Proprietary technology, like voice-activated artificial intelligence, was cited for Keller Williams’ second-quarter growth spurt.

Spurred by new proprietary technology, Keller Williams, the privately owned real estate brokerage franchise, tallied $98.3 billion in sales during the second-quarter of 2018, an 8.7 percent increase year-over-year, according to an earnings report on Monday.

Keller Williams agents in the United States and Canada closed 317,743 transactions in the second quarter, a 4.1 percent increase from the previous year, according to the earnings report. During the first half of 2018, those same agents closed 535,943 transactions, up 4.4 percent year-over-year, for a total of $163 billion in sales, a 9.5 percent increase over the same 12-month period.

Keller Williams President and CEO John Davis said the brokerage’s second-quarter growth is largely due to their focus on creating proprietary technologies, specifically Kelle, the voice-activated, AI-driven mobile productivity platform the company launched in February.

“Our agents are helping us build award-winning technology that is changing the industry,” said Davis in a prepared statement. “We’re moving fast and innovating for our people so that they can serve their clients at the highest level and build big lives for their families.”

Kelle recently experienced a major upgrade with a feature called snap. Agents can now ask Kelle to “snap from my location,” and the app will provide a map-based detailed profile of a neighborhood based on borders gleaned from the homeowner social network, Nextdoor. 

During the initial launch, Keller Williams said more than 45,000 agents in the U.S. and Canada had downloaded the app. asking it more than 315,000 questions. In the second quarter, 23,715 agents downloaded Kelle, resulting in a total of 70,168 agents using the app as of June 30.

Nearly 8,700 live referrals were sent via Kelle, representing $2.07 billion in sales volume, according to the earnings report.

“We’re breaking production records set a year ago,” Davis said, noting the firm was named the top U.S. real estate franchisor by the Swanepoel Mega 1000. “By taking more market share and staying focused on activities that drive growth, our agents are raising the bar in real estate.”

Keller Williams added 4,714 agents worldwide, raising the total head count to 186,000 agents, according to the earnings report.

KW Worldwide agents closed 6,887 transactions for a total of $1.2 billion in sales volume, a 46.9 percent increase year-over-year. During the first half of FY 2018, those same agents closed 12,674 transactions for a total of $2.2 billion — a whopping 68.5 percent increase from FY 2017.

Email Marian McPherson.

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