KW Young Professionals: Defining Your Unique Value Proposition

April 29th, 2015

We all have the moment when we want to be all things to all people. Being all things does not result in achieving big goals. What distinguishes you as an expert who can provide value above anyone else? Thanks to Kasey Mock of KW Farm and Ranch for sitting down with the KW Young Professionals Division to discuss building and clearly communicating one’s unique value proposition. Here’s a brief recap:

Establish Yourself at the Lead of the Pack

As young professionals, you are professional networkers. You usually have two minutes or less to make a lasting impression. How do you establish yourself at the lead of the pack? Define your unique promise of value — briefly explain what you do that your competitors do not.

Your unique value proposition is not about being valuable, it is about being unique. It is showing that you are a specialist at something, not all encompassing. It is not about being faster, cheaper, better — it articulates something unique or specific if it is to be effective.

Your unique value proposition is not about being valuable, it is about being unique. It is showing that you are a specialist at something, not all encompassing.

Mock referenced page 94 in Gary Keller’s bestselling book, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, highlighting important points about one’s unique value proposition:

    1. Top agents can easily explain what services they provide to anyone who hires them. (Mock added, “Quickly explains!”)
    2. Your unique value proposition should be the basis for everything you do, driving every message to both clients and prospects.
    3. Everyone you do business with and everyone you encounter should know your message.
    4. It’s important for vendors to know what is important to you as a business person so they can best serve your clients and send you talent.
    5. Customers must know your unique value proposition. After all, why else would they be in business with you?

Great companies are consistent in messaging their unique value proposition across all mediums. Are you consistent on your website, in your marketing materials, through your social media messages? Mock mentioned a few companies that do this well including Under Armor, Cabelas and Whataburger.

It doesn’t matter if you are new to real estate or a tenured veteran, you have something of unique value to offer to the seller. Regardless of experience, you are worth every dollar of your commission. Commission rates are a non-negotiable, you are paid for your best effort. Remember, you are not paid for the number of transactions you have closed, you are paid for your unique value proposition.

Think about your future. At Keller Williams Realty, you are not just a real estate agent, you are a business owner. Establishing a strong value proposition makes you attractive in the marketplace AND to potential talent who might join your team in the future.

Three Components of a Unique Value Proposition

So, how do you build a unique value proposition? Mock explained three components, simplifying the process:

#1 What is your Big Why?

What is your mission, vision, values, beliefs and purpose? Why do you want to accomplish your goals? How do you set standards for education and business? If you are not sincere in business or passionate about helping others — you are in the wrong business.

#2 What areas have you mastered?

The path of mastery is a combination of the best you can do it and the best it can be done. It is not about intellectual knowledge, it is about doing the task the best with determination and grit. Think big, go small, master one thing at a time and build from that.

#3 Share your success stories!

Use your personal stories of success or the stories of happy clients. Ask for referrals or endorsements. Track your numbers and be prepared to communicate the data. Have you been featured as a leader or a presenter at a Keller Williams event? What a great visual to use!

Commitment to Deliver

How can you uphold the promise to live your unique value proposition every day? Wake up each day with a burning fear that someone is trying to quash your success. You are fighting to uphold what distinguishes you as the leader of the pack!




KW Young Professionals: Tony DiCello Speaks on Coach-ability

March 26th, 2015

Who is the most sought after MAPS Coach? Tony DiCello! A rare treat, Tony offered a one-hour coaching call with KW Young Professional members discussing how to be coachable. Not surprising, Tony focused on having the right mindset. Setting goals and working hard each day is important. Seems cliché, right? Put it into Tony’s words: “Everyday, you go to work like you are unemployed. You have to have the mindset that your job is to get hired.”

Goals = Actions

Goals are action oriented, they should designate and determine action. Put this into real estate terms, what are the action-oriented goals for a successful business? Is it the number of contacts made or appointments set? Goals must be set by action!

Lead Generation

Tony explained that to succeed in real estate you must have enough client leads to meet or achieve your goal. This doesn’t stop with real estate! Whether you are

a doctor, a lawyer, or other professional, your job is to lead generation. When you go to work each day, get leads first and then follow-up on them to get business.

What do top agents do?

