This article was featured in the Sunday edition of the Denver Post on March 29, 2015.
When Denver’s shortage of homes for sale declined to a startling level last month, the dearth showed up in a drastic drop of new listings filed by area real estate agents – down 47% percent on average from February 2014. However, over at what has long been the metro area’s very largest office — Keller Williams at 6300 S. Syracuse in the DTC — agents were seeing new listings drop only 9.2 percent; pretty modest considering the severity of the market-wide shortage.
That was no surprise to Keller Williams DTC’s Team Leader/CEO, Tony Carnesi, who was going over Denver area’s latest inventory stats Thursday morning: only around 4,100 homes, total; and for homes under $200,000, only 181 properties in the entire 7-county metro area. “We’ve gone from a 36-month supply in 2010 to about a 3-week supply now, and in some price ranges, it’s just days,” Carnesi says.
Hard to believe, Carnesi notes, that the oversupplied market a few years back was a good one for Keller Williams DTC. During the downturn the office took the Denver-area lead in numbers of sales-closed by a single office, and has held the title 77 consecutive months since. Last year the office did $908 million in sales, and grew to 447 agents (Carnesi expects that to be well over 500 by end of year).
“We’ve always been focused on the idea that you have to master the market you’re in,” Carnesi says. The challenge of doing that now – with way too few listings instead of too many – Carnesi sees as a perfect opportunity matched to Keller Williams’ assets.
First among those is a culture that gives agents more incentive to perform and cooperate with other agents: Keller’s model sets a cap on commissions that the agent can pay the firm. When DTC agents Dan Polimino and Gary Lohrman made the very highest sale in the Denver area last year — $5.25 million – they paid zero commission to the office; they had already passed their cap.
Meanwhile, Keller DTC is huge on coaching and training, both for new agents (Keller gives 84 hours and converts 82 percent of ‘newbies’ into production, well beyond industry averages), but also for experienced ones (DTC has 14 master faculty instructors who give classes; backed by 1,500-plus national trainers and coaches). Some sessions are on basics essential in this market, when potential sellers need to be coaxed out of their reticence. “We teach our agents specific techniques to go find the listings the market needs,” Carnesi says.
All of that ends up very important to agents who can imagine a day when they’ll no longer work. “The average age of a Realtor is 56,” Carnesi adds. “What is their exit strategy, anyway?” Keller DTC turned $1 million in company profits back to its agents last year – and agents will continue profit-sharing when they move on (one national agent averages around $800,000 a year, for retirement).
And where do those new listings come from? “There are only two places,” Carnesi says. “You either teach your team to go out and get them, or you recruit experienced agents that already have them.”
Veteran agent Okie Arnot, who came to Keller DTC a decade ago, says the former method works great, but the latter works even better: “It was the best decision I ever made,” she says.
WHERE: Keller Williams DTC, Denver area’s largest real estate office, 77 months ranked for greatest number of units closed. 6300 S. Syracuse Wy, Ste 150, Centennial. Take Orchard Rd. west from I-25 1 long block to Greenwood Plaza Blvd., south 1 blk, continue onto S. Syracuse Way, half mile to Caley.
PHONE: 303-522-1161 or 303-829-5900