Long the largest real estate franchise by number of agents globally, Keller Williams on Wednesday claimed it has become the leader by sales volume in the United States, too, tallying $72.5 billion in deals during a record-breaking fourth quarter.
If that’s true, that means Keller Williams has overtaken Re/Max for sales volume in dollars–long seen as the market leader. However, the claim came without official figures from Re/Max, to compare to, as the latter company has not released its fourth quarter 2017 earnings, and it’s third quarter earnings of that year also remain delayed.
Keller Williams pointed to an analysis by consulting firm T3 Sixty to support its claims, which was completed independently and before Keller Williams publicly released its fourth quarter earnings. When contacted by Inman, T3 Sixty declined to share its full report, but provided selected figures that supported Keller William’s claims. More on that below.
Firstly, Keller Williams shared its own figures indicating impressive growth. Boosting its U.S. agent count by 17,952 in 2017 to 159,636, the Texas-based franchise inked 250,814 transactions nationwide between October and December of 2017, an 8.4 percent increase from two years earlier, according to quarterly results announced on Wednesday.
In total, the privately held company closed 1.04 million deals nationwide and tallied $310.1 billion in sales in 2017, an accomplishment Keller Williams CEO John Davis attributed to an uptick in average transaction sides per agent as a result of sales associate growth worldwide.
“Our game has got us to number one, and our game has got us expanding where other people have contracted,” Davis told Inman News on Tuesday ahead of the quarterly results. “For example, in December alone, the National Association of Realtors went backwards in agent growth, and every other brand went backwards in agent growth, and we went forward by 930 in the month of December alone. That’s the toughest month in the industry, and we surged ahead.”
The successful fourth quarter, according to internal Keller data and an external analysis from T3 Sixty, suggests that the franchise may have outpaced Re/Max in U.S. sales volume for the first time in its 35-year history.
Reached by Inman, T3 Sixty said the report was complete prior to the publication of Keller Williams’ Q4 earnings, was independent, and was not commissioned by Keller Williams or other real estate companies. T3 Sixty said its internal data relies on publicly available information and sales projections from various real estate franchises and companies.
The report found that Keller Williams’ increased agent count likely led to higher sales volume nationwide during the fourth quarter. T3 Sixty CEO Stefan Swanepoel told Inman that according to his firm’s analysis, Re/Max likely remained the leading franchise worldwide by sales volume. But in the U.S., Keller Williams has, “for the first time, basically drawn level with Re/Max and probably has just passed them,” Swanepoel said.
Currently embroiled in an internal investigation involving a loan between co-CEOS Dave Liniger and Adam Contos, Re/Max, a publicly traded franchise, has yet to release third-quarter earnings, let alone fourth-quarter results, adding to the fog of uncertainty over sales volume numbers. A Re/Max spokesperson on Tuesday declined to share current sales volume data, but pointed to a page on the company’s website boasting of its worldwide sales prowess.
“Incidentally, we still have the claim that ‘Nobody in the world sells more real estate than Re/Max,” the spokesperson told Inman.
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