Keller Williams’ first agents on what things were like in the early days

The first agents give some insights on what it was like when Joe Williams and Gary Keller founded the company
  • Gary Gentry, Gary Keller and Joe Williams' first agent describes his first meeting with the two company co-founders.
  • The tough Texas property market from 1984-1990 shaped the Keller Williams business model the industry sees today.
  • Agents leaving for other brokerages in the mid 1980s led to Keller Williams implementing profit sharing.

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Gary Gentry in the 1980s, when he joined Keller Williams. When Gary Gentry, the first Keller Williams (KW) agent, sat down with Gary Keller and Joe Williams to talk about joining their firm, it was at a Chili's. Gentry had been a fast learner in a class Keller was teaching at Austin Community College and had interviewed with him at the firm he was at before setting up Keller Williams, JB Goodwin. Gentry's first impression of Keller: "I thought he was aggressive and brash -- in a good way. He was very personable; it was obviously going to be an incredible education working with him. I walked out of there thinking if I went with this guy, I would learn this business." Of Joe Williams? "Joe was equally very likable and extremely personable," said Gentry, who thought he was perhaps more of an extrovert than Gary. Breaking the news Gentry went home to tell his wife, Melonda (Mel), that he had committed to joining them. She said: "Oh, great -- what’s the name of the comp...