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Jake Thomas

When Jake Thomas and his fellow Winnipeg Blue Bombers cheered on the field after winning the Canadian Football Grey Cup last year, his team at Keller Williams celebrated along with him from the bleachers and in front of their TVs.

A world-class football player with the Canadian Football League – essentially, the Canadian version of the NFL – Thomas also sustains a successful career in real estate as part of the Drisdelle Team, a top KW Canada real estate team in Fredericton, New Brunswick. 

Thomas, who was drafted by the Blue Bombers in 2012 and is its longest-serving member, knew he wanted a second career years ago. He had narrowed down his choices to real estate agent or firefighter, but when the football season was canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020, Thomas decided to make the plunge into real estate.

Before becoming a part of the team, Thomas was acquainted with leader Austin Drisdelle and the team – he had played competitive sports alongside Drisdelle’s son growing up. The rapport he had established with the Drisdelles was a strong factor in his joining the team, but, Thomas shares, Keller Williams’ tried-and-true models and systems and its team-based approach sealed the deal. 

“Growing up, I saw myself as a business owner,” Thomas says. “I’ve always been a people person and a team sport person, and I wanted to end up on the right team. I’m a big believer that you always want to surround yourself with the best people. Keller Williams seemed like just the right fit.”

Although 53 years have passed since the death of Martin Luther King Jr., the legacy left behind by the minister, activist, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient continues to inspire and empower people to choose light and fight for a more inclusive future. “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly,” King writes in “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” 

While progress has been made, more work remains to ensure race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other personal attributes bear no weight on one’s ability to achieve their dreams. By definition, equity means fairness within processes and systems and the removal of barriers to participation. Keller Williams agents have already committed to working toward a more inclusive future, by creating the organization’s Social Equity Task Force – a league of associates tasked with creating long-range strategies to uproot racial disparities within Keller Williams.

Building equity is a matter of meeting communities where they are at, and allocating resources in a way that creates equal outcomes for everyone. In honor of Dr. King’s legacy, here are seven things you can do to create equity within your community. 

Related reading: Equity: Julia Lashay Israel’s Five Building Blocks to Creating Opportunities for All

Equity Through Education

Before jumping into action items, it is important to educate yourself on the topic and understand the internal beliefs – many of them unconscious – that may be limiting your understanding of equity. “You first have to be willing to accept people’s differences, understand cultural differences, and be willing to incorporate those differences into your business,” kwx head of inclusion and belonging Julia Lashay Israel offers. However, Keller Williams offers multiple training opportunities that can help agents build more equitable businesses and communities.

As you settle into the new year and take stock of what worked and what didn’t, consider starting an annual January tradition: rereading The Millionaire Real Estate Agent and using its four fundamental models to build a better work/life balance. The first three models – economic, lead generation, and budget – give you the tools to build your business from the ground up without reinventing the wheel. The Economic Model lays the groundwork for success by giving you a formula to figure out the number of daily activities you need to participate in to reach your larger goal, while the Lead Generation Model shows how working your database will keep your business growing. The Budget Model offers a path to profitability and financial freedom, and then the Organizational Model gives you the tools to scale up your business exponentially.

Purchase the MREA

When it comes to putting MREA models to work in creating a better work/life balance, KW agents Vanessa Barnes, a rainmaker for her team in Celebration, Florida, and Hudson Warren, a KW MAPS and BOLD coach and team owner based in Tampa, Florida, have learned from experience. Below, the two offer their strategies for building a balanced 2022.

The MREA Models in Action: Three Steps to a Better Work/Life Balance

Bring on the budget.

Numbers can strike fear in the heart of anyone, but they’re crucial to knowing where you are now and where you can grow. If budgets aren’t your strength, instead of drowning in extra work you loathe, consider leveraging this one out to an accountant, like both Warren and Barnes have done.

“I hired an accountant, and every day, he lines everything up for me, so I always know exactly whether I’m in line or if I need to cut some fat here and there,” Warren says. “Or, some of you might be so profitable that you do have some room to add leverage or add advertising.”

That’s what Barnes found out when she dug deep on her budget with an accountant. Not only did she end up finding out that her budget allowed her to add leverage in the form of a transaction coordinator, but she also found out it was time for a raise – for herself.

In a competitive market, setting yourself apart from the pack becomes even more critical. And that race starts from the very first interaction with a potential client.

“If your market is anything like ours, it is a very competitive market to get listings, between the days on market basically being nonexistent and the number of agents,” says Joseph Klosik, a KW agent, operating principal and team leader from Charleston, South Carolina.

In many cases, the first opportunity you have to distinguish yourself with your value proposition comes in the pre-listing package.

“I really feel like when you drop off the pre-listing package, you’re setting the expectations for a seller and what they think is going to happen through the process,” says Nancy Chu, a KW agent, rainmaker, team lead, and market center investor from Montclair, New Jersey. “I keep things in my packet that tell them what the process is going to look like, what kind of marketing I’m going to do, information about our team and how we approach listings, and our mission statement as well. I think that’s an important thing. They need to know who they’re working with.”

Thankfully, part of being a KW agent involves getting a chance to learn how to do that from the best. 

Looking to grow your sphere this year? Four top-performing Keller Williams agents have found tried-and-tested strategies for building a bigger sphere-based business.

“Your sphere of influence are the people who know you,” says Jason Moon, a KW agent and team lead in Walnut Creek, California. “They like you. They trust you. These are your friends, family members, colleagues. They’re the people you’re hoping to do business with or maybe already do business with. They’re the people that refer you to your business.” 

