The US-based real estate firm Keller Williams says it is aiming to be this country’s leading agency training organisation.
Ben Taylor, who last year became Keller Williams’s UK managing director after quitting his post as a director at Countrywide brand John D Wood, says: “We are systematically going about building what we want to become - the UK’s number one training and coaching organisation for the industry.”
In an interview with leading industry consultant Chris Watkin, Taylor explains that while Keller Williams is initially seen as an estate agency from the US that operates in parts of the UK through ‘hub’ style market centres, in reality the organisation is rather different.
“I guess you’d say it’s a training and technology business that gives individual and teams a platform with which to go and build their business” says Taylor.
Despite his extensive agency background he says his main role now - as KW’s chief UK representative - is to teach and encourage self-employed estate agents to be successful running their own companies.
Taylor says his ambition is to do nothing less than transform the UK industry through the training model put forward by Keller Williams - and he says this country is ripe for change.
For example, he says too many existing UK agents carry around fear. This manifests itself as worries that they may not make enough money, do not have enough influence (especially if they work in large corporates) and doubts that they can run their own businesses.
Taylor insists that the Keller Williams model wants agents to change that mindset so that, for example, instead of seeing a 10 per cent commission as being ‘what they get’ instead it should be interpreted as ’90 per cent being given away’.
In a lengthy interview with Watkin, which has been shared with Estate Agent Today, Taylor says that agents who ‘give away’ that 90 per cent of fees, who have very low basic salaries from established agency business models, and who would end up leaving the company with nothing for their efforts over time, are ripe for transformation.
Instead, he wants agents to become self-employed and take advantage of what he calls “crazy low” interest rates, and borrow enough to provide their income for six months.
During this time they would train along a lengthy and continuing Keller Williams training model - called Ignite - which has various 30-, 60- and 90-day plans. Through this route, and the flexibility of self-employment, Williams says agents can realise what he calls “true wealth” - a combination of higher income and a working model that suits their personal ambitions and those of their family.
Keller Williams’ business model means 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.
Agents operate in their own way but are encouraged to use market centres - effectively administrative hubs similar to serviced offices. These provide agents with desk space, IT support, CRM systems and training facilities.
Taylor uses the interview to hint that details of a new Keller Williams licensing programme may be announced soon.
The overall interview - which you can see below - is lengthy but interesting as an insight into US-style training techniques and how they could be used in the UK agency industry.
Our thanks to Chris Watkin for sharing the video with EAT readers.