Keller Williams Realty Climbs to
Third-Largest Real Estate Franchise in United States
Company outpaces market with financial model, agent-centric initiatives
AUSTIN, TEXAS (March 2, 2009) — Keller Williams® Realty Inc., announced last week at its annual convention in Orlando, Fla. that it is now the third-largest real estate franchise in the United States, surpassing RE/MAX® International. According to Steve Murray of REAL Trends, a leading source of analysis and information in the residential real estate industry, the Austin, Texas-based company claimed the number three spot with 72,794 U.S. associates at the end of 2008.
“The success of Keller Williams Realty can be directly attributed to the hard work and perseverance of our associates and the soundness of our economic and organizational models,” said Mark Willis, CEO of Keller Williams Realty, Inc. “While others might be looking at this market and seeing fear and uncertainty, we have always approached it as our opportunity to shine and grow. And that mindset has paid off.”
The company has been gaining ground for the last three years, outpacing pervasive downward trends in the real estate industry. Comparing the average annual performance of the company from 2004 – 2005 (before the shift in the real estate market) to 2006 – 2008, Keller Williams Realty increased its associate count by 52 percent, while market share for its offices increased 83 percent and agent gross commission income went up 35 percent. Keller Williams Realty has 679 offices operating in the United States and Canada. In 2008, the company shared more than $30 million in profits with its associates through its profit sharing program.
“Through profit share, our phenomenal coaching and training and our technology offerings, we are offering agents their own ‘bailout plan’ for this market.” Willis added.
The company also announced that after years of searching for a partnership to provide its associates with affordable health insurance, they are moving forward with a solution.
The soon-to-be-launched Keller Williams Health Providers Program will include options for major medical, limited medical, catastrophic coverage and a separate cancer plan. The health insurance coverage is the first step toward a total wellness program for associates.
“We have always been very aware that as independent contractors, our agents face barriers to obtaining health coverage,” said Mary Tennant, president and COO of Keller Williams Realty.” We know that for many, this new option may alleviate some of the stress that they face in today’s economy. After all, our associates are not just our partners – they are our family.”
Last fall, the company also announced the launch of KW Commercial, a new division of the company dedicated to providing commercial real estate associates with specialized technology, marketing tools and resources. KW Commercial already has more than 220 active brokers across the U.S. and Canada.
“Our goal is to create synergy between the residential and commercial sides of our Keller Williams offices, raising the bar for the service we provide to our clients,” said Buddy Norman, president of KW Commercial. “We envision our commercial and residential agents working side-by-side, sharing referrals and helping our offices grow.”
“Our growth in the last year and now becoming the third-largest real estate company in the United States was a true team effort and a company-wide win. We are so grateful for all of the leadership and commitment our associates have shown to power through this shift,” added Willis.
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