ORLANDO, Fla. — Yesterday morning, more than 10,000 Keller Williams agents sat studiously quiet for 157 minutes at the Orlando Convention Center as KW guru Gary Keller delivered a 99-slide PowerPoint lecture on economics and the state of the industry without seeming to blink or take a breath. (See the full presentation.)
At the annual raucous rah-rah KW Family Reunion event, Keller’s serious tome was mixed with aw-shucks tales of his early days as a real estate agent in Texas and a few light barbs at his competitors, the Internet portals, this news service and the National Association of Realtors.
“NAR already sold us down the river,” he cracked when talking about realtor.com.
Keller was generally optimistic about the economy and the housing market, but he did not resort to tired industry boosterism. He cautioned that market cycles are not to be underestimated and they cannot be predicted, and he advised his audience to get into the flow of a cycle to grow your business. He pointed to gross domestic product, lower unemployment, housing affordability and record low interest rates as indicators that made him cautiously bullish.
His deck was generously mixed with NAR research numbers, government data, and other economic and industry sources as he meticulously walked the audience through a raft of charts, pie charts and numbers. The crowd seemed truly enraptured, despite the seriousness and dry nature of the subject. His color commentary warmed up the audience. Plus, like dancers flanking Beyoncé in a Las Vegas show, three young research assistants sitting behind Keller interjected their own commentary, always in step and never upstaging the KW founder. The fact that all four seemed to be reveling in the show helped to keep the crowd’s attention.
More friendly professor than big-shot CEO, Keller waxed on about technology and wasn’t afraid to take a position. He dissed the broker portal initiative but embraced the industry Upstream project, which is attempting to take back control of the listing data from the portals and wayward MLS organizations.
On the eve of an announcement that KW is the largest real estate company in the world as measured by agent count, it was evident that Gary Keller is enjoying the fruits of his success.