Top agents have a big why! Eventually, all top agents face the question of how great or big they can be. They realize that if they build a big business, they can help more people. By building a big business, they can help others succeed at a high level. Tony referenced Gary Keller’s famous mantra from The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: “Think a million, earn a million, net a million, save a million.” Gary says the next step is to “Give a million.” That’s a big why!

Top agents are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. Tony discussed the diagram in Gary and Jay Papasan’s bestselling book SHIFT depicting the difference between success and failure. To succeed, one must do what is uncomfortable. Tony challenged participants to do what is uncomfortable with a high sense of urgency.

Top agents are disciplined to build a time-blocking schedule. Build your skills and recognize signs to reassess. Using a 411 is key to watching for slippage and being accountable to slippage. For example, if you get behind on your lead follow-up, stop lead generating. Build your skills. As Tony says, “Efficiency has no hard costs.” He noted that young professionals are not just coming into the business but driving the business, raising the skill level. Commit to mastery and get better. He also highlighted the importance of blocking time for vacation. Remember, disciplines turn into habits!

Top agents fail at a very high level. #FailForward Gary unabashedly admits that he “fails” all the time. That’s why he is where he is today. Don’t spend time agonizing over failure: learn, make adjustments, and move on – hence Gary’s trademark signature, “Onward!”

Top agents focus on lead generation systems. They have 2,000 to 5,000 in their database and they build a fortress around that database. Using a “touch” system, top agents control their clients’ minds. “When they think of real estate, make them think of you,” Tony advises. Take care of the client starting on Day 1. Start talking to them immediately! Call them before texting or emailing. That is the key to building a wall around them. The important part of a database is growing it and getting referrals. Make your clients clients for life!

After graciously answering many questions, Tony closed the session on a note of inspiration, “The world is sitting in front of you – build a business and a life!”

KW Young Professionals: Rock Star Line-Up

January 11th, 2015

Unwavering. Committed. Dedicated. Devoted. These words capture Keller Williams Realty International‘s (KWRI) promise to train and grow the future leaders of our company through the KW Young Professionals Division (KWYP). As KWRI revs up for the largest company event of the year, Family Reunion, it is no surprise that KWYP members will receive the best program in the universe! Featuring KWRI executives and KWYP members who excel at the highest level, the morning of Saturday, February 7 will rock our KWYP members’ worlds! Check it out:

KWYP Rock Star Line-Up

Mary Tennant Welcome
Panel: “The Disciplines that Take You From Thinking Big to Being Big” with Chris Heller, Chris Suarez, and Ben Kinney
Panel: “The Journey of Building a Team” with Kristen Williams, Ryan Zook, and Tiffany Fykes
Cary Sylvester “Technology Trends Report: Changing the Mindset of the Consumer”
Dianna Kokoszka “Dianna Unplugged”
Panel: “The Lessons Learned Through Bold” with Lisa Archer, Ricky Cain, Matt Aitchison, and Rachel Adams
Mark Willis “Always and Nevers”

KWYP is a new membership division focused on preparing the future leaders of KWRI to lead the company while keeping culture at the heart of all that we do. After launching in September, high producing young professionals and the company’s top executives have continued to share their knowledge through monthly videos and webinars. This month, an international networking and referral sharing community will launch, brining our KWRI family together by providing members a robust communications tool. Borders and oceans will be a nonissue, our young associates will be tightly intertwined helping each other build their futures both professionally and personally.

If you are attending Family Reunion, you will see the KWYP members’ work in action. The KWYP Wellness Committee has partnered with the KWRI Wellness Ambassadors for a series of morning wellness offerings. The KWYP Current Events Committee and Keller Williams University are producing a REALTOR safety course. Even though the division is new, our young professionals are already demonstrating their leadership capabilities by adding value to the entire company.

To join the KW Young Professionals Division, visit and sign up now! If you have any questions, email Follow the conversation on Twitter with #KWYP. You don’t want to miss this extraordinary opportunity and all of the other valuable perks of KWYP membership — especially the program at Family Reunion.

Keller Williams Realty International Visits Trail of Lights

December 20th, 2014
Keller Williams at Trail of Lights

Having a blast with some of my best friends who happen to be my KW family too!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI) ensures their team enjoys it with cheer! This year’s KWRI holiday party was insanely fun and there is no better place for the real estate empire founded in Austin and based in Austin to celebrate than the Trail of Lights.

