Meet the 2017 The Thousand: Lance Loken
2017 REAL Trends The Thousand, as advertised in The Wall Street Journal
By Tracey C. Velt
This year’s The Thousand all have one thing in common—they are passionate about people. Find out more about these savvy professionals.
No. 8 Teams by Transaction Sides
No. 28 Teams by Transaction Volume
Lance Loken, The Loken Group of Keller Williams Realty Signature
Motivated by: goals and helping people succeed
Claim to fame: putting money back into his business rather than in his pocket
Like many sales associates, Lance Loken fell into his real estate career after spending years in the retail industry as a chief financial officer. “The Houston economy started to plummet, and in 2010, about 400 of us lost our jobs. My wife persuaded me to get into the real estate world, so we started The Loken Group in January 2011,” he says.
After six years, the team currently has 52 members including Loken’s wife, Karina, who is vice president of business development and the team’s full-time recruiter. Lance runs the day-to-day operations, and the team has several departments and an executive team that heads those departments. “For the most part, we don’t recruit seasoned agents. Most of our agents come from corporate America and learn the business through our extensive training methods,” says Lance. “We hire people from corporate America because they bring a business mindset into this industry. The other cool part is that they think outside the box because they don’t understand the real estate industry. When they come up with ideas or new activities to implement, it’s coming from that business background, and that’s been a key part of our growth.”
Lance’s business and organizational skills carry into his downtime. He plays tennis about four days a week and captains six different teams. “My wife also loves tennis, and she just finished a fitness competition, so fitness is important to us both,” he says. The couple has two girls, ages 11 and 13. The younger is into horseback riding and barrel racing, and the older is into digital cartoon imaging. “She has a goal of graduating from high school a year early, so she’s already planning which college she’ll attend,” he laughs.
Giving back to the community is also important to Lance. A year ago, he created TLG Gives, a philanthropic arm of the team, to help families in need. He says Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams, inspired him to give back to the community through a philanthropy. “Last year, we helped renovate a home for a family who didn’t even have running water. They were taking showers outside with a hose. They had four children. We spent three weeks transforming the home,” he says. The company is doing the same thing for another family this year. “One of the children has cerebral palsy. The father died, so we are renovating their home,” he says. Loken and his team have already raised $30,000 this year for TLG Gives.
This type of charitable giving is all about the people, says Loken. And, that’s important to him. “I remind myself daily that my goal is to ‘build an organization that’s large enough to encompass every one of my team’s dreams and aspirations,’ because if we can provide opportunity for our agents, they will expand and grow their horizons, and they will never hit a ceiling. The whole reason most people in corporate America change jobs is because they hit a ceiling and don’t see a future. I want to make sure that I focus on building our organization so large that they never see that ceiling.”