July 2018

252 253 KELLERWILLIAMS REALTY METROPOLITAN agents and,“it had an impact.”Rice describes the change as “a disruption to the market - a respectful disruption, but nonetheless, a disruption.” The overnight growth spurt resulted in an adjustment period lasting from 2009 to 2012. It was during that time Rice realized they were truly demonstrating a value proposition and attracting talented people. Training opportu- nities resulted in better trained professionals, more sales, and more territory. “Our geographic footprint begins at the economic center of New Hampshire, the Manchester and the Bedford Area,” Rice explains. “So, it’s right in Central New Hampshire, south; we go up as north as Concord into the Lakes Region with some agents in that area, but it’s really concentrated in central and south central areas.We consider about 15 towns around the economic center to be in our grid. Many of those towns are commutable towns for people going into Boston or the Rte. 128 Belt.” The firm’s geographic span allows it to main- tain a commercial division as well as a residen- tial one. Rice insists that those who serve as commercial brokers must be dedicated to the sector. “We have about 13 brokers who focus on commercial and part of our view of things is that there is no dabbling. In our previous com- pany, people could work primarily as residential realtors and dabble in commercial, choosing to Rice describes their commitment to training tools for agents: “We brought education to a new level in the area,” he states. “We really em- phasized training for both new and experienced agents, with the focus on experienced agents - people who were doing 20 to 25 transactions repeatedly, and in the vicinity of three to five mil- lion dollars in volume.” With tools in place and efforts to attract ongo- ing, the agency grew to include 65 agents by 2008. Rice explains what happened next: “In 2008,when things started to readjust, our competitor went out of business. GMAC Real Estate had 10 locations in NewHampshire and Massachusetts, and in Decem- ber of 2008, they told the agents they were free to go. So we were able to attract them, and doubled our size in one fell swoop.” The sudden influx of new realtors caused some growing pains, of course. Rice explains, “Now there was a lot of work to do with this, so it wasn’t really a silver bullet. It really drove our focus toward systems and models that would ap- ply to a much larger agent population than that which existed in the area. The biggest company prior to our expansion was around 55 or 60 peo- ple, and that was considered to be humongous.” Keller Williams of Bedford suddenly employed 132 broker a big deal if it came along. Our philoso- phy, now, is to concentrate on the ‘expertise ex- perience,’ meaning we require that people who are part of the commercial division take classes