Keller Williams Bucks National Trends
Austin Kilgore | 01.28.09
Despite a housing crisis that has sent foreclosures up, prices down, and the nation's economy in a tailspin, Austin, Texas-based Keller Williams Realty Inc. is beating the odds, outperforming the national market.
The country's fourth largest real estate firm said while existing homes sales in the country decreased 17 percent through November of 2008 compared to the same time in 2007, Keller Williams said it will only see a 7 percent decrease, beating the average by 10 percent.
While the National Association of Realtors saw a 10 percent decline in membership, Keller Williams said it had a far fewer decrease in its agent base.
Keller Williams CEO Mark Willis said, "Our strategy is no secret. We faithfully follow the sound financial model of leading with revenue - the same model our market centers follow. As we watch companies throughout the country take on billions of dollars of debt, we are proud to say that our company has not one dollar of financing debt and we remain strong and financially sound. It is our joy to be able to give back to our agents during these times."
The company also boasts no debt on its balance sheet, and gave back than $30 million in profits to its agents.
To help its agents weather the storm, the company published two books, both written by Gary Keller, co-founder and chairman of the board of Keller Williams Realty that are meant to keep agents on the top of their game.
Mary Tennant, Keller Williams president and COO said, "Keller Williams was founded 25 years ago during one of the toughest markets on record - when interest rates were higher than 18 percent. We continue to urge our agents to zero in on lead generation and reducing expenses so they can thrive during this market. We admire our agents' spirit, tenacity, and dedication to their businesses. They just keep powering forward."