What decisions and paths should the real estate industry be prioritizing? And how can you, whether managing a team or an entire company, bring those best lessons to bear where you work? In February, in advance of building an industry blueprint at Inman Disconnect, we’ll plumb the topic of leadership with Q&As with top industry leaders, contributions from esteemed Inman columnists and more.
After nearly five years away from Keller Williams, Florida-based indie brokerage Laurie Finkelstein Reader Real Estate has rejoined the Texas franchisor.
“The values and culture of Keller Williams reflect who we are,” Finkelstein Reader said in a prepared statement on Tuesday. “Joining forces with Keller Williams is like coming home. We’re excited to leverage the brand’s powerful referral network, and models and systems to expand further and faster across the U.S.”
A 25-year sales veteran, Finkelstein Reader initially joined Keller Williams in 2011 and established the Laurie Finkelstein Reader Real Estate Team. Her team serves buyers and sellers in Broward County, Florida, and became one of Keller Williams’ top-producing outfits in South Florida.
However, Finkelstein Reader left Keller Williams in July 2018 to test the waters as an independent brokerage. Her group continued to experience impressive growth, ballooning from 26 agents in 2019 to 104 real estate agents and 20 staff members in 2022.
Finkelstein Reader’s team completed 2,288 transaction sides equaling $900.9 million in 2021, earning them top 20 finishes in Real Trends “The Thousand” lists for the largest mega team by sales volume (N0. 19) and the largest mega team by transaction sides (No. 17) in 2022. Despite a shifting market, the Laurie Finkelstein Reader Real Estate Team still performed well in 2022 with 890 transaction sides equaling $417.5 million.
Even with her success as an independent broker-owner, Finkelstein Reader said she realized she needed to return to Keller Williams to help her team thrive through an uncertain market.
“At the time we were a growing business, and we didn’t believe that we had the right model for us to be able to expand,” she said of her decision to leave Keller Williams during an onstage appearance with Gary Keller during the Family Reunion. “We just thought we would tiptoe… So we became an independent, and over the last year or so, we’ve been working on how we could realign with Keller.”
“We never hated each other. [There was] constant collaboration,” she added. “Sometimes you have to go and figure things out, and when we started to realize that we really want to grow this rocket ship… The way we do everything, we are Keller Williams.”
Finkelstein Reader said she’s excited to be under the Keller Williams banner again, and that her agents are already taking advantage of the tech, education, training, lead generation and referral opportunities the franchisor has to offer.
“You have to make that big decision,” she said on Sunday. “We’re watching our agents. The ones that are winning are the ones who adapted over the last three to four or five months. I think a lot of us lost what was most important when we had this big frenzy and deals fell out of the sky and that was keeping your foot on the throttle.”
“Never take it off,” she added. “You win organically. We can’t help but sell houses, and it’s not because we’re doing anything fancy. We’re just doing the activities.”
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