Meet the Leaders Poised to Transform the Commercial Industry

July 26, 2021

As one of the fastest-growing CRE firms in North America, KW Commercial boasts a family culture, a capping model that gives brokers the potential to earn more, and a dynamic referral network connected through technology. In order to further transform commercial real estate at KW as we know it today, KW Commercial has brought on tremendous leaders within the organization.

Each of these three new leaders comes from a different background in commercial real estate and will work in concert to create the most connected and engaged commercial workforce nationally, while leveraging the strong culture KW is known for. Cynthia Lee will lead the team as executive leader of strategy and growth, and will be joined by Alicia Shepherd as division leader of education and training.

“The success of a business is directly related to the strength and talent of its leadership, so at Keller Williams we are committed to aligning with the very best in the industry,” says Keller Williams head of agent growth and partner experience Matt Green. “As such, we couldn’t be more excited that Cynthia Lee and Alicia Shepherd will be leading KW Commercial! Each of these talented leaders are grounded in the steeped traditions of commercial real estate and at the same time innovating and developing the future model that will help our agents succeed in the ever-changing real estate landscape.”

Together, their focus will be on enhancing education and training efforts, improving the Command experience for commercial agents, identifying additional technology platforms to allow commercial agents to excel, developing a robust referral network, and diving into investment opportunities. Because of Keller Williams’ ‘by agents, for agents’ approach, the team will be working in partnership with KW Commercial members to crystalize a big vision for the commercial arm that will have its agents, whose production is on-average nearly twice that of a KW residential agent, experiencing even more profitability and success. 

Cynthia Lee, Executive Leader of Strategy and Growth

Cynthia Lee

An award-winning real estate broker who also serves as the managing director for the commercial division of KW City-View in San Antonio, Texas, Cynthia Lee started her career as a news anchor for 16 years before pivoting to real estate. Lee is a powerhouse, bringing in more than $600,000 in GCI and winning awards such as the CoStar Power Broker & Commercial Award from the San Antonio Board of Realtors. Initially in residential, she switched to commercial, where she is now ranked in the Top 16 for KW Commercial nationwide. Her desire to inspire others with her passion for real estate and people drew her to this new leadership role.

“I think my calling in life is to help people move forward,” Lee says. “So real estate’s the perfect fit for me because it keeps me grounded. It’s very connected to everybody. And, I’m helping them transition in a positive way to make that next step occur, whether it’s buying a house or it’s expanding your business. It’s setting people up for success in the future. I’m very proud to do that.”

A staunch advocate for education, Lee decided to do an experiment at her market center to see what would happen if the commercial agents put as much emphasis on education as the residential agents do. 

The results? Their commercial roster doubled in two months.

“We’re going to implement some of the vision that we have here in San Antonio on a national level,” she says. “I feel that the number one solution to most everything we want to accomplish at KW Commercial is education. And I said, ‘If KW can be number one in training in the world for residential, why can’t we be number one in the world for commercial?’ Obviously, the model works, so let’s duplicate that.”

Alicia Shepherd, Division Leader of Education and Training

Alicia Shepherd

After leaving her first brokerage, Alicia Shepherd became the commercial director at KW Santa Monica in California. A mom of four (including triplets born in 2020), Shepherd began devoting her time to making the commercial industry a welcome space for all.

“I was with an ownership group that let me play in really rowdy ways and would buy in on my mission to transform the industry and to make a bigger table, to invite more diversity, invite more opportunity, not just for women, not just for moms, but for different ethnic backgrounds, different age groups,” she says. 

Shepherd’s next step was writing the curriculum for a training course for commercial real estate. She started by teaching the course at her market centers in California and now, in her new role, wants to expand that training to all of KW Commercial, a possibility she credits to KW’s commitment to culture.

“I would challenge any commercial real estate brokerage to stand up to the culture pillars we have demonstrated as a company,” she says. “If you’re at a brokerage right now where you don’t believe there is a culture that not only supports you but supports the clients you serve, it’s time to change that because that experience is what’s going to allow you to move from being a cog in someone else’s wheel to understanding that you can be empowered to build your own will alongside our machine of technology and culture. And then, you’ll be able to pour that into your own success, and therefore pour it back into the community and the clients you serve.”

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