Building on the momentum created in its international markets in 2021, Keller Williams is growing its presence in the Caribbean with the launch of a new master franchise in Sint Maarten, the Dutch-owned side of Saint Martin island.
“We’re excited to announce KW Sint Maarten, our sixth master franchise in the Caribbean, which we expect will thrive under the leadership of Maayke de Haan, a renowned real estate veteran and business leader on the island,” Keller Williams Worldwide (KWW) President William E. Soteroff said in a prepared statement on Wednesday. “We currently have more than 1,000 agents across the Caribbean regions of Aruba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Turks & Caicos.”
Veteran broker Maayke de Haan will lead KWW’s operations on the island. De Haan moved from Belgium to Sint Maarten in 1991 and began her real estate career in 1998. Ten years later, de Haan founded Antilles Realty, which has become one of the top boutique brokerages for buyers, sellers and investors searching for property and land throughout the Caribbean.
Antilles Realty will be co-rebranded as KW Sint Maarten, and de Haan’s four-agent team will continue to operate out of their Cayhill office.
“We joined Keller Williams for its systems and models that have proven to work all over the world. We share a love for real estate and a culture of caring,” said de Haan in a written statement. “Truly a win-win situation, we look forward to leveling up with KW and growing to be the No. 1 real estate company of choice in Sint Maarten.”
Added Soteroff, “As always, we seek to find the best leaders to guide our brand experience with every expansion into a new country and region, and de Haan symbolizes that high standard we have set.”
Despite travel and immigration restrictions, Keller Williams’ international operations grew steadily throughout 2021 with the franchisor launching master franchises in Slovenia, Thailand, Uruguay, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Suriname, Paraguay, Serbia, Honduras, Turks and Caicos and Brazil.
As of their latest earnings report in November, Keller Williams Worldwide outpaced Keller Williams’ North American operations. While agents in Canada and the U.S. saw their annual transaction volume (-0.8 percent), new listings (-1.8 percent) and new contracts (-3.5 percent) slip, agents in KWW regions experienced their best year yet with transactions and sales volume increasing 36.3 percent and 74.5 percent year over year, respectively.
Soteroff said KWW is primed to outdo their 2021 performance, as its international agent count increased 23 percent year over year in December alone. That momentum will be used to launch new franchises in Africa, Central and South America, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia in the coming year.
“No one predicted the challenges of 2021, yet our international operations are thriving and we’re growing at a faster clip than ever,” he said. “And, that’s due to a steadfast commitment to our values and principles and to providing the industry’s best agent training.”
The massive real estate franchisor now has 287 market centers across 50 regions representing nearly 15,000 agents.