Keller Williams has been named to Fast Company's prestigious annual list of the World's Most Innovative Companies (MIC) for 2019. The company 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.
Keller Williams is a prime example of this. The brokerage – established in 1983 – saw no choice but to evolve, and to evolve quickly, in order to empower its agents to meet the consumer demands of today.
Keller Williams’ evolution into a technology company began in 2015. Its focus: building the real estate platform that agents' buyers and sellers prefer.
To accomplish this, Keller Williams has focused on delivering tech that’s simpler, smarter, and more human; all at no additional cost to its people. Agents are able to gain control of their database and business, so they can spend more time servicing their clients and delivering the hyperlocal, customized experience they crave.
Every action the company has taken over the last few years was to bring it closer to this reality.
In August 2017, Keller Williams announced a $1 billion fund to fuel all the R&D and M&A required to build this platform.
In Q4 '17, the franchise launched KW Labs, the innovation hub of Keller Williams.
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 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.
In July 2018, Kelle won the "Most Innovative Real Estate Technology of 2018" award from Inman News. 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.
Throughout 2018, the company conducted 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 2019.
Innovation Today and Tomorrow
"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."
These personalized experiences will extend to an all-new consumer app debuting 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.
The real estate industry is changing faster than ever before and Keller Williams is at the forefront of this change. The company is reaching new heights through innovation, disruption and an uncompromising commitment to the agent and the consumers they represent.
Follow Keller Williams' breakthrough moments as they happen.
Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies issue is available online and in app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning February 27.
About Fast Company
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