Whether you’re just starting out or need strategies to tap into your sphere’s full potential, here are four best practices from Moon, as well as Jessica Starr, KW agent and team lead from Connecticut; Dean Otto, KW agent from Hawaii; and Simon Shingleton, KW agent from Oklahoma.

Your Sphere of Influence, Stronger Than Ever

1)     Grow your sphere through giving.

In the highly competitive Maui market, Otto found a route into the highest circles by incorporating a charitable endeavor within his business. As a founding member of a local school called Maui Prep, Otto built his commitment to the school into his listing presentation.

Related reading: Land the Listing Remotely

Your first year in real estate is essential for laying the foundation of your business. As you begin leaning into the unlimited opportunities of the industry, you are bound to make mistakes – in fact, you should EMBRACE failing forward. However, some mistakes are more difficult to rectify than others, and when it comes to your finances and your marketing, it is best to be armed with as much information as possible right off the bat. 

To help, KSCORE and KW MAPS BOLD Coach Molly de Mattos share five finance and marketing real estate tips agents should consider during their first year in the industry. 

Ready to Start Your Real Estate Journey?

Keller Williams has partnered with Kaplan Real Estate Education to make entering a career in real estate affordable and accessible with the Keller Williams School of Real Estate (KSCORE). With prelicensing education provided by Kaplan Real Estate Education through the KSCORE training program, aspiring real estate agents no longer have to worry about the financial constraints or confinement of a physical classroom**.

Jump-Start Your Real Estate Career

Five Finance and Marketing Tips 

Have a financial cushion. As you start your real estate journey, try to have at least six months of living expenses saved up and be fully committed to the job. “If you can financially create the opportunity to build a foundation and really go all in, then you’re going to be able to build the career that will help you get to those huge numbers of success,” says de Mattos. “My advice would be to have a plan to not have any income from real estate for your first six months. If you prepare for that, you’re going to be able to focus on the activities and not attach yourself to the results.” If six months is not doable, de Mattos shares her own journey: having enough money to cover bills for three months, and a plan for the post three-month-mark financial support on standby. 
Find a related side hustle. For many, a savings account or financial support might be completely out of the question. If that is you, do not worry. All it takes is a little bit of creativity to ensure that your current income opportunities are setting you up for long-term success in the industry. De Mattos suggests finding a path to make money within the career of real estate while you are still learning. “At the market center level, share that you are willing to host open houses for a fee, or are willing to show property for a certain amount. This is your one thing. Make sure that you are attaching yourself to these activities every day and not getting distracted by a completely different side hustle.”
Don’t forget about taxes! As soon as you receive that first commission, set aside half of it in a separate account dedicated to taxes, and find a CPA who is experienced in working with Realtors. If half of the payment is not an option, add at least one-third to the tax account. “Oversave, and whatever is left over, either parlay into preparing for taxes for the next year, or invest in real estate or your retirement,” advises de Mattos.
Don’t just market homes on social media. As you build your social presence, don’t just focus on homes exclusively. Instead, vary your approach and showcase your authentic self. “People generally like to work with people they like,” de Mattos shares. “Offer help. Offer suggestions. Come from contribution. It can be the base and foundation for you to step into building new relationships.” If you are feeling stuck, Outfront has a robust social media archive, featuring monthly calendar prompts and best practices for individual channels.
Understand marketing versus prospecting. Being prospecting-heavy is essential as you are creating your business, but equally important is becoming marketing-enhanced. Marketing serves to enhance brand awareness, and if you are putting any money or effort into marketing without a plan to follow up, you are missing out. “If you’re going to do marketing, make sure you have a plan to follow up on it,” de Mattos says. “It’s about the humans, not the houses.” 

At the end of the day, being successful in real estate is related to the work you put in. “The only way to fail in this business is to quit it,” de Mattos says. “As long as you keep going, detach yourself from the results, and attach yourself to the success of the actions you take every day. If you detach yourself from the results, your actions will drive your success.” 

**Keller Williams Realty, Inc., has an agreement with Kaplan Real Estate Education to promote online course information to consumers and real estate licensees. KSCORE, Keller Williams School of Real Estate, KW School of Real Estate, KW Prep, Keller Williams Realty, Inc., and Keller Williams market centers and franchisees (collectively “KW”) are not the developers of these prelicensing (PL) and continuing education (CE) courses; they are simply providing a referral. This program does not apply in Minnesota, New York, and elsewhere prohibited. PL and CE instruction will be provided by Kaplan Real Estate Education, a state-approved education provider (PL approved in: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, IL, KY, MI, MO, NC, NM, NV, PA, SC, TN, TX (TREC Provider #4546), VA, WA, WI; CE approved in: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, IL, KY, MI, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NV, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX (TREC Provider #31), VA, WA, WI). KW offers nonvocational training to help individuals become better real estate agents. KW is not an approved provider of state real estate PL or CE. Any questions regarding PL and CE course content or technology should be directed to Kaplan Real Estate Education.

(Originally posted by Ada Ciuca)

With less than one week to go until we enter 2022, many of us are taking inventory of our year, and it was anything but ordinary. Across the globe, Keller Williams agents, associates, and leaders have experienced moments of surprise and moments of uncertainty, but also moments of joy, excitement, and optimism. This year, they have come together to create communities, opportunities, and tools that will serve the real estate professionals of today and tomorrow. Most importantly, they have listened and understood each other, creating synergy across the KW ecosystem and relying on the power of partnership between leaders and agents to innovate and disrupt the industry. The list of accomplishments this family has achieved is extensive, but here are nine Keller Williams 2021 moments that have us beaming with pride.

