Interview with the new Xperience Director of Operations, Dawn Sroka

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Since 2004, our new Director of Operations has served our industry at Keller Williams Realty International, the global headquarters for the world’s largest real estate company. She has worked on some of the industry’s most high profile programs including The ONE Thing book tour with Gary Keller; managing more than 220 breakout sessions involving 400+ speakers at each Family Reunion; and directing 50 KW Connect Live Streams a month. Relationships are one of our core values. We knew that as we identified our new Director of Operations, that he or she had to be relationship based. Well, our new Director of Operations has some of the deepest relationships in our industry. She has managed the 185+ Master Faculty for Keller Williams University for more than a decade. From selection to coaching to customer service, some of the world’s most outstanding instructors have benefited from her leadership. It is my honor to introduce you to Xperience’s new Director of Operations, Dawn Sroka.

What attracted you to KW to begin with? 

Dawn said she was immediately intrigued by KW, but went to work for her previous real estate instructor’s business. After awhile, she was beginning to doubt whether real estate was for her. Through the grapevine, she heard of an opening at KWRI and she jumped on this. MREA had just been released; Gary Keller came to her and said let’s do a book tour. Dawn has since been on five book tours with Gary! 

Three months after she started, her dad back in Iowa fell ill. She needed to get back to Iowa, but couldn’t afford the $1,000 plane ride from Austin. When she got out of a meeting at work, she had the plane ticket sitting on her desk; Mo Anderson had bought her a plane ticket to go home. Dawn was floored by this gesture and the culture of the organization that allowed this to happen. 

What’s one thing that you’ve learned from Gary?

One of the most important lessons are relationships and it matters who you are in business with. She said, Gary always talks about the idea of “hiring slow and firing fast.” Dawn said Gary is one of the kindest people she knows and at the end of the day it comes down to 1. Relationships, 2. Humility, and 3. Kindness. 

You’ve lived in these operational roles, what about it do you like?

Dawn said she loves things fast paced and has an engineer’s brain – a knack for puzzles and solving things! She strives to help grow people and grow herself.

How do you manage so much? 

Time-blocking is crucial. Dawn time-blocks on a micro, micro level. She says Gary talks about a to-do list vs. a success list. It’s important to make a success list rather than a to-do list. Dawn said she would look at the to-do list and think of someone to help her leverage that to-do list so she could focus on the success list. 

What advice do you have for people wanting to teach?

Dawn said to take the KW curriculum so you can better cater towards adult learners. One thing that is important is that adult learners need a different pace every 9 minutes otherwise you’ll lose them. She said engagement is harder with adult learners so you have to have an environment that is highly engaged every 9 minutes. 

You’ve been at KWRI for 15 years, when you started there were 35,000 agents in the country and now there are well over 160,000. What’s important to understand about a scaling of this size?

Dawn said KW realized education was so important during the economic shift, but they realized it wasn’t something they could sell anymore given peoples’ economic status. Therefore, they started giving the education away for free. It shifted the focus to be all about the agent. She said this was such a powerful cultural move. 

What was the catalyst for you to begin a field facing opportunity?

Dawn said at the end of the day, she was looking to experience some growth out in the field for herself personally. We are incredibly grateful and excited to have you joining the team, Dawn!