The Gunderman Group, a high-profile 18-person team based in California’s Bay Area, revealed Monday that it is leaving a Sotheby’s International Realty franchise and joining Keller Williams.
Keller Williams co-founder and co-owner Gary Keller formally announced the transition Monday morning at his company’s “Family Reunion” conference in Dallas, Texas. The Gunderman Group will now be a part of KW Oakland, a Keller Williams franchise based in its namesake city. It had previously been a part of Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty.
Husband-and-husband duo David Gunderman and Andrew Raskopf lead the team, which according to Keller Williams did $188 million in volume in 2019.
Keller Williams also said in an email that the Gunderman Group is the “most successful real estate team in the Alameda/Berkeley/Oakland/Piedmont market,” referring to a cluster of communities on the east side of the Bay Area.
In a video announcing the move, Gunderman said that he decided to join Keller Williams due to its “values, its technology and its teams.”
“We’re in a profession of care and advocacy,” Gunderman said. “And what I see in the Keller Williams ethos is that that principle is just top to bottom in your ecosystem. It’s something that you value as deeply as we do.”
Gunderman also praised Keller Williams’ “proprietary software,” saying that such systems are “the future of real estate.”
In a conversation with Inman, Gunderman added that one of the specific technologies that appealed to him was Keller Williams’ soon-to-debut consumer app. The app integrates into the company’s technology platform, dubbed Command, and has been a major focus during the Family Reunion event. On Saturday, company President Josh Team outlined how the app should create a more portal-like experience for consumers, and said that the goal is to create an end-to-end platform that eliminates “chaos.”
Gunderman praised that vision Monday, telling Inman that right now a real estate transaction requires cobbling together many different players and products. But he believes that Keller Williams is “really on the precipice” of solving that problem.
Gary Keller’s vision was also a major draw for Gunderman.
“I just believe so deeply in his mission of taking care of people and changing people’s lives,” Gunderman told Inman.
In the announcement video Monday, Keller Williams maps coach Jason Abrams described the Gunderman group as “one of the greatest real estate teams in the world.”
Gunderman first got into real estate after a magazine he worked for went out of business in 2000. In a statement, he described initially making the transition reluctantly because he “wrongly subscribed to the notion that real estate agents were like used-car salesmen.”
“Instead, I stumbled into an incredible profession that synthesizes so many things I’m passionate about — advocacy, strategy, design, negotiation, marketing, contracts, risk management,” he added.
Raskopf later left a job in education to work with Gunderman.
The Gunderman Group was previously a part of Alain Pinel Realtors, but left the brokerage last year after Compass acquired it. Gunderman told Inman that the team eventually settled on Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, which “has a brand story that is really compelling.”
“Mad respect for what they’re doing,” Gunderman added Monday.
However, Gunderman and Raskopf said they also eventually opted to leave because they wanted to have more control over their own branding and because they felt like Keller Williams was a better fit for their team model.
“At Keller Williams, it’s almost like we’re going to be a brokerage within a brokerage,” Gunderman said. “I think here it’s going to make sense.”
Raskopf added that Keller Williams “isn’t calling it in, they’re not resting on their laurels,” and is in a good place to weather increased levels of industry disruption. He also said that Keller Williams embodies the values he and Gunderman have cultivated in their own business.
“It really was about alignment of ethics and care,” he told Inman. “Keller Williams gives back. They authentically live this mission in ways that I don’t see many businesses inside or outside our industry living. It’s so compelling it’s hard to say no to that quite frankly.”