Keller Williams Realty Named Top Training Organization Worldwide

Keller Williams Realty, the world’s largest real estate franchise by agent count, was recognized by Training magazine, the leading business publication for learning and development professionals, as the No.1 training organization across all industries worldwide.

For the fourth consecutive year, Keller Williams placed in the Top 5 on the Training 125, which ranks companies’ excellence in employer-sponsored training and development programs.

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“We are incredibly honored by this recognition because of what it means for our people,” said John Davis, president, Keller Williams. “All of our training is focused on helping our agents grow their businesses and help their clients.”

“World-class training is the foundation of providing our agents with the resources and tools they need to fund their lives and create opportunities for their families,” said Davis.”

On January 30, Keller Williams received the No. 1 ranking at Training magazine’s annual awards gala in San Diego, California. With the honor, Keller Williams becomes eligible for induction into the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame for 2018.

“The 2017 Training Top 125 winners don’t just set the bar for employee training and development, they vault over it,” said Lorri Freifeld, editor-in-chief, Training magazine. “They are champions of learning and ensure their employees have the skills to succeed in this competitive, ever-changing world. They insist on training tied to corporate strategic goals, and they have the results to show for it.”

The Training Top 125 ranking is based on a myriad of benchmarking statistics such as total training budget; percentage of payroll; number of training hours per employee program; goals, evaluation, measurement, and workplace surveys; hours of training per employee annually; and detailed formal programs.

“At Keller Williams, we’re not only an open-books company, we’re an open-learning company,” said Dianna Kokoszka, CEO, KW MAPS Coaching. “The leaders of our company have fostered a culture of collaboration because we know that together everyone achieves more.”

The Training Top 125 ranking is also determined by assessing a range of qualitative and quantitative factors, including financial investment in employee development, the scope of development programs, and how closely such development efforts are linked to business goals and objectives.

“This is an exciting time in training and technology,” said Chris Heller, CEO, Keller Williams. “A decade from now, the way consumers search for and buy homes will be almost unrecognizable from the process today.”

“Our success at keeping our agents at the forefront of this evolution, helping them differentiate themselves in their local markets, and providing an extraordinary customer experience will be determined by how well we train our people, said Heller.”

In-depth profiles of each of the top five companies will appear in the January/February 2017 issue of Training magazine. For more information on the Training Top 125, visit www.trainingmag.com.

Less Stress, More Success Through Time Blocking

Success in all parts of life hinges on the ability to time block. Time blocking, which is the act of designating a portion of time on an ongoing basis to get important things done, is productivity’s greatest tool.

Time blocking involves making an appointment with yourself to work on your ONE Thing; and it’s simple. We already do it in our lives, but typically not for our most important work.

In today’s Family Reunion breakout session led by Jay Papasan, attendees learned that time blocking works on the premise that a calendar records appointments, but doesn’t care who those appointments are with; that’s where the date with yourself comes into play.

Once you’ve spent the time you committed to focusing on your ONE Thing for the day, you can move on to the next item. Following this approach ensures you attack your day methodically.

So you want to use time blocking in your life, but aren’t sure where to start?

Grab your calendar and first schedule your time off. Not only do you deserve this vacation time, but rest assured, you’re going to need it when you become your most productive self.

Next, block off time to focus on your ONE Thing. In our industry, dedicated lead generation time is the ONE Thing helps you build your business, so it’s paramount to schedule time for that task. Get this done early and you’ll find you have positive momentum for the rest of your day.

In fact, Papasan described how studies show very successful people are at their most productive before noon, as that’s when willpower is most reliable and time is most under our control.

This timing is so important that Jay has made a point of designing his own schedule around making appointments for his priorities in the morning.

Once you have your time off and your ONE Thing time scheduled, it’s time to schedule your planning time; it’s about setting time to check your goals and ensure you’ve allotted time to achieve them.

What are you waiting for? Start time blocking now and enjoy more success with less stress.

 

Are Neighbors Affecting Property Value?

One of the best things about a home can be living next to wonderful neighbors. Unfortunately, neighbors can also be a source of dissatisfaction with a home or neighborhood.

From loud noises to barking dogs and trash-filled yards, some neighbors can have an impact on property value and can deter potential buyers. When buyers tour homes, they are making note of more than just the house – they are assessing their potential neighbors as well.

