The first thing you notice about Austin’s Knolly Williams is the cowboy hat. Being from Brooklyn, he didn’t come by it naturally. But his wife, Josie, grew up around cowboys and kept suggesting he wear one. He finally appeased her and came to love the look himself.
Next came eXp Realty. His friends, Kevin Kauffman and Fred Weaver were eXp agents and very bullish on the company. They insisted Knolly watch a video about eXp. Once again, Knolly was tired of saying no and finally appeased them. What came next was a shock to even himself.
“I couldn’t sleep — I was so messed up,” said Knolly, after watching the video. “For the next 100 days, I researched the company. Then I came to the conclusion I couldn’t be whole any longer at Keller Williams. How could I stay there when I knew of the model (eXp) that was so much better?”
Knolly was making great money with Keller and wasn’t looking to make a move, but once he learned about eXp, he couldn’t stop thinking about it, finally joining in January 2019.
LA Gangs, a Move to Texas and Christian Hip-Hop
Knolly moved to Los Angeles at the age of 10 where his mom raised him in the church and read him the bible. As a teen, rap music was among his passions, dreaming of someday getting into the business. Knolly was also flirting with gang culture until his family intervened and sent him “kicking and screaming” to Texas to visit his uncle. Surprisingly, he instantly fell in love with the state. It’s also where he embarked on his longtime passion for hip-hop, starting a magazine (“Heaven’s Hip-Hop”) and a Christian rap label that EMI picked up for distribution.
Things were going well for Knolly. He had 18 artists on his label, 15 full-time employees, a recording studio and a big home. He was making six figures a month. But then the industry turned to digital and sales fell horribly, forcing Knolly into bankruptcy. He needed to sell his home and when he saw the commission his agent had made, the lights went on again. He studied, took the real estate exam in 2003 and took to the business, “like a fish in the water.” He had 22 listings in the first 71 days.
After selling over 1,000 homes during his first 10 years in real estate, Knolly became a full-time coach and trainer in 2014. He also wrote six books and has found his true passion, which is to work with agents and help them succeed at their highest potential.
“Eighty-seven percent of real estate agents don’t make it,” said Knolly. “I want to reduce the failure rate. I’ve been foreclosed, I filed bankruptcy. I owed the IRS, vendors — you name it. I know what failure is like and what success is like. More agents can be successful if they believe in themselves. I want to help them do that.”
Learn more about Knolly Williams:
Years in real estate: Since 2003
- eXp Realty (Jan. 2019 – current)
- Keller Williams (Feb. 2009 -Dec. 2018)
- RE/MAX (March 2004 – Jan. 2009)
- Prudential Realty (Dec. 2003 – March 2004)
Main territory: Austin, Texas
Main focus: Real estate sales, coaching and training.
Accolades, accomplishments & awards:
- Ranked No. 7 in production in 2009 by Austin Business Journal (out of nearly 9,800 Austin area agents), based on actual sales production.
- Top 10 RE/MAX agent in Texas (2006-2008)
When and why did you join eXp?
“I joined eXp Realty in January 2019. I had heard about eXp for a few years but no one seriously pursued me to really let me know about the opportunity here, so I basically ignored it. Then my good friends Kevin Kauffman and Fred Weaver joined and they began sharing with me what the company had to offer.
“Interestingly enough I was recruited to Keller Williams by Gary Keller, so I had zero intention of ever leaving. But once I saw eXp’s model explained by Brent Gove, I just couldn’t stay away! This is the company I’ve waited for my whole life!”
What makes eXp special to you?
For influencers (authors, trainers, coaches and public figures), eXp is the only real estate company on the planet that makes total sense. Here at eXp I am able to help my fellow agents live their ultimate greatness while being compensated for helping the company grow and for doing the same things I was doing at my former company. eXp has created the ultimate WIN-WIN.”
Is there a significant experience you can share since you joined eXp?
“Within a week of joining the company, Gene Frederick personally reached out to welcome me and invited me to an event.”
What is one thing about eXp that surprised you?
“The collaboration and connection here at eXp is off the charts. I would have never imagined how connected we all can be at a cloud-based brokerage. I am more plugged in and connected than I ever was at my former brokerage.”
What kind of collaboration have you experienced at eXp?
Best tip to share with other agents:
“Work on your MINDSET and becoming the absolute best version of YOU. As Jim Rohn would say, “work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”
10 Fun Things About Knolly Williams
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
For work, it’s teaching a 3-hour seminar helping others discover their divine destiny. For personal, it’s spending two weeks in Italy with my wife.
If you could add a tattoo, what would it be?
Three names representing the best things that have ever happened to me: Jesus, Josie (my wife) and eXp.
One thing you can’t live without?
Hot chile peppers. (Habanero, ghost pepper or Carolina reaper)
One trait that has led to your success?
I am a lifelong learner. I read books daily and I regularly attend training and teach classes.
What celebrity would play you in a movie or TV show?
Agents who don’t follow the proven roadmap to success.
Little known fact about yourself?
I once owned the No. 1 Christian rap label in the world.
Song you never tire of?
“Dreams,” by Fleetwood Mac.
Beans & rice.
Your epitaph will say:
He helped others realize their greatness.
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