Maryland’s Keely Rich is starting a new chapter in her life. And this chapter contains a kind of freedom that is both exhilarating personally and professionally. Not only is Keely hitting her stride with eXp Realty, but she also realized her traditional married life and another long-term, straight relationship was not who she was. With this revelation, Keely realized she had a new purpose.
“I want to be a voice for women who very unexpectedly found themselves later in life realizing that something was changing,” Keely said. “Or maybe something was there for a long time but they just ignored it because it wasn’t considered the norm. So, yes. Here I am – coming out in this story. I am exhilarated and shaking, but feeling FREE. THIS IS ME. A professional REALTOR, and strong, GAY Black woman running with all these cool people at eXp.”
As hard as she tried to make it work, Keely’s 22-year marriage ended in divorce, but produced two sons – Taylor, who is in the Air Force, and Caleb, who is autistic. A seven-year relationship followed, but still did not feel “right.” For the past two years, Keely has been carrying the weight of being true to herself by coming out. A conversation with eXp Realty agent Jessica Nieto, who leads eXp’s Pride affinity group, gave Keely the courage to tell her story, which was further supported by eXp Realty’s open and inclusive mission.
“I am always encouraging people to be themselves and love themselves and I felt like a hypocrite,” said Keely. “Everything is in divine order. I knew it was time and I knew I had to do what I needed to do and I am FREE. If this is you, you are loved, you are enough and you will be supported here at eXp.”
Keely Is the Maryland Team Leader for PREMIERE Group
Keely is finding her professional life to also be immensely rewarding. She is a Mega ICON Team Leader for the PREMIERE Group, located in Maryland. In addition to the generous compensation streams eXp offers (80/20 split, revenue share and equity), Keely also benefits from the PREMIERE Group’s own additional incentives of profit sharing and growth dividends. While Keely is actively producing – she has generated $13.6 million on 21 transactions since 2020 during COVID’s challenges – Keely also benefits from money for advertising and lead generation, a team of transaction coordinators, technology to track her business, professional marketing, social media support, weekly real estate coaching and training and mentoring opportunities to help others.
“I call the PREMIERE Group ‘eXp on steroids,’” said Keely. “eXp opened my mind to all the possibilities and refueled my passion to win again in real estate. Becoming the Maryland Team Leader with the PREMIERE Group opened up my drive to win and help grow our company.”
After Basic Training, Keely Enters Corporate America, Then Real Estate
Keely also draws determination from being the daughter of a Master Chief and the responsibility from her years as an Army reservist where, after just three days in basic training, officers identified her as a leader and made her Platoon Guide. “I was responsible for 50-60 women and I had to get them through basic training. In one last drill after 10 weeks – a 5-mile run – I literally had my hands holding onto the back of shorts of two women (who were the slowest) and pulled them over the finish line.”
After graduating college in New Jersey, Keely went to work as a public relations account executive at a Maryland ad agency and then for USA Today with a final position of National Advertising Distribution Manager. But, when the paper relocated its headquarters, Keely was suddenly faced with a day of a four-hour commute, care for her 17-month old son and one on the way. That’s when a colleague played therapist and asked Keely, “What section of the paper do you read?” Keely’s response? “The Real Estate Mailbag.”
“I just always loved real estate. I never thought about doing it, but I was fascinated by it.”
Learn More About Keely Rich:
Years in real estate: Since 2000
- eXp Realty (December 2020 to present)
- RE/MAX (March 2013 to March 2020)
- Previous brokerages include Century 21, Capitol Realty and Champion Realty
Main territory: Anne Arundel County, focused on Odenton/Gambrills/Crofton area Maryland near Fort Meade, NSA and Northrop Grumman
Main focus: Single-family homes
Number of people on team:
A Mega ICON team of 140 agents in 13 states throughout the United States
Accolades, accomplishments & awards:
- 1st Vice President Women’s Council of Realtors Anne Arundel Network/MD 2022 Board
- Certified Mentor with eXp Realty
- Mega ICON Team Leader Maryland PREMIERE GROUP powered by eXp
- RE/MAX Hall of Fame ($250K in annual commissions)
- RE/MAX 100% Club ($100K in annual commissions)
- Past Member DSAC – Distinguished Sales Achievement Club (top 10% of Realtors in Anne Arundel County, MD)
- Team Leader; Team Empire with RE/MAX 100% Club
When and why did you join eXp?
“I joined in December 2020. I heard about eXp through an incredible business mentor and friend Anthony Camilleri who is also with eXp and PREMIERE Group. I was not open when he initially asked me as I was with RE/MAX and my office broker was very good to me and I considered her a friend. When COVID hit and everyone was staying home, it just made sense to come on over to eXp as they were a cloud brokerage with less expenses. I was excited about the stock option purchase plan as I kept hearing a financial advisor say to save 10% of your income. I knew that saving 5% and being able to buy the stock at a 10% discount was an incredible opportunity. I have always been in businesses with an opportunity to build a team and felt that it was another reason to get started. I knew that I could invite other agents to the company knowing that we all had an opportunity to win and change our lives.”
What makes eXp special to you?
“The eXp Workplace platform, I was very pleased to see a representation of all types of people working with the company. Every time I turn around, I am meeting new people and we are all excited about our company and want to help each other out.”
Is there a significant experience you can share since you joined eXp?
“I was on Workplace one day and started noticing all the different special interest groups within eXp. First I saw Black eXp, then the Hispanic eXp and eXp Pride. Then I was asked to be featured in this story, but I was not out yet. I have been processing this for two years and I just wanted to make sure. The reality is that here I feel safe and supported by eXp and have not even fully come out to my own family, colleagues and friends! I just knew that being in this story, I needed to take this opportunity to be a voice for women like me.”
What is one thing about eXp that surprised you?
“I never thought I would land on a sense of community when I was just joining what sounded like a great brokerage from a business standpoint. I did not expect the community aspect of eXp to be so strong and clearly defined. There is somewhere for everyone in eXp depending on who you are and what matters to you.”
What kind of collaboration have you experienced at eXp?
“No matter what groups I visit there always seems to be someone willing to help. It only takes ONE to help a new person feel welcome, seen, heard and responded to. After attending the eXp Shareholder Summit, these same groups came together and we had events that are inclusive, such as the PRIDE Happy Hour, attended by eXp Founder Glenn Sanford and other leaders. I love it.”
Best tip to share with other agents:
“Take time to build those relationships with your future clients who are also referral sources. Make sure you add everyone to a database that you meet because most people know up to 3 people who are involved in a real estate transaction each year. Also have an ear open to offer services anywhere as we truly have the sales force and online system to find help all over the country and in many places of the world. We all win and referrals are a wonderful source of business. Most important, never forget the basics that got you where you are. Pick up the phone, it won’t bite you and there just may be a conversation on the other end that could lead you to your next deal.”
10 Fun Things About Keely Rich
What is your idea of perfect happiness
Eating crabs with butter in the back of a Mexico restaurant on the beach with nice music.
Who is the person you most admire?
My mom, she was a beast in her prime; now 86 and aging with grace.
One thing you can’t live without?
One trait that has led to your success?
Competing with myself.
What celebrity would play you in a movie or TV show?
Hearing people speak limiting beliefs over their life.
Little known fact about yourself?
I was the Platoon Guide at Army Basic Training.
Song you never tire of?
“Paradise” by Coldplay.
Your epitaph will say:
The Truth Will Set You Free.
Interested in jump-starting your real estate career? Learn how eXp Realty puts agents first.