What is culture? Is it some nebulous concept that is difficult to describe and even harder to understand? It certainly seems to be the case. When asked to define company culture, many people just shrug their shoulders and say, “I don’t know. It’s just what we do.”
In any event, why does culture even matter? Mo Anderson, vice-chairman of the Board of Keller Williams, says, “Culture is the predetermined way we decide we are going to treat each other, our clients and every single person around us.”
In your current environment, how do you treat your colleagues, competitors, staff and leadership? Would you agree that the way we treat other has a profound impact on each one of us, our colleagues, other people we interact with, our communities, our businesses and our profitability?
We certainly believe it matters.
The KW Belief System
See, at the core of Keller Williams is a conviction that who you are in business with matters. We believe that the company you keep can contribute to your life in untold ways. To help cement this understanding, we’ve formalised a belief system called the WI4C2TS (pronounced “why four see two tees”) that guides how we treat each other and how we do business.
- Win-Win: or no deal
- Integrity: do the right thing
- Customers: always come first
- Commitment: in all things
- Communication: seek first to understand
- Creativity: ideas before results
- Teamwork: together everyone achieves more
- Trust: starts with honesty
- Success: results through people
To build careers worth having, businesses worth owning, lives worth living, experiences worth giving, and legacies worth leaving.
To be the real estate company of choice for agents and their customers.
God, Family, then Business.
Since Mo Anderson’s video above, to continue representing the interests of estate agents in a changing property landscape, Keller Williams has pivoted into a technology company. While still the providing the best training, coaching and consulting in the world to estate agents, we are now a technology company that provides the real estate platform that our agents’ buyers and sellers prefer. Keller Williams thinks like a top producer, acts like a trainer-consultant, and focuses all its activities on service, productivity, and profitability.
Why does it matter?
It matters because you matter.
KW is built and shaped by talented, driven property professionals who know the value of having a great career, accomplished and supportive colleagues, work-life balance, and a reputation for being the best in the business. You will find opportunities for growth, support for reaching your goals and a true sense of family and belonging. We focus on helping our associates realize their fullest potential.
Our culture is one of the reason why top agents join Keller Williams, but it’s definitely the most important reason why they stay.
Chris Heller, a top agent and previous CEO of Keller Williams says, “When we talk with top agents and ask them what attracted them to Keller Williams, they mention our models and systems, they mention our training, they mention our technology, and they absolutely mention our culture.”
Systems before culture or culture before systems?
Too often business leaders pay considerable attention to strategies and business models but less attention to their company culture. At Keller Williams we believe that our economic systems would not succeed without our unique culture and that our culture could not exist without our economic systems.
In a 2015 study by David F. Larcker and Brian Tayan at Stanford University, How Important Is Culture?: An Inside Look at Keller Williams Realty, they concluded that Keller Williams, “…maintains four cultural practices to ensure that agents, market center owners, and team leaders operate like real stakeholders in the company. First, the company shares its profits, as discussed above [in South Africa Keller Williams pays back a portion of its franchise earnings through the Growth Share program to associates who help the company grow by helping to attract agents to the company.] Second, the company involves agents, owners, and team leaders in decision-making. Third, the company maintains open financial books. Fourth, the company offers extensive training to agents and leaders.”
In a second study study by David F. Larcker and Brian Tayan at Stanford University in 2016, How Important Is Culture? A Second Look at Keller Williams Realty, the authors found evidence of an “exceptionally strong and unique culture” after conducting a large-scale survey of Keller Williams estate agents.
According to Mo Anderson, the culture of Keller Williams is, “the glue that holds it all together.”
Be a blessing to those around you
How does this affect your life and your property career at KW? Well, we believe the purpose of business is to fund your perfect life. The goal of the Keller Williams training, models and systems is profit because of what it can do for you, your family and people around you.
It is in that spirit that our associates participate their time, effort and money in amazing community-building events and initiatives.
Introduced in 2009, RED Day, which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate, is Keller Williams Realty’s annual day of service worldwide. Each year on the second Thursday of May, all 190,000 plus KW associates worldwide celebrate Mo Anderson’s birthday by spending the day away from their businesses serving worthy organizations and causes in their communities. RED Day is an example of our commitment to each other and to the cities and towns where we live and work.
KW Cares is a charity created by and for Keller Williams associates and their families. It’s there to help any agent faced with hardship as a result of a sudden emergency. The charity is the heart of Keller Williams culture in action – finding and serving the higher purpose of business through charitable giving in our market centers and communities where Keller Williams associates live and work.
In keeping with the philosophy that agents are partners and stakeholders in the success of the business, Keller Williams Realty has created a distinct wealth-building platform through which our leadership teams and office owners reward those who have contributed to a market center’s growth by attracting productive associates to the office. In the United States and Canada this is done through profit share; and across the world, like in South Africa, through growth share.
KW associates drive the real estate business (called a market centre) they are a part of. That means our agents have the opportunity to direct decisions on how KW Eden in the Garden Route operates. Through the Associate Leadership Council (ALC) our agents and our leadership team are brought together on a regular basis to oversee staff training and the marketing, finances, and operations of the market centre.
What about you?
Who is making the decisions at your company? At Keller Williams it is the agents.
To discover more, contact us today for a confidential discussion about your future.
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