Keller Williams Realty, the 30-year-old Austin, Texas-based franchisor, claims to have more agents affiliated with its brand in the U.S. and Canada than any other real estate franchise — thanks in part to a net gain of 12,000 agents over the last year.
The firm announced at its midyear “Mega Camp” meeting that it now has more than 90,000 agents in 700 offices across the globe and recently opened shop in the United Kingdom. Currently, it also has franchise agreements in Austria, Germany, Indonesia, southern Africa, Switzerland, Turkey and Vietnam.
Keller Williams launched its global business with a “master franchise” agreement in Vietnam in February 2012.
“Being No. 1 in agent count in the United States was our first domino,” said Keller Williams Realty CEO Mark Willis in a statement. “We’re on our way to knocking over bigger and bigger dominos until we’re No. 1 in agent count, transactions and volume all across the world.”
Some question how much agent count really means. Other metrics like per-agent productivity are important, too, pointed out real estate consultant Rob Hahn in a commentary on Inman News in February in response to Keller Williams’ announcement that its U.S. agent count had passed Coldwell Banker Real Estate’s.
Denver-based franchisor Re/Max reported in August in its S-1 initial public offering registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had 92,239 agents in more than 6,300 offices and 95 countries affiliated with the brand on July 31, 2013. Re/Max does not break out the number of its affiliate agents in the U.S. and Canada, however.
Keller Williams also reported at its meeting that 95 percent of its offices have been profitable so far in 2013, has distributed $58 million in profit-sharing payments to its associates (33 percent more than a year ago) and that 58,000 consumers have downloaded the agent-branded mobile app it released in August.