The UK arm of the US-based estate agency Keller Williams says it is making a specific bid to recruit more women and men with childcare responsibilities.
In an interview with Estate Agent Today, KW’s managing director in the UK - former Countrywide senior manager Ben Taylor - says his new company’s way of working would make it easier for individuals who want to juggle family and career.
“Women make great estate agents but only 15 per cent of agents are women. Why is that? And there are 1.7m graduate mothers who don’t return to work because of childcare responsibilities - and the sheer cost of childcare - or because there aren’t the jobs available to allow them to combine family and career” says Williams.
“The same is increasingly the case with men who want time out to be with their family” he adds.
“I’m not being politically correct - I’m just saying that there’s this pool of incredibly talented people which agency as an industry is missing out on. I want to harness these for Keller Williams.”
Taylor says the KW way of working delivers relatively high returns to agents who operate as self-employed individuals out of administrative hubs called ‘market centres’ - there are currently four in the UK, with the latest at London Bridge. Taylor wants a large number more to open in urban centres where there’s a transaction total of 4,000 to 6,00 per year.
Agents initially retain 63 per cent of their commissions, with the remainder covering the costs of the market centre service. Once they reach a 'cap' of £60,000 the agent then retains 90 per cent of their commission with the remaining 10 per cent going to Keller Williams.
“This is significantly more profitable for agents than the traditional agency structure we have in this country” insists Taylor.
“So for, say, a mother or father wanting to spend time with their children and not work absolutely full-time, this system is ideal. Even if they do only 12 deals a year they can build a good business from that.”