Nine Keller Williams Moments That Sweetened Our 2021

The Command App keeps agents plugged in on-the-go.

Surveying our agents and the general needs of their businesses has revealed that they spend more than half their time on the go, away from their desks. This knowledge served as a catalyst for the Command App: a powerful tool which provides agents with immediate access to their database and daily task list, allowing them to interact with and manage their contacts without the need to sit down at a desktop. The app was developed in partnership with a select group of Keller Williams agents, which served as beta testers and provided invaluable feedback ensuring the app’s business-enhancing features. Since being launched in early December, the app has been downloaded by tens of thousands of agents, whose lives are made easier with the help of four business-changing features: Dashboard, Contacts, Tasks, and In-App Notifications. 

Related reading: The Command App: Your Business, Now in the Palm of Your Hand

KSCORE puts education front and center. 

Keller Williams has partnered with Kaplan Real Estate Education to make entering a career in real estate affordable and accessible with the Keller Williams School of Real Estate (KSCORE). With prelicensing education provided by Kaplan Real Estate Education through the KSCORE training program, aspiring real estate agents no longer have to worry about the financial constraints or confinement of a physical classroom**. So far, the program has seen overwhelming participation from market centers, with thousands of individuals participating in KW Prep; a program with modules focusing on balancing the practical elements taught in the prelicensing curriculum with real-world application; and four times as many students enrolled in the prelicensing curriculum provided by Kaplan Real Estate Education.

Jump-Start Your Real Estate Career

Related reading: Introducing the Keller Williams School of Real Estate, in Association with Kaplan Real Estate Education

As we wrap up another year of surprises and uncertainty driven by the pandemic, many are eagerly looking ahead to the new year and the opportunity to kick into high gear, providing value for their clients. To that extent, there is some good news. “As we look forward to 2022, our overall view is that existing home sales are likely to keep pace with 2021, with sales around 6 million homes,” shares Keller Williams chief economist Ruben Gonzalez. “Overall, we think the economy is well-positioned to continue to support the housing market, barring substantial disruption.” 

As we dive into the last market update of the year and discuss some of the things that may affect it in 2022, director of research Jim Talbot advises taking in the big picture, but keeping things personalized. “Pair national statistics with your local numbers,” he says. “No one cares what the national temperature is. That is just the stage setting for you to tell them what is happening in the local market.” 

The Big Picture 

Looking at data for the second half of 2021, the market has been performing well, starting with existing home sales. “In October, the seasonally adjusted annualized number was 6.34 million units,” says Talbot. “Right off the bat, any time that number starts with a six, you’re in a good place. That alone is encouraging.” Not to mention, it bears repeating that last year’s seasonality data is odd due to the initial pandemic lockdowns. “A lot of last year was business that had been delayed, because people could not transact during the lockdown. That has not happened this year. What we are seeing now is just new business. We’re staying on a smooth and steady market this year, because we saw all of that delayed business go into the second half of 2020.” 

As with comparing this season of 2021 to the same time last year, when it comes to inventory data, looks can be deceiving. “The issue is not that there is no inventory out there,” Talbot says. “We couldn’t be on our way to selling more than 6.3 million homes if there was no inventory. The problem is that demand is so high that inventory is getting snapped up. There is inventory, just not enough of it. There is a big difference between the two.” 

While the intention within the industry has been to alleviate the inventory issue with the help of new construction (new home sales came in at 745,000 in October 2021 via preliminary numbers), a few factors have kept builders from being able to produce as much as they would have wanted. “We had hoped the new sales market would take off a little more than they’ve been able to this year,” Talbot says. But, the constraints that the pandemic has put on labor and supplies has not been negligible – from lumber supply shortages to manufacturing delays, energy-price spikes, and a short supply of truck drivers, a lot of moving parts are putting a pause on construction. “Not surprisingly, builders have scaled back a bit on what they would otherwise do,” Talbot says. 

Welcome to KellerINK’s latest column. These monthly articles are aimed at helping you achieve greater success by highlighting the groundbreaking research that informs our award-winning books and drives Keller Williams’ industry-leading coaching and training.

Many real estate agents’ goal is to build a long and successful career. However, as they grow their business and team, all too often, they get stuck. Whether it’s stuck in a sales role, a management role, or some combination of the two, many agents aren’t sure what the next steps are to take their business to its next level. The answer to this problem lies in The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: the Organizational Model. When agents reach the 7th Level of the model, they separate themselves from the day-to-day activities by hiring a CEO or partner to run the business. This ultimate leverage can help their business truly become limitless.

What Are the Seven Levels?

When a business grows, we can find ourselves struggling to cover gaps in the things that need to get done or finding the time to do everything. This is the point when we start using leverage to fill these gaps. Think about your days as a solo agent. You were the one responsible for getting everything done. As you began taking on more clients, you likely found your responsibility growing as well. When it got to be too much, you likely made your first key hire with an administrative assistant and tasked them with taking on some of your workload. By leveraging talent, you suddenly were able to focus on more dollar-productive activities – activities that grow your business. And, as your business continues to evolve, your team will as well. As you move through the seven different levels of the Organizational Model, you’ll see your talent create divisions that focus on administrative duties, lead generation, and sales. Your role as a leader will evolve, too.

Related reading: 5 Choices of Operational Leverage

The 7th Level of a real estate business is where many agents aspire to be. It’s here where you have the opportunity to step out of your business and hand the responsibility of running it to a CEO or partner. There’s a lot of misconception about the 7th Level, but the truth is that you make it what you want it to be. When you reach this level, instead of spending all of your time working in the business, you’ll now have time to work on it.

Louis Erice

In a booming market, we see big numbers more frequently, but there’s a difference between big numbers and truly jaw-dropping numbers. Two Keller Williams Commercial agents recently had a brush with some massive numbers when they closed on a $50-million transaction. Louis Erice and Fred Afif, who work in the South Florida region, represented the buyer in the deal, which was for two mobile home parks in Miami.

Because the overall pool of commercial buyers is much smaller than the residential side, much of the work on each transaction involves long-term nurturing of relationships. For this deal, Afif and Erice first showed the buyer properties in Miami last spring when he expressed interest in obtaining a trophy property – an exceptionally rare find – in the area. After one property in the original three-property portfolio went under contract, the duo had to urge the buyer to come in with an aggressive offer to nab the remaining two.

“We told him the only way you’re going to get this property is if you come in hard with a nonrefundable deposit on day one,” Afif recalls. “That was in September, and we closed in November.”

For the $50-million deal, Erice and Afif earned $1 million in GCI.

“We’re so blessed to have a year like this,” Erice said. “It’s exciting to make a million dollars in compensation on only one transaction. We don’t do that every year. Next year, we will be working hard, and, with what we have in the pipeline, we expect to have another stellar year.”

When Molly de Mattos started her real estate career in 2005, she was fortunate enough to have a cheerleader in her father. As someone who had built a second career in real estate, de Mattos’ father was an encyclopedia of advice, setting her up for a real estate career strong in its foundations from the very beginning. A KSCORE and KW MAPS BOLD Coach who runs a mega team in Asheville, North Carolina, de Mattos offers seven mistakes that first-year agents should be aware of as they enter the industry. 

“The issue with a first-year mistake is you can condition that into a second-year mistake and a third-year mistake,” says de Mattos. “And then you build your business on a cracked foundation, or you get burnt out and give up altogether.”

Seven Mistakes to Avoid

Treating everything as urgent. For many real estate novices, this may be the first time you are accountable to yourself and your own goals instead of goals that have been set for you by an external employer. And, it may feel like saying ‘yes’ to anything and everything is the way to move through your business. “You’re conditioning yourself to do these activities over and over again,” de Mattos warns. “If you give up lead gen time to show a property because you think you can make a bit of money, you may, but think about how you’ve missed the opportunity to grow your business. Don’t get distracted by all the shiny objects,” she adds.

Instead, she advises creating a broad framework for structuring your days, and sticking to it. “There is no such thing as a real estate emergency. This is not life or death. Focus on the activities that bring long-term results. If 80 percent of your time, you follow a schedule and you stick to your guns, you’re going to create really good conditioning that will serve you and your long-term business.” Not grounding yourself. One way to create de Mattos’ aforementioned structure is to bookend your days. In the morning, decide what you’re going to do and who you want to be on that particular day, and stick to it. Before logging off, ask yourself the following: What did I learn today? What did I do well? Was I the person that I had set out to be? Allowing limiting beliefs to creep in. Being a new agent brings many learning opportunities and moments of failing forward. What it does not bring is an excuse to be stagnant and not try new things. One of the biggest mistakes new agents make, shares de Mattos, is a lack of confidence. “Don’t fake it until you make it, because for many clients, this is obviously the largest financial investment a person will make in their lifetime,” she says. “But, embrace looking bad and being wrong. You’ll learn so quickly, and you’ll be able to create the correct mindset to be learning based and apply that to getting experience. If you don’t know something, say ‘I’m not sure, but I’m going to find out.’”
Not being seriously committed to lead generation. “Structure your lead generation in a package that’s going to be consistent over time,” advises de Mattos. She shares that everyone should have a PAM (plan, act, and maintain). As you think through your lead generation, take some time to plan who you’re going to call and what you’re going to say. “It might be that five of your calls are gratitude calls, five are business-to-business relationship calls, and ten are asking for business.” Then, act. Stick to the plan. Lastly, maintain during the last 30 minutes of the day by keeping your notes tidy and following up on action items.
Allowing distractions. “We have so many more opportunities for distraction than ever before,” de Mattos says. “Everything dings, pings, everything is urgent, and everyone needs everything right now.” So, she references the teachings of Gary Keller: Build a bunker. “Take an inventory of what pulls you away from your actual activity and work to eliminate those things,” she says. If the cell phone is too much, replace it with an old-school phone, or employ any features your phone may have to mitigate distractions (such as the iPhone’s Focus feature). “Also, the greatest destroyer of focused lead generation time is your email. Separate that out.”

