By Lalaina Rabary
This has been a year of rapid innovation for Keller Williams.
From the release of an AI-powered virtual assistant (Kelle) and smart cloud (Keller Cloud) to the burgeoning development of a real estate-specific operating system (Command) and several R&D partnerships – Keller Williams has made significant strides in technology.
Each new milestone rests on three foundational beliefs: agents should be enabled by their technology, world-class tech companies must own their product road map, and together everyone achieves more.
To innovate at a fast pace while staying true to these philosophies, Keller Williams has instituted Labs – a program where agents are invited to build software with technologists in Austin, Texas and online. In these physical and virtual spaces, agents can dream up big ideas to business challenges while offering immediate feedback to help technologists create and refine products in the pipeline.
Enthusiasm for this collaborative approach to design has reverberated throughout the company’s 190,000-plus associate base. This year alone, over 10,000 agents have participated in Labs with 23,000 weighing in on products today. The company has recently taken the program a step further through Labs Unleashed.
Across the U.S., trained facilitators lead daylong workshops to provide associates with a comprehensive view of how KW is responding to a changing industry with technology. They are delivering demos and answering questions while gathering valuable feedback to shape current and future tech endeavors. When the roadshow wraps up in January 2019, 23 stops will have been made. At each location, the excitement has been palpable.
“When Labs Unleashed moves into product demonstrations, associates audibly cheer for the leverage it will bring to their business. They are optimistic and ready for what the future holds,” shares Donnie Brookman, Labs Unleashed facilitator.
“The technology not only helps our agents provide value that consumers cannot get anywhere else, it revolutionizes the real estate experience by offering a new level of transparency and agent-client collaboration.”
Scott Cooper, an agent from Palmdale, California is thrilled about what the technology will deliver to his clients.
“The number one frustration consumers have is disconnected and disjointed communication. KW technology will allow our clients to see what we are doing for them in real time. This gives us a stronger case for the value we offer.”
After the full day of learning, Ashley Houseman of Punta Gorda, Florida shared similar reactions.
“It is crystal clear. Keller Williams is covering all the bases with their technology. I love how the consumer app can provide details of homes for sales on a specific route when a client is in ‘tour mode’. The property tagging capabilities made possible through AI are also amazing.”
“Two things that stood out to me were the listing presentation capabilities and deal manager within KW Command,” shared Danielle Calderon, an agent from Goodyear, Arizona.
“On the listing presentation end, we will be able to offer our clients hyper local data about their neighborhood (ex: listing price, pricing strategies) so they can make informed decisions. It will impress them and point to how knowledgeable we are. Through deal manager, we will be able to follow a lead from the time we secure it to closing day. Being able to track how well we are converting leads to closings is priceless information. Command is a game changer.”
The agent input and feedback has been what Labs Unleashed facilitator Zach Younger has enjoyed the most.
“Our associates are full of great ideas to enhance our technology. It has been very humbling and exciting to be a part of the process. We're just getting started.”