Plow Profits with KW Farm & Ranch

Farmland is an attractive asset for many reasons. Whether it is intended for residential development, operating a farm or ranch, or just because someone wants to have open space around their home, there is a lot of land to sell, and KW Farm & Ranch provides the tools to serve this unique market. Farm & Ranch members Gary Steele of the Austin Southwest (Texas) market center and Travis Bard of the Prescott (Ariz.) market center debunk two myths about buying and selling farm/ranchland.

Travis Bard  of the Prescott (Ariz.) market center

Travis Bard of the Prescott (Ariz.) market center


The Truth About Farm and Ranch

Myth : Farms and ranches exist only in rural areas.

Truth: Opportunity is available everywhere. Bard sees the opportunities as endless and strong in all market areas. “The definition of ‘ag’ properties is very market specific, thus I feel there is a need in all areas because there is some degree of ‘ag’ everywhere we look.”



Gary Steele  Austin Southwest (Texas) market center

Gary Steele
Austin Southwest (Texas) market center




Myth : You have to run an operating farm or ranch if you buy farmland.

Truth: You don’t have to work a farm or ranch to buy one, but you need to know what the rules are cautions Steele: “Many people buy acres of land for reasons other than to run a farm or ranch. Some clients might want space for recreation or to spread out and raise a family. Others may want to buy the land for the purpose of protecting wildlife.” It is important to understand the requirements for wildlife and agriculture exemptions and properly guide your clients to purchase the land that best fits their needs.

About KW Farm & Ranch

KW Farm & Ranch is the rural land division of Keller Williams Realty with a nationwide network of land brokers. KW Farm & Ranch agents are local, accomplished experts in land sales and acquisitions, including: agricultural land, timber land, ranch land, recreational land, equestrian estates, land development, hunting land and other specialties.

“KW Farm & Ranch can lift properties for sellers better than any boutique firm. Boutiques don’t have the resources we do and that is why our clients get more bang for their buck,” Steele exclaims.

To learn more about KW Farm & Ranch visit their website.

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Following Talent with Mega Agent Expansion

In just two Years with Keller Williams, David Hoffman has expanded into three new markets.

In just two Years with Keller Williams, David Hoffman has expanded into three new markets.

It is because of Mega Agent Expansion that David Hoffman of Huntersville, N.C., joined Keller Williams two years ago. He wanted to be part of a company where there were no limits and no barriers to success.

Last year, David opened his first two expansion offices, and before the first month of 2015 even came to an end, he had already expanded into a new market in South Carolina and had 15 clients and eight agents waiting and ready to work with him. Mega Agent Expansion is allowing David to help agents reach their “Big Why” and to grow market share at lower costs. His only regret about Mega Agent Expansion is that he didn’t start doing it 10 years ago when he got in the business.

Hoffman loves the Mega Agent Expansion model for many reasons. He loves that it lifts geographic barriers and has the ability to take him to the next level. As Hoffman builds his business, he is changing lives all around him. He is using expansion to fuel growth in his business and market center by creating mutually beneficial partnerships.

Vice President of Mega Agent Expansion Kristan Cole recently asked Hoffman how long it takes for an expansion office to be profitable. His reply? “One day.” By recruiting and working with existing and established agents in his market and in the markets where he wants to expand, he gets all their experience and clients right away. They don’t miss a beat. The Mega Agent Expansion model makes this possible.

Interested in exploring opportunities to expand? Watch Kristan Cole’s interview with Gary Keller about Mega Agent Expansion, the next revolution in real estate. For more information, click here or email

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Would You Drive a Ferrari Only 30 MPH?

Not having all of your clients download your KW Mobile App is like driving a Ferrari only 30 mph; you never reach full potential.

Mike Carter of Greensboro, N.C.

Mike Carter of Greensboro, N.C.

Keller Williams associate Mike Carter of Greensboro, N.C., has his pedal to the metal with his KW Mobile App. Carter has had more than 1,600 clients download his app. How? He got creative and tapped into his network of “gamer” friends and had them help promote his app, and he held a download contest where he gave away an Xbox One.

Let’s take a look at how the KW Mobile App is accelerating agent performance and making things “app-en” for their clients and their businesses.

First, your app reduces client abandonment. Whether we like it or not, we live in an instant gratification age where clients expect to continue their home search from their phone at midnight. If you are not available for your client 24/7, they will find an agent or portal that is.

Second, your app saves you time. By allowing clients to browse listings on the app using the map feature, they can drive to areas they would like to live in and instantly see where the listings are. Using the app, your clients can communicate with you and show you where they want you to make appointments.

Third, your app keeps your client loyal. If your clients are not using your app, they are using a competitor’s app or website. Don’t risk losing them, especially after you have invested so much time and energy into helping them find the perfect home. When your clients use your app to search for homes, you are keeping them connected directly to you and off competitor portals. Your app is free to you and free to your client, making it the best digital home search option available.

And most importantly, your app makes you money. The bottom line is that your branded app makes the home-buying process easier for your clients and can speed up sales. The app is free for you to use and share, so what are you waiting for?

So, are you ready to get behind the wheel of your Ferrari? Here are 10 easy ways you can start sharing your KW Mobile App:


  • When a potential buyer walks in the door at an open house, I ask if they have a smart phone…then I get their # and text a link to my app to them.
  • I share it every time I sit down next to someone at a sporting event!
  • Web page focus box
  • Signature line on my email
  • On Facebook! Facebook! Facebook!
  • Standing in line…any line. Strike up a conversation, give them a demo and we’re off to the races!
  • QR Code on my business card.
  • Have clients download at all consultations.
  • I share it with buyers that text from my riders.
  • When I meet my new buyers, I put it on their phone for them.
  • I tell everyone I talk with and then share it with them from the app.

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How to Succeed in Real Estate Syndication

Are the portals working you, or are you working them?

In the Family Reunion breakout session Syndication as a Lead Source facilitated by Cary Sylvester and Adi Pavlovic, panelists Sue Adler, Martin Bouma and Jenny Wemert shared their strategies for optimizing their presence on syndication sites to ensure the money they spend is well spent.

real estate syndication

Photo from left: Cary Sylvester, Jenny Wemert, Martin Bouma, Sue Adler, Adi Pavlovic

So how do you use these real estate syndication sites to get leads and maintain a positive ROI?

The first step is to claim your profile. Every syndication site offers a free profile page and Wemert says to start with the free offerings. From there, build it up. Upgrade options provide opportunities to further brand your inventory and market yourself on other listings in your area—as she says, “Upgraded versions give you the ability to attach yourself to unprotected inventory.” In addition, she purchases a few zip codes and works to dominate that one area.

Once you setup your profile and decide to invest in an upgraded subscription, Bouma says you must pay attention. He monitors his ROI by tracking every lead that comes into the office from all the websites, noting which leads from which sites turn into appointments, and ultimately lead to closings. After adding all the income from each sale, he can follow each site to see what is working, and what is not. By tracking the results of his investment, he can make better strategic business decisions.

Bouma and Wemert focus their syndication spending on zip codes while Adler focuses on coming soon listings which get her listings out there first. While all three panelists pay for upgraded subscriptions, they emphasize the importance of customer reviews. A good customer review can not only help you generate additional leads, but also improve your status within some syndication sites which puts your profile at the top.

However, it’s not always easy to get clients to submit reviews. Bouma asks his clients at the closing table and follows up a few days later with an email containing links to all of the sites. Adler has a similar system and noticed that many of her clients that came through the syndication sites were the first to post reviews without even being asked. For Wemert, reviews have become part of her team culture and have actually improved her team’s customer service.

What about a bad review? Pavlovic challenges you to change your perspective, “Bad reviews aren’t that bad. In fact, a bad review can help your online credibility.” Bad reviews give you the opportunity to not only gain valuable feedback about the client experience but also provide improved customer service.

Syndication sites are just another advertising channel, like door knocking, websites and marketing campaigns. If you choose to invest the money, make sure you invest the time to build the profile and track the results. While 50 percent of agents that spend on syndication sites don’t receive a positive ROI, it’s important to remember—50 percent do.

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Inspirational Brunch Changes Lives and Warms Hearts

On the final day of Keller Williams Family Reunion, attendees celebrate love, kindness and compassion at the Inspirational Brunch hosted by Mo Anderson. The morning began with live music performed by Kyle Dillingham and Horseshoe Road.

Inspirational Brunch

Vice Chairman of the Board Mo Anderson welcomed guests and emphasized that the third statement in the Keller Williams mission statement, “Lives worth living,” is what really sets us apart. “It makes us unique,” she said. “It binds us together. It creates a culture of family and it solidifies the bond that we have with one another. Together, we have changed the face of the real estate industry with our one-of-a-kind culture.”

