Tony and Suzanne Marriott's Phoenix Arizona Real Estate Blog

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Why Keller Williams?

 The Thinker

 

Having spent time with HomeSmart (a local franchise), then Century 21, RE/MAX and finally Keller Williams, I am frequently asked "Why Keller Williams?"

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, officeCorporate America 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?!  MexicoIt 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!):

 Donald Trump

  1. Keep the bad hire and continue to be on the hook for $545 per month
  2. 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:Tug of War

  1. Structured to SUPPORT Teams?
  2. Environment congruent with The Marriott Group Ethics / Values / Culture?
  3. Free of Broker Imposed Commission Constraints, Mandates or Ad Restrictions?
  4. Presentable Office Location in Southwest Valley?
  5. Number of offices available to use in the Phoenix metro area?
  6. National Presence?
  7. Broker Support congruent with needs of The Marriott Group?
  8. Attractive Financial Structure?

The best fit, hands down, for The Marriott Group was Keller Williams.  Period.  The primary reasons included:

  1. Training available at an office, regional, national and Internet levels.
  2. The financial structure of Market Center "caps" for Teams and Franchise Fee "caps" for Team Members.
  3. The "environment" (open rather than closed) being in synch with our values, ethics and culture.

Teach LearnEvery 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

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 2018

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 the BVO Luxury Group @ 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.

Tony and Suzanne have personally Listed, Sold and Closed more than a hundred Short Sales with the highest list to close rate in the Phoenix Metro Area!

Tony Marriott - Chief Operating Officer - BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Suzanne Marriott - Chief Learning Officer - BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Associate Brokers, REALTORS
BVO Luxury Group
Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Comments

Tony, did you consider going it on your own?  You seem to have it so together.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 12 years ago

Tony, I think Randy has a valid question but I know you have the right answer.  KW is built to support broker/owners who DON'T want to go it alone. 

Our mortgage firm is designed the same way.  We attract former brokers, owners, and managers who build teams and pay very little.  Our numbers look amazing (over 300 originators) but in reality we're some 10 small little companies operating under a common name, supervision (important) and use the economies of scale approach with lenders/investors.

Posted by Brian Brady, 858-777-9751 (San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751) about 12 years ago
Thanks for the personal history, Tony. You're right - different decisions for different agents. Also, different decisions depending on location, and where you are in your career.  Home office vs broker's office. Solo agent vs team, then size of team. The decision also is based on where you are, not only in proximity to the office, but where that office/brand stands in the community and the philosophy/financial arrangements of a particular owner.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) about 12 years ago

Randy - Yes we did, especially given that Suzanne and I (and soon Rich) are Brokers, but decided that the start-up investment didn't warrant it given the KW option, and quite frankly neither Suzanne nor I wanted the "job" of Designated Broker.

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) about 12 years ago
Brian - You got a hole in one!
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) about 12 years ago
Sharon - Absolutely.  Suzanne, Ken, Nicole and I all work primarily from our virtual offices - we have more technology there than at the KW office.  Rich prefers to work out of our private office at the Market Center.  I use our Market Center office for meeting clients for Listing Appointments.  I think the key here is each individual or team needs to have an objective way of evaluating which option is best for them.  After all, we all essentially "hire" the franchise we choose to affiliate with - they work for us, not the other way around!
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) about 12 years ago

Great article Tony.  I like the way you presented our case for change.  I also feel good about the change.  I am so positive and upbeat about KW and our team.  I think anyone joining our team would be surprised at how we enjoy working together.

Ken 

 

Posted by Ken Spencer, for Verrado, Buckeye, Sundance (Serendra Realty Group ) about 12 years ago

Tony,

Interesting story.  I went through several changes as well over 20 years ago trying to find the right fit.  I'm glad you've finally find a "home" with KW.  It's not fun changing that much.

Lucky :)

Posted by Lucky Lang, Marco Island & Naples Florida Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty Marco Island) about 12 years ago

Tony:

Great to hear that you've found a home you're happy with in Phoenix.  A positive work environment is the most ciritical part to success as a real estate agent.

Not to be derisive, but I've always wondered what these profit-sharing checks at KW are all about.  No one at KW here will share with me what their checks amount to, and I'm curious.  Admittedly, I'm a competitor in town, but I thought you might be willing to shed some light on the subject.

Congrats again on your move!

Andrew

Posted by Andrew Magliochetti CCIM (Helios Realty and Development) about 11 years ago

You made the right choice! of course ...you knew that! This company has the ethics that we belive in and we are proud to be a part of it.

Hope to see you in New Orleans at family reunion in February!

Posted by Sandy and Jay Souilliard (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

Finacially why would somebody go to Keller Williams over HomeSmart? I am at neither, but it seems like HomeSmart cost the agents less from what I read. $75 a month, $250 the first deal of the month, and $50 E/O on each deal. Am I missing something? The only number I see about KW is $36,000 a year.  I am sure I am missing something, so I figured I might as well ask. 

Posted by James Sanson - Ranked in the TOP 1% of Arizona, Homes for sale in Maricopa AZ (Keller Williams Realty Phoenix) over 4 years ago

Hi James,

Here in the Phoenix Metro area I believe the maximum annual amount to a Market Center (Office) is $15,000 - unless in Scottsdale where it's $18,000.  Add $3,000 to that for the maximum annual contribution to the KW national franchise fee.

There is a nominal ($35) monthly fee - and the "split" is 70/30 until an agent caps (reaches their annual maximum).  The benefits I see are many:

Structured to SUPPORT Teams

National Presence

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.

If we add a "new agent" to the team - Keller Williams provides all the training needed to get that agent from "new licensee" to "new licensee" with a thorough understanding of how to work with Buyers and Sellers.

The math for me is simple - $21K per year divided by 12 months - $1,750 per month for full time designated broker / managing broker / market center administrator / premium office location / etc.

If you're interested I'll be happy to discuss further offline...

 

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 4 years ago
Then it is about the culture (higher learning) like college of real estate.
Posted by James Sanson - Ranked in the TOP 1% of Arizona, Homes for sale in Maricopa AZ (Keller Williams Realty Phoenix) over 4 years ago

Lucky Lang I was remiss in the early days - just now catching up with comments from blog posts since day 1 - thanks for the comment - hope you are still in the 'Rain!  

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 3 years ago

Andrew I was remiss in the early days - just now catching up with comments from blog posts since day 1 - thanks for the comment - hope you are still in the 'Rain!  

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 3 years ago

Sandy I was remiss in the early days - just now catching up with comments from blog posts since day 1 - thanks for the comment - hope you are still in the 'Rain!  

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 3 years ago

Enjoyed this post and want to read more - try this one - Peacocks and Pickles for Christmas 2015!  Wishing you a prosperous and Happy New Year!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 3 years ago

Enjoyed this post and want to read more - visit our website  - HavenExpress.com - where all your questions about buying and selling residential real estate in Arizona are addressed!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) over 3 years ago

Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 3 years ago

Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 3 years ago

Planning to sell your home in Scottsdale, Arizona?  Give us a call for a free, no obligation, consultation!  Haven Express

Listed, Sold and Closed 100% of listings taken (dozens of them) since June 2011!

Real Estate.  It's What We Do. Best!

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 3 years ago

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