Keller Williams Is at Home at No. 1 Bolstered by the belief that “training fuels all of our success,” North America’s largest real estate franchise moves into the top spot on the 2015 Training Top 125. Article Author: Lorri Freifeld Everyone in real estate knows it’s all about “location, location, location.” Keller Williams Realty, Inc., embodied that principle as it nabbed a prime piece of real estate—the top spot—on the 2015 Training Top 125 for the first time.
New CEO Chris Heller attributes the ranking to the fact that “all of our training and coaching is developed by studying and modeling the behaviors of our most successful leaders. And because our top agents are continually learning from each other and improving on ideas, our training is constantly improving.” “Training fuels all of our success,” adds Dianna Kokoszka, CEO, KW MAPS Coaching. “As an education-based company, we always are investing in training. In 2014, we unified our training divisions and hired our first Chief Learning Officer, Bryon Ellington, who has deep experience in educational programming, technology development, and global operations. We expanded the resources offered by Keller Williams University. We’re also devoting more energy into what we call ‘market of the moment’ training. We’re helping our agents establish themselves as the experts in their market. Local expertise is one of the greatest differentiators agents bring to the client relationship.”
MEGA AGENT EXPANSION Keller Williams’ vision is to be the real estate company of choice. “Because of our focus on training, we attract more new agents than any other real estate franchise,” notes new President John Davis. Indeed, one of 2014’s goals was to increase agent count by 14 percent. The company finished the year up 18 percent, at more than 112,000 associates. “As a commission-based industry, our biggest training challenge is to guide thousands of new Keller Williams agents through our training programs so they can get into production quickly and build their businesses,” Davis says. One of Keller Williams’ most innovative and successful programs in 2014 was Mega Agent Expansion. “We’re the first real estate franchise to offer a formal training program to train top agents on how and when to expand into additional markets,” Kokoszka explains. “This is a revolutionary concept in real estate that provides associates with unprecedented opportunities to grow their businesses. It also challenges us to develop training on a whole new level.” In 2004, founder Gary Keller’s bestselling book, “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent,” paved the way for agents to leverage prescriptive models and systems to net $1 million annually and become “mega agents.” Ten years later, top Keller Williams agents who have mastered the MREA process are searching for what’s next.
Keller Williams wants to ensure that “next” happens within Keller Williams, so the company can continue to attract top talent. Observing the market and the success of Keller Williams’ top 100 agents, Keller recognized the next natural step: expansion into additional markets. A small group of agents began experimenting with expanding their brand to new geographies. From these early expansion agents and the lessons they learned, Keller Williams created a model for a new source of growth. That required the development of a new training program. Mega Agent Expansion (MAE) teaches top agents how to leverage economies of scale, centralized lead generation, and a shared administrative hub to launch businesses in five, 10, 20, or more additional geographic locations. “For the first time,” Kokoszka says, “individual agents can realize their dream of their brand stretching around the country or the world, all within Keller Williams.” MAE launched in February 2014 and includes instructor-led classes, Webinars, expert interviews, productivity resources, and coaching. Top expansion agents participate through mentorship, coaching, and consulting.