MONTRÉAL, Qc – June 24, 2013
Congratulations to Anne St. Dennis and Michel Beauséjour for moving from their executive positions in the MLS world to open their own Keller-Williams franchise! They have co-founded a Keller Williams francise in downtown Montreal under the name of KW Urbain.
It’s an aggressive move for North America’s largest real estate franchise, a calculated move that took roughly three years as the Austin-based corporate head office familiarized itself with the language laws and Quebec brokerage act.
“We saw the immense potential of opening a real estate franchise in Quebec that is completely broker-centric, learning based and treats our brokers like partners, to the extent that we share profits with our brokers and have open books at that,” said Beauséjour, KW Urbain’s spokesperson.
Beauséjour said that before Keller Williams Realty Inc. was ready to commit, its principals had to better understand the cultural, language and legal aspects to Quebec. He added that head office did not doubt the vigorousness of Montreal’s real estate market, noting that it rivals the other large international cities in Canada like Toronto and Vancouver, but with more modest real estate prices.
Aside from the complexities of a different culture, the move into Quebec meant a major investment for Keller Williams Realty Inc. in the translation required to ensure that Montreal brokers had the same fundamental tools and training as elsewhere. “Since Keller Williams Realty Inc. is a learning-based company, the costs associated with translating core courses, and marketing tools, developing a bilingual website, etc. all had to be assessed and approved. That was probably what took the longest but we all recognized that to be successful, this was key,” underlined Beauséjour.
Even the name, KW Urbain, was fundamental to the opening success of the first franchise in Quebec. Beauséour stated that the name was chosen so as to be respectful of Quebec culture and reflecting its downtown location, in the heart of Montreal, at 1100 rue University.
Keller Williams Realty Inc. has made incredible inroads into the real estate industry, growing to the number one position in North America, in terms of number of associates, with roughly 700 franchises and over 80,000 associates. KW Urbain’s St Dennis and Beauséjour see this as a plus and are planning for more expansion in Quebec in the coming years.
St Dennis and Beauséjour are equal partners in the venture, complementing each other with their real estate experience. Both were CEOs of real estate boards in Canada, St. Dennis in Victoria, BC and Beauséjour in Montreal, Quebec. Recently, for 10 years, they worked side by side at the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board with Beauséjour at the helm as the CEO and St Dennis, as Manager of Communications, Industry Relations and Legal Affairs.
“Our business backgrounds and neutrality, since we didn’t come from any other franchise, are seen as a real plus to Keller Williams Realty Inc. Of course, we wisely chose to involve eight other shareholders who, as well-known and respected brokers, bring with them the real estate practitioner’s side as well,” said Beauséjour.
The first hire for KW Urbain was its CEO/Team Leader, Donna Dalonzo, who from 1997 until 2002, co-owned six Montreal Re/Max real estate franchises, helping them to grow exponentially. “Donna underwent rigorous testing and a multitude of interviews, all required under the Keller Williams Realty Inc. Recruit/Select model, and passed these with glowing colours. Donna is a real people person which is exactly what we wanted,“ said Beauséjour.
For more information, contact:
Anne St Dennis, Operating Principal
Keller Williams Urbain
104-1100 rue University
Montreal, Quebec H3B 3A5
Cell: (514) 298-0664