Continued market volatility pushed Keller Williams’ first-quarter U.S. and Canadian transaction sides down 27.1 percent annually. Meanwhile, its KW Worldwide operations soared with double-digit growth, according to its Q1 earnings report.

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Keller Williams’ first-quarter (Q1) 2023 earnings were a mixed bag, with the Texas-based franchisor’s international operations experiencing double-digit transaction and sales volume growth, while its domestic operations bore the scars of rising mortgage rates, inflation and depressed sales.

From Jan. 1 to March 31, Keller Williams’ agents in the United States and Canada saw their closed transactions decline 27.1 percent annually to 188,500 transactions. Sales volume also slid from $108.4 billion in Q1 2022 to $76.1 billion in Q1 2023, representing a 29.7 percent decline.

During the same period, Keller Williams Worldwide agents completed 19,000 transactions (+15.4 percent) worth $4 billion — a 27.5 percent increase from Q1 2022.

Keller Williams co-founder and Executive Chairman Gary Keller said he was pleased with the brokerage’s first-quarter performance and the company will continue to lean on his SHIFT philosophy and training to stoke growth.

Gary Keller

“A market shift becomes the era of opportunity for those who are willing to do what others won’t,” Keller said in a statement. “We’re excited and leaning into this crucial moment to grow. Our training, coaching and technology are infused with SHIFT strategies, which allow entrepreneurs to thrive — no matter the market.”

As a privately owned company, Keller Williams does not share its revenue, profits or losses in earnings reports, such as the one released Friday. If the franchisor decides to go public in the future, it will be required to report those statistics.

KWW’s agent count also increased 17.5 percent annually, with 3,227 agents joining the brokerage during Q1 for a total of 18,441 agents across more than 55 worldwide regions. Even with KWW’s growth, Keller Williams’ overall agent count slid 0.2 percent annually to 189,258 agents.

KW President Marc King said he’s not concerned about the brokerage’s agent count decline, his team has focused on recruiting boomerang agents — the term for agents who’ve left and returned to their initial brokers — and independent brokerages who need the support and resources of larger brands.

“We’re thrilled to see an increasing number of independent brokerages onboard with us,” King said in a written statement. “Due to that and more, we are well positioned to grow as the housing market continues to find its footing.”

King said the company’s “industry-leading technology, education and coaching” and 14 business communities have led to the addition of several multimillion-dollar independent brokerages in Texas and Arizona and a $1.3 billion brokerage in Florida during Q1 alone.

One of Keller Williams’ top mega teams, Livian, also expanded its reach in Georgia with the launch of Livian Legacy.

“[Our] unique offerings including KSCORE, and our now-14 business communities, [are] making a real difference, attracting mega real estate teams and emerging agents alike,” King added.

The latest earnings report falls in line with the Texas-based franchisor’s performance over the past year, which has seen transactions, sales volumes, new listings, projected closing volumes and other sales metrics decline in the face of volatile market conditions.

During the Q4 earnings season, KW didn’t provide a breakdown of its performance from Oct.1 to Dec. 31 and instead focused on its full-year results, which saw sales volume decline 12.5 percent annually to $472.9 billion.

However, Inman writer Jim Dalrymple II crunched the data and revealed the brokerage’s Q4 transaction volume declined 35.1 percent year over year to 331,900.

“Compared to 2019, across the U.S. and Canada, our agent count and sales volume jumped 9.2 percent and 34.7 percent, respectively,” King told Inman in March, while explaining the brokerage finds uses 2019 at its benchmark since 2020 and 2021’s sales runs are a statistical anomaly.

The Texas-based franchisor has yet to confirm or deny any initial public offering rumors which have reached a fever pitch in the past several years, with the launch of holdings company kwx and several strategic hires that hinted at a public debut.

“I can’t wait to tell you when we know,” King told Inman in a previous article. “We understand there’s growing speculation out there on all of our moves. The statement is that we’re just going to continue to prepare for optionality and focus on delivering world-class customer experiences.”

Email Marian McPherson

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