenn. $20,000,000 Christina Beth Jones Pearland,Texas $12,000,000 Julio Lerma Laredo,Texas $10,300,000 Jennifer Hamilton Laredo,Texas $10,100,000 Rolando Gonzalez Laredo,Texas $10,100,000 Dianna Romans Lubbock,Texas $18,000,000 The AM Group Port St. Lucie,Texas $18,000,000 Rena Connors Southlake,Texas $19,000,000 Kelli Todd Dallas,Texas $11,000,000 Chris Colgan Manassas,Va. $27,300,000 Mike Ryan & Lisa Spalding Richmond,Va. $11,010,000 Kaye Kim Bellevue,Wash. $10,100,000 Peter Murphy Bothell,Wash. $13,000,000 Stephanie Dupuis Gig Harbor,Wash. $22,000,000 Lanae Miller Covington,Wash. $10,200,000 Lynn Knowles Kirkland,Wash. $10,500,000 Sherri Dotts Spokane,Wash. $10,000,000 Lisa and Kelly Green Kennewick,Wash. $17,000,000 Russ Roberts Yakima,Wash. $24,500,000 Flemming Roozen Whitefish Bay,Wis. $10,000,000 Tell the world about those who are joining your winning team and the value you’re creating. Download our Head-turners marketing toolkit at kwconnect.com
  39. 39. PUERTO RICO SE LEVANTAWords by Deborah Blumberg KW PUERTO RICO Puerto Rico Rise Up 40 VOL. 15.1 2018
  40. 40. 41 and no water, but you still had a business to run. Instead of laying down and feeling sorry for what happened, we had to keep going. You have to move forward, and you have to be positive.” Soto and his team fully embraced the country’s rallying and inspirational message, “Puerto Rico se levanta,” or “Puerto Rico rise up.” Rising from the Storm After the storm, Soto and Purcell’s priority was to check in on agents and their families to make sure they were safe, and to support them in whatever ways they could. Luckily, the local market center emerged from the hurricane unscathed, but it remained without power for two months. Most agents and their families suffered only minimal damage to their homes. Soto and Purcell had been communicating with KW Cares – a public charity created and financially supported by KW associates, for KW associates – before the storm hit to formulate a relief plan. Their proactive approach paid off. After Maria hit, KW Cares was able to respond immediately – donating 50 generators, food, clean drinking water, and first aid supplies. “KW Cares stepped up,” Soto says. “Our agents could not have done what they did without electricity or drinking water. We were solving problems and helping people.” In addition to tangible resources, KW Cares also sent emergency money to local agents to help them cover expenses over the next several months of recovery and the immediate family members of agents in the U.S. who were living in Puerto Rico. That gesture provided peace of mind, Purcell says. “The moral support was amazing,” she adds. “Knowing our Keller Williams family was there to take care of us. That was very reassuring.” With those resources, agents were able to help clients whose homes had been destroyed buy a new one, and bring on sellers who had previously attempted to sell their property on their own with no success. “In this type of disaster, people start to understand that they need an agent,” Soto says. Agents explained to sellers how KW’s vast, global network and reach would help them sell their homes faster and more efficiently. FAIL FORWARD  Days after Hurricane Maria descended upon Puerto Rico last fall, Orbe Soto sat in his San Juan office in the dark across from a new recruit. The power was out, clean water was scarce, and the storm – the strongest to hit the U.S. territory in 89 years – had toppled cellphone towers. But business went on. The new agent, Zuleika Rodriguez, put pen to paper, joining the swiftly growing Keller Williams family. Rodriguez was one of 30 new agents that Soto, Puerto Rico’s regional operating principal, and Sylvia Purcell, regional director, brought on board in the four months following the Sept. 20 hurricane. The duo grew their team – a newer addition to the Keller Williams Worldwide family – to over 100 agents and seized market share, making Keller Williams the number one real estate company in Puerto Rico. Rising to Number One The territory is part of Keller Williams’ ongoing international expansion. Last year, the company built on its momentum, adding nine new regions, ending the year with 29 total outside of the United States and Canada, and with 6,006 international agents – a rise of 63 percent from the year prior. Soto joined Keller Williams after having served as owner and president of the Puerto Rico-based Grand Homes Real Estate since 2000. “Anybody would tell you that business and growth are supposed to go down when something like this happens,” says Soto. “But we were determined to become the largest real estate company in Puerto Rico by the end of the year, and we did it.” December turned out to be one of the best sales months yet for the franchise, which opened seven months before the storm, as agents worked diligently to help clients buy and sell properties in the wake of the destruction. Sales in December increased by around 30 percent compared to the average monthly sales volume in 2017, said Orbe. Despite the uptick in sales, Maria’s toll remained significant. The Category 4 hurricane ripped off roofs, destroyed homes and farms, and claimed dozens of lives. It came just weeks after Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, skirted the island – leaving millions without power. “It was very tough,” Soto says. “We had no electricity