Trail of Lights

Trail of Lights is an Austin tradition, a literal trail made of Christmas lights displays and tunnels in the middle of Zilker Park. The focal point is the Zilker Tree which stands 155 feet tall and is made up of more than 3,300 lights in multiple colors.

VIP Experience

KWRI provided us the Trial of Lights VIP experience. After driving up to close-in VIP parking, we wandered into a tent filled with delicious bites: pizza, gourmet grilled cheese, perfect soups for the cool weather, sweet treats and more. President Mary Tennant gave everyone a warm welcome and Santa was on hand to pose for pictures and pass out personalized gifts for every child. The energy was high, hugs were flying, children were laughing. At Keller Williams, we really are a family and truly glad to see spouses, children, and friends who are part of our holiday traditions.

Soon, we were off to the trail, mazing through Candy Land themed huts and stopping throughout to play in photo booths with props, taking silly pictures and making special memories. I must admit, I acted like an elementary school kid as I tackled every photo booth available, twirled under the Zilker Tree, and ate a bag of kettle corn hot out of the kettle. I only slightly pouted when our group opted out of the ferris wheel ride because the line was a bit long. I wonder if there is a VIP pass for the ferris wheel… 🙂

In Closing

As my first year with Keller Williams comes to a close, I realize now more than ever that I am part of an international family that I will work with, play with, and celebrate with for many years to come. Fortunately for me, this family is committed to Austin, the community I love so much and consider home.

I hope that you make Trail of Lights part of your tradition. If you have not visited this holiday season, it is the best one yet — more lights than ever, tunnels galore. Don’t miss it!

Happy holidays!

Follow Trail of Lights on Instagram, ATXLights, or Twitter, @ATXLights. Follow KWRI on Twitter, @kwri or @lifeatkwri. Join my Twitter fun by following me @hollypriestner. 



The Junior League of Austin Presents Coats for Kids

December 14th, 2014

There are many special things that my husband Kevin and I do together — vacationing, boating, playing tennis, reading, and even working for the same company. One activity stands out from the rest, volunteering at The Junior League of Austin‘s (JLA) Coats for Kids Distribution Day.

Coats for Kids, Keller Williams Realty, Junior League of Austin

Volunteering with my Keller Williams family, including my husband, at The Junior League of Austin’s Coats for Kids

Coats for Kids provides approximately 35,000 new or gently used coats to Central Texas children who do not have warm winter coats. This is quite the operation and JLA looks to Jack Brown Cleaners, KASE 101, and KVUE to be part of the trusted team. And of course, we rely on volunteers from both the community and our League to make the magic happen.

During November and early December, coat drives are held throughout Austin. Imagine my delight and surprise, when Keller Williams University held a coat drive at Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI)! Jack Brown Cleaners locations are a major donation hub and they dry clean the gently used coats to ensure that they are perfect for the new recipient. The week before Coats for Kids, volunteers sort coats by size on coat racks, preparing Palmer Events Center for Distribution Day.

The morning of Distribution Day is emotional. Part of my heart breaks as I see the thousands of parents and children lined up outside the events center, waiting their turn to get a coat. They are often worried that the coats will run out — they won’t! There are enough cute or “cool” coats for every child! The other part of my heart is swelling with pride and love, thankful that I have the opportunity to be a leader in JLA, the amazing organization that makes this day possible.

When the doors open, volunteers are lined up, ready to greet the families and begin the adventure of finding the perfect coat for each child. It emulates a true shopping experience focused on color, fit, the perfect embellishment. As you look around the massive room, you see volunteers and recipients smiling, shaking hands, hugging and expressing thanks.

There are always members of the Keller Williams Realty (KW) family volunteering, providing me another happy moment when my two most significant worlds collide — JLA and KW!

Because we are JLA, there is more than the coats. There are books given away by BookSpring (an amazing organization that KWRI supported during our 2014 RED Day) and important health screenings. Today, I was especially grateful to learn that through the vision screening, a family learned that their child has a severe eyesight issue. This family would not have known this if it were not for Coats for Kids and now this child will be helped. As next year’s Coats for Kids Chair Courtney Clark remarked, “That is why we do this!”

That is why we do this! As we continue into the crazy holiday bustle, I hope that days like this keep me focused on what is really important — helping others and appreciating the gifts that we have that enable us to do so. I am thankful to be a leader in The Junior League of Austin and proud to be part of the Keller Williams family!