The discussion about neighbors and the community is an important conversation to have with your clients in the beginning of the relationship. Understand your clients wants and needs and help them find not only the home of their dreams, but the neighborhood of their dreams.

What Sellers Can DoSellers should talk with the owners of neighboring properties. Let them know they are selling the home and want to present the neighborhood in the best light possible.

Make sure to let your sellers know that they should not conceal real problems or create a facade during showings. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t work with their neighbors to help get not only their home show-ready, but the neighborhood as well.

 

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Sellers are likely packing up their own belongings and trashing collected junk. They can offer to allow the neighbors to use their collection bin for free to dispose of their unwanted items that have become an eye sore in the yard.

If sellers are working on their own landscaping, they can buy a nice outdoor potted plant for the neighbors to place on their doorstep. They can also offer to help them tend their yard if interested.

What Buyers Can Do

Help your clients do their homework on the neighborhood. Visit the neighborhood at different times of the day with them so they can see what kind of night atmosphere exists. Encourage them to take time to walk around the neighborhood.If neighbors are outside, talk to them.

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And agents, remember, don’t ever put your desire to sell the home before your obligation to let your client know everything you can about a neighborhood.


General Neighbor Relations Tips for All
Clients already moved in and then discover a problem?  Share these tips with them.

1. Let the neighbors know about the situation and how it is causing a disturbance. It could very well be that your neighbors don’t realize the issue. By giving them the benefit of the doubt, you will be kinder in your approach, as well as received on a good note.

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2. If your neighbors are hard to contact by phone or won’t answer their door, send them a short note.

3. Addressing the issue is the first step. As a priority, offer to compromise and offer solutions as well. This shows that you have thought this through and understand that to peacefully co-exist, both parties must be willing to do some work.

4. Be informed. Know the ordinances and regulations on noise, trash and curfews that govern your homeowner’s association, municipality, county and/or state. Often times, if a home is in an HOA managed community, the association can handle the issue.

5. Don’t forget the golden rule. If you want good neighbors, you should be one too. By approaching the issues with empathy and understanding, you are most likely to have a successful dialogue and solution.

 

Do These Three Things Now For Better Communication

Every day we fire off texts, tweets, status updates and emails with ease – and often without much thought. However, effective communication is more than just exchanging information.

Good communication is one of the most valuable skills for establishing and maintaining relationships. It involves both verbal and written skills. Although equally important, most often, your first communication with someone will be verbal. This could be in the form of an initial phone call, a random meeting or networking at an event.

With Family Reunion just around the corner, many agents will be exercising their networking skills. Below are important points to consider as you make new connections.

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Verbal: When speaking to others, articulate your message in a way the listener can understand. Be mindful of your tone and word choice.

Do This Now: Write out your 30-second elevator pitch about yourself and practice it before any networking event. You have 30 seconds to capture interest in you, share why someone should want to keep in touch after the event and establish some commonality that connects you to another person.
Body Language: Be aware of your own body language when speaking, you’re constantly communicating even when you’re not saying a word. Hand gestures, eye contact, posture, facial expressions and other body language give clues to the speaker you may not be aware of.
For example, a listener who fidgets or does not make eye contact can send the impression that they are bored or not interested.

Do This Now: Look at yourself in a full-length mirror and correct your posture. Take note of what it feels like. When you are having a conversation with someone, correct your posture to feel the way it did when you looked your best in the mirror.
Listening: Try not to think about what to say next while listening; instead clear your mind and focus on the message being received. Give the speaker your full attention as you expect in return.

Do This Now: Have conversations daily with other people. Practice your scripts and 30-second pitch with people in the office. Ask them to practice theirs and take time to really listen. This activity makes you more comfortable and on your way to becoming a networking pro.

In summary, if you can articulate your message, present active listening body language and be present with others when they are talking, you will have more engaging and memorable conversations.

Get the Career You Want in 2016

It is a new year and you or someone you know are thinking it’s time for a career change. Does a career that can begin in a few months without the need to get a college degree sound appealing? How about a career where an individual can manage their own time, earning potential and business? If this sounds like something you want,  you may be looking for a career in real estate.

Real Estate Career with KW

Becoming a Licensed Real Estate Agent

State requirements to become a real estate agent can vary. However, all states require completion of a minimum number of classes, a background check, various fees, and of course, passing the licensing exam.

With many programs, including online courses, the entire process can be completed in approximately three to four months. That means if you start now, you could have the career of your dreams by the summer!