  41. 41. Our talented team of Concierge Specialists helps deliver on HWA’s goal of continually providing top-tier service and increased efficiency to our real estate professionals with improved benefits and features that include: • Dedicated, toll-free VIP number for a direct line of communication to live, tenured Concierge Specialists that are fully trained to handle claim escalations, start to finish. • Extended hours (including weekends) during peak season to deliver around-the-clock service for high-priority issues. • Increased staffing for quicker response times. • Escalation email updates provide an improved and consistent claim journey. CONTACT YOUR CONCIERGE 844.483.5034 (For real estate professionals only) CONCIERGE DESKAT YOUR SERVICE *All claims are subject to terms and conditions as outlined in the Contract. Keller Williams Realty, Inc. does not warrant any product or service delivered under this strategic alliance. All products are provided by Home Warranty of America. Inc. ©2018 Home Warranty of America, Inc.
  42. 42. 43 FAIL FORWARD  When it came to showings, Soto’s team had to get creative. Without power, they tried to schedule open houses and showings during the brightest time of the day. Gas was also in short supply – community members waited in 10-hour lines to fuel up – and roads were still blocked with downed trees and fallen power lines. Agent Carlos Molina hopped on his bicycle to meet clients at properties they wanted to see. “Our agents were as passionate as we were,” Soto says. “They said, ‘let’s do what we have to do.’” Hurricane Maria arrived against the backdrop of an ongoing recession in Puerto Rico, which has been marked by a high inventory of homes and a slew of foreclosures. It’s a buyer’s market, said Soto, noting that 15 to 20 percent of clients are investors from abroad buying prime properties at a steep discount. Other clients have included locals who after the storm decided to move to the mainland and needed to sell their home. Puerto Rico Agents Pay It Forward While agents were helping clients with their properties, they also paid it forward, simultaneously giving back to the community and helping those in need. With the help of KW Cares, the Puerto Rico franchise gathered crucial supplies – food, water and generators – and delivered them to some of the country’s most remote, hardest-hit areas. In December, the team collected Christmas toys for children impacted by the storm. “Everybody on the team rose up and said, ‘How can I help?’” says Soto. “They became leaders.” “In Puerto Rico, and at Keller Williams, that’s what the culture is like,” says Purcell. “We will help each other no matter what.” Bill Soteroff, president of KW Worldwide, called the franchise a prime example of how Keller Williams thrives in even the most difficult circumstances, citing the firm’s dedication to supporting its agents and local communities. Soto and Purcell “have become icons to us,” Soteroff says, “and the leaders we hoped they would be.” Six months after Maria, nearly 200,000 families and businesses on the island remained without power. Others with power were rebuilding and reestablishing routines. Keller Williams has been a crucial part of that recovery. “It’s emotional to see a country that has gone through so much join together,” Soto says. Recovery will take time, but “people are positive.” Soto, Purcell and their team have received a number of referrals from families they worked with just after the storm … and their business continues to grow. “It’s all about helping your clients and giving them a great service,” Soto says. “You’re part of a family every time you do a closing.” Purcell is proud of the impact their agents are making on the community, especially after a disaster that brought so much destruction and heartache to the island. “You’re making people’s dream a reality,” she says. “KNOWING OUR KELLER WILLIAMS FAMILY WAS THERE TO TAKE CARE OF US. THAT WAS VERY REASSURING.”
