30 Under 30 Honorees of 2005

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James W. Nellis II
Sales associate
Keller Williams Fairfax Gateway
Keller Williams Fairfax Gateway,
12700 Fair Lakes Circle #120
Fairfax, VA
United States
Individual volume: 
$30.6 million

Nellis, a third-generation practitioner, learned from his mother to put the client first. “I never put a commission before the sale,” he says. “I do whatever’s necessary to make the client happy.” That philosophy brought him $30.6 million in business in 2004; 85 percent of his business is repeat or referral. During the past few years, he built a sales team: seven buyer’s agents, an office manager, a contracts coordinator, a client care coordinator, and a marketing director; he expects to add another buyer’s agent by the end of summer. Part of his customer service philosophy means being responsive. Everyone on his team is equipped with a Blackberry, and his laptop is always on. “People want answers right now. They’ll move on to another salesperson in 30 minutes.”

Client-focused fun: Nellis loans an inflatable moon bounce to clients free of charge for use during the summer months. He also puts on “Breakfast with Santa” event and has a Super Bowl party at his house for clients where he raises money for cystic fibrosis.

Toting technology: Nellis’s portable USB “lipstick” drive, which he carries on his key chain, includes all his documents, allowing him to work on virtually any computer, anytime.