The Choice of A New Generation
KW Young Professionals (KWYP) is preparing the future leaders of Keller Williams to carry forth the company mission while preserving and strengthening its unique culture.
At Keller Williams, the best ideas come from the field. Associates have inspired such ground-breaking innovations as the real estate industry’s first lead-to-close transaction management suite (eEdge) and its first agent-branded search app.
Keller Williams attracts entrepreneurs – business leaders who are on the front lines of a constantly changing market. They know where the industry is headed. And they know what they need to thrive.
At Family Reunion 2013, a group of ambitious young associates got together for a social gathering and created a Facebook group page to stay connected when they returned home. A year later, they hosted an event to celebrate adding their 1,000th Facebook follower.
Today, what started as a Facebook group is a full-fledged Keller Williams division. KW Young Professionals is going far beyond social media to help members network, learn and succeed.
“KWYP is facilitating the growth of the next generation of real estate leaders,” said Phillip Gazca, a team leader with the Brazos Valley (Texas) market center. “We’re connecting members with industry leaders to ensure we stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before us.”
New members agree. “KWYP helps young agents succeed by providing an environment for networking, building referral business and learning directly from leaders like Mark Willis, Mary Tennant and Dianna Kokoszka,” said Kasia Olek, a Keller Williams associate in Tulsa, Okla. “It’s a mastermind set up for an age demographic. KWYP is a dynamic organization with leadership opportunities that inspire me to grow.”
Expanding Your Network
While social media has enhanced connectivity, it hasn’t replaced the value of in-person networking for building businesses and careers. Face-to- interactions allow associates to leverage their connections and seize new opportunities. Real estate, at its core, is a local business. Networking remains key to success.
Top Keller Williams associates are attracted to KWYP for the opportunity to expand their networks. “I joined KWYP for the networking potential among an energetic demographic,” said 2015 Suarez, a mega agent in Portland, Ore. “It’s also a great talent pool to connect with as we expand across the country and look for expansion partners.”
KWYP offers a range of activities to enhance networking, including members-only programming and events at Family Reunion and Mega Camp. KWYP is also launching a members-only online community and referral sharing network to facilitate exchanges among members.
Learning from the Best
Every Keller Williams associate under the age of 40 has the opportunity to join KWYP. Members who close $10 million or more a year and have committed to growth through KW MAPS Coaching are also invited to serve on the KWYP Leadership Council. Through surveys and focus groups, Keller Williams associates have made clear what they want: training, networking opportunities and access to great leaders. They want to learn from top performers and master the systems that are going to propel their businesses forward.
“The biggest advantage we have in KWYP is the willingness of agents to share their successes and failures,” said Tiffany Fykes, an associate in the Nashville Green Hills (Tenn.) market center. “Not only do we have Keller Williams executives making time for us every month, we have agents in the field sharing the scripts that are working, the books that are changing their mindsets and the buyer packets that are getting results. Moreover, the diversity of production of KWYP members means every agent has next-level agents in front of them willing to help and share what they know.”
“We learn from those who have businesses we want to grow into,” Suarez said. “There are young agents who may not be in high production yet, but have a fresh approach to the business. Reaching out to that group and really finding out what our members are working on, what they are creating and where they are succeeding is critical.”
KWYP members have access to monthly live webinars with Keller Williams executives and coaches. Recent participants have included Mark Willis, Mary Tennant and Dianna Kokoszka. KWYP also offers monthly videos featuring top-producing young professionals – agents like Lisa Archer, Tim Heyl and Ben Kinney. Additionally, KW MAPS Health and Wellness Coach Nina Rowan Heller talks each month with a young professional about the role wellness plays in peak performance.
“As a KWYP member, the fact that I am able to directly ask Mark, Mary or Dianna about their success habits, inquire about what books to read or discuss mindset is invaluable,” said Melissa Krchnak, a Keller Williams associate in Baltimore, Md.
With the assistance of Holly Priestner, KWRI’s community networking driver, KWYP has established five committees charged with developing programs and initiatives. The committees are chaired by the KWYP founders and focus on membership growth, current events, education and special events, technology and wellness.
“Keller Williams is committed to bringing the best education to associates,” said Alex Frank of the Houston Metropolitan (Texas) market center. “We will always stay ahead of the curve.”
Preparing for the Future
If there’s a common denominator among KWYP members, it’s a passion for positioning themselves and their team members to succeed.
“The average agent in our industry will continue to pay for leads because they haven’t learned to generate their own,” Suarez observed. “There is simultaneously a group of business owners who are making real estate a true career. They bring a business background and a tech edge to the industry like we haven’t seen before. Young professionals willing to ‘out-content’ and ‘out-campaign’ the average agent have a huge opportunity to take market share.”
Henderson was named one of REALTOR® Magazine's 2015 “30 Under 30” and was also the Web Choice winner.
“When I attended the launch at Mega Camp and walked into a room where I could talk with agents like Lisa Archer, Rachel Adams and Jillene Snell – all of whom I respect and look up to as business women and as contributors to other agents’ growth – I knew immediately I wanted to be part of this organization,” Olek said. “Not only did I see KWYP as an opportunity to learn from top agents and executives, but I also saw it as a chance to help others with what I’ve learned in my business,” Fykes added.
Matt Aitchison of the Roseville (Calif.) market center agreed. “You are the sum of the people you hang around,” he said. “There is no better group to be around than those who are pushing the industry forward.”