In case you're not familiar with the name Keller Williams, its a realty company in the United States, but it's not just any ordinary business. It's a highly successful team of realtors who have done some amazing and noteworthy things. They deserve a moment in the spotlight so here are 20 things you didn't know about them that you might find interesting.
1. They're the number one real estate company in America
There are many businesses who claim to be number one in some aspect of the industry that they occupy, but in the case of Keller Williams Realty, it's not disputed. They are the largest real estate company in the United States. The thing that has earned the company this distinction is the fact that as a real estate franchise, they have the largest headcount of agents working for them in the entire world.
2. The company was founded in 1983
Keller Williams Realty has been in business a little over 35 years. The founders of the company are Garry Keller and Joe Williams and they started their small real estate company out with a single office in the city of Austin, Texas. The corporate headquarters remains in the same city. The company has since expanded to a whopping 940 offices throughout the United States as well as internationally and a total of 180,000 associates. Their growth has been exponential.
3. They have a cheerful reputation
One of the accolades that Keller Williams has received is their listing by Career Bliss as one of the "happiest companies to work for." This speaks well of their company culture because, in the fast pace of today's real estate industry, stress usually causes a considerable degree of unhappiness among workers. Keller Williams Realty is doing something very right to earn this high praise within such a behemoth of a company.
4. It only took them two years to become the largest firm in town
Keller Williams grew as a company at a rapid pace. By 1985, they could boast the fact that they had become the largest single office real estate firm dealing in residential listings within the entire city of Austin. They had hired on 72 licensed agent which is far more than many new companies can sustain within a two year from establishment timeline. One of the strategies that helped Keller and Williams to attract and keep their crew of agents was the fact that they offered profit sharing to those who were already established, and they also extended the same offer to potential agents who joined the company. It was an enticing offer and those who came on board are now wealthy because of it. This helped the company to make it through the housing crisis that struck the nation in the 1980s.
5. Keller Williams Realty faltered in the 1980s
During the middle part of the 1980s, real estate companies throughout the nation were having a tough time getting through the recession that hit. Many folded up shop and closed their doors. Keller Williams stuck it out and it was only a year after hard times hit that they had grown their numbers to an impressive 130 licensed real estate agents and although they had encountered a rough patch the company shot straight back up to the top.
6. They're number one in volume
The competition for Keller Williams Realty is Century 21 Realty, HSA, and REMAX/Coldwell Banker. Statistics show on a graph chart that they have surpassed all of these companies by billions in volume. They're the single largest real estate company with regard to the volume of transactions that they conduct. They're selling a lot more homes than any of their competitors and their 2017 year-end figures show that they were valued at $300 billion.
7. They made it to "The Thousand" in 2017
Every industry has its distinguished fellows who are highly respected and when they pay their respects its a really big deal. "The Thousand" is a list that comes out once a year in North America. It only lists the most successful real estate professionals on their prestigious list. It would be really great to have a couple of teams from your company make it to this esteemed list, but in 2017, Keller Williams Realty had a whopping 89 of their agent teams make it to the list This was an accomplishment as well as an amazing feat. In addition to this, they also earned distinction about elevating the company to having more than any other franchise in North America recognized in this manner. It was a very good year for the company and for the associates who were members of those 89 teams. It gives a whole new meaning to the concept of high performing teams.
8. They captured another accolade
Keller Williams wasn't finished taking the center stage and the spotlight that year. They were also named on Real Trends 500 list of top brokerages. They had the most market centers of any brokerage firm in the world with a total of 161. This is a high number. Keller Williams received a lot of praise and recognition in 2017.
9. Keller had a bright idea that transformed the company
In 1986, just three years after founding the real estate company, Gary Keller had an idea for a new strategy that would turn the real estate industry on its ear. It was a revolutionary idea that would disrupt the industry in a big way. His plan was to make the company so attractive to its workers that nobody would ever want to leave. His plan must have worked because to this day agents who work for them feel as though they are highly privileged to be there.
