#365 Mail-Right Show: We Interview Scott Agnew CEO and Operating Partner at Keller Williams

What Are The Leadership Skills Needed In a Difficult Market?

Scott Agnew has dedicated his life to helping leaders discover their most significant potential inside themselves.

His passion is leveraging personal leadership dynamics to make a positive impact on the people around him.

The owner of multiple businesses, including several Keller Williams real estate market centers, Scott consistently ranks in the top 1⁄4 of 1% of profit share earners in Keller Williams Realty International.

Scott is a founding member of MAPS Coaching and was a key advisor in the deployment of the Recruit Select Training Learning Mastery into the KW system. And the author of Long-Term Leader: The Hidden Secrets of the Power of Soft Skills to Go From CEO To Successful Business Owner.


Full Interview Transcript

[00:00:11.290] – Robert Newman

Welcome back to the mail. Right, Podcast? Ladies and gentlemen, today we’re extraordinarily excited. We have an incredible guest this afternoon, so I’m going just to read the title of this guest. It’s Scott Agnew, who is the CEO and operating partner at Keller Williams Realty, east Valley, Tempe, Arizona Park City, Utah, and KW, Utah region leadership and motivational training agent, business coaching, and life advancement. And the man has a list of achievements in a warm longer than my arm. So if you want to highlight any of those, Scott, feel free to do so. But that was my introduction, so why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself to the audience?


[00:00:51.070] – Scott Agnew

Well, sure, I appreciate that, and I’m glad I’m able to talk with you guys a little bit about myself. I don’t talk about myself very often, so it’s kind of almost a little bit uncomfortable at times. But I’ll tell you what; I guess if you could summarize it, nobody, especially myself, would ever have believed I would accomplish what I’ve accomplished. But I owe it a lot. I owe so much of it to the amazing leadership that I’ve been able to learn from over the years with people like Gary Keller, of course, mo Anderson, a guy named Robert Kalinsky, bob Kalinsky, a good friend, David Osborne, Linda and Jim McKissick, Beverly Steiner. I mean, there’s just a long litany of people that have helped contribute to the overall success of this company, and I’m pretty honored to be part of it.


[00:01:45.490] – Robert Newman

Beautiful. And John, for anybody that might not already know who you are, would you introduce yourself to the audience?


[00:01:51.710] – Scott Agnew



[00:01:52.060] – Jonathan Denwood

Thanks, Rob. I’m the co-founder of Mailhyphen Right. We build beautiful real estate websites on WordPress, and we have a suite of marketing tools that will help the agent get some great digital deeds back over to you, Rob.


[00:02:09.610] – Robert Newman

And honestly, I don’t usually actually introduce myself, but Scott, I don’t think you know who I am, so I will tell introduce myself to you as opposed to the audience. So I’m an SEO guy who’s been specializing in residential real estate for 14 years and as far as I know, I might very well be the most experienced real estate residential SEO consultant founder that exists. I have a marketing company that I founded called Inboundrem.com. You can see it right behind me. And I educate agents, lots of them, tons of them, but for free. I do inbound marketing style content where I give them the free digital tips and advice that they need to rank and Google my business, change their mindset as it relates to inbound marketing and real estate and a whole bevy of other things. So that’s who I am. Without any further ado, ladies and gentlemen, for the first part of the show, we are really excited to talk to Scott because Scott, after all these years in real estate, you decided, I’m guessing that you decided to put your knowledge down in book form. And you wrote a book called The Top Ten Mistakes That Prevent You From Being a Long Term Leader.


[00:03:21.710] – Robert Newman

Before you tell us about the book itself, might you tell us why, after all these years, you decided to write? And especially a guy who just self identified, you don’t like to promote yourself or you don’t like talking about yourself, so why write a book?


[00:03:37.940] – Scott Agnew

Sure. Well, it was during the pandemic and I didn’t have anything else to do because I was grounded, I couldn’t travel. So just by virtue of having extra time on my hands, I joined a group of entrepreneurs. And I found one thing in common between all these amazing, successful, what I call fulfilled entrepreneurs in a network that I joined called Genius Network. And I saw so many human beings that were not thinking about their own profits or their own success or their own fulfillment, but rather they’re more focused on what they can do to help other people achieve what they’ve achieved and kind of what’s in it for them type of attitude. In fact, the founder of the network just wrote a book and I’m going to promote it because it’s an incredible book. It’s called? What’s in it for them? You’ve heard of the book called how to Win Friends and Influence People? Well, this book is about how to win the right friends and influence the right people. And based on some of what I’ve learned from the gentleman Joe Polish that wrote that book, I decided and I was inspired to write my own book.


[00:04:56.370] – Scott Agnew

And the main theme around leadership, I wanted to take a much different approach. That approach was more about how to interact as a long term leader in the moment, rather than focusing on all the hard skills, the tools, the objectives, the plans and all those kinds of things. One of the things I have learned over the years, almost a plan almost never gets executed the way you write the plan. And so you’re always pivoting, you’re always making adjustments. You might even scrap a strategy and have to go back to your team and say, we’re not going to do that. And so long term leadership is about how you do that so that your team doesn’t put a noose around your neck or walk out the room. Right, right. Those are some key elements of being in the game for the long term.