Doing the Right Thing

The first inspirational story of the morning was about righting a wrong even when you are not the cause of the wrong. Carson Alexander, a Keller Williams agent in the New York City (N.Y.) market center, was a victim of identity theft. As a result, two unsuspecting New York residents were defrauded out of $2,000- their four months worth of savings. A criminal posed as Carson and “leased” a non-existent apartment to Andrea Dempsey and her daughter, Brittany. Dempsey wired the down payment to the person she thought was Carson and when she showed up with a moving van, there was no apartment available. Dempsey and her daughter have been living in a shelter while they save up another down payment for an apartment.  At the Inspirational Brunch, Dempsey and Carson met for the first time in person. Dempsey also learned that Carson is going to help her find an apartment and that Keller Williams and that Keller Williams will cover the down payment and first six months rent.

Inspirational Brunch

Win Win: Or No Deal

As the starting center for the St. Louis Rams, Jason Brown signed a 5-year, $37 million contract. He walked away mid-contract to pursue his dreams of being a farmer and feeding his community. At the age of 27, which is the age his brother was when he died while serving in Iraq, Brown had an epiphany that he wasn’t focusing on the right things in life. With zero experience in farming, Brown left his 11,000 sq. ft. mansion and moved to a 1,000 acre farm in North Carolina. Brown formed his charitable organization, First Fruits Harvest, which not only donates the actual harvest, but also donates seeds to other communities and spreads awareness about growing your own food. With his very first crop, Brown donated 119,000 lbs. of sweet potatoes. Anderson, a farmer’s daughter from Oklahoma with a deep appreciation for farming and feeding communities, donated $10,000 to Brown for his seed project. “This will feed a lot of people,” he exclaimed.

Inspirational Brunch

Commitment in All Things

McLain Hermes, the 14-year-old daughter of Keller Williams associate Matt Hermes of the Atlanta – Sugarloaf (Ga.) market center, started a charity when she was only 8 and did it with the relentless commitment she applies to all things in her life. That same year, McLain started losing her vision and today has no vision in her left eye and only 8 percent vision in her right. But that hasn’t stopped her from being anything less than amazing. McLain is a competitive swimmer – the top-ranked American swimmer in her category – and hopes to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics. In addition to competitive swimming, McLain is a philanthropist changing lives in her community. She started a charity called Shoes for Souls to collect shoes to deliver to the Atlanta Mission. Although McLain started the charity before the onset of her degenerative eye condition, she didn’t stop when her vision changed. “My eyes are what they are but people still need shoes,” she said.

McClain shared a handwritten list with Anderson of the things she wants to experience in life before she loses her eyesight completely. Among the items are riding a Segway (“You know, like a mall cop!”) and traveling to Italy. Anderson announced she’d arranged for McClain to go on a Segway tour of Orlando the next morning. More important, Anderson said that with the help of Keller Williams partners Stevens Van Lines, Build a Sign, and Office Depot, McClain and her family are going to Italy, where they will enjoy a personal tour from one of the world’s best tour guides.

Inspirational Brunch

This year’s Bob Carter Award recipient was Christian Jelmberg of La Quinta, Calif., for his support of the Street Life Project. “Your selfless contributions have touched the lives of so many and your desire to help the less fortunate has resulted in giving those individuals a life worth living,” Anderson said. Anderson invited Kyle Dillingham to the stage to perform Amazing Grace on a violin for Jelmberg. But this wasn’t just any violin. Dillingham shared his story about how he recovers abandoned and broken musical instruments and revives their beautiful sounds. Dillingham and Jelmberg’s actions are an inspiration to find the beauty in everything, even if it seems broken. Beauty is all around. You just have to look for it.

Inspirational Brunch


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Reach Out, Achieve Results (ROAR)

Whenever you start something new, you’re a novice who is likely average (if not below average!) simply because you’ve never attempted the act before. It takes courage to accept a new challenge and begin working towards becoming exceptional.

It’s important to note that it doesn’t have to be a long path. “There is a process to becoming exceptional” says Dianna Kokozska, Founder of ROAR. You see patterns in all the great people who have reached this level, so learn from them!

Working on your strengths and not your weaknesses is the key. Equip yourself to succeed at a high level by staying within your strength zone and fine tuning your skills.

Below are 5 ways that people become exceptional and instructions so that you can too!

1. Exceptional people discover their uniqueness

Determine what experiences, strengths and natural gifts make you unique and then pour all of your effort into it. Consciously leverage, maximize and stay within your uniqueness.

2. Exceptional people have discovered their purpose and live it daily

There is a big difference between intentional living and living a life of intentions. Many people want to make a significant difference, but few actually do because their thoughts are not backed with action. Change your mindset and “get into action” because that’s what will lead to results.

3. Exceptional people get in the game and stay in the game

Know the outcome you desire and make the decision never to quit. Start by taking advantage of all the opportunities that come your way.