Once you make the decision to start a real estate career and complete the state requirements, the next step is selecting a broker or brokerage.

Choosing a Broker/Brokerage

Customer reviews. Customer Service TipsAfter completion of real estate school and exams, every agent must choose a broker/brokerage affiliation, unless they are one themselves. And the choice normally comes down to which company offers the most benefits.

Brokers are required by state law to pass an additional exam after they pass their agent licensing exam. Brokers can work alone or they can hire agents to work with them. Like real estate agents, brokers serve representatives for buyers and sellers, but they also serve as a responsible party for their affiliated agents they may have.

Considering Keller Williams Realty as Your Brokerage 

When you choose to join Keller Williams, you join forces with the most dynamic real estate company in the world. Keller Williams is an international real estate franchise company with more than 132,000 associates and 700 market centers across the globe.

More so than ever before, real estate professionals are turning to Keller Williams Realty for the education, technology, culture and wealth building opportunities.

Education at Keller Williams

Real estate educationIn 2015, Keller Williams was named the No. 1 training organization in the world by Training Magazine. Post-licensing education opportunities for agents range from classroom training to on-demand, online education and our award-winning KW MAPS Coaching programs.

Keller Williams University (KWU) provides the most advanced and comprehensive learning opportunities in real estate. Look at all the courses offered in Austin in 2016. This list doesn’t include the thousands of training events held monthly in local offices.

Technology at Keller Williams

To succeed in today’s global real estate market, you have to stay on the cutting edge of marketing and technology. KW Mobile App

Keller Williams offers the industry’s only agent-branded mobile app. The KW Mobile App is a free download for your clients that offers saved searches, easy contact to you, a mortgage calculator, user-friendly social sharing options and more.

Keller Williams also has a premium video marketing service, KW Video, available to associates. With KW Video, agents have unlimited access to professional templates, scripts and the ability to upload the videos anywhere. With video becoming increasingly popular for real estate marketing, agents can’t afford not to use it in their marketing plans.

Culture at Keller Williams

The unique Keller Williams culture creates a sense of family and community that is rare in many industries, especially real estate. When you’re at Keller Williams, you’re family. In fact, our culture Keller Williams Cultureis so impressive, it has caught the attention of many, including researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In April, 2015, they published a report in their Closer Look series on the importance of culture at Keller Williams. It marked the third time that the prestigious business school has studied Keller Williams.

Wealth Building Opportunities

Keller Williams Wealth BuildingIn keeping with the philosophy that agents are partners and stakeholders in the success of the business, Keller Williams has created a distinct wealth building platform through which our leadership teams and office owners reward those who have contributed to a market center’s growth. In the U.S. and Canada, we do this through profit share; and across the world, through growth share.

In 2015 alone, Keller Williams distributed more than $119 million in profit share to participating associates across the world.

To get started with your real estate career with Keller Williams, the industry innovator and leader, contact your local office to set-up an appointment. They will walk you through all the steps you need to start a real estate business in your market. Wherever your path takes you, we wish you a fulfilling and prosperous 2016!

 

 

Your Way Toward Wellness

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For many Keller Williams associates, the planning and preparation for the first quarter of 2016 is complete and outlined in writing. But, have you set your big goals and crafted a plan for the New Year aimed at increasing your personal wellness too?

If you haven’t, it’s not too late. Start today and be proactive on your path to being in good shape, physically and mentally. It’s so important because if we don’t give the proper attention to wellness in our lives, we deprive ourselves of our full potential and, as a result, our bodies and businesses suffer.

Because thinking clearly and increasing productivity are important to a business, Keller Williams takes wellness seriously. And. that is why there are Wellness Ambassadors in market centers all across the U.S. helping associates achieve their wellness goals. These individuals are passionate about fostering healthier lifestyles. They coordinate local events, like Wellness Day, and bring practical, educational resources and opportunities to their market center.

Don’t let poor wellness be a productivity hack any longer. Take control of your wellness! To make your 2016 wellness goals stick in 2016, use these quick tips:

Write Goals Down

By writing down your wellness goals and hanging them up where you can see them every day, you make wellness part of your daily activities.

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Achieve Whole Body Wellness

The big three components of wellness are eating right, regular exercise and sleeping properly.