KW Young Professionals: Goal Setting with Mary Tennant

December 6th, 2014
Mary Tennant Kicking Off a KW Young Professionals Webinar

Mary Tennant Kicking Off a KW Young Professionals Webinar

Nothing’s more motivating for setting goals than hearing from Mary Tennant, the President of Keller Williams Realty International. Starting her real estate career in 1992 as an avenue to pay for her children’s college, she now leads North America’s largest real estate company. During the KW Young Professionals December webinar, she explained that big goals, hard work, and consistency got her to the top!

Why Real Estate?

Let’s not forget Mary’s intelligence or business acumen too. Think about this scenario. Mary moved to Austin in 1992 without knowing anyone, having no sales experience, and entering a depressed market. She studied the past three years of Austin’s economy to identify a career opportunity. Learning that 1989 had the highest foreclosure rate in Austin she realized that just enough time had passed for these families to receive financing for a new home again and an influx of new buyers was on the horizon. This was her opportunity!

Why Keller Williams Realty?

I love this! When looking for her real estate home, Mary considered many companies. She laughingly says that she was too old to conform and pragmatically mentioned that the splits at most companies would not pay for college. She had been warned not to go with small, local companies yet a RE/MAX agent said, “You talk funny and a company in town talks just like you.” It was the perfect match and Mary Tennant entered the Keller Williams family.

Making the Magic

Starting with no clients or friends, Mary had a lot of time for education so she attended every new agent class possible, which she attributes to her being named #1 in the city.

She relied on research to develop her career and quickly began working with a builder guiding him on where to build what type of houses based on businesses that were in the area, their employees’ salaries, and what businesses were projected to enter Austin.

Mary held open houses every weekend for three years. She remarked, “Open houses are never old, building relationships is never old.” She also pointed out that it is a very economical form of lead generation. She approached open houses as if she was entertaining her friends, put out coffee and cookies, and it worked! She would only hold an open house if it was no more than three turns from a major road. She would use ten signs for each open house. And she requested that her name be on the open house signs. Genius! Soon, this Austin newbie was receiving calls because her signs were everywhere!

Mary structured her week through a system that provided her time to research and deliver meaningful results in a short time period.

Mondays were spent researching the requests from the open houses and following up with every single person. Tuesday mornings, she took tours of the city, attaching herself to the most tenured, knowledgeable person so that she maximized what she could learn. She would preview houses, then hand-delivered or emailed packets with listings for her clients to review. Wednesday, she spent time following up with hot leads she met over the weekend and showed properties at night. Thursday was more of the same but she would take Thursday afternoon off to “organize herself.” Friday, she showed properties and followed-up with every single person she delivered a packet to. Saturday and Sunday were open house time. As her clientele grew, she identified ways to show homes while maintaining her systems.

One KWYP member asked if she held open houses during the week. The answer is yes with some pretty definite parameters – only on major roads and during commuter traffic time between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Setting Goals

An avid goal setter, Mary evaluates the year and sets goals for the next between Christmas and New Year’s.

“I love my goals. Goal setting is one of the best days of the year – a day that is limitless, you can be creative about the choices that you are going to make to change your life.”

She pointed out that goals are choices, reminding members that only you can make a choice to do a specific amount of production, succeed at a high level, help other families, and succeed through others. She compared goal setting as an adult to waiting for Santa at age five.

“You get to be five years old again and make a list for Santa but know you have the intelligence and ability to create what will happen.”

A well-laid plan and personal accountability is key. Don’t pick a goal out of the sky; lay out a plan and carefully think out how to achieve the goal.

Mary admits that she can procrastinate, but having her goals on a sheet that she visits quite often, she knows when they had to be completed.

Tidbits of knowledge

Mary discussed the power of relationships and reminded KWYP members that it is important to build relationships. Get in them. Make sure you care about these relationships. If you truly care, the relationship does not end with a closing.

Copy the experts. Use others’ scripts. Make them your own and internalize them. If you practice and internalize them, they will become your own and sound sincere.

Mary recommends everyone taking Quantum Leap, which she calls the most beneficial class offered. She also mentioned John Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Known for being a big driver, Mary laughed at herself as she warned, “Don’t skim leadership books.”

She ended the webinar with a great challenge.

