Keller Williams Realty Inc. is a true David and Goliath story in real estate history. In 2017, on the eve of its 35th year in business, Keller Williams stunningly surged past industry giants RE/MAX, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices to become the number one real estate franchise company in the U.S., measured by agent count, closed units, and closed sales volume. In 2017, the company’s 155,000 U.S. agents closed more than 1 million units generating more than $300 billion in sales revenue to secure the coveted top spot.
And earlier this year in 2018, Training magazine inducted Keller Williams into its Hall of Fame of top training organizations across all industries in the world.
Growth for the company between 2011 and 2017 has been explosive, growing 135% in its global agent count, 141% in units closed in the U.S., and 234% in volume in the U.S. The Keller Williams Utah regionalso saw impressive growth over the same period – up 75% in agent count, 104% in units closed, and 177% in sales volume. This growth is attributable to several key innovations that make up the “Keller Williams” difference – an agent-centric, education-based, technology-driven culture that rewards agents as stakeholders.
Keller Williams has more than 930 offices and 177,000 associates globally. It provides residential real estate services as well as specialized agents in luxury homes, commercial, and farm and ranch properties.
The Keller Williams Utah Region currently has eight offices and over 1500 associates, growing by 255 agents in 2017 alone. KW Utah now leads among competitors across the state in market share for total units closed and overall volume. In fact, Keller Williams Utah was the only large brokerage franchise in the state to grow in market share. Additionally, KW Utah agents outperformed the general market in new listings taken by 14%, pending sales by 14%, and closed units by 13%.
In 2017 Keller Williams Utah was the only larger brokerage in Utah to grow in Market Share. All others brokerage stayed flat or lost market share. Additionally, Keller Williams Utah Agents outperformed the general market in new listings taken by 14%, pending sales by 14% and closed units by 13%. KW Utah had 924 producing agents for an 8.7% market share in units and 8.5% in volume.
Much of the achievement in growth and volume is driven by the commitment and excellence of Keller Williams’ agents.
“We’re proud to be in business with associates who are focused on growing big businesses so they can fund their lives and create opportunities for their families,” said John Davis, CEO, Keller Williams. “And we know we’re just getting started. We’re committed to continuing to raise the bar and providing even more value for agents and their clients.”
Keller Williams had 89 agent teams on REAL Trends’ 2017 “The Thousand” – an annual list of North America’s most successful real estate professionals by transaction sides. This was more than any other franchise.
KW also had the most market centers – 161 – on the REAL Trends 500 list of top brokerages.
On RISMedia’s 29th Annual Power Broker Report, Keller Williams represented an industry-leading 32% of the top 1,000 brokerages surveyed in 2017, up from 29% of the list the previous year. The report ranks residential real estate brokerage firms according to annual closed transactions and sales volume.
Two KW Utah teams were on the Top 250 Real Estate Teams by Transactions Sides
Two of the eight KW Utah offices were on the REAL Trends 500 list of top brokerages
Three of the eight KW Utah offices were on the Top 1000 brokerage list.
KW Utah was voted Best of State in the Business Services category.
Profit Sharing Program
At the core of Keller Williams’ success lies the commitment to shared prosperity – a priority forged more than 30 years ago. Each month, market centers share roughly half of their profit with their associates who helped achieve those gains.
Since the inception of the profit share program, Keller Williams has:
Distributed more than $1 billion to associates who have helped the company grow
In 2017 alone, the company distributed more than $174 million.
In the past four years, profit sharing has totaled more than in the preceding 21 years combined.
Keller Williams Utah has followed this trend by sharing over $2.3 million with its associates over the last five years.
KW agents aren’t just outperforming the market, they are making history. In 2017, they broke their own production and profit share records set in 2016.
2017 Year-End Results (U.S. only)
KW is home to more than 156,532 U.S. agents, up 13% over 2016
KW Utah had 1,368 agents, up 22.9% over 2016
Closed transactions totaled 1,041,948 units, up 10% over 2016
KW Utah closed transactions totaled 11,412 units, up 13.1% over 2016
Sales volume was $303.4 billion, up 15% over 2016
KW Utah sales volume was $3.58 billion, up 23.8% over 2016
Profit share was $171.1 million, up 13% over 2016
KW Utah profit share was $700,000, up 36% over 2016
And here’s how Keller Williams does it:
Training: KW agents are constantly trained, coached, assisted, motivated, and most of all appreciated.