4. Exceptional people set their own bar of excellence

Set your standards high and keep them high. If you’re interested in success, don’t set your bar compared to everyone else’s standards. You should also make your claim victory before you get on the field in order to be held accountable to hitting your goal.

5. Exceptional people invest in themselves

Your business will grow to the extent that you do but you must be willing to go through the process. Investing in yourself builds both pride and character.

"Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015"

Mary Tennant and Mo Anderson are two inspirational women who understand what it takes to be exceptional. Session attendees were treated to a special interview of Mary Tennant and Mo Anderson by Dianna Kokoszka!

When asked by Dianna what advice she has for anyone in the audience who thinks they can’t be a great leader or can’t sell real estate, Mary answered very matter-of-factly, “You’re just wrong. In this company every one of us proved ourselves along the way. You are sitting in the best possible place to do that. The only limitation you have is your mindset and work ethic.”

Dianna also interviewed Mo Anderson about her new book “A Joy Filled Life.” Mo attributed her success to her unwavering work ethic and her mother who saw her potential to be an exceptional leader, and nudged her down the path.




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The Next Evolution in the Real Estate Industry: Mega Agent Expansion

While the concept Mega Agent Expansion may just be entering the minds of many agents, Keller Williams is home to a growing group of mega agents who are already experiencing enormous success through expanding their businesses into multiple markets.

The reason for expansion? Greater profit potential. Simply put, your business can only grow so big in one place. And, for those agents who have mastered their lead generation and administrative systems, expansion provides an opportunity to drive profit by leveraging the systems already have in place. The next step is simply finding the talent to put them to work in the right location. The RIGHT who with a BIG why.

For some, this can mean expanding to a neighboring town where leads are already beginning to show up. For others, it’s meant taking their business across the country, to a market where the lead generation tactics they’re already using prove successful.

Kristan Cole, Vice President of Mega Agent Expansion walked more than 1,000 Family Reunion attendees through the MREA Expansion Model and shared the appropriate point in an agent’s career to begin considering expansion.

Mega Agent Expansion

Cole also dispelled some of the most common myths regarding expansion:

Agent expansion myths:

  1. I’m an agent not a business person.
  2. Expansion is for companies not agents.
  3. I can just make more money with my current team.
  4. My plate is so full with my current business I don’t have the bandwidth or resources to do this.

A panel of top expansion agents including Adam Hergenrother, Ben Kinney, Brian Gubernick and David Hoffman shared their biggest mistakes and the lessons they’ve learned as they’ve pioneered the concept of agent expansion.

Gubernick advised “take your time with your first expansion, you will find you have a lot of holes in your system when you first expand. Most of us used the ‘ready, fire, aim’ strategy, and have failed our way through a lot of great lessons.”

“We are expanding through the area like a jar of horseradish oozing down the interstate,” said Kinney. As for his biggest mistakes? “The way we expanded was to find random agents and have them join our team. There was no leadership or camaraderie. The biggest mistake I made was hiring people without Recruit Select.” Filling your bench is the key and Keller Williams has the systems to ensure you find the right players.

Think you might be ready to expand?

  1. Attend Expansion Systems Orientation
  2. Dig deep – Uncover what holes are in place in your business. Start with lead generation in the area BEFORE you expand.
  3. Find the WHO with a big WHY

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The Style of Give and Take

“It feels as though Adam Grant is already part of our family,” Keller Williams CEO Chris Heller said as he introduced the keynote speaker at Family Reunion.

"Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015"

Grant, who is the youngest tenured professor and top-rated teacher at the Wharton School of Business (“So he’s young, popular and brilliant!” Heller quipped), is an organizational psychologist who studies human interaction styles. Grant’s New York Times bestselling book, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, explores the fundamentals of human interactions and how to make them work for you. “Our interactions are a huge driver of success,” Grant said. “The way we treat our colleagues and clients shapes what we accomplish.”

Grant categorizes people into three basic behavioral styles: givers, takers and matchers. He asked audience members to think about their own interaction style, the styles of the people they deal with everyday and the implication these styles have on their success.

“Givers help people with no strings attached – sometimes to the peril of their own success,” Grant said. He cautioned that this is not the best path for success. “It is hard to be successful when you spend all of your time helping others succeed,” he observed.

At the other end of the spectrum are takers. Takers put themselves first and do so at the expense of others.

Somewhere between the givers and takers are the matchers. Matchers give but they often expect something in return. They linger in safe territory.

“Helping others can either sink or accelerate your career.” – Adam Grant
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After explaining the counter-intuitive finding that givers are both the least successful and the most successful style, Grant provided a two-step process to accelerate the success of a giver and make sure they don’t sink.