[00:05:54.830] – Robert Newman

So that leads me to another question, and then I’m going to hand one over to John. I’m curious. You are a man that appears to be, from everything I can see, at the high side of your career. So you are also talking about having joined a networking group while you’re at the top of that mountain and saying, I’m going to join a group of like minded individuals. How important has, like, mentorship been throughout the entirety of your you’ve now twice mentioned it in the first part and now here. So how important has mentorship been to you inside your career, would you say?


[00:06:36.910] – Scott Agnew

It’s been incredibly important. It’s probably been the main contributor to helping me keep my head on straight, stay focused, and more importantly, help me get in touch with the things that I really want and help me get in touch with the human being that I want to be. When I was my father passed away when I was eight years old. The book says I was ten, but the truth is, it’s eight, okay? And I grew up without somebody to kick me in the butt, somebody to hold me accountable, somebody to challenge me, somebody to, you know, what dads do? I didn’t really have that. But I had many figures in my life that filled that role for me and starting all the way back to Little League. And Mr. Frigy, who was my first coach, and then in high school after that, mr. Fulton, who was my basketball coach. And these gentlemen helped shape my work ethic and helped me understand what was, you know you know, there were times when I thought I was, you know, a four on a scale of one to ten, and they would say, no, Agnew, you’re an eight or a nine, you know?


[00:07:45.110] – Scott Agnew

And they they helped me be more realistic about my, you know, what I was actually achieving, because I never really felt like I was good enough. That’s part of the reason I think people become entrepreneurs. They’ve got something inside them that they need to prove. And so mentorship has played a huge role in helping me get comfortable with who I am. It helped me write the book. I mean, that’s crazy, right? Writing a book on leadership? There’s been thousands of books written about leadership, and yet I wanted to write something that I thought was different about the how of leadership, not the what. And so the soft skills, I think, were incredibly important to me because I was taught by mentors. I was given a lot of mentorship. Dr. Jack Vandewowda helped me, and of course, one of the premier people that helped me was Gary Keller. He’s the guy that taught me how to not write scathing emails to people.


[00:08:48.250] – Robert Newman

Hey, you need to teach John that. No, I’m just kidding. I’m just joking. I’m totally everybody, that was a total joke. All right, John, take it away, sir.


[00:08:58.900] – Jonathan Denwood

I’m so hurt, Robert. I really am so hurt. It’s been a rough year. You just finished it off so well.


[00:09:07.780] – Scott Agnew



[00:09:08.680] – Jonathan Denwood

There we go. Scott, from all the things that you probably cover in the book, what would be one that comes straight into your mind here and now that you would like somebody to learn from the book, read after reading it?


[00:09:25.890] – Scott Agnew

Yeah, well, I think the message of the book is very basic, it’s very simple, and that is, how do you increase your potency as a leader? And what I mean by potency is when you make a suggestion or when you give some guidance or when you offer some perspective. How do you get your people in a place where they’re anxious to hear what you have to say as a leader? I had a wonderful coach many years ago who taught me this, and it made sense to me. He said, in most accountability sessions or reviews or quarterly summaries, when you’re having those kinds of meetings with your team, and in my case, leadership team, because everybody that reports to me, they’re all leaders in their own right. He says he’s told me, he said 99% of the time, those meetings leave people feeling worse than when they came into the meeting. And it made sense to me because yes. And why did it feel worse? A lot of times you feel worse because you just feel like you’re not doing enough. And that’s when you go home and you start kicking the dog and your kids aren’t good enough and your wife isn’t supporting you enough, because you’ve just come out of this interaction that you feel like, gosh, there’s so much more that I can do.


[00:10:49.070] – Scott Agnew

And what it does, it creates anxiety and it creates stress. And as a leader, it’s important not to have that kind of anxiety and not to have that stress. It’s certainly not to let that bleed into your interactions with your leaders because it flows downhill, right? Whatever you start, it will continue to pay itself forward. So it’s more about being inquisitive, and instead of being as a leader, being in a directive mode I’m going to use this word being a Requestive mode. One of the one of the superpowers of Gary Keller is all he does is ask great questions, and he’s there to learn. And as a leader, I’m there to learn. And what am I there to learn? I’m there to learn what my people are feeling, what their obstacles are, what their challenges are. And I’m also there to learn what their real victories are. What are they really proud of? They might be proud of something that isn’t part of my objective plan or their objective plan, but they’re proud of a win or they’re proud of how they move the ball forward. And it might seem small, but to them, it could be big enough to actually fulfill them and give them a motivation to really go out there and bust their tail at the end of the day because they realize that they’re cared for as human beings, not just for what they can accomplish.