During your lead generation time, don’t forget to be mindful of TCPA guidelines: WARNING! You must comply with the TCPA and any other federal, state or local laws, including for B2B calls and texts. Never call or text a number on any Do Not Call list, and do not use an autodialer or artificial voice or prerecorded messages without proper consent. Contact your attorney to ensure your compliance.
Being too focused on quantity. While it is important to speak to as many people as possible and begin planting relationship seeds during your first year in real estate, much of your income down the line will come from your ability to stay connected and follow up. “If we don’t stay in front of people and cultivate that relationship, have nuanced conversations, and come from contribution, they’re going to forget about us before they’ve driven out of the parking lot. I want you to think: If I do this right, I will reap the benefits three years from now. That’s about the time frame for a return on investment in a relationship.” Quantity and quality should go hand-in-hand. Always ask for the opportunity to be a resource for your sphere. Getting stuck in the learning phase. In real estate, a learning-based mindset is encouraged! But, as with everything else, it’s about creating the right balance. “Anyone can get caught up in being a professional student of the career. What we don’t want to do is get ready, get set, get set, get set … and never go,” de Mattos says. “You can’t just learn for learning’s sake. You’re going to do it wrong, but in the words of Michael Jordan: ‘A loss is not a failure until you make an excuse.’” 

Your first year of real estate is not going to be perfect, but as de Mattos points out, “The only way to fail in this business is to quit it. As long as you just keep going, detach yourself from the results, and attach yourself to the success of the actions you take every day, your actions will drive your success.”

(Originally posted by Ada Ciuca)

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to build upon what you’ve been creating along the years – and elevating your social media presence is certainly something to dive into as soon as 2021 turns into 2022. With both personal and professional content, you can help your audience get to know you and your expertise, leading to more business and deeper connections with your clients. 

But where to start? It can be difficult to think of topics for your social media that will positively impact your brand. If you’re having difficulty … look no further. We’ve compiled 31 January prompts to get you set up for the new year. 

For a visual element, Designs in Command has you covered with templates for everything from holiday posts to market updates.

Week 1

January 1 – Happy New Year! You know what to do! Share your New Year’s goals or resolutions with your followers. Not big on goals? Pick a word that encompasses what you want to do or become in 2022. Whatever it is, share it and ask your audience to share theirs. January 2 – The business week is about to start, but there’s still time to get cozy. Share a picture of your coziest outfit.

Week 2

January 3 – It’s Monday and you’re – snowed in? Highlight the best snow removal service in your area to help your audience get out of the house on time. January 4 – What else is new in 2022? Use a Home Value graphic to help your followers understand the up-to-date value of their homes. January 5 – Brr! It’s getting chilly out here! Share a picture of you with your favorite hot beverage to let your followers know how to get the blood pumping on a Wednesday!January 6 – The programming is popping! Check in with your community’s recreation center to see what kinds of classes are being offered this season. Then ask your audience if they’re more interested in the cake-baking or the calligraphy … January 7 – There’s so much in store! Let your community know with a post about a listing that’s coming soon! Use a Coming Soon graphic from Designs to get started.January 8 – Are your clients looking for a little glamor? Show off three listings that feature a chandelier in the home. January 9 – A lot of people are looking to improve in 2022, whether in body, mind, or both! Share something that has served your body, mind, or spirit over time, whether it be a purposeful habit or a unique perspective. 

Week 3

January 10 – The future looks bright, but so does the present! Show how well you know the neighborhood by sharing a picture of the hottest spot with the best view in your market.January 11 – Where would we be without our pets? Snap a photo of the creature that lives rent-free in your home. If you’re not into animals, just go for your favorite cuddle buddy.January 12 – Time to go shopping! Share your newest listing with a For Sale graphic.January 13 – Are you really a member of the community if you don’t go ice skating in winter? Let your audience know the best place to rent some skates and hit the ice.January 14 – It’s Friday! Share a favorite cocktail or mocktail recipe to help your audience get the weekend started. Ask them to share their favorites in return. January 15 – Get out your Local Expert graphics. It’s time for the midmonth market update. Showcase your expertise with this month’s hottest neighborhoods and listing stats. January 16 – Showcase the creativity that’s happening in your market. Share the details for a local art show to get your audience inspired. 

Week 4

January 17 – It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Celebrate the world-changing leader with a holiday graphic and share with your audience what his legacy means to you.January 18 – Can you squeeze a social post in today? Share your favorite scheduling tool or fresh 2022 calendar with your followers. Ask them what they do to manage their time effectively. January 19 – Build up hype for a new listing that’s ready to show with an Open House graphic.January 20 – Let your audience know who is shaking up the community. Highlight a new business that just opened up. January 21 – It may as well be a holiday. Why? Because your new and improved personally-branded magazine is ready to drop! Share the news (and the magazine) today! January 22 – It’s Snap-Saturday! Inform your audience where the market is heading with a Neighborhood Snap in Designs. January 23 – Sunday can be a great time to get reflective. Share the philosophies that guide your life and ask your audience to share how they create meaning every day. 

Week 5

January 24 – You belong. Highlight the diversity in your community with a spotlight for a minority-owned business in your area. January 25 – Let’s spread some positivity. Share something that brightened your day. January 26 – Signed and sealed! Show off a listing that’s under contract with a graphic in Designs. January 27 – What do you do when you’re looking for some grub on a Thursday night? Show what you know by highlighting the best late-night bites in your area. January 28 – You know your market best. Prove it with a Local Expert update. January 29 – Happy Saturday! What’s your favorite way to spend it? Post a picture in your story of the perfect night out. See if your followers agree!January 30 – What does your market look like when the lights go down? Post a picture of your neighborhood at night.

Week 6

January 31 – Happy end of the month! Check back in on your 2022 goals. What’s been working? What hasn’t? 

Share Your Tips and Strategies

Let’s talk about what’s working. As you implement these ideas into your social media strategy, we want to hear which tips and tricks create the most engagement with your audience. Let us know in the comments below!

