Tools For Growing Globally

Sep 22, 2016 12:57:00 PM

KW Worldwide

It’s been five years since Keller Williams Realty launched the Growth Initiative, which has fueled historic agent count, productivity and profitability gains across North America. Now the company’s worldwide regions are adopting the Growth Initiative tools to their markets. The results have been phenomenal!

From 2011 through 2015, the Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 50 percent. During the same period, Keller Williams franchise owners have increased their profits by 242 percent.

The recruiting and retention activities associated with the Growth Initiative have allowed the  company to grow to more than 140,000 associates, solidifying Keller Williams as the world’s largest  real estate franchise.

Since the Growth Initiative’s launch, Keller Williams agents in North America have boosted production 2.5 times the rate of the industry, according to a recent REAL Trends report. How’s that for results?  The Growth Initiative activities are clearly working. And now Keller Williams master franchises and offices across the globe are joining in on the action and leveraging the tools, models and systems of the Growth Initiative to expand their real estate businesses.

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Implementation Stage

Ascensão’s excitement was evident as he discussed the success his whole team is having in Portugal. “We launched our Growth Initiative in November of last year,” he says. As a Worldwide region, KW Portugal launched two years ago.

“The activities are focusing us on our numbers to use the tools. We’re in our sixth month and it’s been a huge success,” says Ascensão.

“We’ve learned about all the concepts and the ‘Four Conversations.’ And, we’re implementing each, step by step and not all at once,” he says. “As Gary says, we need 10,000 hours to be masters at something,” says Ascensão. “And, we haven’t mastered all the Growth Initiative tools yet, but the conversations are happening and through practice the results are showing.”

Initial Impact

In Portugal, the emphasis on the Growth Initiative is driving all Keller Williams leaders and agents to have clear job descriptions. “It focuses our team leaders on ‘Doing the Two,’” says Ascensão. Back in 2011, “Do the Two” was a phrase that was adopted to reinforce the baseline expectations for team leaders across Keller Williams Realty: schedule two recruiting appointments a day, 10 a week and 40 a month.

When the Growth Initiative activities started being implemented in November, KW Portugal had nine market centers and a total agent count of 510. Six months later, KW Portugal as a whole has grown by 50 percent, adding 25 agents per market center on average.

The Keller Williams agent count in Portugal now sits at more than 750 across 12 market centers. 

“Our objective is to have 1,250 agents by the end of the year with 18 market centers open,” says  Ascensão. Currently, with a firm focus set on the activities associated with the Growth Initiative, KW Portugal is trending to surpass those goals. Back in North America, Keller Williams agents have seen a five-year increase of 107 percent in gross commission income (GCI), a key indicator of robust agent production.

Inside Portugal, the fourth quarter is considered the best when it comes to agent production. And the first quarter of the year usually averages the lowest productivity numbers. However, KW Portugal  has turned that trend around in 2016.

According to Ascensão, the first quarter productivity levels essentially mirrored the high benchmarks set in the fourth quarter of 2015, which is an immense improvement over the status quo – further proof of the impact of the Growth Initiative tools.

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Education Focus

“We are positioning Keller Williams as a training company and people aren’t used to it,” says Ascensão. Many of the experienced agents who joined KW Portugal were former RE/MAX agents.  ese new agents are seeing the value inherent of the company’s training focus that is directly  improving and expanding their individual  businesses and careers.

“In the States, you have a huge number of agents with experience that are coming on board,” says Ascensão. “In Portugal, you don’t need a license to sell real estate.” “Seventy-five percent of agents that we are onboarding don’t have experience in real estate,” he says.

“They need to be enthusiastic to do the activities needed for success. And, we have the answers in our models and systems.” In response to their education challenge, KW Portugal has rolled out an  extensive training program covering the key 24 concepts in Gary Keller’s bestselling book The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.

As a priority, all new agents are required to fully understand the “Six Personal Perspectives,” and the Ignite curriculum has been pivotal to ensuring agents are getting into production quickly. As a result of leading with revenue, following the models and using the Growth Initiative tools, in the past six months, KW Portugal has added six productivity coaches to fuel its agents’ success.  The impact has been immense as the productivity coaches have served to reinforce the training with an accountability aspect for agents. “We’re doing a great job of exposing people to Keller Williams and its values, culture, models and systems,” says Ascensão.