In one of the final Mega Camp 2016 panels, Gary Keller, Keller Williams co-founder and chairman of the board, sat down with Keller Williams mega agents Reed Moore, Kristan Cole and Ben Kinney to discuss how to expand into new markets and specifically, how to hire appropriately to achieve extraordinary results.
Gary Keller interviewed each panelist as they shared their key lessons on expansion. The panelists offered great tips to hire in another location and within a current location. Keller himself shared how he didn’t originally succeed when expanding his business to other markets like San Antonio and Houston. It is important to have the right plan and the right people – “Everybody is a winner at the starting line,” he said.
Here is some expert information on how to manage expansion and how to hire for it.
Moore stressed how expansion is a great way to start a business in an area that you like because of lifestyle preferences, family, etc., without having to neglect your original market. Before moving to Washington State, Moore decided to stress-test his local team in Alaska to prepare them for his move. He would leave on vacation and make himself unavailable so his team could solve problems on their own.
As far as his new market, Moore didn’t jump into the industry right away and start getting listings. He began looking for talent to hire first. He met someone in the industry who he started helping out with his business. Only after a period of time doing this did he decide to open his business.
Even though he was minimally profitable from the very beginning in the new market and it was a difficult journey, he still had an easier learning curve than when he started in his original location. Reed’s parting advice on hiring people was that “it’s a trap if you’re the smartest person in your business.”
Cole shared how she first made the mistake of hiring someone from the outside. Her second, and gravest, mistake was to build her original business around herself. This was a problem because when she was gone, her business wouldn’t thrive without her. As John Davis says when talking about a team, “They have to be tied to the vision and not to you.”
When she decided to expand into a new market, she recruited people from other market centers that she knew were great and looking for new opportunities. She reached out to team leaders and asked if it would be all right to hire these people. Cole mentioned how she’s not involved in her original business in Alaska anymore. Her team there runs the business for her. To this comment Keller said, “You’re not the best at doing any of the individual tasks anymore, but you’re the one driving the vision, and that’s the most important part of the business.”
When it comes to hiring for a new market, Cole suggested recriting Empire Builders and taking the models and systems from your original market and simplifying them for the new one. Create a simple roadmap and hire a KW MAPS coach to help people on the team be accountable.
In contrast with Moore and Cole, Kinney did not originally leave his local area when he decided to expand his business. His local market was Bellingham, Wash., and when it wasn’t large enough, he went south to the next city to expand.
When Kinney expanded into other areas, he made sure to build value wherever he went. He shared how when he went into Austin, Texas and didn’t have office space, he hired 10 people and “borrowed” a local market center’s conference room. He has proven his scripts and lead generation models not only work in Washington State but around the country as well.
Kinney’s Expansion Tips – Moving into a New City
- Find a KW office in the city you are expanding into and add new agents to it.
- Find a person that has the skills of an OP to lead your team. Look at the right behavioral profile and make sure they have the same goals and agree with your vision.
- Dominate markets, make millions and give millions.
Everyone agreed that expansion creates opportunities for building businesses with the highest margins. You can learn more about Mega Agent Expansion here.