Seven years ago, Keller Williams Realty wasn't on many radars but it is now, says Kevin Chadwick, owner and operating principal of the company's South Tampa, Brandon, Plant City, Apollo Beach and Bloomingdale offices.
"Keller Williams has emerged as [a top] real estate company in the Tampa Bay area with Keller Williams agents listing and selling [a substantial amount of] real estate in the area in the last year," Chadwick says.
Chadwick pins his company's success on one factor in particular: better training and better tools.
"Our training makes our agents some of the best in the business,'' he says. "It's purposeful in that our training serves any agent at any level, whether they be a brand new agent learning how to develop their business or a more experienced one learning how to better manage their time and take their business to the next level.''
James Shaw is the director of Keller Williams University, the facility where agents can take courses such as Camp 443 or Lead Generation 36:12:3.
"In Camp 443, new agents learn to how to generate four listings and four sales in three months," Shaw explains. "In Lead Generation 36:12:3, we teach how to close 36 transactions in 12 months by spending three hours a day on lead generation."
Chadwick says, "These are great classes taught by an incredible faculty that help our agents compete in the marketplace and accomplish more."
Agents fit into one of three levels, Shaw says.
"Launch agents are new to the business and are really jump-starting their careers," he says. These agents need comprehensive training.
Shaw describes the next level as the growth phase. These agents have more experience so their training needs include learning to leverage time, prospect for more listings and work with motivated buyers, he says.
"Finally, achievement agents are producing at a very high level. They understand the business and are very successful. We show them how to work on the business instead of in the business."
Agents are not required to attend any of the 15 to 20 training events each week, Shaw says.
"But many do, because there's always something for them to learn regardless of their experience level,'' Chadwick says. "They can learn something new about technology, lead generation, better marketing techniques, customer contact management systems, current financing and updates to Florida rules and regulations."
The economy and its spate of foreclosures has spurred Keller Williams University to also offer courses on "short sales," Shaw says.
A short sale is when a lender agrees to accept a loan payoff that is less than the oustanding balance as full payment. This usually is done to prevent a foreclosure.
"There was a time when we never heard of short sales but they're becoming more and more common," he says. "Keller Williams University offers a different short sale class every week so that agents understand the process and can make it as easy as possible for buyers and sellers."
The university's faculty consists of lead agents, Shaw says. "They're the top agents, the high achievers who want to give back and pass on the culture of our company."
The training/university concept is paying off in a big way, Chadwick says.
"Last year was a tough year for the industry,'' he says. "And even in a difficult time, Keller Williams continued to grow in size and productivity.
"That growth is a result of the phenomenal training and resources that Keller Williams offers its agents. Keller Williams University is designed to help each agent at every level."
To learn more about Keller Williams Realty or Keller Williams University, call (813) 875-3700 or visit www.kwutampa.com.