[00:12:19.220] – Scott Agnew

And I think in business today, especially today, you’ve got a scenario where the typical younger leader, if you will, they’re more wired around the emotional and psychological side of the business than they are around the competitive side of the business. And so competition versus collaboration is something I talk about in the book. It’s a very interesting topic to me.


[00:12:51.190] – Jonathan Denwood

Well, it’s a bit of a balance, isn’t it, depending on personality, style, isn’t it? Some people, especially on the sales side, they are really driven by the competitive element in office or a scenario where other types, they can sometimes be just as effective in sales, but they’ve got a very different style and they don’t particularly like that competitive side. Would you agree with that, or do you think I’m off track?


[00:13:23.920] – Scott Agnew

Yeah. I mean, when you look at the top productive agents in real estate, they’re task driven. We call them taskers. They do one thing, they accomplish one thing. They take about 1 second to enjoy their accomplishment and they’re ready to accomplish the next thing and the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. And they achieve at a very high level. They’re the they’re the type of folks that, you know, they’re in the top two 3% and they do, you know, 50% of the business. And that’s just the way it is. I mean, that’s the way it is in sport, professional athletics. Unfortunately, it’s probably not that way in politics. We can’t even find a one or 2% in politics these days. But if you really look at the difference in how they’re motivated, that level of agent is motivated by challenge. They want to be challenged. They want to be called out on their imperfections. They just have super high expectations for themselves. They have high expectations for others around them. And my book is ideal for this kind of achiever because the challenge that those top one, two and three percenters have is that while they make a tremendous amount of cash flow revenue, they tend to suffer quite a bit.


[00:14:50.820] – Scott Agnew

And the suffering comes from having high turnover on their team. And so they’re constantly retraining. They’re rehiring and it feels to them, I think in many cases somewhat like a hamster wheel, right? The more they do, the more they’ve got to take care of everything. And they don’t have a sense of who they can bring into their business that could actually replace them so that they could still own a majority interest of the business and have a life. This is the kind of stuff I talk about in my book. Because anybody that has the will to build a big real estate business or any big business, the challenge they have is to be able to change their mindset and be able to enjoy it and be able to let other people have opportunities inside their business and then open the door for them to do it. And do it in a way where people trust each other and do it in a way where people get great results without a lot of friction or anxiety. Because after all, you can only go to so many restaurants. You can only buy so many pairs of shorts and have so many cars and so many homes and all that.


[00:16:05.410] – Scott Agnew

What’s left after that? After that is you want to have a life and you want to have something that you can enjoy. Maybe you want to have a family and enjoy your family. So that’s why leadership is so important, because it gives you great leverage over your business.


[00:16:24.110] – Jonathan Denwood

That’s fantastic.


[00:16:26.730] – Robert Newman

Well, ladies and gentlemen and Scott, we’re going to go for a break. When we come back, Scott, I’m going to give you an opportunity to talk about talking to the world at large. Our audience is 100% real estate professionals. So what would you want? The top three things that you’d want to point out to somebody about maybe the top three lesson deliverables you feel like your book might be able to help somebody with. Let’s call it that. What are the top three lessons that you might learn from your book? When we come back from break, I’m going to ask you to serve those up. And then if it’s okay with you, I’m going to ask some questions about Keller Williams.


[00:17:08.080] – Scott Agnew



[00:17:09.110] – Robert Newman

All right, ladies and gentlemen, thanks for staying tuned as always. Do us a favor, please, and give us a like wherever you’re watching this video, whether that be YouTube or your favorite podcasting service, we would really appreciate it. Leave us a comment. John and I always read them and always appreciate them. We will be right back.


[00:17:27.150] – Speaker 4

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[00:17:52.150] – Robert Newman

Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to the Mail Right podcast. John and I have done this well, not me, but we’ve done this 365 times in total, which is crazy. So it’s episode number 365. And today we’re here with Scott Agnew, who is many things. But what we’re talking about today in at least part is his book, the Top Ten Mistakes That Prevent You From Being a Long Term Leader. And then we’re going to spend a much smaller part of the podcast talking about what made him qualified to write the book in the first place, which is experiences at Keller Williams. So without any further ado, before we went to break, I said I asked the question of if you were talking to somebody who’s never read the book and maybe doesn’t even know who Scott Agnew is. What are the top three lesson type deliverables that you feel somebody might be able to pull from the book? Should they read it?


[00:18:41.430] – Scott Agnew

Well, there’s really just one message, right? And yes, there are some lessons in there, but the one message is really communicate. Communicate with your people. Most people think they’re great communicators. However, when you talk to a lot of people and you ask them, hey, do you think your boss gets you? Do you think your boss understands you? Or do you think your mom and dad understand you if they’re a teenager, right? Or when you ask that question on the other side, most people don’t feel heard. They don’t feel appreciated. They don’t feel understood. And in fact, many really powerful relationships between colleagues and even between people that end up getting married, one of the common things that you will hear is, will they get me? They understand me. They know where I’m coming from before I even speak. They finish my sentences for me because they’re honestly listening. And so that’s the real message, is when your people have that, when you have that relationship with your people and they know that you get them, then the walls come down. And when the walls come down, then you start learning what you need to learn as a leader.


[00:19:58.760] – Scott Agnew

You learn what’s going on in the front lines. I can’t tell you how many meetings that he was in as a young professional where we would all get after the meeting, we’d go, God, they don’t know what they’re doing. Upper management doesn’t know what’s going on. Gosh, they’d have no idea what it’s like out there on the streets and blah, blah, blah. And that’s because the model for leadership then was the leader got up and had to be the smartest guy in the room and pontificate for an hour about what everybody needed to do, what their objectives ought to be, what their plans ought to be, and how they ought to execute. Well, that doesn’t work anymore. If you really want a team to be bought in, part of the execution, part of the plan has to be from them, and it has to be well thought through. And most of the time, you see leaders make decisions, and they don’t even think about the unintended consequences of their decisions. And I would say that’s probably one of my superpowers, is, look at all the different angles. Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes when you’re talking to him.


[00:21:09.770] – Scott Agnew

What are their fears? What are their aspirations? As Jonathan say, what is their communication style? And put yourself in their shoes so that you can communicate on the same wavelength. And it’s like FM 101 versus FM 95. Get on the same frequency, and then your potency as a leader is so dramatically increased that it’s almost like you hit the beautiful notes instead of just singing loudly, if you will.


[00:21:41.810] – Robert Newman

Okay, that was beautiful. I have a follow up question, John, but before I do, do you have.


[00:21:48.930] – Jonathan Denwood

Anything that you no offer was a fantastic answer.


[00:21:53.300] – Robert Newman

Honestly, so do I. And the question that I have is, anytime somebody’s written a book and I’ve done the same, but I feel like there’s this long road that leads you up to a point where you feel like you have something to say that you’re going to put down in a book, right? It’s a long road. So I’m going to kind of try to touch a couple of what might be milestones upon that long road for you, which would be my questions would be, so you’re in charge of it or you’re a leader within this very large territory for Keller Williams. Do I understand that? Basically. So if you had to guess, how many people ostensibly are you responsible for leading or talking or coaching or whatever the right language is for that?


[00:22:48.630] – Scott Agnew

So that’s one of the mistakes leaders make, is they think they have to lead everybody, and really you don’t. What you’ve got to do is you’ve got to lead five to ten key people and then they lead everybody else. And so we have a saying, success through your best and brightest, right? Success through them. And those five to ten people might change over the years. You might have different people that come in and out of that. But that’s one of the things I’m very careful to do, and that is that I lead to what I call my span of influence, direct influence and direct potency. So I don’t try to lead everybody. I let my leaders there are people in Keller Williams in Utah that don’t know who I am. They might know my name, but they might not even associate with me at all. And that’s completely okay. My goal or my objective is not to know everybody and be the center of attention or be their hero. My goal is to make sure that I’m creating an environment where they can absolutely thrive. And if I get the right people in place and I give them the right support through direction, through effective questioning, through great consulting, through making sure they get the right training and have the right tools, if I support them, then I know they’ll go out and pay it forward into their environment.


[00:24:19.630] – Scott Agnew

And so that’s how we’ve grown. We’re number one in Utah. We have number one market share, number one agent count, number one production level. And we are not a discount brokerage. We are a full service brokerage, which means that we are not the cheapest. That being said, I’m pretty proud of the fact that while we don’t go in cheaply, but we do go in with tremendous value, we kind of position ourselves in a way as the costco, if you will, brand name, great quality, but at a very competitive price. And so I’m pretty proud of that. When I started there, I took over a failing brokerage that had 21 agents. And today we have almost close to 1700 agents in Utah. And I didn’t do that by myself. I did that through getting in business with some amazing, incredible people. I could start naming names, but the problem is I’ll probably forget somebody. But they were incredible. Yeah, beautiful.


[00:25:29.850] – Robert Newman

I think that answers my question. And I appreciate it, but let me just make sure that I do understand how long ago was starting. You said the word start. So when I started, how long ago was that?


[00:25:45.820] – Scott Agnew

Well, it was actually in 2001. That was when I first went up there. And I didn’t really get a strong foothold until about 2002. Took me about a year of interviewing different I went to different vendors and my question was, who do you know that’s quite influential in real estate? And what happened was I would get the same name over and over again from different places. And so then I made appointments with those people. And I remember the first meeting I had with one of my most successful legendary leaders in Utah of all time. Her name is Lee Stern. Anybody in real estate in Utah knows that name. And I was fortunate enough to have an appointment with her. And she sat down with me and she says, okay sonny, you got ten minutes. What do you got? And 3 hours later, right when our discussion finally ended, I made some promises and commitments to her. And I think if you would talk to her today, I think she would say that I lived up to every one of those promises and commitments, which was kind of tough at the time because at the time I promised being the entrepreneur that I am, right?


[00:27:09.120] – Scott Agnew

I wasn’t even sure I could deliver on a couple of things that I promised. But I got in over my skis a little bit and I had to come up with some money and capital that I didn’t really have, all those kinds of things. I would just say that anything of great significance, the only way you’re going to accomplish it is if you find a way to get with and be part of other people’s vision too, and buy into what they want. And so often our visions are so aligned anyway, so it doesn’t have to come from the leader. I don’t have to be the smartest guy in the room, and I’m certainly not and I don’t want to be. I’d much rather be surrounded by people that are just excited and committed. Sometimes it’s for a cause. I mean, in Lee’s case, she was an absolute advocate for the welfare of her real estate agents. She thought of them as her family, like her kids almost. And she wanted to do everything she possibly could to set the stage for them to be successful and fulfilled. And that’s my kind of person. And not only did she have that rhetoric or that talk, but she had a track record to demonstrate that that’s what she actually could accomplish.


[00:28:27.800] – Scott Agnew

And so to this day, I’m just so blessed that Lee and I were able to find each other and do what we did.


[00:28:38.230] – Robert Newman

Holy cow. That is the kind of gold that I look for when we do these podcasts and I deeply appreciate it. I’ve only got 14 years behind me in the industry, but I have had the chance to work with legendary names like Joyce Ray and people like that. And so you become part of the fabric, like the story of the industry that you’re within. Jeffrey Highland, who is unfortunately past people, you meet them, and I have always found that once you meet them, who they are is not ever who you thought they were going to be. Like, nobody ever prepared me for the fact that Jeffrey Highland was literally probably one of the smartest, most well educated building historians and architectural historians that to my knowledge, has ever worked in the real estate industry. I’ve never met anybody with the depth and breadth of knowledge that he had. So when you meet with him, you’re thinking, oh, I’m going to meet with this extraordinary sales guy, right? That’s what you’ve got in your head, the founder of Hilton and island. Then you meet this guy who’s just like a professor of this thing, and you’re like, holy cow.


[00:29:54.760] – Robert Newman

That’s not what I was expecting. What you said about Lee Stern, I don’t know her, but I know her. But I know the repute, and I’ve never met her, never met her team. But I have heard through the grapevine, through Keller Williams. I’ve heard that name before. It doesn’t surprise me that she’d be like mama bear as it relates to her agents. Scott so John and I usually ask our guests if they I pushed off the questions I have about Keller Williams. He’s been providing so much great information. But I would love to do, if you’re willing. Ten minutes of a little bonus section and just I’m going to let John serve up the first question, which we talked about before the podcast, but I’d kind of like to key it up for the audience if you’re willing to give us the extra time to say we would like to ask your opinion about how Keller Williams is positioned, moving into the future, things like that. From more of a tech and marketing standpoint, which is what our show tends to be about. Is that okay with you?


[00:30:52.940] – Scott Agnew

Absolutely. Yeah. Wonderful.


[00:30:55.070] – Robert Newman

Okay. John, do you have anything? We’re going to go to the final break and move everybody over to the YouTube channel. Actually, you know what? Now I think about it. How would you like people to look you up? Like, if somebody wants to research you, want to research your book, Scott, how would you like them to do that?


[00:31:11.270] – Scott Agnew

The easiest way they can email me is Scott A@kw.com, and then I can get them a direct link to check out the book. Or if they don’t want to email me, they can just go on to Longterm Leader. Very easy to remember. So either way, Scott A@kw.com or longterm leader.


[00:31:31.140] – Jonathan Denwood

Actually, I haven’t done this before, actually, but I think Scott is such a fascinating we just extend the podcast. Show Robert for another ten. We just extend it.


[00:31:43.630] – Robert Newman

Okay, so we won’t do these at the outro yet. Beautiful. Great. So, John, if you wouldn’t mind, if you remember the question that we talked about prior to the show, why don’t you serve it up? Because you are a little bit more graceful than I am, which literally is a rarity. Usually it’s opposite, but in this case, so everybody knows I kind of got shut down and John kind of got the green light, so.


[00:32:09.770] – Scott Agnew

That’S okay.


[00:32:16.730] – Jonathan Denwood

So, Scott, what’s your fault? Were you surprised about what has happened to Zillow to Open Door and to some extent Redfin? They all to some extent, went into wholesaling. It seemed to be what they thought was going to be, especially with redfin going to be the future, that there was going to be a hybrid wholesaling landscape that was going to be the driver of their growth. Also Zillow obviously open door. That is their business model. But to all extent, to say that it hasn’t worked out, was you surprised or did you have a feeling that this was going to be the outcome when the market became more of more realistic? Put it that way. Shall I?


[00:33:22.670] – Scott Agnew

Well, I’m not going to sit here and pretend like, oh, yeah, I knew that it was going to fail. But I will tell you, every year as we kept looking at analyze the financial, the financials of these companies, and they were losing millions of dollars. Gosh. Another one you didn’t mention is Compass. I mean, these guys have burned through $700 million. And basically the whole concept of trying to either displace or to go directly to the consumer without having a real estate agent involved is a very tenuous. I can see the aspiration because they see the dollars and the money. But as far as real estate itself, man, it’s an intimate business. When you buy and sell real estate, when you buy and sell property, when you invest, you want somebody you can call and talk to and you want to be able to trust that person. I mean, I don’t want to sound old school here because I totally believe that technology has its place. All of my clients look on Zillow for what their property is worth. Great, wonderful. I don’t have to send them the CMAs, and I don’t have to do all that stuff anymore.


[00:34:38.570] – Scott Agnew

But when it comes down to them wanting to buy or sell property, who do you think they call? They want to call somebody that knows what they’re talking about, that knows the pitfalls and the landmines and the unforeseen challenges and problems. And it’s a big decision whether you’re investing, whether you’re buying real estate for yourself, whether you’re in the commercial world. Everybody wants certainty. They want to know what landmines are around them that they either can avoid or walk away from. And that’s where professional real estate agents play such a vital role and all these companies that made the attempt to displace that, I think it was just a bad strategy overall, and it was certainly a case where it was profits over value in terms of the client experience. They poured tons of money into marketing where they had the we have a marketing company in Phoenix right now that’s taken the world by storm. They’re everywhere. And it turns out they have a 40% fallout rate in their transactions. They claim to have 11% of the market. They only have about four and a half percent because it’s all marketing. I had an agent the other day call me up and she goes, I’m going up against this big behemoth company.


[00:35:58.100] – Scott Agnew

What should I do? And I said, we’ll just tell them you do the same thing they do. You just don’t misrepresent yourself about it. And they don’t. And she walked away with the listing and was happy and got it sold and did a great job for the client. And the bird still chirped and the air was still clean. Everything was fine. And that’s exactly what we’re faced with Wall Street. A lot of big bucks behind these companies. The amount of venture capital that’s been poured into these companies is mind boggling. It’s because they see the profitability, they see the numbers. But to access those numbers, we believe very strongly that the way to access that is through professional real estate agents who are fiduciary, who wake up every morning with their clients best interest at heart, who are there to serve as servant leaders, not as salespeople, who educate first and help their clients make great decisions. That’s what we believe. And I think that for the long haul, I think that strategy is probably going to prove to be pretty solid. I don’t see it any other way.


[00:37:10.250] – Robert Newman

Copy you well, a small adjustment, and I am only regurgitating stuff that I’ve read, but I think you were actually overly generous in the amount of money that you said that was lost. I believe the number with compass alone is actually in the billions. But I appreciate, as another leader who is oftentimes speaking on platforms, it’s always better and wiser to just say the least possible thing. You can’t get yourself in trouble usually, so I get it. But I will put myself out there, not you, and I will say, I think the number is much higher than the one that you gave. So having said that, I think the only John kind of skipped the question. But that’s okay. We’re going to leave it alone. If John didn’t want to do it, then I’m going to lean in on his wisdom and say, we’re not going to do it. But I do want to ask one other question, which is a burning one from me. I’m asking you one Robert Newman question. I’m curious to know how you feel. Keller Williams is positioned against more, and maybe this is a marketing thing, but more digitally focused real estate brokerages such as Realty One, EXP.


[00:38:17.390] – Robert Newman

There has been a shift, a newer trend that is not compass, which is trying to do the same thing with a little bit better branding and a mobile app, in my opinion. So that’s what they were trying to do, right?


[00:38:28.210] – Scott Agnew



[00:38:28.840] – Robert Newman

You do have a couple of companies with new ideas out there that are trying to do things in a somewhat different way. And some of those ways are almost entirely digital. Virtual offices, virtual, virtual everything. I’m curious to know how you feel if you can say no, if you’re willing to weigh in and kind of say, how do you think is Keller Williams is positioned against these other digital companies and why?


[00:38:59.600] – Scott Agnew

Yeah, sure. Well, things have a way of finding an equilibrium. EXP came out, and their big thing was there was two things. Number one is we have one statewide brokerage, which means if you have a team, you can have identical marketing throughout the state. You don’t have to have different signs, work out a different offices and all that kind of stuff. That was a point of friction that they removed for the agent, which for the top agents, the people building teams and those kind of things. And that was really a good move, and we kind of missed that one a little bit. We were hearing it, but we weren’t really listening. We were hearing it, but we weren’t listening. So that was one thing that they did really well. They also came out with an opposite position on physical space. Right. Their position was, we don’t need to have offices. We don’t need to have physical space. You can work out of a rented executive office or whatever you want to do. And that seemed kind of sexy and appealing in the beginning, but you know how I say things have a way of creating equilibrium and coming back together.


