Keller Williams grew in 2007 while Prudential, Re/Max Century 21, and Coldwell Banker all lost agents

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Evolve Real Estate BK3261358

top 5 KW grows, others shrink

This photo taken by Greg R. Benson, a Keller Williams agent, at Family Reunion 2008 in Atlanta.

We all know this is a difficult market, and surely no one is surprised that part-time agents, and inactive agents, are exiting the industry in droves.  Dues are coming up for renewal, and NAR will have a real drop in membership at the next reporting period... they already acknowledge significant agent losses; surely many more are coming.

This is not necessarily a bad thing for the industry.  Many of those part-timers create problematic transactions from their lack of experience, their shallow skill sets, and their overall lack of knowledge.  I'll be so glad to see the lesser agents get back to other pursuits... they were in my way.

What is striking is that only Keller Williams has what it takes to grow in this difficult market: better training, better support, better skills, better environments.  For, what else can you attribute the loss of agents by the other 4, while Keller Williams continues to grow.

It just crossed my mind, Re/Max will no longer be able to use that bar graph showing constant agent growth since their inception... it just ended. 

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Rainmaker
355,343
Miriam Bernstein, CRS
RE/MAX N.O. Properties - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans and Surrounding Suburbs Real Estate
That's right the market has shifted.  I think that is a good thing.  I understand it is easier to remain at KW during a down market.   At RE/MAX you still need to produce.  The RE/MAX is lower than on your chart.  I just don't understand why it is a good thing to have lots of agents. Whatever.
February 17, 2008 10:19 AM #1
Rainer
72,930
Kevin Cahill
Evolve Real Estate - Treasure Island, FL

Shift happens!  Keller Williams was founded in response to Re/Max entering the Austin Texas market.  We took the best of the traditional model and the best of the Re/Max model. 

We have agents who live in one part of the country in the summer, and another part of the country in the winter... why should they have to pay desk fees during those months they are away? 

Our model rewards successful agents who contribute their fair share (we call that "Capping") and we don't punish those agents who are new to the business or learning the ropes.

In my market center, I cap when I have contributed $21,000 to Keller Williams ($18,000 to my local office, and $3,000 to International.  I do this on a 64% split up to $50,000 GCI, and then on a 70% split up to a $60,000.  After I have earned $60,000 GCI, I keep 100% for the rest of my anniversary year.

So when my Gross is $60,000, my net is $39,000... but I am on 100% for the rest of my year.  I then get out there and REALLY SELL!

February 17, 2008 10:43 AM #2
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
I guess the remax agent in the above comment did not get it.  We care about our agents success, not the fact that they left the company.  By the way we did not keep taking money from our agents in the shifting markets like remax did,
February 17, 2008 10:44 AM #3
Rainmaker
134,415
Paul Francis
Prudential Americana Group - REALTORS - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate - Summerlin Homes - 702.592.

Personally, I've always thought that transactions (and more importantly, volume) per agent results are more impressive. In our market, the largest company only sold on average .25 homes per agent in a very tough 2007 4th quarter. I've never seen any real benefit to a home owner selling a home based on the number of agents a company has.

The fastest growing and currently largest company in our area has some of the lowest fees.. but their .25 homes they sold per agent in the fourth quarter puts it at the bottom for the ten largest companies.

February 17, 2008 11:01 AM #4
Rainmaker
355,343
Miriam Bernstein, CRS
RE/MAX N.O. Properties - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans and Surrounding Suburbs Real Estate
Kevin I thought that the founders of Keller Williams were RE/MAX agents who left and decded to formulate thier own structure.  I agree with Paul, the number of agents as far as I know does not sell houses.  A qualified and competent agent can be found in all companies.  Matt, i get it.  I just disagree with it.
February 17, 2008 01:34 PM #5
Rainer
191,863
Jeff Payne
The Payne Group at Keller Williams Success Realty - Panama City, FL
Panama City Real Estate

Miriam,Not sure, but I don't think Gary Keller was a Re/Max agent.  I could be wrong but I don't think so.  Dave Jenks was with C21.   Not to stir up our past but what is it that you "disagree with" ?  Just curious.   You are correct, the number of agents does not sell houses, it just goes to show that many are seeing the grass greener on the other side. 

February 17, 2008 04:08 PM #6
Rainmaker
355,343
Miriam Bernstein, CRS
RE/MAX N.O. Properties - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans and Surrounding Suburbs Real Estate
Jeff, that was a reference to the comment that Matt made above.  "the remax agent doesn't get it"  whatever it is I get it.  He decided to make it personal and insulting instead of staying on topic. Jeff I think he was a REMAX agent.  The story goes that there was a shake up at the REMAX office they were at so a bunch of guys left.  Took the REMAX model and tweaked it.
February 17, 2008 04:42 PM #7
Rainer
191,863
Jeff Payne
The Payne Group at Keller Williams Success Realty - Panama City, FL
Panama City Real Estate
Miriam, I think that although you and I tend to disagree, we both seem to believe that it is about the agent and not so much about our company or the designations that we have.  Re/Max is a great company, so is KW, C21, Prudential and every Mom and Pop shop out there.
February 17, 2008 04:54 PM #8
Rainer
72,930
Kevin Cahill
Evolve Real Estate - Treasure Island, FL

Gary Keller was never with Re/Max... KW was founded in 1983 when the market was difficult in Texas to say the least.  Interest rates super high, the oil market in chaos.  We were built for today's market.

What Gary and his original agents were addressing was how Re/Max recruited top agents from traditional companies and offered them more of their own commission dollars.  KW modeled the best of the traditional companies, and the best of Re/Max, and created a company where the agents had an incentive to be more productive, to hold ownership accountable to reaching certain goals, and where the agents and the owners were true partners in that effort.

KW agents share in the profit, and therefore are concerned about the profitability of each office, and the productivity of each agent.  We care about our enviroment, and we strive to maintain an important set of values, which we call our WI4C2TS.

Sure, many of my favorite local agents are with Re/Max and Prudential.  They just don't have the vested interest in their broker's success.  Now that I have been with Keller Williams Realty, my profit share is vested, and is an inheritable asset that my children and their children will receive should I die, and which I enjoy each month on the 21st.

February 18, 2008 07:39 AM #9
Rainmaker
198,270
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI
Real Estate
Congratulations KW, Life is full of changes, and it is sometimes hard to be the newer kid on the block. It looks like your company has a way to go, but may pass R/M some day.  Is KW's main goal to pass R/M in agent head count? What is the annual income average per agent compared to R/M?
February 18, 2008 07:59 AM #10
Rainer
191,863
Jeff Payne
The Payne Group at Keller Williams Success Realty - Panama City, FL
Panama City Real Estate

Not to add fuel to the fire but it always seems like the Big Kid on the block always talks about how big he is until someone else comes along and then it is not about how big he is anymore.   I've been recruited by the Re/Max agents and their claims were always the size of the company but all of a sudden when they start losing ground, it is not about the size of the company or the agent count.

The fact of the matter is KW is growing and most of the rest are not which says alot about how times are changing.  The culture of real estate needed and change and KW provides it.  The very best training, high standards, excellent coaching programs and EVERYONE helps each other out just like Family!!!

February 18, 2008 08:04 AM #11
Rainer
72,930
Kevin Cahill
Evolve Real Estate - Treasure Island, FL

Hi Mary:

I would suggest that KW plans to continue to grow, that we intend to be the largest in the world...

I don't know what the average income is per agent at KW vs R/M, but I would argue that (1) it doesn't matter and (2)regardless of level of income, KW is a better environment.

KW is a better environment for newer agents... why pay desk fees when you are just starting out.  Our education, training, mentoring and support are superior.

KW is a better environment for teams, groups, and husbands and wives... our culture embraces the agent.  Agents can structure an incredible business model at KW.

KW is better for agents who take their business to the highest level, and those entering their twi-light years.  Many of the most successful agents are retiring to sunnier climes, and are working fewer months of the year... why pay desk fees each month if you aren't looking to produce each month. 

KW is a better environment for agents who are magnetic and who are LEADERS.  With our profit-share system, agents are rewarded for helping us grow!  Their is no investment for this profit share... you don't need to be an active agent to share in the company's success.

And so many other reasons...

What is the average profit share per Re/Max agent?

February 18, 2008 08:30 AM #12
Rainmaker
198,270
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI
Real Estate
Hmmm  I take your reply as a little defensive, I was only asking a question I would like to know an answer to this out of curiosity. So sorry if you thought I am challenging the quality of KW I was not.  Since KW came into being after R/M it seems natural to add features and benefits missing in another company system, which you pointed out. That is what R/M did in the 70's by allowing agents to get paid higher splits and they took heat for this from the traditional Brokers of that era. I would think both companies are great. But the question is what is the average income level over at KW vs R/M? thanks
February 18, 2008 08:57 AM #13
Rainer
191,863
Jeff Payne
The Payne Group at Keller Williams Success Realty - Panama City, FL
Panama City Real Estate
I would guess that the 80/20 rule applies to all of the companies.   20% of the agents do 80% of the business.  Not sure what the average income is but one thing that I do know is that in my first year at KW my income was above $150,000 in a market that is supposed to be down. 
February 18, 2008 08:14 PM #14
Rainmaker
76,591
Jennifer Walker-Derby
Re/Max Westside - Marietta, GA
Real Estate Extraordinaire

I realize that I am coming into this conversation a year late but I will say that I interviewed with both KW and ReMax when I made my last change a few years ago.  I chose ReMax for several different reasons:

1.  My ReMax office costs me $12,000 a year less to work at than Keller Williams.  That is a lot of $$

2.  When being given the tour of the local KW office, once introduced to the bull pen an agent stood up and said "didn't I co-op with you on X property?"  When I agreed she started screaming to the Team Leader "she's mine, she's mine!" so I would be counted under her tier of "profit sharing" in the event I joined.  Tacky!

3.  I am a pretty big producer so when asked point blank how much "profit sharing" I would see if I brought someone of my caliber in under me it only equaled to a couple hundred dollars.  Let's face it, I am in the business of selling real estate, not recruiting... which brings me to #4

4.  Every single time I co-op with someone from KW I get the hard sell to bring me over (and sometimes their broker calls me as well).  It gets old and to be honest, I find it unprofessional since I know their main goal is to make money off my production.

Listen, I actually really like the broker over at my local KW office.  She invites me to training sessions and I respect her as a person however that doesn't mean I want to pay more $$ to be over there.  I see a lot of agents leaving ReMax for KW (and smaller companies) right now but it's not because of a better enviornment, it's because the market is down and they can't afford to keep shelling out money when they are not producing.  KW offers commission splits and ReMax (at least my office) doesn't.

February 14, 2009 09:36 PM #41
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