Vitals: Keller Williams Realty Palm Springs
Years in Business: 45
Size: 4 market centers, 2 business centers, 2 onsite country club offices and 1,090 agents
Regions Served: Greater Palm Springs, Redlands, Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead
2018 Sales Volume: $1.447 billion
2018 Transactions: 4,072
Michael Hilgenberg spent a decade in his family’s real estate business in Wisconsin before moving to California and starting Keller Williams Realty in the Coachella Valley in 2003, and opening a Keller Williams market center in Palm Springs a year later with his son. Housing just 27 agents when it opened, today, his firm employs more than 1,000 agents and is growing every year.
How would you characterize the market this year?
Michael Hilgenberg: It remains a seller’s market, and in Palm Springs, we’re seeing a 2.8-month supply with sales down about 10 percent.
What are some of your most successful recruiting strategies?
MH: Our agents refer other agents they’ve had positive cooperative transactions with. We’re also proactive in inviting top agents to our training and mastermind events. We have affiliated sponsors for some of our events, so we don’t label them a Keller Williams event. When it comes to retention, we identify agents at risk—those that aren’t attending sales meetings or training events. Once those individuals have been identified, our leadership staff calls them monthly, simply to say hello or to invite them to a particular event or training.
Once you do get in front of them, how do you motivate and lead agents toward success?
MH: We ask our agents what they’re looking for in training and masterminds, and then we deliver. We have our leadership divide up our agent roster and stay in touch with them and see how they’re doing. We invite our top producers to participate and facilitate in our training, which gives them a sense of purpose. They prepare and deliver at a high level, giving them a sense of leadership, as well.
How important is utilizing the latest technology?
MH: It’s very important. We use Kelle, Command and AI. We promote our technology, which is coupled with AI, and train and consult with our agents on how to best incorporate technology and create greater ease and a seamless transaction experience for their clients and themselves.
What is your firm’s unique value proposition in your market?
MH: To provide an environment for our agent partners to grow and succeed at a high level through training, coaching, technology and strategic alliances. In addition to promoting the one-stop shop concept we believe consumers prefer, we expect the agent to provide the best services at the best value.
How are you competing against new business models?
MH: Service, service, service. While real estate remains a relationship-based business, our technology provides great opportunities for the consumer and agents to communicate and provide services on an expedient level.
Keith Loria is a contributing editor to RISMedia.