“I thought I was only ever going to be a mum”
“I thought I was only ever going to be a mum” that’s the words of estate agency business owner Katrina Knowles from Scotland. Katrina is one of one hundred and twenty women who in the last two years have taken the step to business ownership, entrepreneurialism and wealth building through the real estate industry. Katrina, 54, launched her business during the COVID pandemic in 2020 following a chance meeting with another local estate agency business owner – who shared the opportunity offered by Keller William’s in the UK. Keller William’s who have been announced for the second consecutive year as one of the top female-friendly companies to be a part of worldwide.
Katrina Knowles, Keller Williams Estate Agent, Falkirk
Katrina is one female entrepreneur within the UK franchise group who runs and is building their own estate agency business. She recently celebrated the win of four separate awards, recognising her for the highest gross commission generated through sales.
Having launched her business following a career in Early Years Childcare and Education, Katrina has been supported to offer her clients a personalised property service which challenges the ‘corporate model’ of estate agency. Katrina describes the Keller William’s franchise as ‘a business in a box, which doesn’t put you in a box’.
Later this year Katrina is proud to have her daughter Bianca joining the business as a Director looking after the operational and back-office systems. Bianca has recently given birth to her first child – proof that Keller Williams truly allows agents to build a business that works for them.
Tanya Baker, Keller Williams Estate Agent, South East London & Kent
Moving to the south of the UK, Tanya Baker, aged 29, launched her own business ‘Tanya Baker – Bespoke Estate Agent’ in August 2021. Tanya started her career in retail and customer service before pivoting into residential lettings in 2012. She finally settled into the real estate industry in 2015.
Tanya, who lives in Kent with her partner and four dogs, believes that estate agency is a people focused industry, and thrives in her ‘people driven role’. Tanya’s business supports both those looking to buy and sell as well as landlords and tenants across London.
Tanya spoke of her first seventeen months in business, “My biggest challenge has been struggling with imposter syndrome – I really am my own biggest critic.”
“Running your own business can at times be mentally challenging, it is a rollercoaster one day to the next. That said, that’s why I love being backed by Keller Williams. I know I have people around me who understand, can listen, and who, most importantly, empower me to keep going and overcome any challenges I face”.
Tanya recently hit the headlines for achieving internet success through social media platform TikTok, with one video receiving an impressive 1.7million views and 323,000 likes.
Having started life in Russia, Nataliya Makhonina-Byrdan made the decision to bring her already established business ‘UK Property Advisors’ (UKPA) into the Keller William’s UK network in February 2020 – following a four-year period of trading. Nataliya began her career working within account management and business development roles in financial services before latterly transferring her strong people-focused skillset to the property industry in 2015, six years after moving to London. During her role as Head of Business Development for an international consultancy firm, Nataliya supported high net-worth individuals and their families with investment strategy, property management, tax planning and immigration support. Through her experience in this role Nataliya identified a clear opportunity to launch UKPA as a boutique estate agency providing a personalised service for HNW and UHNW clients, supporting residential property sales and acquisitions, property sourcing, lettings, and management. During her three-year period with Keller William’s Nataliya has quickly transformed her business, using the franchisor’s model.
Working with clients and their families across Kensington, Belgravia, Knightsbridge and central London – as well as representing international clients from Europe, USA, Asia, and the Middle East; Nataliya has firmly established herself as a trusted adviser to her clients. This is seen through the continued recognition of her success in KWUK’s quarterly awards. Three years in – Nataliya reflects on her journey so far:
“Joining Keller Williams has been a critical step in the development and success of my business. Leveraging the tools, systems, and advice available to me has led to unprecedented growth – whilst allowing me to focus on the areas of the business I enjoy and thrive in.
As a woman, I recognise it can be particularly challenging to do something like launching your own business – however I would encourage anyone, male or female, to consider who they want to be in life. By asking that simple question, one can then consider the areas where they need to make changes, the knowledge they need to learn and research the next steps. Once you have firmly identified your vision – it is time to articulate it to those around you and take the first step to leading the life you’ve dreamed of.”
Keller William’s is the world’s fastest growing estate agency, having just recently launched new offices in both Germany and Japan. Within the UK, the business is pushing continually to improve the standards of service and expectations for customers – through the training and development of estate agents across the country. At the start of quarter one KWUK proudly recognised that 30% of their top agents nationwide are female, a statistic which they are working to increase yet again. With localised market centres providing ongoing in-person support, the franchise invites individuals to consider if they too would like to lead a life by their own design?
You can learn more and organise an initial discovery session by visiting kwuk.com/careers.
END OF PRESS RELEASE
Picture One – Katrina Knowles with Ben Taylor, CEO of KWUK
Picture Two – Tanya Baker on location
Picture Three – Nataliya Makhonina-Byrdan
For further commentary or photography please contact
Dylan Harper, +447547362525
Notes to the Editor
Keller Williams launched in the UK in 2017 under the leadership of Ben Taylor and has since welcomed 480 Associates across the country.
It is now the world’s largest real estate franchise by agent count with more than 1,100 offices and 200,000 associates across 56 countries. Since 1983 the Austin, Texas-based company has cultivated an agent-centric technology-driven and education-based culture that rewards agents as stakeholders.
At Keller Williams, the mission is to build careers worth having, businesses worth owning, lives worth living, experiences worth giving, and legacies worth leaving. Within the UK 31% of KW agents are women, as well as 36% of associates. Female entrepreneurs also make up over 30% of the UK’s top twenty KW agents.
The philosophy is agent-centric and values based, helping agents to grow their own businesses using proven principles and models, training and technology and giving the guidance, nurture and support to succeed.
Keller Williams is changing the face of real estate in the UK by moving the property industry from transactional to relationship-based engagement.