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In the following interview, Nick Shivers, president and CEO of The Shivers Team, Keller Williams Realty Portland Central in Portland, Ore., discusses the group’s lead program, recruiting strategy, and more.

Region Served: Portland metro and Southwest Washington
Years in Real Estate: 19
Number of Offices: 2
Number of Team Members: 20

Where do you get your customers?
While the bulk of our customers are past clients and referrals, we also see a lot of activity from our online® lead platform, where a vast majority of our online spend shifted to about six months ago. In addition, we have our own iBuyer program—My Rocket Listing—which allows us to offer clients the best of both worlds by providing a competitive offer on a home instantly, while at the same time suggesting a list price should they want to sell traditionally.

How has changing your lead program affected your growth?
With the market here in Portland and Southwest Washington down about 8 percent for the year, as of press time, we’ll be up around 39 percent year-over-year. If you factor in the market being down about 8 percent, we’re up compared to the market by about 47 percent. While we’ve seen significant growth, the decision to switch over to came about when the other lead programs we were working with changed the way in which they handled leads. With the changes that have been instituted at, we’re now getting a branding and direct lead combination. This has led to an increase in differentiation for sellers when we show them how can showcase their properties. 

What about the listing side? Since you place online ads where prospective clients shop, can you turn that around and use it in your listing presentation?
Absolutely. This is one of the best ways to use it, because everyone wants exposure on their home. With Local Expert, being able to showcase specific listings in a specific zip code or neighborhood is a huge competitive advantage on the listing side. This is unique to, as no other big national portal will allow you to do this.

What else is in your value proposition to sellers?
Our value proposition begins with our mission statement: Serving people, saving kids by selling real estate. We’ve been the No. 1 real estate team in the Portland metro area for a decade, but if you don’t take care of the individual client, none of that matters. From there, it’s all about providing repeatable systems that sell hundreds of homes a year. We can say that we have great systems and marketing tools for massive exposure whether a client wants to approach the process traditionally or through My Rocket Listing. For us, it’s all about teaming up with clients to make a difference in this world.

Have you gone through the process of purchasing a home with a client vs. just listing homes?
Yes. With My Rocket Listing—a program I started because of the fact that 15 percent of consumers don’t want to go through a traditional listing—we’ve helped clients purchase and list homes. When working with clients, they have the ability to choose either max convenience or max price. Currently, only a handful of our listings in any given month go through My Rocket Listing; however, as the market continues to shift, I anticipate an increase in terms of how many clients will want us to purchase their home outright.

Please explain your marketing strategy when it comes to attracting prospective recruits.
For us, it all starts with sell a home, save a child. From there, it’s 60 percent culture and 40 percent results. If our personalities mesh, but you aren’t making yourself money, I’m doing you a disservice to allow you to be in a business where you can make more money somewhere else. That being said, we’re not a big recruiting-based team. We have an awesome culture, and a lot of our prospecting is done through word of mouth. In fact, our agents are our best recruiters.

Once an agent joins the company, how do you ensure that they’re successful?
You have to feed agents, especially when they’re new. When we bring someone on, they go through 8-10 hours of interviews before our people give the ultimate thumbs up or thumbs down. From there, we have an in-depth, 90-day training program. Another thing we’ve been doing is putting teams together within our team, a strategy that consists of placing agents within a pod of other agents depending on their particular skillset. In the end, it’s all about helping agents find their niche and being great at it.

What defines the character of your team?
Wanting to make a difference is what ultimately defines us. To that end, we donate 10 percent of our profit to help transform the future of children in Cuba, Haiti, Kenya, Nicaragua, Mexico and the U.S. for every home sold through our Sell a Home, Save a Child movement. Over the years, we’ve raised close to $1.4 million to help underprivileged children through this movement. 

For more information, please visit

Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at