Kaizen Home Sales and Services
When you think about the good life, what comes to mind? For local entrepreneur Wyatt Graves, ‘Building the Good Life’ for the citizens of Central has become his business’ mantra. Graves is the owner and visionary of Kaizen Home Sales and Services; where serving the community feeds their soul and real estate transactions feed their stomach.
He became a realtor not long after graduating from Live Oak High School back in 1999. After attending Northwestern in Natchitoches for only a year, Graves was eager to return home and pursue real-estate. “I had my apartment loaded up in my truck, I literally moved back, took my final and drove back to Baton Rouge, and started real-estate school the next day.”
At the age of 19 years old Graves became a licensed realtor and proud business owner, all while attending LSU. His first investment was in purchasing a day care center that he and his mother eventually grew to seven centers by the time he finished his college career at Southeastern, earning a degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship.
About 8-10 years ago, after successfully expanding his first venture at such a young age, Graves took on a new approach for concurring the real-estate market by representing a residential home builder, Darrell and Marilyn Jarreau of Jarreau Builders. “The idea was that if I could go and help builders operate their businesses better, then they would build more houses, and if they were to build more houses, that would be more listings for us.”
He began working as a broker for Connect Real Estate Group. The owners, Debbie and Randy Walker were also known as production builders around town with Willie and Willie Contractors. Graves had the opportunity to represent the builders and sell their property while also selling real estate brokered through the real estate group. It then grew and developed into representing multiple builders and multiple subdivisions. At the height of success the 2016 Flood occurred, causing great uncertainty for the future of Graves’ business, along with many others.
Over 30 of the houses he represented were flooded, including his own. Out of that only 5 were insured. After almost 20 years in real estate and a lot of losses, Graves jumped ship and took on a nine to five job in assisting his neighbor expand his business. He sold all but one of his pre-schools, the Fundamentals Early Learning Center in Central, and began focusing on his new career path. Being an entrepreneur all of his life, he had dreamt of having a nine to five job with more stability, but after almost a year he found that it wasn’t what he thought it would be. “I’m just a hard worker and I’m driven so even though it was a 9 to 5 job, I didn’t work 9 to 5. Work was always on my mind. How can we do this, how can we grow that.”
While reading a book called ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller of Keller Williams, Graves had an epiphany. “If I’m going to work my behind off, it needs to be for my own self. I want to help people, I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m going to pursue my dreams.”
Now it was time to come up with a plan to achieve it in a new world of real estate. Graves wanted to create a business that would not only sell to the community, but also serve the community. “Let’s just go and help people, and through that community that we can create, we can build relationships and service their real-estate needs. And from there, what other services then can we provide for them that are trusted. Like trusted vendors, and services. All in an effort to ‘Build the good life.’”
What resulted was Kaizen. Kaizen is the concept of continual improvement in order to improve efficiency and quality. “So when it comes down to representing builders, how can we improve the way builders build? And that’s Kaizen. How can we improve the way in which we represent buyers and sellers during their transaction? That’s Kaizen. How can we create a system, and a team concept that would allow the people that work here to work less than 40 hours a week, get 60 hours’ worth of work done, and get paid like they work 80. And that’s the concept we brought to the table with Kaizen. And that’s how Kaizen got its name.”
With the franchising support and vision of Keller Williams, Kaizen opened its doors this past January and have sent over 40 people for preapproval in just the last 2 months. With over 500-600 lots of new construction in the works, Kaizen strives to become the new ‘construction gurus’ when it comes to facilitating the cooperation of local builders in an effort to compete with the big boys. Along with 13 handpicked employees, Graves boasts that, “We are a full service team that believes in follow ups and exceptional client experience.”
While graves says that Kaizen’s goals are to become an industry leader across the states and produce over 600 sales in two years, serving the community remains Kaizen’s number one purpose. “We are always going to start by being service providers to the community. It’s what feeds our soul, real-estate transactions feed our stomachs. We are putting our money where our mouth is, and our primary purpose is to serve the community, where the community is.” Through Kaizen Community, citizens will be able to attend free self-help courses that will teach useful skills that you won’t learn in the class room. From budgeting and setting goals, to nutritional plans and framing your family, Kaizen strives to help you ‘Build the Good Life.’
You can follow Kaizen Home Sales and Services on Facebook for more information.