“Remember, you are the person who can do it, treat yourself as you would treat the person you are working for. You set your salary and you can exceed that salary. Lead generate, follow-up and take BOLD. The only ceiling in this industry is you!”



Keller Williams Named Top Workplace

November 17th, 2014
Keller Williams is a Top Workplace

Top Left: Hanging with awesome co-workers who I am proud to call friends Bottom Left: RED Day supporting BookSpring Top Right: Example of our fun, creative, and competitive spirit — the award winning CANville structure Bottom Right: Friends from near and far sporting tutus at Red Rally supporting Austin Pets Alive!

A little less than a year ago, I joined the Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI) team. If you know me, you are WELL aware of this fact because each day, my social mediums are “blown up” with something fun, exciting, challenging, and inspiring tied to this amazing company. On Friday, Keller Williams received an Austin Young Chamber FAVE Award as Best Local Living Company. This morning, I was escatatic when the Austin American-Statesman named Keller Williams No. 2 among large companies in their 2014 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin list. I am thrilled, but not surprised!

A few weeks ago, the Statesman team popped by to film this video that captures the heart, spirit, and mindset of our organization. It’s a “must see!”

As I read the brief article and watched the video for the seventh time (critiquing my cameo), I reflected on why each day I bound out of bed, eager to get to KWRI early.

People are Our #TheONEThing

Big Hearts

It sounds like a cliche, but my colleagues literally make magic happen. We have a phrase, “coming from contribution,” which perfectly articulates the giving nature of our team. From helping our co-workers enduring unexpected hardships through our H.E.A.R.T. Fund to the commitment to volunteer service, our team is eager to drop everything to help make someone else’s life better. The entire company stops business on RED Day to serve communities across the globe. It is an amazing culture that starts with hearts!


In addition to having big hearts, there is so much talent in our office it is unbelievable. Our hiring process, Recruit-Select, ensures that we identify the top professional talent for each position, which is why we are able to support our 110,000+ real estate associates throughout the world. It is also why you will often find a KWRI team member speaking on panels at conferences. The talent expands far beyond the professional scope. We have some of the city’s most renowned actors and actresses, athletes who coach high school students, active musicians, philanthropists, dance enthusiasts and that’s just scratching the surface.

Fun Loving

Most importantly, this crew has fun. On any given day, you will find some sort of friendly competition in action. On Halloween, teams go overboard to win the best decorations and costume. I was both amused and shocked to see our COO and an unnamed top executive battle it out during an egg on the spoon relay race. And don’t event get me started about the battle for a spirit stick. Birthday celebrations are epic and practical jokes are found, well, everywhere!


What’s really special is that no one is comfortable — in a good way. Our team is committed to growth both professionally and personally. Each employee has a growth plan and stated goals. You better have your personal goals on there too or you will get sent back to revise your plan. It’s astonishing! The company provides numerous internal trainings and is quick to support external opportunities. Everyone is reading something: real estate, business, personal wealth, inspirational, and spiritual titles. This growth leads to opportunities within the company and in the industry.

My Personal Note

When I accepted the position, I knew that I was landing my dream job, a combination of philanthropy, recruiting, and public relations. What I NEVER saw coming was how quickly my life would change in the best way possible. I have always been a positive, productive, successful and happy person. I am now all of that times 1,000! I am not kidding!

I have the good fortune of shadowing our vice chair of the board, Mo Anderson, and the CEO of MAPS Coaching, Dianna Kokoszka. I now have my own real estate business. I have had the great fortune of driving the launch of a new Keller Williams business, the KW Young Professionals Division. I am surrounded by supportive new friends both in Austin and around the globe who are cheering me on and sharing their knowledge to help me succeed. And, if I don’t succeed, I know I am supported by a company that believes in “failing forward.” Meaning, I will learn valuable lessons that will set me up for even greater success.

Join Our Family

If you are looking for a career change, consider joining the Keller Williams family! The best part of our growth is the opportunity to hire new talent at corporate. There are open positions in our market centers too. Or, consider a career in real estate which is also an opportunity to build your own empire. To learn about more opportunities email me at or tweet me at @hollypriestner.

