Keller Williams Worldwide announced on Thursday the launch of a new master franchise in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This brings the number of master franchises in Asia to eight, including offices in Dubai, UAE; Greater Shanghai, China; Israel; Indonesia; the Philippines; Turkey; and Vietnam.

Regional Operating Principal Kim Heang will lead Keller Williams’ growth strategy across the country, starting with implementing the franchisor’s models and systems at his Phnom Penh-based real estate firm, Khmer Real Estate Co, Ltd.

The firm will officially begin operating as a Keller Williams Worldwide franchisee by year’s end, according to a press release.

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“Kim Heang is exactly the type of learning-based, growth-oriented leader that we want to be in business with,” said Keller Williams Worldwide President William E. Soteroff.

“He saw a market opportunity to bring a new model into his country and took action immediately,” he said as a reference to KWW’s master franchisee application process. “The KW Cambodia leadership team is also one of the most dynamic and influential that we’ve seen in international real estate.”

In a prepared statement, Heang said Cambodia’s real estate market has experienced explosive growth over the past five years, but noted that many real estate agents don’t have the professional training or human resource support to create thriving businesses.

“Keller Williams is a company which has a business model that fits the market situation in Cambodia, which has a lot of young people and many untrained or unlicensed real estate agents in business,” he said. “We are very proud to be a part of the Keller Williams family. We will take real estate to the next level leveraging the brand’s value proposition.”

The move into Cambodia marks Keller Williams Worldwide’s third expansion announcement this year — the first being the South American market of Argentina, and the second being the European markets of Belgium and Luxembourg.

With these strategic moves, the franchisor also managed to add 4,714 net agents to its global headcount, which includes agent gains made in the U.S. and Canada, during the first half of FY 2018, according to an earnings report released in August.

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.

At the same time, Keller Williams has continued to expand its technology offerings for agents back in the U.S., including its AI assistant app Kelle, which won Inman’s Innovator Award for Best Real Estate Technology at Inman Connect San Francisco 2018.

Email Marian McPherson

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