Midsize No. 3: Keller Williams 'built for agents by agents'

For The Baltimore Sun

Agents at Keller Williams American Premier Realty in Bel Air appreciate that their workdays so often involve helping others — not just clients seeking to buy or sell homes, but their colleagues as well.

“Everyone works together. It’s not cutthroat,” said Debbie Jaffey, the director of agent services, who helps new staff members become acclimated to the job. “We’re always willing to help each other, because when one does well, we all do well.”

That’s not just a motivational cliche. Keller Williams offers profit sharing that rewards employees who recruit successful agents.

To help agents succeed, the company offers training and coaching for everyone, from new hires in need of mentors to seasoned agents seeking to expand even further.

“The whole company was built for agents by agents. Everything we do is about them,” said Chris Perry, director of growth at the Bel Air branch. “If we train our people, they’re going to succeed and represent our brand better. They’ll make more money, and we’ll profit more.”

It helps that buyer demand remains strong in what Perry described as a “very good” real estate market. The Bel Air office mainly serves northeastern Maryland but reaches elsewhere in the state and up into parts of Pennsylvania.

Agents are involved in the community, holding volunteer and fundraising efforts for local charities throughout the year and setting aside one day a year for a company-wide volunteer activity. For this year’s activity, agents spruced up a camp run by the Boys and Girls Club of Harford County; last year they worked at a transitional facility for homeless families.

And when assistance is needed within their own ranks, help is there. Keller Williams has a nonprofit charity that makes grants to agents in need and donates to other causes.

“This isn’t just work for me,” Perry said. “It’s a place to go where everyone genuinely cares about you.”

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