Gary Keller, co-founder of Keller Williams real estate brokerage, announced at the KW Family Reunion Conference last week, “We are a technology company. Number 1 that means we build the technology. And Number 2, that means we hire the technologists…we are not a real estate company any more.”
This is a pretty major announcement coming from a co-founder of a business that has 173,000 real estate agents around the world associated with its brand.
Keller obviously has his reasons to make such a pronouncement. He believes that the world of real estate is in the midst of what he calls “the fourth industrial revolution” and he wants his privately held business to take full advantage of this revolution of big data and artificial intelligence.
Keller said, “In this fourth industrial revolution, the one with the most insights wins and that means the one with the most data wins.” And as far as Keller is concerned, KW’s entrée into this fourth industrial revolution is Kelle.
Kelle, though not yet perfect, is designed to allow agents to run their businesses from their mobile devices. A product of KW Labs, this franchisor’s innovation arm that was launched in October 2017, Kelle is “technology built for agents, by agents.” Keller is confident that the more agents use Kelle, the more Kelle will learn from agents and improve.
Currently, Kelle enables its user agents to…
- find KW’s training content and best practices easily and quickly
- check their real time progress against their business goals
- grow their agent-to-agent referral networks
- increase and nurture their contacts
- create and manage their business schedule and appointments.
KW’s Chief Innovation Officer, Josh Team, said that the “…goal of Kelly ultimately is to be able to interact with everything you (agents) need, whether we built it or someone else built it, through you voice in one interface.”
Included within the “construct” of Kelle is a referral platform that supposedly enables agents to…
- send, track and receive referrals in the Keller Cloud
- find data-verified agents with specific specialties that best match the needs of clients
- build referral networks without having to rely on other systems/platforms
- track referrals throughout the entire transaction process to ensure outstanding customer service and payment to the agents.
Kelle is available only as a mobile app for Android and Apple devices. “She” connects to all KW technologies via one interface. The Virtual Consumer (KW.com), Virtual Agent (KW Command), and Virtual Market Center (CloudMORE) are all interrelated.
Kelle is KW’s solution to technology empowering agents, not the other way around. “All of this (innovation, effort, millions of dollars) is around a singular purpose, which is to make sure that we (KW) are the winners and that KW creates the software that allows the tech-enabled agent to win and outperform the tech platforms that want to disinter-mediate the agent,” said Team.
No more “bolt-on” or non-proprietary tech solutions for KW. Keller said that these “bolt-on” companies, such as Zillow, Google, Face Book, Amazon, etc., that have entered the real estate industry in one form or another do not create their own content. “The content they are using is your content, your data…which you give them willingly…by entering your data into their software and you pay them to do it to boot.”
Keller emphasized, “If you control your data, you’ll get to decide how relevant you’ll be. Who you decide gets to have it (your data) will determine how relevant you are in the real estate industry.”
Time will tell, sooner rather than later, how effective KW’s Kelle will be for the agent, for the consumer and for everyone’s bottom line.