Name: Keller Williams Realty local franchise
Location: 1200 Premier Drive in East Brainerd
Service: Keller Williams works to train and support real estate agents from their first sale to later in life when they become master Realtors. The agent education process centers around a book by Gary Keller named "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent." Starter classes are a six-week boot camp, while the mastery classes can be spread out over eight two-hour sessions. Keller Williams brokers don't compete with agents, but instead they focus on recruiting, consulting and training the agents. The office is maintained by partnering with agents and working together on sales.
Age: The East Brainerd branch is 61/2 years old, with a renovation completed in November 2010.
Franchise startup investment: $300,000.
Annual sales: $117 million in residential sales at the East Brainerd and Hixson locations so far this year
Biggest hurdle: The biggest hurdle has been working within the existing office space as more agents join up to sell houses in the growing Chattanooga area, said team leader Marie Levi. This challenge was met by a renovation.
Biggest reward: "Having our agents motivated and trained to get us to No. 1 as a company," Levi said.
Challenges in the future: "It's more challenging now to secure the loans and secure sales with the seller based on appraisals."
Lesson learned: Real estate is a relationship business, Levi has found. "Just because you sold their home to them seven years ago, they're not necessarily going to call you to move it if you don't stay in touch."