PART ONE OF A SERIES
Whatever profession we choose, we often aspire to and take cues from those who have paved the way and “graduated to greatness.” These individuals not only achieve financial success but are passionate about life, sometimes come from humble beginnings and never give up, despite the odds. They go through lean times and never let the word “no” be an obstacle toward reaching their goals.
Each week, I’ll be blogging about those individuals that I think are great role models. I hope you’ll learn something you may not have known about them and share some insight and/or comments about who you believe fits your own personal criteria for a “role model.”
Gary Keller, Keller Williams Realty
Gary Keller is certainly one of the greats of real estate. Keller’s core beliefs of aiming high and being the best you can be catapulted him to phenomenal success.
Keller graduated in 1979 with a degree in Marketing and Business with a focus on real estate. He loved the leadership aspect of business and inspiring others. By the age of 26, he was the VP of Expansion of a large Texas real estate company, but he didn’t believe in the company’s vision of agents working for a company. He believed a company should work for its agents because as Keller says, “Companies are nothing more than people.” His vision was that if you treat individuals as if they were shareholders in a company they would be much more inspired to reach their own individual levels of success; thus making the company successful.
Did he ever.
The Beginning of Keller Williams Realty
Gary Keller quit that job and in 1983, partnered with Joe Williams and a handful of agents. Their meager beginnings propelled them to banking $100K in their first year. By the second year, they were the largest real estate company in Austin, Texas (and Number 10 in their market) with a team of 70 agents.
In 1986, the market fell and many of his agents and his entire administrative team left to work for his largest competitor. This was the impetus and the beginning of what transformed Keller Williams into becoming the second largest real estate company in the country.
He and a team of 13 top agents focused on what would be the best possible tools in order for them to be successful and to motivate agents to want to work for them. Putting agents first by offering the best commission structure, treating them as shareholders in the business and providing ongoing, outstanding education were just a few components that came out of their brainstorming sessions.
After intensive research and study, they also established foundational models that agents could use to ensure optimum success. From these models, his best-seller, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent was born in 2004 and Keller Williams is, as Keller says, “Simply the most innovative and successful real estate company in the country.” Since then, his other books, including Shift and The Millionaire Real Estate Investor have also become best-sellers.
Gary Keller Today
From his failures and successes, Keller literally transformed his company. From 13 agents to nearly 80,000 in the U.S. and Canada, he is considered one of the greatest real estate gurus. Providing agents with phenomenal tools - education, training, cutting-edge technology -- while incorporating those into a “belief system” continues to attract the best real estate pros in the industry.
Gary Keller has been awarded top honors such as the 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders by Inman News, one of the five “Most Admired People” from a REAL Trends Magazine survey, and the second most influential person in the industry by REALTOR magazine.
Here’s a brief video about The Power of One by Gary Keller.
Who is your role model? Share your comments and let me know!