Keller Williams Realty International: National Adoption Week

November 12th, 2014

Each November, the nation celebrates the heartfelt moment when foster children come together with their “forever families” through National Adoption Week. As someone who serves on two nonprofit boards of organizations that further this mission, Partnerships for Children and Foster Angels of Central Texas, I was especially touched to witness many of my Keller Williams Realty International family members participating in the festivities. With more than 6,000 Central Texas children in need of foster care, service with any related organizations is more important than ever and not surprisingly, the Austin philanthropic community bands together to help meet these needs.

Here’s a glimpse of how our Keller Williams family participated in National Adoption Week.

Settlement Home for Children

Keller Williams was a platinum sponsor for the Settlement Home for Children annual Charity Garage and Estate Sale. Don’t let the term garage sale fool you. More than 25,000 shoppers sprint to Palmer Event Center for this shopping experience. To get the full picture, check out this video. Members of the KWRI team volunteered at the event  benefitting the organization, which offers treatment centers, transitional living, group homes, and adoption programs. If you missed this year’s event but want to help in 2015, your opportunities begin in January when the home begins taking donations. As you can imagine, it takes a while to acquire that much inventory!

Partnerships for Children

I will openly admit that I am biased. This organization introduced me to the meaningful work that is conducted in Central Texas to help children in need of a safe home. Partnerships for Children stands out from the rest because it serves children at ANY point in the Child Protective Services system, not just those in foster care. Within the last year, when another related organization closed its doors, Partnerships acquired the Heart Gallery of Central Texas, a program that helps older children, groups of siblings, and children with special needs find their forever families. Hundreds gathered at the Heart Gallery Reveal, an event at the world-class Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas at Austin campus, introducing Partnership’s direction of the program. Local photographers volunteer to take portraits of these children, which are displayed throughout the year like an art gallery. As the Partnership’s executive director thanked the crowd, she introduced a loving couple who pointed to a portrait of a child, the child they just embraced as their own. There was not a dry eye in the room. Meet some of the children who are looking for a home through Time Warner Cable videos like this one. In addition to the support during National Adoption Week, KWRI departments have signed up to volunteer with the Holiday Wishes Program.

Helping Hand Home for Children

Hundreds of Austin business and philanthropic leaders gathered to show support for the Helping Hand Home for Children. This organization provides a residential treatment center as well as foster and adoption assistance. The Champions for Children luncheon raises awareness and funds while recognizing outstanding leaders who have tirelessly dedicated time, talent, and treasure to this organization. Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey captured the crowd in his keynote address with his personal account of being a neglected child, the long-term impact it has had on his life, and his road to recovery. Once again, KWRI was represented well with team members fully engaged in the event.

While National Adoption Week in Austin is celebrated in MANY other ways, including adoption ceremonies and celebrations, the support that our Keller Williams family showed at these events is indicative of our loving and giving staff. More important, the questions about additional volunteer opportunities that rolled in after the events about how to get more involved are a promise that we will continue to make an impact on Central Texas youth for many years to come!









KW Young Professionals Division: Mindset of a Leader

November 5th, 2014
Dianna Kokoszka

My coach, Dianna Kokoszka, and me before the #KWYP webinar

Everything she says is magic! Dianna Kokoszka, CEO of MAPS Coaching, is well, magic. Her commitment to transforming lives is steadfast and her willingness to share her time and knowledge with growing professionals is a testament to who she is, someone who is always coming from contribution and abundance. The KW Young Professionals Division (#KWYP) kicked the week off right with a Monday morning webinar featuring Dianna discussing the mindset of a leader.

Dianna is my coach. I have shadowed her all year and I am currently taking the transformative class BOLD, which she wrote based on entries in her journal. I never get enough of her and always depart our meetings with life-altering aha’s. Today was no different.

I think of her as the Queen of Questions and in true Dianna form, we distributed a list of questions to webinar participants that she asks herself at the end of each year. “Are you living your life intentionally?” she asked. “Are you structuring day like a great leader, a great business leader?” Dianna explained that great leaders live intentionally, tracking where they are today in relation to significance. The questions she provided are great tools for our #KWYP members to assess where they are in relation to where they want to go.