[00:40:15.910] – Scott Agnew

I have a 20,000 square foot office building in East Valley. I have an 18,000 square foot office building in Park City, Utah, with three satellite offices up there, and we’re full. Agents like having an office space. They like being able to walk down the hall and ask another agent a question about a transaction or get some advice or pop into a training room or get on. Heck, if you just maybe you just want to have maybe at the end of the day, glass of wine with your fellow colleagues and you create a culture around agents being connected to each other. And that happens because it’s facilitated by somebody in that physical space who’s a leader, and that leader creates a tribe, and that tribe becomes strong. And that and and you have, you know, you have I have 60, 70, 80 agents in the same office. You think they’re a little smarter than every single agent out there thinking on their own, who are maybe they’re only texting back and forth. Or maybe the only time they get smart is when they’re in a Mastermind. What’s it like if you could basically have a mini Mastermind every day, right?


[00:41:36.020] – Scott Agnew

Because all you do is walk across the hall or meet somebody in your office, say, hey, let’s go to lunch. And I don’t think that’s the end all answer. I think you still have to have an amazing presence in the digital space, but it has to be physically enhanced. I believe that. I don’t believe it’s one or the other. I think it’s both. And you’ve seen Amazon. Apple isn’t virtual. Apple has stores. Amazon has stores. Now you’re going to see that trend, I think, go back to digital space with physical enhancement and that Keller Williams is positioned beautifully for that. We’ve got a technology platform called Command that had a little bit of a rocky start when it was launched, but we’ve been busting our tail for the last 18 months, and Gary Keller just flat came out and said, listen, we’re not even going to talk about Command until we’ve earned the right to. And he’s poured so many resources into this, and he has so many smart people working on it. We have two people, Matt Green and Chris Cox, who are just I mean, they have been dedicated to nothing but making Command completely stable, completely functional.


[00:42:53.680] – Scott Agnew

And at the upper end, there’s a small portion of upper end limitation, but for 98% of our agents, command is a beautiful platform and it can do everything they needed to do. So we’re excited about our digital future, for sure.


[00:43:10.030] – Robert Newman

Well, I will say this I’m a transparent person, so transparency, I raised some doubts at the beginning of the show, which I’m not going to go into, but I will say that I raised some doubts and I wanted to also say, contrary to that, to you. And while we’re live, I do think that in terms of what I’ve seen, because I have seen command and what I’ve seen, and that’s what people follow me for. Scott, you don’t know me, but I do deep dives into everybody’s platform on my website, like, use the platform and show it KVCore, which you guys used to use before you got Command, and just boomtown and sync and install the big platform. So I go deep down, I haven’t been able to do that online yet with Command, but I have seen it. And so I will say that in terms of the tools that are being provided by an actual brokerage, it is somewhat out ahead of everything else that I’ve seen. I haven’t seen anything similar coming out of Compass or any of the other big name brokerages. Keller Williams, not to my surprise, is the only brokerage that I know of for certain has invested the kind of time and resources that you’re alluding to.


[00:44:24.230] – Scott Agnew

Well, yeah, everybody else has thrown in the towel. They’ve all gone to contract technology. We’re the last one that has our own technology. I don’t say that every piece of technology is our own. I mean, what we’ve done, though, I think it was brilliant. And this was the pivot we made a couple of years ago with Command. Instead of trying to be the all inclusive, now we partner and we utilize all the best partnerships with companies like Sync and Boomtown, and now that’s integrated. And Command is like the central command center with all these companies that are very good in their niches. And we’re marrying those niches into the central hub of Command and then using the cloud and AI to help come out with better marketing strategies, better customer service follow up, better anticipation of what makes a house sell or how you can buy a house better. All these kinds of things are what the AI function of. Command is eventually going to give many really good insights to the agents. And with our consumer platform, the consumers are going to benefit from that also. And we’re not trying to be the only place you go, but we do want to be the place.


[00:45:51.160] – Scott Agnew

If you do go, you want to stay there. We provide this platform to our agents for a nominal fee every month, and it’s very powerful. So again think of costco. And not everybody wants to shop at Costco, right? I mean, that’s that’s not that’s they’re not the end all, be all, but I think you could say Costco is the number one distributor of blueberries and strawberries and bananas in the world, and that’s because they provide a great value, and there are many other things Costco is famous for. Gary Keller’s always had the strategy of bringing the most value he can at the lowest possible price that he can. But he won’t sacrifice value, he won’t sacrifice quality, but in many cases, he will sacrifice his own profit. If real estate agents out there knew Gary like I know Gary, I think, man, I think it’d be game over. He’s one of those guys like the guy you were talking about, who you met that was one of the wisest guys in the developing world. Yeah, that’s exactly my feeling around Gary I’ve ever met.


[00:47:18.430] – Jonathan Denwood

Yeah, I’ve listened to his Red book three times, and I forgot when he published that. But I still feel it has a great deal of value and relevance, even in 2022.


