Real Estate Appraiser Kicks Some Tail!

Larry Keller was 54 years old when he got the phone call from his boss telling him he was out of a job. Keller spent his entire adult life in the banking industry, serving as an area appraisal manager for Southern California and Hawaii at the time of his layoff.

Larry Keller

Larry Keller, franchisee

“I ran the top region for the largest home loan lender in the nation. When the home loan volume went away, so did my job. It was a total shock,” Keller said.

Larry received outplacement services through Career Minds. When Larry expressed interest in owning a business, he was referred to Anna Wilds, executive franchise consultant and managing director at Franchise Locators. (Click here to learn how to refer your outplacement clients to Franchise Locators.)

“We talked in June of this year for the first time. She was just great,” Keller said. “She told me to keep an open mind as we went through the process of determining a good fit for me, and I agreed.”

Some outplacement clients Wilds works with prefer a full-time business venture, while many, like Larry, due to his life and business goals, are better suited for semi-absentee ownership.

“Larry knew it was easy to buy a job with a franchise, and he wanted to avoid this,” said Wilds.

“He wanted to work for another 20 years, yet didn’t want to be tied down to a j-o-b. This is why a semi-absentee business was a good option for him to consider.”

Keller specified the following business requirements: it could run successfully on its own with a manager; it would benefit people; and, especially important, provide a passive income stream to benefit his heirs for decades to come.

Wilds used this critical information as she worked to determine which franchises would match Keller’s personal, professional and financial goals.

After going through the franchise search process, Keller was awarded a franchise he never thought he’d own when the process started — a boutique fitness concept centered on kickboxing.

“No, I’m not a kickboxer,” Keller said, “but this franchise fits perfectly into the life I’m trying to build and the goals I had for making a difference to better people’s lives.”

Though Keller was surprised at his selection, Wilds was not.

“In our first conversation, I explained how important it is to have an open mind as we considered franchise opportunities, and Larry was on board right away,” explained Wilds. “Not everyone is so ready to leave their preconceived notions behind. When it comes to franchises, most people assume fast food or convenience stores are all there is.”

Today, he’s focusing on the new opportunity ahead of him while expressing his gratitude for Wilds.

“There is no way I would be here today without Anna. If she hadn’t prepared me for this process, I probably would have dismissed this franchise very early on. I’m just excited for what’s to come and am ready to kick things into gear as a business owner.”