As the president of Keller Home Financial Services, Dave Smith is leading Keller Mortgage and Keller Covered through a time of great transformation and growth. “Our aspiration is that we’re there for our agents and their clients all the way through buying, selling, and owning a home,” Smith shares. “So when we say homeownership, we’re talking about all phases of the game. It’s not just about the buy and the sell, but about the entire experience of homeownership.”
Creating an environment that caters to the entire homeownership journey is no small feat. Between franchisors, agents, their clients, and the Keller Home Financial Services employees bringing the vision to life, Smith is heavily leaning into partnership. “Everything we do every day is waking up and figuring out how we can better partner with our colleagues on the franchise side as well as our agents and employees,” he shares.
Here, Smith discusses four ways in which the theme of partnership shows up in his leadership.
The Thread of Partnership
Partnering for agent success.
“The best way that we can help agents is providing real value to their clients, so I think about what that value is both on the price side and on the service side,” Smith says. In being a good partner to agents, Smith and his team have solutions and ease of use at the forefront of their minds. An example of this in practice is the relationship between Keller Covered and Keller Mortgage.
“As a client comes through, they get referred for a mortgage. The next step that they need is homeowners insurance. Instead of sending them back to the agent, who sends them back to an insurance rep, we’ve integrated that in the flow so that the consumer gets a personalized offer. Of those customers, many will be able to get that insurance policy. Then, we send that directly to Keller Mortgage, so the client does not have to do anything.”
Partnering for employee success.
“The power of kwx is being able to bring together synergies around core competencies,” says Smith of the team working tirelessly to bring these streamlined experiences to agents. As teams come together under that shared goal, partnership looks like synergy around sharing information and best practices in the way each team approaches its tasks and goals. On the Keller Home Financial Services side, Smith shares: “We’ve been fortunate to bring in a team of leaders that is absolutely amazing. They all come with different core competencies and a diversity of mindsets, background experiences, and geography.” In adding future team members, there will also be a reliance on partnership. “It’s about recognizing that each of us have only so much breadth to our network, and it isn’t sufficient enough to fill the whole team,” Smith says. “So, we have to leverage others’ networks as well.”
Creating partnership platforms.
“Our job is to help agents build an edge so that if they’re with Keller Williams, they are an agent that has more options and more capabilities to offer their clients than if they weren’t,” Smith says. With that in mind, the team is laying the foundation for their partnership platform – a space intended to give agents the ability to move past growing their business into truly owning all aspects of their business as it relates to consumers’ homeownership journey.
“We need to be able to make the experience something that can’t be replicated easily by our competitors and provide a sustainable edge all the way through the process,” Smith says. “To do that, we’re forming joint ventures and other types of vehicles that allow an agent to participate economically in the earnings that come from each of those products – mortgage, insurance, and so on.”
Being a good partner to yourself.
As a leader, having an introspective routine can help recharge, reenergize, and prepare you to be a great partner to those around you. Smith shares that he is more of a night owl than he is a morning person. So, he uses the evenings to check in with himself. First, he spends five to 10 minutes reassessing the day.
“I think to myself, what were the key opportunities of the day? Frequently, it is hard to recognize every opportunity in the moment, so there can be more opportunities missed than opportunities taken.” Then, he recaps the progress on the most important moving priorities. In the morning, he takes a few minutes to reflect on what the day will look like, reads the morning news, and blasts mood-boosting tunes to get energized and ready to lead.
Let Us Know
How is partnership making an appearance in your leadership and business? Tell us in the comments section.