[00:47:35.570] – Scott Agnew

Yeah. The strategies are the same. The tactics are different. You no longer pop a cassette tape in and listen to it. Right. The tactics are now different, but the strategies have not changed. It’s staying connected with your clients. It’s working. You haven’t met turning them into Mets, turning them into advocates. That is a strategy that will be forever and ever. And where Keller Williams is starting to shine now is, in a higher level way, is the execution of those things. Because it’s one thing to have the theory, the strategy, but it’s another thing to have the tools and the expertise and the intelligence to execute and the discipline to execute. We’ve got so many programs that we can just plug and play with our agents now. So they’ve been vetted. We know it works. We know they’re going to waste a bunch of money because there’s so many programs out there. We’d like to kind of be like the place you go where you know that everything on the shelf is really quality.


[00:48:48.730] – Robert Newman

Well, Scott, I got to say, I have had the incredibly good fortune of meeting a couple of people that are close to Gary, and you are similar in all of them to that. I’d follow you into battlemen and I’ve seen that drip down from Gary to his people. I’ve seen Gary speak. I’ve been to Keller Williams reunions. But you know those sticks, he’s got 10,000 people trying to come up and say hi to him. So I’ve never met the man. I’ve seen the man, I’ve seen him speak, I’ve listened to his stuff, I’ve watched him on video. Same thing as John, but I’ve never met him. I have met a couple of people like you who have been close to him and they all say the same thing. Every single person says the same thing, which is a one of a kind leader, a one of a kind thinker, and he values his people like almost nobody does inside the real estate space.


[00:49:45.370] – Scott Agnew

Yeah, I appreciate you saying that and I think podcasts or shows like yours that help get the word out are fantastic and I appreciate the opportunity to be part of it today. I enjoy you guys a lot and thanks for giving me such great questions and giving me a little bit of a platform to pontificate a little bit, but I hope it didn’t come across that way.


[00:50:09.480] – Jonathan Denwood

Oh, no, not at all. Scott, you must come back. Hopefully you will come back in the new year because you’ve been a great guest. I’m sure Robert agrees.


[00:50:19.050] – Scott Agnew

Yeah, that would be nice.


[00:50:23.350] – Robert Newman

A lot of fun. John will tell you. Never mind. I do these things for these moments where somebody like, lights my fire and gets me really excited and you’ve done that. But let’s wrap the show up, gentlemen. So, John, if people would we skipped this part a little bit earlier. I’m going to circle back around to you, Scott. But John, if somebody would like to reach out to you or ask you any questions, ask you your feelings on this particular show, how would they do any of that?


[00:50:54.710] – Jonathan Denwood

Yeah, please leave us a review on iTunes or give us an email, Robert, or myself; it’s always great to hear from the listeners and viewers of this show. If there are any topics or anybody that you specifically want us to interview, suggest them. Both me and Robert would love that. And if you’re interested in Mail Wright and a chat with me or my co-founder Adam, go over to Mail Hyphen Wright, and you can book a demo or a chat with me, and we’ll be more than happy to help you.


[00:51:28.460] – Robert Newman

Over to you, Rob, actually, one more time, Scott, for how you’d like people to reach out to you should they want to converse with you about your book, maybe just about Keller Williams. I don’t know.


[00:51:39.710] – Scott Agnew

Sure, you can find me on LinkedIn, and you can find me on Facebook. You can find me in all those places. Just Scott Agnew realtor or Scott Agnew KW. Whatever. But if you want to email me directly, it’s Scotta@kw.com, and I check my email 15 times a day. So I’ll get back to you, I promise, and send you a link to the book, a direct link if you want to do it that way. I’m on Amazon. Long-term leader. Scott Agnew on Amazon. Or you can go on the long term. Leader. There are a lot of ways you can access the book. It’s a fantastic read. I would hope that there was a book I read many, many years ago that I just kind of keep beside my desk and refer to it, even though I think I’ve got it memorized. And it’s a book called The Four Agreements, and it’s a very simple read. But whenever I’m communicating or getting it, and whenever I’m in a leadership challenge or the heat of the moment, I think back to that book, and I think back to how it helps me stay in this cool spot, this okay place.


[00:52:49.480] – Scott Agnew

Because leaders have a lot of pressure on them. They get pent up, and they have financial issues; they have cash flow issues. They might make tons of money, but they might have cash flow issues, they might have people issues, they might have vendor issues, they might have technical issues. They get hit with all these things. It’s hard to stay happy and go lucky and easygoing when you’ve got all these things shooting at you all the time. But my book is a book that I think would help. I probably should not have called it Long Term Leader and called it how to Keep Your Head on Straight because that’s really what it is.


[00:53:29.890] – Robert Newman

All right, if anybody would like to look me up, you can do so@inboundrem.com. My name is Robert Newman. If you’re wondering how a long-haired, hippie-looking dude manages to get into conversations with notable real estate types like Scott Agnew, you can find out all of that on inboundream.com. Thank you, everybody, for tuning in. We deeply appreciate your listening and viewership, and we’ll see you on the next show.







The Hosts of The Mail-Right Show

Jonathan Denwood & Robert Newman





Robert Newman




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