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How Keller Williams Turns Company Culture into Success

Keller Williams is the largest real estate franchise in the world by agent count and boasts the highest sales volume in the US. The company often highlights its unique culture as a key factor in its success, earning it the number-one ranking on Indeed’s 15 Top-Rated Workplaces: Best Culture list.

But with over 980 global offices (or “market centers”), more than 175,000 employees (or “associates”) and continued growth on the horizon, how does Keller Williams nurture a culture that puts individuals first?

We spoke with Ryan Anson, chief people and security officer at Keller Williams, to learn more about how culture impacts the company’s success.

Keller Williams: A culture built on shared beliefs

The Keller Williams website defines the term “culture” as “the result of organizing the goals of a business around solid, positive, core values, and then proceeding to cultivate them on a daily basis.” Known more broadly as a system of values, beliefs and practices shared by a group of people, the idea of culture is integral to Keller Williams’s success story.

According to associates, the company has built an incredibly strong sense of its culture across market centers. A Stanford University study found that 96% of associates believe the culture is unique and directly influences success, while nearly 90% describe it as “family-like.”

This may be due to the fact that Keller Williams has a codified company belief system, which is embedded at every level and introduced at onboarding. Shortened to WI4C2TS, it consists of the following elements: win-win, integrity, customers, commitment, communication, creativity, teamwork, trust, and success.

Keller Williams’s belief system offers a unifying template for action and understanding, reminding associates that customers always come first, trust begins with honesty and people drive success. This system itself is proof of the company’s commitment to the belief that everyone achieves more through teamwork.

As Anson explains, finding employees who share this belief system helps provide common ground and a shared worldview across market centers.

“There’s nothing in [the belief system] that focuses around fads,” says Anson. “It should be able to stand the test of time.”

In addition to the WI4C2TS, Keller Williams associates and market centers are united by three core values: “God, Family, then Business.” Anson says members of the Keller Williams community interpret these values in ways that fit their lives, yet the takeaway is universal.

“You have to take care of yourself, and you have take care of your family,” Anson explains. “And once you’re in a good place there — let’s get to work.”

Nurturing individuals to ensure organization-wide growth

Keller Williams’s culture centers on supporting the individual first, which creates the scaffolding for success at multiple levels: building up its associates has the ripple effect of supporting the organization as a whole.

This is illustrated by the company’s stated mission: “To build careers worth having, businesses worth owning,…

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