Eating Well: Most of us exchange convenience for health. Thankfully, it is becoming easier and more convenient to eat healthier. Take control of your meals. Make a concerted effort to reach for something your body needs, instead of something your taste buds desire. You will begin to feel better and your body will show it.

KW Wellness Ambassador Idea: Implement a Farm to Office delivery in your market center.

Exercise: We all know we need to exercise, but often blame our hectic schedules for making it hard to find the time to exercise. By walking 10,000 steps each day, you will experience a noticeable increase in your wellness.

KW Wellness Ambassador Idea: Make walking a habit by organizing a 66-Day Step Challenge for your market center.

Sleeping Properly: Everyone’s individual sleep needs vary, but the general rule is seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

KW Wellness Ambassador Idea: Carve out a wellness section in your market center newsletter and write out a few tips for a better night’s sleep.

In addition to the core three components, wellness has many other dimensions to it. Unique to each individual, mental health, spiritual health and emotional health are all important components of total wellness.

Make 2016 your best year yet by making an investment in yourself. Start by downloading the free My Way Toward Wellness, connecting with the Wellness Ambassador in your market center to get involved and signing up for KW MAPS Group Coaching course The Energy Advantage.

We want to hear from you. Share your wellness goals in the comments.

 

REAL Trends Talks with Keller Williams CEO about 2016 Outlook

Steve Murray and Chris Heller discuss challenges and opportunities in real estate

By Steve Murray, publisher, REAL Trends
 

Keller Williams CEO Chris Heller “There are two basic kinds of people—the traditional people and the innovative people. The traditional ones stick to the tried and true, and there is nothing wrong with that approach. Innovative people tend to anticipate changes ahead and try to leapfrog them. We are trying diligently to be the innovative kind of organization. There is a growing gap between the two groups,” says Chris Heller, CEO of Keller Williams Realty International. “This business is changing, and we are going to try to stay ahead of it—that is a big focus of ours.”

 

A Good Sales Year (Not Great)

Heller, who has a strong background in building real estate sales teams (including his own nationally ranked team), thinks that 2016 will be a good, not great, sales year. “We think sales units and prices will still be up, just not as strong as 2015 versus 2014. It is an election year, and you typically don’t see a great deal of shifting going on in the market,” he added.

New Business Models

He does see a proliferation of new business models appearing throughout the industry and while he doesn’t see anything that worries him, he pays attention to what they are doing. “It doesn’t pay to ignore new models and new ways of doing business. At the least, we can learn something from them and become aware of serious new threats well ahead of when they may begin to affect our business. I know some of them are fads, but some of them have some real substance to them,” Heller commented.

Good Momentum

Asked about how things are going at KW, Heller said that their focus on growth across the board is paying large dividends. “What [KW President] John Davis is achieving with our Growth Initiative is unbelievable. Our local and regional leaders are buying-in and building momentum for their businesses.” Heller said that by virtually any metric KW will have another record year in 2015, and he believes the stage is set to top it in 2016. “We have good momentum right now. We are going to grow our market center count by 20 or more in the next year, and we expect total agent and assistant count to be near 129,000 at yearend—up significantly from yearend 2014. “We strongly think our growth is going to accelerate in the year ahead.”

Upstream

He says Keller Williams is a strong proponent of Upstream and the Broker Public Portal and have key executives involved in both. “We think these are both hugely worthwhile projects. There are significant challenges to both projects. In Upstream, we have to create the technologies to make it work. We have to create a safe environment for all participants, and we have to create an entire educational process to ensure that brokerage industry participants understand how it works and what the benefits are to them.”

On the Broker Public Portal, Heller says that the drive to create the kind of public listing portal in-line with the Fair Display Standards is also a big challenge but that it needs to get done. “We think the benefits could be substantial to have such a platform, if nothing else than to have more competition and a safe place for agents to market their properties.”

Asked about his view of the real estate world, Heller said, “These are exciting times. When things are changing it allows for more room for incumbents to try new ways, to experiment.” He says KW has several things in its pipeline for 2016, some which are improvements to what they have built and some that may surprise people as they are outside the box. He demurred when asked what these might be, but said they represent a significant new direction for the company. “These times require that an organization develop a sense of awareness and a sense of urgency to accept new ideas and new ways of growing. We are working on both all the time.”

This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of the REAL Trends newsletter and is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends Inc. Copyrighted 2015.

 

(Keller Williams International: blog.kw.comBy Steve Murray, publisher, REAL Trends)