During his six-month departure from Keller Williams, Joseph Eterno learned how powerful brand recognition can be and how KW’s ubiquitousness strengthens what he offers locally.
His real estate story begins a few years back. After six years in law enforcement, in 2009, Eterno started a popular locksmith business in Gainesville, Georgia, about an hour from Atlanta. After he’d built up the business and had it well-staffed, he found himself with time on his hands between customer calls. He’d always been fascinated by real estate, and signed up for classes at a nearby Keller Williams office. A few months later, in April 2015, he traded that downtime for a real estate license and promptly hung his hat with that bustling office.
Right out the gate, Eterno did 21 transactions and won Rookie of the Year. In 2016, he went out on his own, closed over 53 transactions for $10.6 million, and found himself utterly exhausted. Without any bandwidth, he realized he needed help and hired an administrative assistant; who also got a license and is still a vital part of his team. Together, they did $13 million in 2017 and picked up another regional performance award.
With a few more team members and a jump to $24 million in 2018, Eterno confesses that he lost sight of the value of his partnership with Keller Williams and became too focused on the dollars and cents. “I couldn’t shake this feeling that I was on an island, that even with the help of the office, it’s an individually driven business and it was all on me. I had my head down, working so hard, and thought I could cut down on cost and cap.” So, when the new year rolled in, Eterno and his team left Keller Williams and joined a local brokerage in January 2019.
Within six months, he realized that it wasn’t the right move. With a rock-solid referral database, Eterno had never lost a potential listing. But, in that short time, he lost two because the clients didn’t recognize his brokerage’s brand. About that time, his former KW team leader invited him to Mega Camp. Back in the Keller Williams environment, Eterno saw that “it’s easier to think bigger when you’re a part of something so much bigger.” It made him reflect on how much the KW culture, office environment, Family Reunion, and the support of his colleagues motivated him. A fresh wind swept him back to KW and brought clarity to his goals and dreams. “I’m excited to rekindle that big vision I originally had when I became a Realtor and to be in an environment that helps me and my team grow. Our team members – Rob, Lauren, Gabby – have been amazing and are critical to our success.”