  43. 43. 44 VOL.15.2 2018 WHY ARE THEY RENTING? AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT By Madiha Ashour, Consumer Research Analyst, KW Research RESEARCH For many, the American Dream includes homeownership, yet according to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 40% of people in the United States continue to rent. Intrigued, we sought to understand why renters are not buying and surveyed a random sample of 1,471 renters in the United States. Their responses revealed key insights! 1 Despite nationwide dips in homeownership, a majority of renters are still interested Despite U.S. homeownership being at a 50-year low*, an overwhelming amount of respondents (81%) expressed interest in homeownership, with nearly 50% being “very or extremely interested.” Among those interested, over half (57%) indicated they would like to be homeowners within the next three years. Why the disinterest? Within the group, 15% said they have no interest in homeownership at all, citing several reasons why they believe renting continues to be superior to owning: I do not have to worry about maintenance and upkeep costs. (71%) I have no long-term commitment to a mortgage. (39%) I am not financially ready. (36%) Interest in Homeownership What you can do: Replace fears with facts Taking the plunge into homeownership can be scary. In Your First Home: The Proven Path to Home Ownership, Gary Keller, chairman and co-founder of Keller Williams, shares several scripts to use in your conversations with skep- tical renters. Here’s one you can use right now. FEAR: I can’t afford to buy a home now. FACT: Actually, you can’t afford NOT to buy a home. The truth is, there is always a home you can afford to buy that will be a smart purchase for you. The earlier you buy, the earlier you will benefit from equity buildup and be well-positioned for any future appreciation. The sooner and more seriously you begin the process of buying your home, the sooner you’ll find the best buy for you.
  44. 44. 45 TRENDING 45 3 Significant knowledge gaps exist when it comes to the homeownership process When we asked renters what they thought the expected down payment on a mortgage was, answers varied. 60% of the renters believed the expected down payment was less than 10%, while 24% of respondents believed that the expected down payment should be 20%. This points to significant knowledge gaps in the home- ownership process, largely due to a lack of education. 41% of renters said they have never educated themselves on the homeownership process. What you can do: Fill the gap Reach out to renters earlier with educa- tion about the homeownership process through “Win Big with Seminars: Your First Home.” This free course, created by KWU, comes complete with a seminar package filled with marketing materials, a scripted PowerPoint presentation, and more that will help you reassure renters that they are not alone while generating first-time home buyer leads. Course info at: kwconnect.com Expectations of Down Payment 4% 25% 23% 7% 37% 2% 3% 2 A majority of renters are taking financial initiative to own a home When we asked about hurdles to homeownership, we found that 63% of respondents had hesitations about homeownership and financial concerns represented the biggest hurdle. However, on a positive note, we saw that a majority of renters (67%) are proactively working on their finances to be able to purchase a home either by trying to improve their credit score (38%) or by saving money for a down payment (29%). What you can do: Connect skeptics with a mort- gage specialist If your client believes their finances are hindering them from owning a home, connect them with a trusted mortgage specialist. A great mortgage specialist will reveal what they can qualify for and provide quality advice on how they can consolidate debts, and, if needed, refer them to a credit counselor who can get them on the right track with their finances. Reasons for Renting Download the full report at blog.kw.com/outfront
