Keller Williams to expand into Belgium and Luxembourg

The first market center will open in Brussels in late 2018

Keller Williams Worldwide announced on Monday ambitious plans to expand into Belgium and Luxembourg — a move that will raise the number of European countries in which the franchisor operates to 14, KWW executives told Inman.

The European expansion marks the 78th and 79th European market center Keller Williams Worldwide operates in and boosts the number of agents on the continent to 3,500.

The growth we are seeing around the world, and especially in Europe, is nothing short of spectacular,” KWW President William Soteroff said in a prepared statement issued on Monday. “Now we have a phenomenal new leader who is bringing KW’s unique culture into two very special markets perfectly suited for this agent-centric model.”

The franchisor’s international headcount and market share have spiked 56 percent and 48 percent year-over-year, respectively, according to a Keller Williams earnings report released in May.

The report also boasted year-over-year gains in the number of closed transactions (+62 percent to 5,787), sales volume (+164 percent to $1.34 billion) and listings by volume (+89 percent to $5.67 billion).

Olivier Vigneron, a regional operating principal and CEO of Brussels-based B2B Estate, will lead the franchise growth strategy in both countries by touting KW’s agent-centric and competitive split/cap models, which he called a “virtuous disruption of the [Belgian] market.”

Olivier Vigneron

“Olivier sees the opportunity to expand first in Brussels and then outward through providing KW’s agent-centric model focused on a highly competitive split between the office and the agent,” Soteroff told Inman. “Vigneron also will implement an annual cap on that split as is seen throughout the KW system.”

“Through the KW Career Visioning process, Vigneron will award market centers in the appropriate areas to the right local leaders in both regions who will focus on massive agent growth and productivity training systems within the office,” he added. “Unlike a traditional franchise sales system, the KW growth model focuses on finding learning-based, entrepreneurial operating partners for each planned location rather than simply selling as many franchises as possible.”

Vigneron’s B2B Estate, which specializes in office space leasing and sales, investment operations and real estate portfolio divestitures, is currently transitioning to KW models and systems and will launch as the first Belgian market center in late 2018.

“Keller Williams continues to grow thanks to leaders like Olivier. He already had the vision for building businesses that put the agent first and disrupted the traditional real estate model,” said KWW Chief Operating Officer Ellen Curtis in a prepared statement.

Email Marian McPherson.