A little bit of history:
HomeSmart was my first stop after getting my license. I liked their model, I liked their use of technology, and I liked their pricing for a solo agent! I was still in Corporate America, which meant I was rarely in Arizona - only between airplanes for the weekend, so the office location being a 30 minute drive from home was irrelevant.
When Suzanne agreed to join me in the real estate business and we both retired from Corporate America, office proximity became a consideration, and we went through our first round of "due diligence", with Century 21 emerging as the franchise of choice, their office being the only office located in Anthem at the time. Even though we were located in the north of the valley, we helped buy and sell homes and real estate throughout the Phoenix metro area.
When we moved from Anthem to Verrado, we went through another round of "due diligence". I wasn't impressed by the Broker's last ditch efforts to keep us by moving us to the "maximum split" of 80/20 - make that 80/20 AFTER the 8% (6+2) franchise fees - or a best case of 73.6%. Nor was I impressed by their decision to retain all our listings, all of which had been brought in by our prospecting and marketing efforts - not from leads or referrals from the Broker. But, in Arizona, the listings are the Brokers to do with what they will - so lesson learned and move on.
This round of "due diligence" included nine major players in the Phoenix market area - except for RE/MAX. I had not included them on the interview list as when I spoke with them two years previously, I was encouraged to join so the recruiter could make their numbers and win a trip to Mexico?! It didn't sound like a solid reason for making that decision. We had all but settled on Keller Williams when I happened to pick up a copy of NAR's monthly magazine, which had a feature about a RE/MAX Franchise - not the same one I had spoken with before. It got my attention. I called the next day and set up an interview with one of the Managing Brokers. The "numbers" were better than Keller Williams by about $5,000 per year for a husband & wife team. At the time we had two virtual assistants. Fast forward a couple of years, having experienced growth to a team of eleven at one point, and a full time licensed assistant, and the numbers were definitely running against us. The "fixed overhead" invoiced to the Team Leader (yours truly) every month, coupled with a 90 Day notice requirement and a "re-capture" of a $150/month "discount" for Buyers Agents who had been with the team less than a year left us with two bad alternatives when attempting to eliminate "bad hires" (all of whom had been highly recommended by the same Managing Broker!):
- Keep the bad hire and continue to be on the hook for $545 per month
- Fire the bad hire and pay $150 x the number of months they had been a Buyer Agent - let's say five months, so five x $150 = $750 PLUS 90 Day Notice = 3 x $545 = Grand Total of $2,385 as cash out of pocket to "fire" them!
With monthly invoices running into the $7K mark, and several eye-opening incidents that made us wonder if we were at the right place (no reflection on the national franchise - this was local) I embarked on another exhaustive round of "due diligence".
Armed with the same set of questions for each of the sixteen brokerages we interviewed - National, Regional, Local and Independent - we evaluated the following criteria:
- Structured to SUPPORT Teams?
- Environment congruent with The Marriott Group Ethics / Values / Culture?
- Free of Broker Imposed Commission Constraints, Mandates or Ad Restrictions?
- Presentable Office Location in Southwest Valley?
- Number of offices available to use in the Phoenix metro area?
- National Presence?
- Broker Support congruent with needs of The Marriott Group?
- Attractive Financial Structure?
The best fit, hands down, for The Marriott Group was Keller Williams. Period. The primary reasons included:
Training available at an office, regional, national and Internet levels.
The financial structure of Market Center "caps" for Teams and Franchise Fee "caps" for Team Members.
The "environment" (open rather than closed) being in synch with our values, ethics and culture.
Every one of you likely has different needs, wants and evaluation criteria - so what is best for us does not necessarily mean it's best for you - but IMHO the Keller Williams model is worth investigating if you've never really explored it.
We have now been there just over six months - and have had no surprises - other than the profit sharing checks which kicked in almost immediately which I had not even factored into our decision!
So now, when someone asks me "Why Keller Williams?" - I can send them a link to this post! This is MY answer. I would be interested in hearing from others both at Keller Williams and other brokerages about their reasons for choosing to be where they are.
If any of you reading this are interested in discussing the methodology and details of the "due diligence" exercise I went through to make this decision, you are welcome to contact me by phone or email. All discussions are strictly confidential.
CALL TO ACTION!
I'm reaching out to every member of Active Rain with the following request:
From one of my previous posts How to get where you are going! Part 1 of 2 you know that we looking to hire Buyer Specialists, Listing Specialists and Support Staff. If you, or anyone you know, may have an interest in joining The Marriott Group, I would appreciate it if you would help make that connection. Please email or call with the relevant information, and I'll schedule the interviews with the candidates. Thanks in advance for your help!
About the Authors - Updated 2015
If you are considering a Traditional or Short Sale of your home in Phoenix, Scottsdale or any location in Maricopa County Arizona, you owe it to yourself to talk with Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty to determine whether Tony and Suzanne Marriott are the best real estate Brokers in the Phoenix and Scottsdale metropolitan area to help you with the Successful Sale of your home.
Listed, Sold and Closed more than a hundred Short Sales with the highest success rate in the Phoenix Metro Area!
Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!
Tony and Suzanne Marriott