  45. 45. are fundamental to the value we provide. By rewarding the associates who help our company grow and helping them build passive income for life, we create more opportunities for them - and more opportunities for their families. PROFIT SHARE AND GROWTH SHARE, Go to blog.kw.com/buildwealth to learn more about the programs we offer to those who help our company grow. Our wealth-building models,
  46. 46. 47 NAME CITY, STATE/PROVINCE GCI UNITS 1 Bob Lucido Team Ellicott City, Md. $2,351,958.93 295.5 2 Stepp Commercial Long Beach, Calif. $2,103,133.75 31 3 Kevin Blain Team Visalia, Calif. $1,807,845.87 340.1 4 Ben Kinney Team Bellingham,Wash. $1,662,022.02 153.659 5 Juliana Lee Team Palo Alto, Calif. $1,609,262.23 36 6 Lysi Bishop Real Estate, LLC Boise, Idaho $1,458,174.99 91.8 7 Josh Deshong Real Estate Dallas,Texas $1,397,439.95 182.1 8 The Rider Elite Team Scottsdale,Ariz. $1,364,285.90 205 9 The Loken Group, Inc. Houston,Texas $1,337,126.51 417 10 Reynolds Team Realty Chantilly,Va. $1,107,156.00 88 11 Global Living Philadelphia, Pa. $1,105,008.86 201.9 12 Five Doors Network - Hub Pikesville, Md. $1,092,908.20 0 13 Chernov Team Studio City, Calif. $968,467.50 33.25 14 Laurie Reader Team Plantation, Fla. $941,777.51 111.47 15 The Stephen Cooley Real Estate Group Fort Mill, S.C. $936,581.76 155 16 The Peggy Hill Team Barrie, Ont. $925,247.92 107.7 17 Jeff Glover & Associates Plymouth, Mich. $912,218.09 155 18 Gary Hendrickson Team University Place,Wash. $890,299.44 79.479 19 Santana Properties Team Cambridge, Mass. $856,221.88 41.34 20 Fineman Suarez Team Marina del Rey, Calif. $834,928.51 21 21 The Heyl Group Austin,Texas $820,040.86 48 22 Jesse Weinberg And Associates Marina del Rey, Calif. $817,046.24 48.5 23 Sutherlin Group Hoboken, N.J. $814,148.38 41 24 Fulcrum Properties Network Washington, D.C. $810,695.57 47.202 25 Walden Team Anchorage,Alaska $797,321.95 99 26 Chris Suarez PDX Property Group Portland, Ore. $794,521.08 51 27 Jennifer Young Team Chantilly,Va. $777,040.95 83 28 The David Bradica Team Mississauga, Ont. $775,611.70 8 29 Center City Listings Philadelphia, Pa. $767,688.31 124 30 The Condo Shop Philadelphia, Pa. $766,822.20 156.662 31 Carol Royse Lifestyle Team Tempe,Ariz. $741,037.65 82.7 32 The Peters Company Peachtree Corners, Ga. $740,557.23 61.55 33 High Performance Real Estate Advisors Charlotte, N.C. $736,083.18 67.75 34 Portland Real Estate Group Portland, Ore. $724,228.03 21 35 Coyle / Becton Florida Group Lakeland, Fla. $714,345.26 125.25 36 The EZ Sales Team Westlake, Ohio $706,186.48 147 37 Kase Real Estate: Pacific Estates Long Beach, Calif. $694,973.74 41.35 38 Christie Cannon Group Frisco,Texas $681,279.61 89.7 39 Sarenpa Team Wayzata, Minn. $668,496.34 44.75 40 Laura Gillott Team Corvallis, Ore. $667,573.71 96 41 Team Chou Alhambra, Calif. $666,356.87 54 42 Team Builder KW Kirkland,Wash. $662,483.15 93.5 43 The Graham Seeby Group Atlanta, Ga. $658,303.36 64 44 The Huffaker Group Mt. Juliet,Tenn. $649,236.80 74 45 Royal Global Group Newport Beach, Calif. $647,530.89 11.75 46 Marc Fox Group Portland, Ore. $642,504.89 45 47 The Echelberger Group Laguna Niguel, Calif. $641,160.69 36 48 Noel Team Santa Monica, Calif. $640,704.44 18.675 49 Jay Schmidt Group Whitefish Bay,Wis. $635,233.14 67.925 50 Group 46:10 Tempe,Ariz. $620,097.27 36 TOP-PRODUCING TEAMS50 *Based on data/transmittals received for 2018 (January to March 2018). Closed transactions identified with specific agent/team. FIRST QUARTER 2018* NUMBERS TOP-PERFORMERS
