Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Sharing the Company Profits

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Sharing the Company Profits

Article excerpt

After only being in the Oklahoma City market for nearly seven years, Keller Williams Realty has positioned itself as one of the top residential real estate companies in a very competitive market.

The Austin, Texas-based company opened its first office in Oklahoma City in August 1992. Since that time the company has gone from 41 agents in 1993 to 491 agents statewide with 287 of those in the metro area. In addition, the company has propelled itself to the top of The Journal Record's list of the top real estate agencies in the Oklahoma City area with $282 million in sales reported in 1998.

Rowell Sargeant, regional director for Keller Williams, said the company's success in Oklahoma can be attributed to its team atmosphere.

"We really believe you have to have that `teamification' mentality," he says. "There are those in the industry that like to run a single harness, but we feel at Keller Williams you have to run a double harness."

At the core of the company is a profit-sharing program. The program, which was started in 1987 by company co-founder Gary Keller, simply allows Keller Williams agents to share in company revenues that they helped to generate through transactions.

According to Sargeant, Keller adopted the idea from a model that was being used by commercial real estate company Trammell Crow with a basic principal -- if agents help the company grow, then they will be thanked for that.

"By sharing back the profits with the agents that created the profits, then we are giving them a piece of our pie, but the pie is bigger," notes Sargeant. "So in giving away some, we retain more than we would if we had not given it away."

Sargeant said each month the money used for the program is put in a national account. Based on the amount of sales generated during that month from an agent, a certain percentage is directly deposited into their checking account. Sargeant explains some agents nationwide have made as much as $20,000 in one month alone from the profit- sharing program.

In Oklahoma, $1 million has been dispersed to Keller Williams' 491 agents since the company's entry into the market. In June, Sargeant said $445,000 in bonuses were issued, marking one of the company's strongest months in Oklahoma.

In 1997, the company issued more than $1 million in profit sharing nationwide to its agents and just under $2 million in 1998. With the real estate market being so strong nationwide, Sargeant expects to see that number top the $3 million mark in 1999.

"It took us 10 years to get where we were big enough and strong enough where we could give back a million dollars to our associates, but we did it," he adds.

The program is also open-ended in that after being with the company for only three years, an agent's vested interest in profit sharing will continue even after they retire. …

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