Technology: Leading-edge, innovative tech tools and training gives agents an advantage in finding clients just the right home
Teamwork: KW was designed to reward agents for working together, based on the belief that we are all more successful if we strive toward a common goal rather than our individual interests.
Knowledge: KW stays ahead of trends in the real estate industry through comprehensive, industry-leading training curriculum and research resources.
Reliability: Founded on the principles of trust and honesty, KW emphasizes the importance of having the integrity to do the right thing, always putting the clients’ needs first.
Track Record: The strong growth of KW is proof that when agents offer a superior level of service, word spreads fast.
When agents and teams succeed, they attract other talented professionals, which helps the company grow and improves each team member’s overall success – and profit share. Maximizing profitability requires creating an environment where agents can build thriving businesses.
Keller Williams is committed to its agents and to delivering the best. Here are some of the innovative approaches the company has taken to helping its agents succeed.
Associate Leadership Council (ALC)
In 1986, founder Gary Keller convened the first Associate Leadership Council (ALC) to reinvent Keller Williams from a traditional real estate company into one that would disrupt the industry.
He shared his vision where a world-class culture focused on the prosperity and well-being of its people
This became an environment no agent or team ever wanted or needed to leave.
The ALC’s subsequent sessions were the basis of the company’s core belief system.
ALC’s developed the profit share program, which treats associates who help the company grow as true business partners.
Gary Keller and his colleagues were so focused on helping agents succeed, that in 2002 they brought a team of mega agents together for a mastermind session and raised the question, “What would it take to net a million dollars in personal income?” The brainstorming resulted in models that would later serve as the basis for Keller’s first book, TheMillionaire Real Estate Agent.
That book, which quickly became a national bestseller and today has sold more than 1 million copies, was the first of its kind to lay out economic, lead generation, budget and organizational models for, but not limited to, real estate agents. It gave Keller Williams a unique and powerful voice in the industry and became a catalyst for the company’s growth.
Growth Initiative – Success Built from Within
The “Growth Initiative,” begun in 2011, put into place more formal systems within KW. It proved to be just the system needed to rally leaders and agents alike – reigniting the company’s success and attracting more agents by giving them the tools they needed to realize unprecedented production.
Keller Williams became the number one real estate franchise in the United States by agent count the following year.
In 2013, the company was the top real estate franchise by agent count in North America.
In 2014, more associates called Keller Williams home than any other real estate franchise in the world.
Career Growth Initiative
In July 2016, Keller Williams launched the Career Growth Initiative (CGI). Built on the success of the Growth Initiative, the CGI uses similar systems, models, and conversations to help individuals invigorate their business and further boost production.
At the core of Keller Williams’ success lies the commitment to shared prosperity – a priority forged more than 30 years ago in that first ALC meeting.
Each month, market centers share roughly half of their profit with the team members who helped achieve those gains.
Again, since the inception of the profit share program, Keller Williams has distributed more than $1 billion to associates who have helped the company grow.
In 2017, the company distributed more than $174 million.
In just the past four years, profit sharing has totaled more than in the preceding 21 years combined.
Maximizing profitability requires creating an environment where agents can build thriving businesses. To help them do so, Keller Williams is committed to delivering the best systems:
Innovative technology solutions.
Family Reunion – Commitment to Technology
Keller Williams Family Reunions are the real estate industry’s most powerful training event, and are open to all agents within the industry. At Family Reunions, KW associates gather with thousands of top agents and leaders for four power-packed days of networking and training.
At the February 2017 Family Reunion, a commitment was announced to develop the real estate platform that buyers and sellers prefer.
KW plans to invest $1 billion in technology toward this data-driven platform.
With this investment, KW raises the bar in its commitment to providing the foremost resources agents need to elevate their businesses.
With this remarkable leverage, the company keeps agents at the center of the transaction, allowing them to build real estate businesses without limits or boundaries.
“World-class technology companies need to own their product vision, they can’t rent it. We can’t outsource our road map and vision because no one cares more about what you need to be successful than we do,” says Josh Team, chief innovation officer. “Our observation is the number one challenge an agent faces is the number of independent, disconnected technologies.”
