Keller Williams

IDAHO

Erica Hill credits the parent company's emphasis on agent development and education for her company's strong performance.
Source: Keller Willams
Erica Hill credits the parent company's emphasis on agent development and education for her company's strong performance.
Description: Residential and commercial real estate
Owner: Erica Hill
Years in business: 17
No. of franchises owned: 2
Start-up costs: $179,000 to $562,000; $150,000
Franchisor fees: $30,000; royalties 6% of volume
2015 revenue, 2016 projection: $37.4 million; $40 million
2016 projected annual growth rate: 6.8%

Before buying her Keller Williams real estate franchise in 1999, Erica Hill sold houses for another nationally known real estate company for eight years. It, too, offered franchising opportunities, but Hill said she was never tempted to buy one. "The listing agents were making money, but the broker/owner model was just not profitable," she said. Then she moved to Boise, Idaho, and began looking into Keller Williams, a real estate company with 134,000 agents in more than 700 markets around the world.

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The company's training and agent-development model impressed her, as did its practice of having franchisees share nearly half the profits from the business with their agents. "It's a given in the industry that successful agents want to recruit and bring their friends into the business with them," she explained. Typically, the only party that ever benefits from this arrangement is the broker/owner. With Keller Williams, agents not only earn a commission on the properties they sell but also get a piece of the profits generated by anyone they bring into the company.

Last year more than $800,000 was profit-shared back to the company's 500 agents. "I liked the fact that Keller Williams recognized that since the agents are the ones that grow the company, they should also share in the profits of the firm," she said, noting that her business covers the Boise metro area. She credits the parent company's emphasis on agent development and education for her company's strong performance. "We offer classes every day on things like how to understand real estate contracts for beginner agents, all the way up to the best ways to run your business for the most advanced and seasoned ones," Hill added.

Her best advice for folks looking to buy a franchise: "If you're going to invest in a model that is proven, follow it. There are too many examples of those who buy a franchise, do not follow the model and then fail."

"If you’re going to invest in a model that is proven, follow it. There are too many examples of those who buy a franchise, do not follow the model and then fail." -Erica Hill

This story was updated to reflect that Erica Hill's Keller Williams franchise profit-shared more than $800,000 back to the company's 500 agents.

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