Scott Agnew grew up quickly.
He didn’t have much choice.
His father died when he was eight, leaving him, his mother and a brother and sister to survive on virtually nothing.
“We didn’t have much money,” Agnew, 50, recalled. “I was always working. Yes, we struggled.”
Those early lean years in Indianapolis taught Agnew self-reliance as well as determination.
But it also made him arrogant, a personality trait that wasn’t always helpful in the business world.
“I was a doer, not a leader,” Agnew said. “As a result, when I applied for jobs in the corporate world I was rejected. They wanted leaders. It scared me. So, I began to work on my leadership skills.”
Gradually, Agnew entered the world of real estate sales, an industry that virtually demands leadership qualities as well as a pleasant personality.
No turn-off arrogance, thank you.
Today, he not only coaches real estate agents how to succeed but he also is a member of an exclusive group — the Keller Williams Realty International Master Faculty.
Keller Williams Realty is an Austin-Texas based company that sells franchises and has more than 60,000 agents selling mostly homes nationally.
Agnew, who lives in Tempe, owns two Keller Williams Realty offices in Tempe and Gilbert, three in Utah and is affiliated with two others in Utah.
Together, his seven agencies sold more than $1.6 billion worth in residential real estate in 2005.
Agnew’s 1,100 agents in both states earned his franchises more than $2.3 million in profits last year. He personally earned a net income of $1.6 million in 2005.
And his more than 550 East and Southeast Valley agents sold more than 2,100 homes in 2005, with a sales volume of $646 million.
As an “operating principal” of the franchises, he no longer directly sells properties but he coaches, directs and helps the agents with their and his bottom lines.
As a leader in Tempe Diablos and several other no-profit groups, Agnew helped raise and contributed $650,000 in 2005, mostly to educational programs for children.
“No, money is not my main motivation in life today,” Agnew said with a smile.
Meanwhile, the real estate market in the East Valley will continue to grow, Agnew predicts.
“Some say the market will cool off, but I believe it will continue to grow as more and more people move to the Valley,” said Agnew. “And I also predict the price of homes will continue to climb, despite what some people are saying.”
Other Keller Williams Realty offices are located in Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale and Phoenix.
Mark Willis, president of Keller Williams, Inc. in Austin, Texas, praised Agnew as “one of the finest leaders in our industry.”
“He is one of the most principled, centered people that I have ever known,” said Willis. “He has integrity, combined with a higher minded value system which makes him a magnet for talent.”
Agnew was 15 when he, his mother, brother and sister moved from Indiana to Goodyear. He left all his teenaged connections — friends, basketball and baseball teams — back in the Hoosier State.
“I hated being in Arizona,” he said. “Then, it happened...”
The summer before Agnew left for the University of Arizona, his mother went into a diabetic coma for three months. She never walked again.
“Our neighbors and my siblings would take care of her and I would take breaks from college and help her,” he said. “She never complained. She was a role model and gave me inspiration.”
His mother died in 1996, a year before he joined the Keller Williams Realty organization as a franchisee.
Agnew graduated with a degree in business administration from the University of Arizona in Tucson. At the U of A, he was president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and worked at college jobs to pay for his room and meals.
“It seems like even in college I was pushing to survive,” he said.
At age 22, he took and passed the Arizona real estate exam and received his license. He and his wife, Patti, married and together opened a relatively small video rental store in Scottsdale.
They were forced to sell the store, however, as more of the large, chain-owned video rentals began to spread through the Valley.
The Agnews have three children, Katy, 19, a sophomore at Arizona State University, Scotty, 18, a senior at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe and Michael, 14, a freshman at Corona del Sol.
Family:Wife, Patti ; children: Katy, 19, Scotty, 18 and Michael, 14
Resides in: Tempe
Business: Owner of five Keller Williams Realty franchises, including Tempe and Gilbert and three in Utah as well as two affiliate franchises in Utah . Tempe East Valley office is at 2077 E. Warner Road, Suite 110; Gilbert Southeast Valley, 2451 E. Baseline Road, Suite 430
Key achievement:Began as a Keller Williams Realty franchise owner in 1997 and earned $30,000 his first year in real estate in 1994. Today, earns a net annual income of $1.6 million. His franchises and its more than 1,100 agents sold more than $1.6 billion in mostly residential properties in Utah and the East Valley in 2005. Profits totalled more than $2.3 million
Success Philosophy: “A successful entrepreneur is a leader who works closely with his associates and who knows the importance of business systems being above personalities.” — Scott Agnew