Those in the real estate industry probably know firsthand about the unfortunate health statistic regarding agents in their first year. If you’re not in the industry, you should know that most real estate agents typically gain an average of ten to 15 pounds throughout those first 12 months.

The reason is a combination of things like crazy schedules, always being on the move, not putting aside proper time for real meals, and of course, stress.

Most first year agents are also trying to learn the trade as they go; compare it to the Freshman 15 in college when teenagers are adjusting to life away from home, a heavier workload, and jam-packed schedules, leaving no time for exercise, relaxation, or healthier food choices.

Luckily, there are those real estate agents who have been through this before and learned a thing or two along the way, like Keri Shull. She has built a team that prides itself on making wellness a priority in the workplace.

The Keri Shull team was recently chosen as one of the finalists for DC’s Healthiest Company Awards by SmartCEO and the Meltzer Group, and Keri Shull was invited to attend a round table discussion about wellness in the workplace with other innovative leaders in the area.

The discussion shed light on how important it is for employers to promote wellness among their employees in order to drive optimal health benefit costs and workforce productivity. However, what was also brought to the table — thanks to Keri Shull — was how integral it is to create a workplace culture that encourages individuals to take ownership of their own personal wellness for a happier, healthier life.

Wellness doesn’t just apply to physical well-being as many people may think. Wellness also includes mental, financial, and emotional states of well-being, along with a focus on personal growth. Fortunately for the Keri Shull team, this is understood and celebrated in the workplace.

The Keri Shull Health & Wellness Program was started two years ago and integrated into daily life for all team members. It addresses every part of overall wellness and continues to evolve each year as the team grows.

For physical wellness, a personal trainer is available to team members twice a week. Fresh groceries are delivered to the office weekly, so team members can conveniently choose healthier options while at work. Additionally, every employee is offered $200 a year to put toward fitness related expenses such as equipment, athletic wear, and fitness classes or programs.

Most recently, the Keri Shull Wellness Program announced the start of a team competition called, “The Biggest Mover.” Team members are split into two teams to compete in fitness challenges over the course of eight weeks. There are prizes and incentives offered along the way and a final prize for the winning team. These friendly workplace competitions make it a fun, motivating environment while still allowing team members to make their physical health a priority. Sometimes it really can be all fun and games.

A new part of the program that has just been introduced incorporates financial wellness. Keri Shull realized that there was a disconnect between her married team members when it came to making time to talk about their finances, so she wrote it into their contracts that they would meet for a personal family budget discussion on occasion to go over savings, debt, and credit with their spouse or partner. Keri Shull’s own coach and mentor in the industry made this a mandatory process with her, so she was inspired by his devotion to financial wellness and decided to integrate it into her own wellness program for her team members.

The goal is to hold team members accountable by making financial wellness a priority in the workplace and looking out for each person as a support system. A lot of people don’t want to talk about their financial problems; it’s usually the people who are already on the right track that are okay discussing their finances, but that is the issue in itself. The Keri Shull Wellness Program believes in giving employees the tools to take care of their financial wellbeing on their own proactively, but Keri Shull is there if they need her.

To promote personal growth, and thereby make mental and emotional wellness a priority in the workplace, the Keri Shull Wellness Program offers each team member up to $2,000 dollars of matched funds to sponsor professional, spiritual, or educational endeavors. Team members can use the money to go to conferences, retreats, or to sign up for classes to further their education in the field. Many team members take advantage of this opportunity and excitedly share their experiences with their colleagues, which in turn inspires others to participate.

So far, the Keri Shull Wellness Program has been a tremendous success. It has improved productivity, created a more wellness-friendly environment in the workplace, and allowed team members to focus on their own personal needs for a happier life.

If you’re interested in being part of the Keri Shull team, let us know! We are always looking for new recruits to join our growing team. Contact us today to set up a meeting. We can’t wait to hear from you.