Real State

Raising the Listing Bar with Referrals: Joy Russell


In today’s competitive market, having a funnel filled with listing leads is critical. For Joy Russell, an accredited buyers and sellers’ representative specialist with Keller Williams Realty in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a top 5% Realtor within her company, this funnel is an essential part of a thriving business which allows her to pursue her passions without sacrificing career growth. 

Currently bringing in $22 million in volume and 105 closed units, after more than one decade at Keller Williams, Russell continues to see success with her sturdy listing-based business that’s driven by referrals. Essential to her flourishing business has been the wide-reaching and powerful associate-referral network that she’s tapped into at Keller Williams. More than 190,000 associates strong, the referral network spans a worldwide footprint of more than three dozen regions, in addition to the United States and Canada. 

Raising the Bar with Referrals

“Keller Williams’ expansive referral network has played such a huge role in my life,” Russell says. “Keller Williams teaches us so many skills and gives us so many tools to enhance our business and grow each and every year. I absolutely love this company.”

Russell’s background includes positions with both large and small real estate firms, and she also started her own brokerage. But ultimately she found that Keller Williams worked best for her business. Previously, Russell focused mostly on buyers, who made up 95% of her business. Now, it’s a 50-50 split. Currently, around 80% of Russell’s business comes from referrals. A large number of those, she shares, from the Keller Williams network.

“Keller Williams has definitely transitioned me into a listing-based business,” she says. 

Most recently, Russell received a $2.5 million referral from fellow KW agents. At the time, she was on vacation in New Orleans. “My social media started blowing up,” she says. Agents around the U.S. had tagged Russell on a post mentioning a man in Baton Rouge looking for someone to help his mother buy a home. Russell connected with the man, who ended up knowing one of her current clients. Now they’re working together.

KW’s powerful systems, tools, models, and technology solutions have made referrals seamless. With KW Command, Keller Williams’ all-in-one real estate platform, it’s easy to find and give leads, Russell says. Kelle, known as “the Siri” of real estate, has been instrumental in helping her look for and respond to leads and make ones of her own.

In-person networking with KW agents from across the globe has been both rewarding and fruitful for her career. Russell loves getting to know other KW agents and expanding her network. It helps to ensure that when fellow agents think of Baton Rouge real estate, Joy Russell is always top of mind, she says.

“Year after year, I’m receiving more referrals from different agents across these networks and I just think that it’s a life changer,” she says.

Related reading: Grow a Global Empire With KW Referrals

The Power of Education

One way Russell plugs into KW’s powerful referral network is through the company’s multiple trainings and educational opportunities. At KW’s annual Family Reunion event, Mega Camp, and Coaching Skills Camp, Russell meets new agents and cultivates current relationships every year during essential classes and workshops.

Related reading: Mega Camp 2021: The Key To Winning the Markets of the Present and Future

Courses she’s taken through Keller Williams University have also been crucial in helping her to develop the skills needed to take listings and make her competitive. One KW class Russell has especially enjoyed has been BOLD, so much so that she’s taken it multiple times. The course takes agents through conversations and dialogues and allows for networking with other agents. It also teaches mindset and positive affirmations.

“Gary Keller’s, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, has also been so influential in my business and in my life,” Russell says.

Russell also receives referrals and taps into the referral network through social media. She’s a part of hundreds of different Keller Williams referral networking groups online and makes sure to stay top-of-mind by interacting with fellow agents. She regularly comments on posts and builds relationships digitally by remembering and acknowledging people’s life events. She also adds new connections on a daily basis.

“I want to make sure that I’m there to help my followers with their businesses as well as them supporting mine,” she says. “I think that plays a huge part in receiving referrals.”

Take Your Referrals to the Next Level

To excel in listings, Russell says agents should:

1) Be the area expert. Go through your MLS and really get to know the area. Make sure you know the trends in your neighborhood, and keep up with national and local market updates. 

2) Don’t be afraid to door-knock. Get out and about in the community and talk to people. When Russell was starting out, door-knocking was a part of her routine. “I had conversations with people,” she says, “and I became the neighborhood expert. I was out there in the trenches.”

3) Practice your pitch. Be diligent about practicing your conversation points and dialogues every single day so they become second nature. 

Related reading: Tammi Juengst: Turn Relationships Into Referrals

In the last year, despite the pandemic, KW’s systems, tools, and wide-reaching referral network have helped Russell stay steadfast toward accomplishing her goals. She’s excited for what the future will bring, for both herself and her fellow KW agents.

“Keller Williams helps us to stay competitive regardless of the state of the market,” she says. “We have the tools in place and we have the people in place to help us to be successful.” 

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