For Adam Hergenrother, expansion has led to great success. He and his team of more than 300 agents at 40 locations have closed nearly 2,000 units through July, putting them on track to hit 4,000 by the end of the year. That is an increase from 2,600 last year. The team expects to have $30 million in GCI, up from $17 million a year earlier.

Adam Hergenrother, Vermont

Hergenrother’s secret is clever expansion, or as he likes to say, growing a team without limits. It all started ten years ago in South Burlington, Vermont. Hergenrother had to grow his business, but had done everything he could in his own area. At the time, however, he did not have the resources to start a second, separate team elsewhere in Vermont.

So in 2011, he expanded to Maine, where he duplicated his team’s models and systems through a joint venture structure, joining an already high-performing, high-performing team. “We took a $4 million producer and turned them into a $60 million producer in a very short time,” he says. “Then we started raising it.”

Now the threshold for collaborating with Hergenrother is well into the double digits. He turns a $30 million producer into a $60 million producer. Many of the expansion techniques and tips that helped fuel Hergenrother’s thriving business will be explained on December 8 in Keller Williams’ Expansion Systems Orientation (ESO) course, live at KWRI’s headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Register today

Expansion options

For Hergenrother, the income potential of expansion was one of the biggest benefits. In previous years, he watched friends start separate businesses such as gyms or restaurants to increase their wealth. But they all failed or moved on.

However, with expansion, the possibilities are endless. “You are no longer limited to a certain market size or leadership level,” he says. “You can stay with one company and that will be your chance for life.”

But it’s not just about the financial benefits. Expansion has fundamentally changed Hergenrother for the better as a person, he says. Leading a large team with his variety of personalities and personal life experiences has made him more empathetic.

“It has enabled me to become a better person,” he says. “It has given me the gift of feeling deeply and understanding what people are going through, but at the same time navigating through it clearly by making the best quality decisions I can for the organization. You really have an impact on people’s lives.”

The KW Expansion Network

The KW Expansion Network (KWEN) supports the operations of US-based KW real estate expansion teams – teams that have chosen to expand beyond their local market to a new location. The network provides a simplified, standardized compensation plan and an efficient and cohesive operational structure.

A key asset of the KW Expansion Network is that it simplifies and streamlines a variety of processes, freeing up valuable agent time and resources.

For example, a Texas team with an expansion network in cities such as Austin, San Jose, Houston and Dallas that is linked to different market centers only needs to create one marketing profile instead of several.

“It gives you simplicity,” Hergenrother says, “and that makes things so much easier.”

Agents also benefit from the extension network because they have a more manageable, competitive extension limit structure. “You can build budgets around it, because it doesn’t change,” he says.

Hergenrother believes the KKEN will change the economy of large expansion teams for the better. “It’s a big advantage,” he says.

An entrepreneurial mindset

Anyone who wants to be successful with expansion must be an entrepreneur who is already thriving at leading a team, Hergenrother says. But they must also be bored, and often people from their team have pushed them to grow.

What does the ideal candidate for expansion look like? According to Hergenrother, it’s someone who’s largely outside of buyer production, playing with offers and wanting to add more to their board. “You should be making somewhere around $100,000 in net profit or more and have the bandwidth to grow,” he shares.

It’s also crucial to realize that mistakes will happen and be prepared for them, Hergenrother says. Moving from three to ten locations will sometimes just be messy, he says.

“You’re not going to succeed right away,” he says. “You will succeed, but you will have many failures along the way.” Use failures to grow, he adds.

Having a mindset of long-term growth and an attitude that never gives up is also key. To expand, you have to be in it for the long term, not just the short term. “That will stop you in your tracks,” he says. “You have to be willing to break your systems and then rebuild them” if they don’t work the way they are.

For Hergenrother, it all comes back to learning and teaching. Start expanding now, he says, so you’ll be fully prepared when the time comes.

“Take the KW course,” Hergenrother says. “The best thing people can do is educate themselves about what expansion is. One day you might just wake up and know — it’s time to go — and you’ll have so much knowledge that you can move forward much faster.”

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