Habits of a Great Leader

She then discussed the habits of great leaders. While she shared great examples, for the sake of blog brevity, here’s a basic summary:
1. Great leaders are always stretching and living outside of their comfort zone.
2. They are seldom sick. Their positive energy and attitude keep them well.
3. A great leader values opportunity over security.
4. A speed bump or slap is just what it is. A great leader does not dwell on a setback but is focused on moving forward and learning from those “opportunities.” It sounds a lot like Gary Keller’s favorite word, #Onward.
5. Great leaders stay creative when others quit.
6. One can only get as good as their coach or mentor. Are they stretching you and taking you to the next level?
7. Words matter. Choose wisely.
8. Ask questions. (I told you, the Queen of Questions.) Have questions for the people you want to know, you never know when you might bump into them and you want to be ready to seize the opportunity. Interview a leader you admire each month.
9. Leaders love to learn. They are constantly taking classes, reading books, asking questions, and seeking new experiences. They have a growth plan.
10. Great leaders get up early and keep going throughout the day. They start early and start fast. They implement right away. You know who flew the first plane. But do you know who flew the second plane higher, faster, and better? Probably not.
11. A great leader works hard and outworks the rest.
12. There is a strong need to win, a sense of competition. The competition is not with others, it is to be the best.
13. Energy attracts like energy. A great leader is also a great follower, studying others to become great. She cited one of my favorite “Kellerisms,” Be. Do. Have. Be who you want to be, do as they do, then you will have what they have.
13. A true leader is thirsting for feedback. Feedback is an opportunity to get better and to learn. Just like a problem is a challenge to beat.

A strong leader loves a problem!

This was great advice! A strong leader loves a problem. A problem is the reason you exist, to accept the challenge to solve the problem. Here’s the way she breaks down the meaning of a problem:

Predictor of what is to come and where you will be. The way you handle a problem is a testament to your leadership.
Reminds that life is a challenge.
Opportunity to make a difference.
Blessings, even when one door closes, another opens.
Learning, a problem ensures we are learning.
Everywhere, problems are everywhere.
Message, there is a message in every problem.


The audience must have listened because they had great questions for the Queen of Questions.

What are your daily habits?
DK: Exercise, pray, meditate, thinking time, reading, and journal

What is the best business investment you have made?

“The best investment I have ever made is in myself!”

Besides the Millionaire Real Estate Agent and The ONE Thing, what books do you recommend?
DK: Think and Grow Rich, The Aladdin Factor, Man’s Search for Meaning, anything by John Maxwell

What do people often leave off their growth plan that you wish they would add?
DK: Recruit-Select-Train-Lead-Motivate; MAPS Coaching, Coaching Skills Camp, Recharge

What is the best business decision you have ever made?

“The best business decision I ever made was coming to Keller Williams. It is a company full of opportunities.”

I’ve read Fierce Conversations, what else should I do to learn to choose my words wisely?
DK: Take Fierce Conversations and the Language of Sales.


Dianna closed with a story from her childhood. In the 9th grade, her father told her that everyone wears a sign around their neck and that to be successful, she needed to figure out what it said. Periodically, he would ask if she had figured it out. One night, she was at the counter waiting for a friend at the soda fountain and had a conversation with a stranger. When her friend arrived and she said goodbye to the stranger, the stranger thanked her for taking time to visit with her. A lightbulb went off, Dianna realized that the sign is that everyone wants to feel important. She reminded the young professionals that business will thrive if they make others feel important.

Want to listen to the audio from this webinar? Join the KW Young Professionals Division at The members-only page provides access to this webinar plus many other resources to help grow the future leaders of Keller Williams Realty.



Keller Williams Realty: Committed to a Wellness Mindset

November 1st, 2014

Top Left: Snickers keeping me away from eating Snickers on Halloween Top Right: Those Chewy Sprees Bottom Left: KW Run for the Water Bottom Right: KW Worldwide President Chris Heller, Nina Rowan Heller, and family at Red Rally

I LOVE candy! I am “that girl” who has blown through two jumbo boxes of Hot Tamales in one day. One of my colleagues keeps a candy jar on her desk. Ask her about the day she had Chewy Sprees. Yes, they lasted ONE day. My favorite candy bar is Snickers. I like them so much, I found a dog named Snickers. (My mentor Dianna Kokoszka would say there are no coincidences in life.) As you can imagine, my love for candy means I love Halloween! Yesterday was an unusual Halloween, I did not eat even one piece of candy. I consider this a major wellness and mindset victory!

Wellness. Many companies incorporate a “token” wellness aspect into their human capital scope.

Wellness! Keller Williams Realty has a strong commitment to wellness, starting at the top!