(Originally posted by Ada Ciuca)

If you’ve ever received a handwritten letter, you know how exciting it can be to open an unexpected and positive piece of mail. Sharing greetings with your clients and vendors can help your audience feel all the more connected to you, allowing you to build loyalty and spread goodwill with just one simple gesture. Whether with an actual letter or through a digital alternative, the holiday season is the perfect time to send a note to the people you want to work with. 

Get started with these simple templates and then maximize your impact by personalizing your note. Keller Williams agents can leverage Designs to create beautiful digital graphics or printables! 

Related reading: 15 Ways to Reconnect With Your Sphere During the Holidays

15 Holiday Greeting Templates

General Holiday Greeting – Wishing you happy holidays and a joyous new year! This season I wanted to express my gratitude, especially for you. Thank you for allowing me to be your trusted [friend/coworker/Realtor]. Sending warmest wishes for your holiday and for the start of a wonderful 2022! 
Sending a Gift To Your Client – Happy holidays! May your home be filled with happiness and love this season! Please enjoy this small token of appreciation from my home to yours.
After Receiving a Gift From Your Client – Thank you so much for the [gorgeous/delicious/delightful] gift! It’s been such a pleasure to work with you this year. Please reach out to me if there is anything I can do for you in 2022 or beyond.
To Highlight a Partner Vendor – I hope all is merry and bright at the [Client last name] home this season! I wanted to make you aware of the exciting deals available from some of my favorite people to work with. [Include details of holiday special]
Greeting a Single Homeowner – May this new year bring new adventures! And whether they keep you here or take you elsewhere, please come to us for all your home needs. We’re happy to be your Keller Williams family and our door is always open!
Greeting a Young Couple – To Mrs./Mr. and Mrs./Mr. – Happy holidays to two sweet turtledoves! Wishing you and yours a lovely season as you start to build the nest together.
Greeting a Family with Children – We at Keller Williams hope your home is positively brimming with happiness this season. We’re so glad to have played a part in the [Client last name] family story this year. As the family gets comfortable, please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make things cozier!
Greeting a First-Time Buyer – Finally ho-ho-home! I hope your new place is treating you well this season. Thank you for allowing me to help you find your first home, and please do not hesitate to call me when you’re ready to upgrade.
After Landing a Listing – Tis the season to bring your family and friends close … Maybe even closer than you think! My name is [Agent Name] and your neighbor and I are currently working on selling their home. If you have a friend or family member you’d like to keep close year-round, let’s talk! [Agent Phone Number]
To Follow Up After a Call or Conversation – Thank you for taking the time to chat the other day. I would love to work with you to help make your 2022 goals a realty reality! While you’re making your New Year’s plans, please keep me in mind, and let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.
Holiday Outreach for Warm Weather Areas – We may not be expecting a white winter here in [Location] but you can always expect amazing service from a Keller Williams agent. Whether you’re ready to buy or sell, you can count on us to deliver a world-class experience! When you call us, there’s a 100% chance of masterful expertise.
 Cold Weather Outreach – Winter weather making you want to head south? Partnering with a Keller Williams agent like me will allow you to get out of the cold and into a new home before you can shiver! Let’s talk. [Agent Phone Number]
 When You Helped Them Buy a Home – New year, new home! Congratulations on closing on your new property. I’m so happy to have been able to help you in your home-buying journey. Here’s to new beginnings in 2022!
 When You Helped Them Sell a Home – Out with the old and in with the new! Let’s celebrate putting a wrap on your old home. Now, onto bigger and better things! 
 Celebrating a Vendor Partnership – I couldn’t ask for a better gift than a partnership like ours! Thank you for being a pleasure to work with and offering our clients amazing service. Here’s to a prosperous 2022! 
(Originally posted by Ada Ciuca)

Extending across 95,834 square miles of southeastern Brazil, the state of São Paulo is a force to be reckoned with. With a population of more than 44M people, it accounts for more than 40% of Brazil’s GDP. In fact, if it were its own country, São Paulo would have the 21st largest GDP in the world. 

“It’s an amazing market, and I think it is the best environment for business in Brazil,” says José Federighi, the operating principal of KW São Paulo, Keller Williams’ newest international region. Now in the company of 50 regions across the globe, Federighi is laser-focused on becoming the leader within his market in the upcoming years, all while focusing on the most important driver of the business: the agent. 

“I don’t know another operation that puts the agent first,” Federighi says. “In Brazil, companies are very focused on themselves, treating the agent as a small part of the business. I think Keller Williams puts the focus on the agent and develops brilliant training, models, systems, and technology. When you put the agent first in real estate, there is a real opportunity to change the market. You change the ecosystem.” 

“We are excited now to announce our eighth region in South America and welcome José Federighi of São Paulo, Brazil, along with his amazing leaders and core group to our worldwide family,” says Keller Williams Worldwide president William E. Soteroff. In Q1 ’22, KW São Paulo is expected to open its first market center. 

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A Lifetime of Real Estate

Federighi is no stranger to the industry. As a child, he spent his weekends shadowing his father in real estate, and later started working on the business in a partnership capacity. But, recently, Federighi had been focusing on a different endeavor. “When the opportunity to join Keller Williams appeared to me at the end of 2019, it was not my plan to return to real estate,” he explains. “I was more focused on investments and technology start-ups. But, as I started to meet with the Keller Williams team, I became impressed and started to think about the business.” 

When agents achieve truly exceptional growth, it’s worth paying attention to how they got there. Two agents who have seen such profound growth in their businesses are Jose Medina and Stacey Sauls, who each sat down with Gary Keller and Jay Papasan to share the areas of focus that were game-changing for their businesses.

Medina runs a team in Canton, Ohio, and has experienced phenomenal sustained growth over the past two decades.

“Since about 2004, my team has been on a trajectory for about 20% growth year over year on average,” he says. “Some years are 10%, and some years are 30% to 40%, but over that time, it’s been about 20%. In 2020, we had about 1,030 transactions and $184 million in volume. That was a culmination of a lot of time on task.”

While Medina has experienced long-term growth, Sauls, whose team serves the Charlotte Metro Region of North Carolina and South Carolina, has seen her business explode over a relatively short time in the business. Building on her previous work as a real estate paralegal, Sauls joined KW as an agent in 2011. Quickly, her business was outpacing what a solo agent could handle, and she now leads a team with multiple divisions serving a large regional builder.

“Everyone remembers Gary Keller saying, ‘You’re five years away from where you want to be,’ and the team started in 2017,” Sauls says. “So when I think about that and look at where we’ve come, just following The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, it really is true. I followed it because I said this is going to be the fastest way to success, and it worked.”

While there is never a bad time to reconnect with your sphere, there is never a better time to do so than the holiday season. The end of the year is the perfect opportunity to strengthen existing client bonds and lay the foundation for new ones. If you’ve been keeping in touch throughout the year, you already have a strong point of entry into the conversation, but if you’re just rekindling the fire, have no fear. These 15 tips are here to help you reconnect with clients in the most natural manner possible.

As you start reaching out, don’t forget that the building blocks of a long-term relationship continue to be coming from a place of care and speaking from the heart. With that in mind, go forth, reconnect, and start building the dream relationships today that you can leverage tomorrow. 

But First, the Basics 

No matter your preferred method of communication, there are some universal best practices you should keep in mind when reconnecting with your sphere in order to ensure your message is being received in the way in which it was originally intended. As you begin composing your phone script, social post, email, or anything in between, think through the following components of your message:

> Tone: For many people, this year has felt like a continuation of 2020, bringing in a difficult set of challenges. As the holidays near, it is important to approach your reconnecting efforts with one goal in mind: See how your sphere is doing. You should not lead with business talk or expect a return on investment in the current moment. Simply offer your season’s greetings and ask if there is any area of your client’s life where you would be able to provide value.

> Inclusivity: Yes, all the members of your SOI have one important common denominator (they’ve all interacted with an incredible agent such as yourself), but don’t take that to mean that you shouldn’t personalize your message. As you offer holiday wishes, be mindful of the diversity among your sphere and inclusive with your wishes. Not all people celebrate Christmas, so before making your calls, take a moment to familiarize yourself with additional holiday celebrations that take place during this time, and lead with a general “happy holidays” greeting within your communications. 

Keeping the basics in mind, here are 15 ways to reconnect with your sphere. 

Reconnect… On Social Media

The right messaging and visuals on social media can make your sphere feel seen and appreciated. For Keller Williams agents, Designs within Command is a fantastic way to create quick, beautiful, and engaging assets. Use one of the templates provided in the Holiday Greetings kit (personalized for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa), or customize your own. 

Pair it with some caring copy, and you’re well on your way to spreading holiday cheer:

When Robert Meche decided to lead his Small World Realty (SWR) team into a major move to Keller Williams, business wasn’t too shabby. At nearly 150 associates and $94M in sales volume, the team was performing at a high level. Yet, the transition brought an opportunity to look under the hood and make adjustments before the check engine light even had a chance to come on. 

“We had a lot of agents that were not working at a high level, so we knew that the move would filter out a substantial percentage of our team,” Meche shares. Just how substantial? By the end of the first year, 50% of the initial crew was gone. Two years later, 80%. “The great part about this story is that we backfilled every single one of them with better quality agents and go-getters that we did not have before,” he says. “Two years later, we have a hardcore group of motivated Keller Williams agents who are thriving at Small World Realty.” 

The Future Is Expansive

Today, these changes translate to 120 agents in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and expansion teams of 10 in both Austin and San Antonio. While in the past, sales have landed between the $94M to $100M mark, this year the team is on track for $125M. One major area of opportunity, Meche notes, is the KW Expansion Network initiative, which welcomed him and SWR as their very first expansion agents.

The KW Expansion Network was created in 2021 to support the business operations of U.S.-based real estate teams that have decided to expand beyond their local market to a new location by offering a simplified, standardized compensation plan and an efficient and cohesive operational structure. “They’re creating an environment where teams such as mine are able to go anywhere in the country and set up shop seamlessly without having to go through rigorous negotiations and a lot of bureaucracy,” explains Meche. “This is about growing in the areas that we know we can grow. I’ve already started having conversations with business associates, fellow agents, and family members. I can take the systems I have in place and lay the foundation in a different location and be ready to go quickly. That was more difficult before.”

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It’s All About the Value

Meche’s team is about a 50/50 split between full-time agents and part-timers juggling additional career paths and other responsibilities. When they initially join, a majority of agents enter the team on a part-time basis. “They eventually become full time because they are given the time and flexibility they need to start getting business,” Meche says. 

