State of Your Company 2017: Technology & Innovation

Feb 16, 2017 1:35:38 AM

Disruption 

In today’s consumer-driven digital world, companies must make a decision – disrupt or be disrupted. Keller Williams is no different.

As announced by Chris Heller, Keller Williams co-CEO, during Family Reunion’s 2017 State of Your Company Address, Keller Williams has embarked on its next evolution – to become a technology company that provides the real estate platform that our agents’ buyers and sellers prefer.

 

The Vision

“Real estate is a relationship business and it always will be, but it is absolutely necessary that we create more meaningful experiences for your clients,” said Heller. And that’s where technology comes into play. Keller Williams envisions a world where every one of our agents has ALL the data about their customers, their prospects, and their business in ONE place. This is accomplished through the creation of a single platform that allows agents to effortlessly run their business.

 

Leading the Charge

Keller Williams Technology Leaders Josh Team, Jonathan Berkowitz and Steve Peterschmidt are leading this charge.

“World-class technology companies need to own their product vision, they can’t rent it. We can’t outsource our road map and vision because no one cares more about what you need to be successful than we do,” said Josh Team, Chief Innovation Officer. “Our observation is the number one challenge an agent faces are the number of independent, disconnected technologies.” Currently, agents must track their customers across over a dozen software products and systems simultaneously.

“As your customers spend more time online, they’ve been taught to expect an on-demand agent. Growing your business in this environment is more complicated and requires more energy than ever before,” noted Team.

To help Keller Williams work through this, Team announced the company’s new Chief Product / Strategy Officer, Jonathan Berkowitz.

Berkowitz was brought to the team to unburden Keller Williams agents from having to make and manage dozens of technology decisions and provide the ultimate alternative – an end-to-end platform that allows them to run their business.

Outside technology companies have seen the same challenge, but they rarely respond properly because the big picture is too complicated for them. “While many chase the promise of an end-to-end solution, it requires commitment to a single experience and cannot be assembled with dozens of parts,” added Berkowitz.

 

Uncompromising Core Values

To accomplish this, Keller Williams will be focusing on the three core product strategy principles that deliver value to all agents:

1. The only tech worth using is tech that provides beautiful, uncomplicated experiences.

2. Real estate-focused technology will be smart – the more you use it, the more it will accomplish on your behalf.

3. Everyone starts out small; some get big and some get huge. Your tech needs to grow as you do.

 

Defending Agents’ Businesses

In addition to a fragmented agent experience, there is an undeniable technology gap between consumer wants and what the real estate industry currently provides. Keller Williams has decided to invest in closing this gap and pivot to intersect the best consumer experience with the best agent solutions.

“Every six months you’ll see us take another step on our road map. We’ll move from simplifying agent technology to expanding your ability to reach new consumers,” explained Berkowitz.

 

Upcoming Product Launches

The Keller Cloud is the key to simplifying an agent’s life. It is the unified platform where agents will log in to both learn and earn.

Learn with KWConnect

Keller Williams’ product strategy reflects a continued commitment to training and education. This is reflected in KWConnect, a trusted resource for the many agents who have adopted it. Powered by Keller Williams agents, KWConnect is on its way to becoming the most influential community of real estate professionals in the country. It will only get smarter and become more deeply integrated into the Keller Cloud.

Earn with KWCommand

Key to empowering agents to own and execute their growth plans is KWCommand. A solution that applies the best practices that Gary Keller is developing for MREA 2, KWCommand knows your goals, knows your market, collects data on your customers and helps run every aspect of your business from one location. An agent’s database is their business and this goes far beyond a CRM, which we know doesn’t work.

KW + Facebook

A critical part of any business strategy is social media. With the launch of KWCommand, Keller Williams has teamed up with Facebook to create an opportunity for every agent to get more out of their social media advertising. Using best practices, KWCommand will provide agents with the simplest and most effective toolset to create and place ads on Facebook.

Kelle

Kelle is Keller artificial intelligence, and Kelle’s objective is to allow every agent inside of Keller Williams to have a smart, connected and powerful partner to help them be more productive. And the best part: Kelle understands and works within the Keller Cloud. Kelle also has “friends,” the first one named OJO, an AI-based technology service agents can choose to leverage in interacting with customers via chat.

 

The Transition

Removing fragmentation and revolutionizing the solutions agents use to manage their business and achieve their goals is a journey, and it’s already begun.

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“By Mega Camp, agents will be able to learn in one place. One experience,” announced Steve Peterschmidt, Chief Technology Officer. KWCommand will be rolled out through August and will include complete task and pipeline management, referral and AI services, Kelle and OJO.

Over the past five years, Keller Williams has become the world’s largest real estate company with the most powerful community of agents. Over the course of the next five years, Keller Williams will build the simple, smart and scalable technology solution for agents to help consumers pursue their perfect lifestyle.