Imagine, the largest real estate company in the world, promoting a holistic approach to wellness across the globe. Yup, check, we have that!

Keller Williams Realty knows that a healthy body, mind, and spirit lead to peak performance and great success. Our company was built on providing the models, systems, and tools to drive results. Wellness is no different. From training Wellness Ambassadors in each market center (franchise office) to offering health and wellness coaching through MAPS Coaching, our international wellness initiative continues to explode.

At Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI), we are extremely spoiled! Wellness Manager Alex Garland offers free circuit, stretch, yoga, and other fitness classes daily. Oh, one more time, did I mention they are free? Keller Williams founder Gary Keller built a state-of-the art gym as a special perk to his corporate team. Ah-mazing! In addition to the daily class offerings, Alex identifies guest speakers on a variety of wellness topics and incorporates other fun wellness related activities into our office. For example, a few months ago, we took pledges to not text and drive, we were rewarded with a sassy sticker for taking our blood pressure, and we had an intriguing guest speaker teach us about essential oils. Alex also coordinates a weekly acupuncture, chiropractor, and massage schedule. During certain seasons, employees can participate in a farm-to-work food delivery option.

We also engage our community in wellness. In August, we hosted our first community 5K, Red Rally, supporting Austin Pets Alive! Last weekend, we were the title sponsors for a very popular Austin run, Run for the Water.


A few times a year, Keller Williams sets a 66 Day Challenge focused on wellness. The concept taken from Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s bestselling book The ONE Thing, a habit is formed after 66 days, provides a great platform for wellness related goal setting. The most popular and successful challenge remains 10,000 steps a day for 66 days. Keller Williams associates all over the world participate, utilizing tracking posters to brag on their success. KWRI even purchased Fitbit devices for corporate staff, an extra incentive to get out of your chair and start moving. What’s even better is that in between KW set challenges, our associates are creating their own. I am currently doing the challenge with a group and participating in FitBit’s “Workweek Hustle” with another.

MAPS Health & Wellness Coaching

Coaching is new to me and I am obsessed! I now have four coaches, including Nina Rowan Heller who leads the MAPS Coaching Health and Wellness group coaching program. Each week for 16 weeks, I participate in a group coaching call focused on wellness. How does a call equate to being healthy? It’s astonishing! The topics, discussion, and homework adjust your mind to think about the choices you make and challenge you to make wiser choices. Here is just one example of how this program has impacted me. I love food and I love bad food. Now, before I tackle the entire pizza, bowl of queso, or those Chewy Sprees, I take a moment to assess, “What will I feel like after I eat this entire thing?” Not so hot. Eat half. Half is better than whole. It’s all about taking small steps that create a big change. The private Facebook group and use of accountability partners maintains a constant “cheer squad” of people who want you to succeed.

KW Wellness Ambassadors

All Keller Williams initiatives are successful when we have advocates in the field. Our wellness ambassador program organizes one wellness ambassador at each market center. This ambassador participates on monthly calls to gain information about wellness that is easy to share or incorporate into their market center. Market centers are requesting vendors who supply lunches to bring healthy lunches, fruit is replacing birthday cake, and nuts are replacing candy. Some market centers are taking it to another extreme, offering yoga classes in learning centers or even building gyms. After one year, there are currently more than 100 wellness ambassadors across the globe and that number is increasing every single day. The Wellness Ambassadors also plan Wellness Day, a Keller Williams tradition where offices close for a few hours to celebrate wellness. At KWRI, we had an old school field day competition that was the most fun!

Benefits Platform

While I am personally excited about the physical and mindset training, I would be remiss not to mention the most practical and important component to Keller Williams’ health and wellness program: our health benefits platform. Corporate employees receive full health, dental, and vision benefits but our company offers resources for our associates, who are independent contractors. A benefits platform offered through ConnectedHealth provides a user friendly health insurance shopping experience. In addition to the health related offerings, there is access to legal and identify theft services. We recently were awarded the 2014 Superstar Award from the Institute for HealthCare Consumerism. Also, we all know that the biggest form of flattery is someone copying you. Recently, another major international brokerage implemented a similar system. #BOOM

Who knew that joining a real estate company would change my lifestyle? A few weeks from my high school weight, not indulging in Halloween candy, and anxiously awaiting to hit “publish” on this post so I can hit the trail… Imagine what else Keller Williams Realty can change!