When surveying our agents on the general needs and habits of their businesses, one thing stands out: They spend more than half of their time on the go, away from their desks. In this perpetual state of motion, having immediate access to their database and daily task list and being able to interact with and manage contacts without having to sit at a desktop can fundamentally transform the day-to-day of a real estate agent. The newly released Command App, now available on iOS and Android, aims to do exactly that. 

“The Command App is powerful, unique, and on-the-move, just like our agents,” says Ryan Turnbull, an agent technology concierge for multiple market centers and beta tester for the app. “The goal is to give agents time back in their day while simultaneously strengthening their relationships with clients and future clients.”

Creating Mobile Magic

Developing a feature-packed product like the Command App takes ample time and brainpower. “We had the road map defined and we had a clear vision of what the app will look like in terms of our features,” says the app’s product manager, Kharla Barrios. “It is about uncovering agents’ on-the-go needs. That is where you provide value.” Only once you’ve understood your audience and what would make their lives easier, Barrios shares, is it time to strategize and create a solutions-based product. With the help of senior UX designer Nick Hartman and lead mobile engineer Timothy Tripp, Barrios practices a ‘three-headed approach,’ ensuring the project has been thought through from every angle – from the user value to the technology backend. 

“By the time we actually start implementing something, we’ve got a really good picture of how it should work from all three of our perspectives, and that’s made a huge difference because there is a lot of collaboration,” Tripp shares. “Another big part of this was, because we are not just replicating what is going on on the desktop, going to the users themselves, and finding what they need through beta testing,” says Hartman.

Download on iOSDownload on Google Play

Four Business-Changing Features 

Here are the four powerful features that make the Command App an instant on-the-go business staple.


The dashboard is your bird’s-eye view of the business, providing you with key information on the daily tasks you need to be doing to move the needle. With just a few taps, you can begin tackling your day and taking on-the-go action. “The dashboard itself could be an entire app,” says Turnbull. “It gives so much information in such a clean way that every agent will be able to know what’s going on in their business at that exact moment.” 

As the year winds down and you begin looking ahead to the exciting goals and challenges of 2022, you may be on the market for inspirational media that will help you get into a winning mindset. If so, look no further than this curated list of recommendations, straight from some of the leaders that help Keller Williams continuously excel within the industry. 

KW Commercial division leader of education and training Alicia Shepherd shares, “I am an avid reader and always have two to three books going at once. My hack to have the bandwidth to do so is to time block two of my books – in the morning, I spend 30 minutes with one that is spirit or faith based, and in the evening before bed, I spend 30 to 60 minutes with a book that is business based. The third is always an audiobook that is something fun. More times than not, it is fictional or a biography.” 

While you’re brushing up on the classics, including The Millionaire Real Estate Agent and The ONE Thing, consider adding the following titles into your monthly reads and listens.

kwx executive chairman Gary Keller:

Adam Grant, “Give and Take” – This bestseller looks at success through the prism of how we interact with others. In a work environment, a majority of people fit one of three categories: takers, matchers, and givers. Through his own research, Grant discusses these styles’ impact on success. 

Head of agent growth and experience Matt Green: 

Darren Hardy, “The Compound Effect” – The Compound Effect finds Hardy revealing the core principles that drive success in business, relationships, and more. The book discusses the idea that your everyday decisions shape your destiny, and presents you with an operating system that can help you achieve your goals. 

KW Sports + Entertainment global director Jordan Stuart: 

Oliver Burkeman, “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals” – For those who live to be 80 years old, that is about four thousand weeks. With that in mind, time is a valuable resource. Burkeman’s book looks at ancient and contemporary teachings from philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers in order to guide readers through meaningful time management. 

Lana Rodriguez with her husband and fellow real estate agent Bryan Rodriguez

If you’re looking to build brand recognition and a robust referral network, client events are a simple (but – as all worthy things – not easy) way to do so, while contributing to the sense of community of the area which you serve. Whether you are just starting out in real estate or have a well-oiled machine of a team, there is no reason to be intimidated by the thought of client events. 

“Your clients want to hear from you. Don’t be that agent who does a transaction and never keeps in touch with their client again,” says Lana Rodriguez, a Colorado Springs rainmaker who started her own client event journey by hand-delivering pumpkin pies to her sphere in 2014. “If you want to start, start small. Go door-to-door and deliver that pie. Because, guess what? Your competition is not doing that.” 

Since her door-to-door delivery days, Rodriguez has sharpened her client-event planning skills to match her business’s evolution: a business that is on track for 300 transactions and breaking over $100M in volume for its first time, all done strictly via referral. In 2022, start planting the seeds for your own evolution with event tips from Rodriguez and fellow top agent Janice Overbeck – an industry veteran with a packed client events schedule, while staying on track to sell more than 315 units for 2021.

Step 1: Choose Your Calendar Approach 

Janice Overbeck

“When I’m creating the event calendar for the year, I make sure to catch all the major holidays so families can come and celebrate the occasion with us,” Rodriguez says. In thinking through her upcoming year, she maps out its entirety at the very beginning of the year. She tries to book all venues 90 to 120 days in advance, and 30 days before an event is scheduled to happen, the team starts focusing heavily on it. If planning the entire year at the beginning seems overwhelming, you may value a different approach. On her end, Overbeck, whose team puts on more than 50 events per year, sets calendar reminders four months ahead of each event in order to start advertising it on social media. 

As each event approaches, Rodriguez shares a five-step plan to make sure everyone who is invited is well aware of it. Her team touches each client by: 

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