In three years, Keller Williams Legacy in Pikesville, Md., has catapulted from a launch market center to a powerhouse with 411 agents. The market center’s gross sales totaled more than $441 million in 2016, with 2,195 units sold. As of April 2017, Keller Williams Legacy was number one in market share in Baltimore City and Baltimore County – an area with “hundreds of real estate offices,” according to Co-Team Leader Vladimir Kats. Their secret? Using the Leverage Series to move people into the right roles, making the entire team stronger.
“I remember sitting in this building when it was still under construction. We just had a flip chart, and we were mapping out what we really wanted to do in this area,” says Operating Principal Seth Campbell, who also serves as regional director for the Maryland and D.C. Region. The team kept coming back to creating a “mega agent conversation” that would attract top talent. Their “big why” was to “transform lives through real estate,” he says.
(Left to right: Co-Team Leader Vladimir Kats, Market Center Administrator Teal Clise, Operating Principal Seth Campbell, Agent Karen Clark, and Co-Team Leader Tina Beliveau)
The Value of Career Visioning
Being devotees of the accountability, systems and training that are among the Keller Williams hallmarks helped the market center gain traction very quickly. When the company unveiled the first tools of the Leverage Series in 2016, which includes the Career Visioning course and the Keller Personality Assessment (KPA), the market center became an early adopter.
Career Visioning is a leadership process and course that helps anyone looking to build a business, find, train and lead people. The KPA is a tool that supports the process by measuring 11 behavioral and thinking traits, giving the career consultant an in-depth look into the candidate’s natural strengths By performing such a deep dive, an interviewer can understand a candidate’s unique talents and hold a meaningful conversation about what role they may thrive in based on their unique skill set and tendencies.
In addition, Career Visioning breaks down the hiring processes into manageable steps and introduces models to help businesses map out their plans for growth. Campbell calls Career Visioning the team’s “operating system.”
Attracting (and Maximizing) Talent
One example of a KPA-inspired career change is Tina Beliveau. She was a $50 million producer in the summer of 2016 when she went through the Career Visioning process with Kats. What they found was astonishing: Even though she was one of the company’s top producers, she showed just a 40 percent match for being a mega agent.
“I’ve achieved a pretty respectable level of success, and yet there are a lot of areas of friction that have not been comfortable for me. So the magic of going through that process, the motivational interview, and talking about what my ideal future would look like, and whether this organization, culture and role could be a vehicle – it built that confidence and that vision,” she says. Now, as co-team leader of the market center, she says she’s in her “behavioral sweet spot” and that it’s the best thing that’s ever happened in her career.
Kats and the team use the KPA for building a leadership bench and helping team members discover their own strengths and preferences. The goal isn’t necessarily to identify weaknesses so they can be addressed, explains Kats. Rather, it’s to identify the areas of greatest strength so that Keller Williams Legacy can match the individual to the best possible role and then build out systems for areas where the individual may not be as strong or focused.
Kats says that the team finds that taking the KPA and having it verified has been shown to increase productivity nearly 8 percent. For agents, it’s like a laser-focused tool to help them overcome why they’re not achieving their goals, adapt new habits or even new roles, and get them back on track for success, he says.
Karen Clark’s story is proof that the system works.
“I came to the market center with two very stagnant listings. Since January, they both closed and I’m holding 18 listings right now,” she says. She credits the productivity training and tools like the KPA and the Career Growth Initiative (CGI) for helping her understand her big why and how to get to the next level.
Consistency Is Key
Kats says that by having the whole team – from the OP to the TLs to each agent – plug into Career Visioning and the Leverage Series courses (which also includes 30-60-90 and Success Through Others), everyone has the opportunity to adjust and adapt their career paths to ensure their greatest success.
In keeping with Keller Williams’ commitment to helping people achieve their personal and professional goals, no matter how big they are, agent teams also have access to the Leverage Series tools to deepen their talent bench, just like the Legacy leadership team. Building on individual strengths allows each to build their own careers, teams and the market center as a whole.