Gary Keller has been one of the five most powerful people in residential real estate every year since the SP 200 debuted in 2014, and is considered by many to be the most charismatic leader of his generation. Keller Williams Realty is the nation’s largest franchise brand by sales volume, transaction sides and agent count, as revealed in the Real Estate Almanac, a sister publication of the SP 200 also owned by T3 Sixty. The company reported having 173,327 agents in November 2020.
Keller Williams Realty announced its agents experienced their best quarter ever in the third quarter of 2020. The company’s third quarter numbers were:
- Agents closed 374,824 transactions in the quarter, up 16 percent over third quarter 2019.
- Agents closed $127.5 billion in sales volume, up 25.4 percent from the third quarter 2019.
- In the quarter, agents took 208,501 new listings, up 5.2 percent year-over-year, and wrote $139.5 billion in contracts, up 32.8 percent from the same period in 2019.
The company also appears to have made significant progress in its transformation into a technology company. The company reported that the KW app, kw.com and market center and agent websites saw 120.8 million home searches in the third quarter, and that its integrated cloud suite of agent tools, Command, had 143,104 active users as of September 30, up 7.3 percent from June 30, 2020.
But the most significant change in 2020 was that Gary Keller again stepped down as CEO of Keller Williams Realty and created a new holding company, KWx, with Keller as executive chairman. KWx includes all of KW’s businesses and affiliates: Keller Williams Realty, Keller Williams Worldwide, Keller Mortgage, Keller Covered and Keller Offers. Keller brought in Carl Liebert, most recently the CEO of AutoNation, to be CEO of KWx while Josh Team assumed all of Keller’s previous Keller Williams Realty duties.
Numerous industry watchers and Wall Street prognosticators believe that KWx is the precursor to KW finally going public sometime in 2021. If it does, the company will become one of the nation’s largest public real estate companies overnight. Should KWx go public, there is no doubt that Gary Keller will remain the largest shareholder in the company and firmly in control of the giant he created in 1983.