Keller Williams Named Among Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies
Franchise was ranked No. 1 in the real estate category
AUSTIN, Texas - (BUSINESS WIRE) - February 20, 2019 - Keller Williams, the world's largest real estate franchise by agent count and the U.S. leader in units and sales volume, has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies (MIC) for 2019.
Keller Williams ranked No. 1 in the real estate and urban development category on the new ranking.
“We are excited and honored to be named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in 2019,” said Gary Keller, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Keller Williams. “We are developing our technology in close partnership with our associates – from ideation to design and iterating together through release.”
“It is this collaboration that drives our greatest opportunities for innovation. As technology continues to reshape our industry, I have never been more excited for the future of our company,” said Keller. “This is just the beginning.”
The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts each year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.
This year, Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out groundbreaking businesses across 35 industries and every region. They also judged nominations received through their application process.
“Established players are showing the same kind of nimbleness that we’ve generally associated with startups,” said David Lidsky, deputy editor, Fast Company.
In 2015, Keller Williams began its evolution into a technology company, now building the real estate platform that agents' buyers and sellers prefer.
In August 2017, Keller Williams announced a $1 billion fund to fuel all the R&D and M&A required to build the real estate industry’s preferred platform. With resources in place, the company remains focused on building technology that allows for the best agent-driven consumer experience.
In Q4 ’17, the franchise launched KW Labs, the innovation hub of Keller Williams. The company, via Labs, now builds technology that empowers agents to provide the best consumer experience.
In mid-February 2018, Keller Williams debuted Kelle, an AI-powered virtual assistant, created for real estate agents, by real estate agents. At the same time, the company also launched an agent-to-agent referrals network, a skill within Kelle that has since become the largest, most powerful network of real estate professionals.
“In partnership with the largest real estate sales force in the world, we are delivering technology that provides our industry’s first personalized, one-to-one experience for today’s consumer,” said Josh Team, president, Keller Williams. “It’s an exciting time when a company such as Fast Company recognizes us as one of the most innovative companies on the planet, around building better consumer experiences.”
In March 2018, the company announced a data partnership with Nextdoor, the trusted communications platform for neighborhoods. Keller Williams is leveraging data insights from Nextdoor to build new powerful experiences for homeowners, home buyers and home sellers exclusively.
With Nextdoor's insights and Keller Williams' artificial intelligence platform, agents are now further empowered to be the local expert, staying abreast of local neighborhood happenings and trends.
Kelle won the “Most Innovative Real Estate Technology of 2018” award from Inman News in July 2018. The company has since released many Kelle features and benefits; details available here. By year-end 2018, more than 151,000 Keller Williams associates had downloaded Kelle.
In 2018, Keller Williams also acquired Smarter Agent, the most widely used mobile SaaS platform in real estate. The franchise also announced key technology R&D partnerships with KUNGFU.AI and CognitiveScale. In addition, KW Labs won the inaugural National Association of REALTORS® Hackathon.
During 2018, through the Labs process, the company began an iterative rollout of Command – a smart CRM-plus solution for agents to power their business. More than 20,000 agents participated in early beta versions of Command, which became generally available to all KW associates at Family Reunion, an annual user conference for Keller Williams in February 2019.
Keller Williams is also releasing a new consumer app in late Q2 ’19. The new home search experience will empower agents and consumers alike, uniting them inside one central point for communication, on-demand information and collaboration.
Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue is available online and in app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning February 27.
“Congratulations, Keller Williams. You are a technology company,” said Keller at Family Reunion.
About Keller Williams
Austin, Texas-based Keller Williams, the world's largest real estate franchise by agent count, has more than 1,000 offices and 180,000 associates. The franchise is also No. 1 in units and sales volume in the United States.
In 2015, Keller Williams began its evolution into a technology company, now building the real estate platform that agents' buyers and sellers prefer. Since 1983, the company has cultivated an agent-centric, technology-driven and education-based culture that rewards agents as stakeholders. For more information, visit kw.com.
About Fast Company
Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies and thinkers on the future of business.
Since 2011, Fast Company has received some of the most prestigious editorial and design accolades, including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) National Magazine Award for “Magazine Of The Year,” Adweek’s Hot List for “Hottest Business Publication,” and six gold medals and 10 silver medals from the Society of Publication Designers. For more information, visit fastcompany.com.
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