In 2015 and 2017, Keller Williams was ranked the No. 1 training organization across all industries in the world on the Training Top 125, by Training Magazine, and held the No. 2 spot in 2016 and 2014. In February 2018, Keller Williams was inducted into the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame by Training magazine. “For 35 years, Gary Keller has been saying we’re a training and coaching organization disguised as a real estate company,” said John Davis, CEO and president, Keller Williams. “Thanks to his vision and commitment to investing in our people, we’ve been able to help our associates grow their businesses and create opportunities to fund their lives.”
Focused on training and coaching, Keller Williams provides leadership and agent curriculum paths via:
Resources and tools from Keller Williams University
KW MAPS Coaching
and the franchise’s Growth Initiative and Career Growth Initiative.
Keller Williams Belief System
At the core of Keller Williams Realty is a conviction that who you are in business with matters. KW helps cement this understanding with a formalized belief system called the WI4C2TS. It guides how they treat each other and how they do business.
Win-Win: or no deal Integrity: do the right thing Customers: always come first Commitment: in all things Communication: seek first to understand Creativity: ideas before results Teamwork: together everyone achieves more Trust: starts with honesty Success: results through people
Keller Williams Culture
Keller Williams gives back to its communities in many ways but the two largest initiatives are:
Keller Williams RED Day
Annually on the second Thursday in May,, more than 150,000 Keller Williams associates worldwide closed their offices to “give where they live” on RED Day. RED Day, which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate, is a global day of service, where every market center selects a charity of their choice and dedicates the entire day to serving its recipients.
In Utah during RED Day 2017, the KW Utah office associates supported:
Mountain Trails Foundation and Swaner Nature Preserve
Volunteers of America Homeless Youth Center
Raised $52,000 for the Youth Center in 2017
The Midvale Family Crisis Center
Repairing, painting and building their main facility and playground
The Veterans Home in Payson
Clean up of city park and clearing trees and debris from accident-prone intersection
Assistance to many local families in need
Stewart family: adoptive parents of special needs children including Josh (7) with leukemia, Maria (3) born without arms and legs, and a 3rd child (10) soon to arrive who is seeing impaired and born without hands and feet; KW associates rehabbed the yard, including building a shed, chicken coop, flagstone patio, playground, ground-level trampoline, and landscaping.
For RED Day 2018, KW Utah served the following organizations, amongst others:
The Midvale Family Crisis Center
Volunteers of America Homeless Youth Center
Thanksgiving Heroes/South Valley
Western Resource Advocates
Fundraisers for local recipients of KW Cares initiatives
Top Golf fundraising event
“RED Day exemplifies our culture of abundance,” Keller Williams CEO John Davis said. “Our associates donated literally hundreds of thousands of hours … leveraging their time and talents to give back to their communities and make a difference in people’s lives!”
KW Cares – Mega Camp
When Hurricane Harvey hit, devastating communities across the Texas coast, Keller Williams pivoted and transformed its annual 2017 Mega Camp training event in Austin into Mega Relief.
Keller Williams had a total of 4,000 volunteers, including nearly 100 from Utah, helping at over 25 locations around Texas to give back and assist with the relief efforts. These associates took time and attention away from their families and businesses to help those in need.
Keller Williams helped more than 330 families clean up their homes, with ongoing work still continuing.
Keller Williams associates helped pull out sheetrock, clear away debris, and disinfect homes for rebuilds.
KW Cares partnered with The Salvation Army to send additional supplies to those in the area.
Keller Williams’ leadership pivoted their second largest event of the year – Mega Camp – and diverted agents who were slated to attend to locations like Sealy, Texas, for a Mega Relief event.
When Keller Williams volunteers arrived, waterlogged chairs, refrigerators, family photos and mattresses lined the curbs.
“People are devastated,” said Rusty Griffin, a lead pastor at Christian City Fellowship in Sealy. “Without Keller Williams, the help they’re getting wouldn’t have been possible.”
“When I heard the news that Mega Camp was transformed into Mega Relief, I thought to myself, what a great opportunity to serve. We already had our flights and rooms booked so with my assistant by my side, we flew into Austin ready to hit the ground running. Upon arrival at the convention center, I was in awe over the amount of agents who were willing to give up their time and set aside their business to help those in need. The experience we had was truly unforgettable. Keller Williams had every detail covered from writing hand-written notes to families, to care packages full of essentials, to coordinating buses to transport us into Houston. The gratitude the locals shared with us was uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. I am so honored to be a part of the Keller Williams culture and the empowerment we have to make a difference.” – Kathy Hamilton, Keller Williams, St. George, Utah