Real estate industry giant Keller Williams reported record growth, productivity and profitability gains for 2013. Already the largest real estate franchise by agent count in North America, the company added 15,000 associates last year, bringing its overall associate count above 95,000.
During the company's annual convention in Phoenix, Keller Williams CEO Mark Willis announced that the company's associates had both outpaced the industry and shattered records in every category Keller Williams measures:
• Transactions were up nearly 20 percent to 644,000 units
• Sales volume was up almost 30 percent to $158 billion
• Commissions earned increased by 30 percent to $4.2 billion
The extraordinary productivity gains drove profitability for franchise owners and fueled historic Profit Share distributions to associates. Ninety-five percent of offices were profitable for the year - a figure far above the standard for franchise businesses. The company shared more than $78 million with associates through its Profit Share program - an increase of 41 percent over 2012. Since the program's inception in 1996, the company has distributed $475 million in profits with associates. It is on pace to double that cumulative Profit Share to more than $1 billion over the next five years.
The strong financial results are the exclamation point on an historic year for the Austin-based company:
• Signing master franchise agreements covering Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK and celebrating the launch of KW Indonesia, KW Southern Africa and KW Vietnam.
• Being named the #2 training organization across all industries by Training Magazine.
• Reaching No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal business bestseller list with co-founder Gary Keller's The ONE Thing, which has now been translated into 23 languages.
• Unveiling a new logo and branding campaign;
• Transitioning the company's entire associate base to Google Apps for Business;
• Launching a mobile search app individually branded for associates and holding a consumer sweepstakes that will give $50,000 to a consumer who downloads the Keller Williams Real Estate Search App.
"Keller Williams family, this year you showcased to the world that an education-based, technology-driven, consumer-focused company can drive innovation and excellence," Willis said. "You've shown what an energized army - 96,000 strong and growing - can achieve when we all work together and are focused on a shared vision."
During an update on the company's global expansion, Keller Williams Worldwide President Chris Heller announced plans to open Keller Williams offices in Dubai. He also welcomed more than 130 guests from 24 countries.
Keller Williams President Mary Tennant shared that the company's charitable foundation, KW Cares, had awarded more than $2.5 million in grants in 2013 to Keller Williams associates and family members struggling against unexpected hardships - from health issues to natural disasters, such as tornados in Oklahoma and flooding in Colorado.
"Thanks to you, Keller Williams has developed a culture of success, innovation, giving, and fun," Tennant said. "You've attracted the best people, delivered the most impressive results and created the strongest culture. You and your colleagues have built the most extraordinary real estate business in the world."
About Keller Williams Realty, Inc.
Keller Williams Realty, Inc. (kw.com | kwworldwide.com) is the largest real estate franchise company in North America, with approximately 700 offices and 95,000 associates in more than a dozen countries around the world. The company has grown exponentially since the opening of the first Keller Williams Realty office in 1983, and continues to cultivate an agent-centric, education-based, technology-driven culture that rewards associates as stakeholders. The company also provides specialized agents in luxury homes and commercial real estate properties.