10. They created a unique culture
One of the smartest things that Keller implemented was the training opportunities for staff. A lack of skills or knowledge is one of the leading causes of employee boredom, dissatisfaction, and attrition. He had a good business sense and he employed a strategy that would make everyone feel that they were important and if they were happy on the job, then the odds of them staying with the company for years increased. This was good for business because of the knowledgeable and well-trained staff turned into high-performance teams and this translated quickly into success and growth for Keller Williams Real Estate. Add this to the fact that profit sharing gave them all a degree of ownership in the company and you have a winning combination that was hard to beat at any other agency in the industry.
11. Technology has played a major role in the success of Keller Williams
Keller Williams invested in the latest technology to enhance the services that they provide for their clients. There are so many new innovations and programs available in the real estate market that it puts useful data and information at your fingertips. The technology isn't cheap and it takes a sizable investment to implement and keep it going, but it's a step that they willingly took. They make the most out of the new technology that is available and it's no wonder that their clients are so impressed with them. Imagine getting answers to your questions immediately almost every time.
13. Keller gained inspiration for his first book in 2002
Gary Keller is brilliant when it comes to the real estate business. He's also good at strategizing and helping people to grow. In 2002, he had a revolutionary idea, and this was only one of many. He brought in a high performing team of what was referred to as "mega-agents," to form a think tank. They brainstormed and put their minds together to come up with the answer to a poignant question. "What would it take to net a million dollars in personal income?" Now, this was definitely a question that was on everyone's mind and Keller was bold enough to step up to the plate and attempt to answer it. The group came up with a few models that were sound in concept. These models would become the inspiration for Keller's first book which he titled, "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent." Needless to say, it was a top seller.
14. Keller and Williams is all about systems and models
The 2002 think tank was just the beginning of the high-powered planning and strategic planning that would take place among the top execs in the company. Keller Williams was a company that was brimming with amazing talent and great business minds and this was the case because Keller and Williams cultivated this in their agents. They attracted the brightest and the best and it remains that way to this day. With such thinking ability, they set out to identify the best systems for growing their business. Since the agents within the company were profit sharing, it behooved everyone on board to make the company as successful as possible. They weren't just working for a boss that would grow richer while they maintained the status quo in pay. Each agent in the teams was working to improve their financial standing as well.
15. Keller Williams owes their number one spot to John Davis
John Davis was the team leader who knew how to get things done. When Keller Williams hit a critically in the midst of a downturn, their numbers dwindled to 75,000 agents. They turned to a team within the company that was consistently performing at high levels when others were failing. They found one common thread. The highest performers were following the business models created by John Davis. Keller Williams implemented this company-wide and in a short span of time they were back on top and moved into the number one position in the real estate industry not only in American but in the entire world.
16. Profit sharing has exceeded $1 Billion for Keller Williams
This is one of the most remarkable aspects of the Keller Williams Real Estate company. Since they first began offering profit sharing, they have distributed over a billion dollars to their associates. The estimates for the 2017 year show that this year alone, associates were given $174 million in profit sharing dividends for the preceding four years. This is something that would definitely make a company a great place to work. It's understandable how they came to be known as one of the happiest companies in the nation. Most of us would be extremely happy with that kind of profit sharing.
17. They stand as a model of success for entrepreneurs
Both Gary Keller and Joe Williams were visionary entrepreneurs. They started their business with a single office and a belief that they could turn their new business into a big success. Within two years they had achieved their first major goal and throughout the thirty some odd years that the company has been in business, they have made fairly consistent strides, with the exception of the times when an economic recession impacted most businesses in the nation.
18. If you want to know how to get rich in the real estate industry just call Gary Keller
The co-founder of the largest real estate company in the world knows how to build a business from scratch and turn it into a company that is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. If you want to know how to become wealthy in the business it's a good idea to pick up a copy of his book. He lists his strategies here and you might get some useful pointers. After all, he has a proven track record for success. If you have the will and the drive, you may be able to make a million dollars net profit yourself.
19. The company fosters an environment of caring
While some real estate businesses take the cutthroat approach, that isn't the way they roll at Keller Williams. The company culture fosters an environment of caring and taking the team approach to accomplishing great things.
20. Keller Williams is transitioning into technology
The face of Keller Williams is beginning to evolve. They're making more in profits than ever before and they're taking on a new role in the real estate industry. In 2017 they began the transition into a technology company with their KW Labs division. This part of the company focuses upon the development and testing of new technology that is the creation of KW and its associates.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson