Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Did KW just say FU to vendors?

At the recent Keller Williams’ Family Reunion convention, Gary Keller during his keynote declared “We are not a real estate company anymore” and had a slide talking about vendors that were “not safe”.

Chief Innovation Officer, Josh Team also announced, on stage, that the company would no longer deal with “bolt on” technology. Team defined “bolt on” as…

“Bolt-on technology is anytime you use another company’s technology product that you didn’t build and own,”

How fucked up is that? Imagine how the vendors on the exhibit floor felt after spending good money, on their booths, hotels, airfare and thousands of hours of time and energy to exhibit at an event where the CEO and the senior staff who put on that event insult them as “bolt on” and/or “not safe”.

To put it lightly, that was a pretty dumbass thing for KW to do to those vendors, and shows a remarkable lack of couth.

While I’m told the pitch my Mr. Keller was as masterful as ever, it’s really a shame to see a great company like Keller Williams stoop to this level. By spreading this FUD to their agents I believe they are risking their company’s best asset, culture.

Entrepreneurial, highly trained, independent, system focused, scrappy, motivated. Those are the terms I would describe KW agents.

While it seems that “tech enabled brokerages” are all the rage right now. This pendulum swings back and forth.

So while Mr. Keller’s head may be in the clouds right now, I would encourage him not to burn any boats anytime soon and that the two letters he should double down on are KW, not AI.

  1. Although not shocking that they are going this route, that was a shitty way to announce the plan. I didn’t know the vendors were their. It will be more difficult to implement that Keller made it. For all that they bill themselves as a tech company, KW is not a tech first company.

    I still contend they saw the Compass writing on the wall. Compass is small to be sure but they are making a mental impact on the bigger brokers. And while Redfin is a tech first broker, I think the bigger players rightly or not, see Redfin as just a discount bit player.

    I read a recent report commissioned by Realogy where they see Compass as bigger threat that they do Redfin. As I said, Compass is small but they are a full commission tech first broker that is doing all their stuff in-house. They are making the hardware and the software.

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