Step 1. Get rid of the takers. “It is nice to have the right people on the bus, but it is critical to keep the wrong people off your bus,” Grant said. When there are takers present, givers get paranoid and watch their back. When givers are taken advantage of by takers, they burn-out and shut down. To get rid of bad apples you need to know how to spot them.

You can spot a taker if they have a great reputation with people upward in the organization but a mixed reputation with their peers and downward. This is because takers kiss up and talk down. You can also spot takers because they usually use the words “me” and “I.” Once you spot the takers, remove them or limit your interactions with them.

Step 2. Become a successful giver by redefining “giving.” Look at Adam Rifkin, LinkedIn’s number one networker, for example. Rifkin redefined giving with the “Five-Minute Favor.” It’s a simple and effective strategy: Perform several five-minute favors every week. Examples of five-minute favors include using a product and offering feedback, introducing two people through email or LinkedIn or sharing something of value on social media. The reason this works is because it prevents the giver from giving too much. As for the takers, they can’t claim they don’t have at least five minutes to help someone. No one is that busy.

Step 3. Ask for help. If you never ask, there will be a lot of frustrated givers in your life who would help if they knew it was needed. Look into your network  to ask for help. You can tap into your strong ties (friends and family), weak ties (acquaintances) and even your dormant ties (people you once knew, but have lost contact with). Start by contacting your weak and dormant ties as they have circles outside of yours and generally are able to offer better resources.

Grant concluded his captivating speech with describing the Reciprocity Ring. The idea of the reciprocity ring is to take  8-10 people and put them in the same room. Everyone has to ask for something they want or need, but can’t get it on their own. Everyone asks the people in the group if they could tap into their network and see if they could find someone to help them. This is a great exercise for three reasons:

1.It gets people comfortable asking. When everyone is expected to ask they feel compelled to do so.

2. It motivates the takers to act like givers. They don’t want to be the only person in the room not giving.

3. Matchers learn that matching is not the most efficient way to conduct their life. Matchers realize if they can invest in more giving with no strings attached, they can all get more of what we want.

To learn more about Grant and his book Give and Take, visit his website.


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Mastery Clients Board Hogwarts Express

As Dumbledore said, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” and KW MAPS Coaching Mastery clients did exactly that at an exclusive private event with a night of unlimited rides, food and entertainment.  Rainy weather did not keep Dianna Kokoska and the Mastery members from dancing into the party at Universal Studios Monday night.

Mastery Client Event- Family Reunion

Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015

Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015

Keller Williams Family Reunion 2015

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Luxury: Working With Affluent Clientele

Working with affluent clientele can lead to more referrals, more closed transactions, and more reputational success. But working with this market is not something to be taken lightly. It requires hard work, dedication and a superior level of customer service. At Family Reunion, KW Luxury Homes agent Diane Kink who leads  The Kink Team in the Woodlands, TX, facilitated a panel of three luxury agents to discuss how they work with the affluent.

Lee Ziff of Beverly Hills, Calif. had plenty of tips about his experience working with buyers in the Los Angeles area. Although the average price point is higher in LA than it is in most other areas, not all buyers have the money for that price point. While it can sometimes be hard to tell whether or not the buyer is qualified, Ziff cautions agents to be careful about pre-judging people when they walk in the door because just never know what they can afford.

Kent Temple of Mooresville, NC emphasized the importance of customer service in this market with one phrase: “it doesn’t flow down but it flows up”. Referrals are likely to come from the higher end of the market and spread down, but never the other way around. When you work with a luxury buyer or seller it’s essential to show them the best level of service and expertise you and your team can offer. The affluent audience is used to a high level of service and that’s what they expect.

When it comes to communicating with this market, staying in touch shows that you are working hard for them. Zana Dillard of Atlanta, Ga., says the biggest mistake you can make in this market is assuming that you have the client. It’s best to get them to sign the listing paperwork or buyers agreement before so you don’t waste your time and your superb customer service on someone who doesn’t follow through.

It is not uncommon to go above and beyond for the affluent clientele. Some agents will offer to pick them up from the airport or hotel if they are from another area. Others have dedicated endless amounts of time for showings. It’s important to know where to draw the line. Temple suggests setting the expectations up front, how far you go for them at the beginning is what they will come to expect. On the other hand, Dillard’s team sets up an “on-call” person in order to protect her time on weekends.

No matter what market you are working with, as a realtor, customer service will always be important and expected. Communication and respect are the best ways you can treat your clients and will help you to grow your business.


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