  47. 47. 48 VOL.15.2 2018 Vol.15.2 2018 OutFront is a publication of Keller Williams Realty, Inc. 1221 S. MoPac Expy., Ste. 400 Austin, Texas 78746 512.327.3070 OutFront is published by Keller Williams Realty, Inc. The entire document of OutFront is copyright© 2018 by Keller Williams Realty, Inc. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without the express written permission of the publisher. Editorial or advertising does not constitute advice but is considered informative. Copyright© 2018 Keller Williams Realty, Inc. All rights reserved. Executive Editor: Annie Switt Editor: Lalaina Rabary Brand Manager: Robin Jhaveri Copy Editor: Jeff Ryder Art Director: Caitlin McIntosh Designers: Karla Teceno, Kasey Plaskett Contributors: Allison Teegardin Deborah Blumberg Dorothy de Souza Guedes Gwen Moran Lindsay Mader Shelby O’Neill Photography: AzulOx Visuals | pg. 21 Brian Fitzsimmons | Cover, pg. 19, 26, 39 Peter Bohler | Inside Cover Ryan Kelly | pg. 4, 7, 9, 11, 12, 23, 24 Advertising: Tom Freireich (advertising@kw.com) Job Inquiries: (outfront@kw.com) 50 NAME CITY, STATE/PROVINCE GCI 1 Coco Tan Campbell, Calif. $1,556,786.28 2 Kyle Seyboth Lincoln, R.I. $585,445.37 3 Matt Skrabo Palo Alto, Calif. $517,455.00 4 Gregg Phillipson La Mesa, Calif. $510,837.40 5 Stephanie Vitacco Encino, Calif. $480,018.62 6 Anthony McDonough Houston,Texas $480,000.00 7 Julie Hopkins Park City, Utah $471,601.42 8 Roger Burdiek Topeka, Kan. $471,004.50 9 Mark Tyoran Westlake Village, Calif. $428,081.00 10 Eric Delgado Encino, Calif. $405,139.00 11 Julie Wyss Los Gatos, Calif. $395,868.50 12 Paige Martin Houston,Texas $388,777.08 13 Bonnie Goldner New York, N.Y. $374,000.00 14 Brandon Gray Castle Rock, Colo. $363,744.00 15 Karen Reiter Aventura, Fla. $358,287.50 16 Jessica Lynne Romero Pasadena, Calif. $352,962.50 17 Esther Chong Duluth, Ga. $346,330.91 18 Bradley Gilboe Burbank, Calif. $344,708.88 19 Tammy Jin Burnaby, B.C. $339,713.92 20 Evangelyn Lin Pasadena, Calif. $326,637.00 21 Salvatore Cefalu San Diego, Calif. $326,596.38 22 Donald W. Moser Los Gatos, Calif. $315,287.50 23 Elizabeth Lender Fort Lauderdale, Fla. $312,837.29 24 Beth DeAngelis Hilton Head Island, S.C. $309,863.12 25 Steve Paek Bothell,Wash. $307,999.65 26 Mark Williams Porter Ranch, Calif. $300,000.00 27 Kathrin Rein Coral Gables, Fla. $292,518.50 28 Bruce Yang Palo Alto, Calif. $289,556.76 29 Joe Clair Durango, Colo. $285,840.54 30 Matthew Cossell Los Gatos, Calif. $283,092.50 31 Stewart Phillips Chattanooga,Tenn. $282,803.77 32 John King Palo Alto, Calif. $276,143.75 33 Julie Davis Los Gatos, Calif. $273,625.00 34 Grant Linscott Los Angeles, Calif. $273,215.00 35 Rita Wolff Portland, Ore. $270,780.00 36 Andre Melikian Santa Monica, Calif. $270,000.00 37 Jereme Thaxton Salt Lake City, Utah $267,150.00 38 Peter Miller Encino, Calif. $260,145.00 39 Susan Hennebry San Clemente, Calif. $258,109.23 40 Anthony Koutsos San Francisco, Calif. $256,975.00 41 Lisa Yang Cupertino, Calif. $256,681.85 42 Amber Conrad Franklin,Tenn. $254,126.17 43 Nazneen Dhanani Sugar Land,Texas $250,930.99 44 Mike Dolan Big Bear Lake, Calif. $248,718.00 45 Tom Francis McLean,Va. $239,587.09 46 Wendy Gimpel Woodbury, Minn. $239,135.47 47 Terrence Tucker Danville, Calif. $238,927.30 48 Chloe Mei Cupertino, Calif. $238,110.34 49 Ronald Ferrara Jackson Heights, N.Y. $234,075.00 50 Michael Haywood Burlingame, Calif. $231,250.00 TOP-PRODUCING AGENTS *Based on data/transmittals received for 2018 (January to March 2018). Closed transactions identified with specific agent. All production completed by non- commercial agents who do not serve on a team. NUMBERSFIRST QUARTER 2018*

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