Profit share is one way in which Keller Williams Realty exemplifies the principle of success through others. Each month, market centers share roughly half of their profits with the agents who helped grow the market center and make it profitable. But in order for there to be profit share, there must first be success.
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Smokey Garrett, the regional director for the North Texas/New Mexico/Memphis Region, says, “When I started here, we had this little bitty market center, but we had a big vision on where to go and were focused on getting buy-in from our people on how they were going to fit into that vision. Before you can worry about profits, you have to worry about how well your people are doing and if their businesses are getting bigger.”
When Garrett came to the market center, Keller Williams Realty President John Davis was the operating partner, and the focus from Day 1 was on running the models and working the
systems in their daily activities – basically, implementing the Growth Initiative before it was officially the “Growth Initiative.”
“We work on implementing the Growth Initiative every day,” Garrett said. “As leadership, we say, ‘People have lived before us, and we know Keller Williams systems and models work.’
What makes a great business is taking the systems we have and executing them at the highest possible level. We take that same level and work it through with our agents, because what works
for the market center will also work for our agents’ businesses.”
In addition to providing proven models and systems, Garrett and his leadership team ensure that agents have access to education and training.
“Our goal is always to have our people be the best-trained and the most educated for the market of the moment and to allow them to go build businesses as big as they want,” he said. “There are no limits with our people. The value we’ve brought to our agents is how we make our people better.”
Initially, the Arlington market center had only 60 agents, but today, it’s grown to 550 agents, and its training calendar has grown as well. Three to five training classes are offered each day with courses at every level, and the education committee boasts more than 30 members.
“It’s very much a fluid calendar because we’re always addressing our strengths and weaknesses and where our market is that particular month,” Garrett said. “We’re working to get perfect, so we use Training Tracking, which is one of the tools that is fueling the success of the Growth Initiative. For example, we never stop running Ignite, and we know that an agent that goes through Ignite and graduates makes $47,000 more than agents who don’t graduate. Knowing that stat makes it much more valid and explains our expectations. An agent attending two training classes per month within our market center has 209 percent more GCI than someone who doesn’t.”
The statistics also show that the market center’s rookie of the year for the past seven years averaged $170,000 their first year in real estate, and the 2014 rookie of the year actually earned $272,000. Statistics like these wouldn’t be possible without strong leaders, and Garrett, for one, focuses on leading through the people at the market center.
“We use our ALC a lot, and we have a saying: ‘As the ALC goes, so goes the market center,’” Garrett said. “I’m very passionate about helping us be an agent-driven, agent-led company. Anytime I’ve gotten in trouble here is because I didn’t slow down, help to explain and get everybody’s buy-in. I had to slow down, focus on our ALC and focus on where everyone wanted to go.”
Keeping a close eye on expenses has also played a crucial role in the market center’s success.
“Everyone holds expenses very accountable,” Garrett said. “Holly Serben does a phenomenal job of training the MCAs, the finance committee and everybody on the expense side. We’ve got lots of eyes focusing on making sure we get a return on what we’re doing.”
Hitting the $1 million mark in profit share undoubtedly made a splash in company news, but more important were the ripple effects that impressive figure had on the market center’s agents.
“It’s been a really fun number to put out there and share, but at the end of the day, it’s not about the number,” Garrett said.
“It’s about what each individual associate’s profit share has done for them and what it’s done for their families. It’s about understanding what passive income does for people. It’s allowed spouses in our market center to stop working, to stay home and do what they want to do. It’s allowed people to buy vacation houses and investment properties, to give to charities and to do what their passions are. It’s provided freedom without the fear."
It’s allowed for further conversation with people on building wealth and made that real to people. We’ve helped share this wealth-building gift our company does and helped everybody go achieve that.” Now that they’ve reached this milestone, Garrett and his market center are focused on the future.
“What’s next is that there are thousands and thousands of more people to be in business with and whose lives we can help affect on a daily basis,” he said. “The million-dollar mark is like the four-minute mile. Once somebody broke it, it became possible. John Davis and the Growth Initiative tools have allowed this to become the new standard. We’re just at the beginning of what our company can accomplish and what we can accomplish together.”