Keller Williams: 10 years in Cleveland

Special to the Banner
Posted 10/1/17

Keller Williams Realty celebrates 10 years in Cleveland today.

The company has grown to become the No. 1 real estate firm in Cleveland with more than 70 agents.

In 2007 a group of seven …

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Keller Williams: 10 years in Cleveland


Keller Williams Realty celebrates 10 years in Cleveland today.

The company has grown to become the No. 1 real estate firm in Cleveland with more than 70 agents.

In 2007 a group of seven local agents decided to launch out on their own to partner with Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI), a well known and established real estate franchise with headquarters in Austin, Texas. At the time, the nearest KW office was at Chattanooga (East Brainerd).

Steve Black, Sharon Norsworthy and Stephanie Tatum left their former firm in January 2007 and were later joined by Rhonda Vest McClure, Judy DiGennaro, Robert Praytor and Patti Gates with the desire to become the Keller Williams franchise in Cleveland.

The group, called “investing agents” led by Black, began an “incubation” period under the supervision of Chattanooga KW Team Leader Robben Mathews. A small force of 25 charter members began the KW Cleveland experience on Oct. 1, 2007.

“There were several things that I felt set KW apart, starting with the training opportunities,” said charter agent Stephanie Tatum. “There are many resources (available), but what has stood out to me is the fact that part of the teaching opportunities comes from our peers. While we are all competitors, to have the most successful agents share with others the strategies that they have learned to be successful is amazing.”

Over the past 10 years, KW Cleveland has continued to add diversity, experience, and young talent to the ranks. There are also teams within the firm that offer a level of friendly competition among the agents.

Tonya Suits, with one with KW, said, “I loved all the training they offered, the environment, support and up to date training classes, which keeps us ahead of the game. I love the great agents I work with; its like one big team helping one another win! I have truly been amazed by this past year and am excited for many more years at KW Cleveland.”

Art and Sharon Clem both received their real estate licenses in 2014, and have been with KW a little over two years. They came to the agency having been in business management working in several different industries.

“After hearing about Keller Williams amazing growth, support for their agents and talking to several other agents we made the decision to join,” the Clems said in a joint statement. “We have never experienced a more professional and ethical group of people to work with. We have always felt nothing but sincere concern for both our professional and personal well-being from everyone we have encountered.”

Jennifer Douglass leads the “Jennifer Douglas Team” at KW Cleveland. In 2016 she served as president of the local River Counties Association of Realtors and in that same year was recognized as the Top Selling and Top Listing Team at KW. She joined in 2010.

“I decided to come to KW because of their excellent training, coaching and their numbers in productivity,” Douglass stated.

Another aspect the agents rave about is the way KWRI gives back to the communities they serve.

“KWRI leads by example,” said Sally Hays, a team leader. “Following Hurricane Katrina, KW agents contributed $5.3 million to KW Cares (a charity organization) towards the support of 800+ KW families affected by the storm. Two weeks ago KWRI cancelled their annual KW Mega Camp in Austin, Texas, and transformed the convention into KW Mega Relief,” says Hays. “They chartered 75 busses to transport 4,000 agents to the Houston area to participate in Hurricane Harvey Relief.”

As part of their “Decade of Destiny” celebration, KW Cleveland is planning an Open House Blitz today, from 2 to 4 p.m. Agents will be holding over 25+ open houses for their seller clients.

Wednesday, Oct. 4, the KW Cleveland Market Center will be hosting a Community Open House from 11:30 a.m. to 1p.m. The office is located on the third floor of the Santek Building at 25th and Keith Streets.


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