Fueled by 180,000 agents worldwide, Keller Williams has been quietly leveraging its data to boost artificial intelligence-powered technology.
Chief Product Officer Neil Dholakia revealed during a panel at the Austin-based South by Southwest festival this week how the franchisor has been deploying that data over the past several years to differentiate itself from competitors.
“For Keller Williams, that means, how do we take advantage of a 35-year history of data, as well as all of the data from interactions between 180,000 associates and the customers they serve, and use that to both the benefit of agents and consumers,” Dholakia told Inman on Tuesday.
“It’s not only size, it’s the interconnectedness of our system,” Dholakia added. “We spend a lot of time connecting all of our systems – including our legacy systems – together so we would have all of the data.”
That data collection got an even bigger boost in February when Keller Williams rolled out its customer relationship management tool, Command, which agents are required to use for certain processes like reconciliation of royalties and commissions.
So what does Keller Williams do with its data? From an agent perspective, it means making the agent a better, trusted advisor, according to Keller Williams. From a consumer perspective, it means enabling them to participate in a real estate journey in any manner they choose.
For example, Keller Williams is using data to give agents an estimate of how likely it is their offer will be accepted. The tool takes into consideration the location of a home, its condition and other factors. It can show how much more likely an offer will be accepted by changing parameters.
“We can better inform our agents to be better fiduciaries for our clients,” Dholakia said.
Dholakia said Keller Williams can also use data to change the way consumers search for homes, from a filter-based search to a deep-match search based on profile preferences filled out by the consumer and agent.
“We’re able to do a deep-match search and give them insights into what they may like or may need more so than what their explicit search criteria are,” Dholakia added.
Down the road, Keller Williams is also working on its own valuation tool, similar to Zillow’s Zestimate – but putting it in the hands of agents who can tune the automated valuation model (AVM). Dholakia said that as Keller Williams rolls out its consumer products and iBuyer platform, results will be based on the agent-tuned AVM, which will be constantly measured and tweaked by agents.
“The difference is that we’re enabling agents to tune our AVM for their particular area,” Dholakia said. “There aren’t any better experts in a local market than the agents that work that market.”
Keller Williams sees its massive scale of data and AI-powered technology as an “unfair advantage,” Dholakia said.
“A small firm, a boutique firm, can replicate our tech stack using the same partners we have and copying the code,” Dholakia added. “They won’t be able to feed it the fuel, the data, needed to create the insights I’ve been talking about.”