SAN FRANCISCO — “Keller Williams isn’t taking any of our market share,” Jerry Holden told attendees at today’s Inman Connect San Francisco Indie Broker Summit.

Holden, broker-owner of Ohio-based The Holden Agency, credited his firm’s success against the industry giant to three simple rules:

  1. No assholes.
  2. Have fun.
  3. The grandmother rule: “Treat every customer with white-glove service, just like you would your grandmother,” he said.

Holden, a former professional junior league baseball player, is a competitive guy. The philosophy he lives by is: “I hate to lose. I love to win.”

Jerry Holden

But when he set out to build his team of nearly two dozen agents, he took a cue from his baseball days. Players are independent contractors — like most agents — and therefore they are competitors. But they are also teammates that can only win together.

At The Holden Agency, agents “work as an actual team. No member rivals another, contrary to franchise fashion,” Inman staff writer Gill South wrote in a profile of Holden.

This is contrary to two or three different Keller Williams offices in one city, all owned independently and jockeying for clients in the same market.

“Everybody comes together numerous times a year and we collaborate and we trust each other. Teamwork,” Holden said.

He also advises brokers and agents to “never stop learning,” pointing out that star athletes such as the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James still work on their foul shots in the off season.

“Same thing with real estate. Most real estate agents don’t even know what an absorption rate is,” Holden said.

And lastly, he counseled agents and brokers to invest in their community, whether through the Chamber of Commerce, booster clubs, Little League or peewee football.

That investment “will allow you to have a competitive edge against your competition,” he said.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

Like me on Facebook! | Follow me on Twitter!

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription