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Dave Smith, a Keller Williams executive who joined the company last year to oversee the firm’s mortgage operations, among other duties, left the company this week.
Keller Williams Executive Chairman Gary Keller announced Smith’s departure in an internal email, which the company provided to Inman. Smith had “decided to leave the organization to pursue other career opportunities,” the email notes, but it does not provide further details about those opportunities.
Smith joined Keller Williams as part of an executive hiring spree in March 2021. He served as president of Keller Home Financial Services (KHFS) — a role that tasked him with beefing up Keller Williams’ mortgage services, including Keller Mortgage, as well as insurance services provider Keller Covered.
While at the company, Smith “played a key role in building out the Keller Mortgage leadership team which will continue to lead the organization,” Keller said in his email.
In the time since Smith joined Keller Williams, however, the real estate industry generally and the mortgage industry, in particular, have both taken turns for the worse. Conditions began to sour — at least compared to the past couple of years — in early 2022 as mortgage rates rose. Rates eventually climbed above 7 percent, sapping demand for new loans and tamping down home prices. In contrast to last year at this time, when most analysts anticipated continued home price growth well into the future, today’s forecasts predict falling prices.
Keller Williams has not been spared from the carnage, with both the company’s franchise arm and Keller Mortgage laying off workers this year. In the case of Keller Mortgage, the company has carried out cuts in October 2021, as well as in May and October of this year.
Keller did not say in his email if Smith’s departure was in any way related to today’s considerably more challenging lending landscape or to the shrinking ranks of Keller Mortgage.
In the wake of Smith’s departure, Rich Miller has been appointed interim president of Keller Mortgage. Miller — who previously served as Keller Mortgage’s chief financial officer — will report directly to Gary Keller, with various leaders of Keller Home Financial Services reporting to Miller.
Keller thanked Miller in his email for his “leadership” and “for taking on this position.” He also thanked Smith and wished “him well in his future endeavors.”