Keller Williams gives no hints about an upcoming IPO

Worldwide agent count up to 188,244

Keller Williams released its numbers for new listings, agents and transactions for the third quarter of 2021 Wednesday. But what the company didn’t say in the statement was perhaps most notable: there was no hint or suggestion of an upcoming initial public offering, despite speculation that the new corporate structure positions Keller’s parent company to finally take the franchise brokerage public.

“We understand there’s a lot of speculation. Right now, we are focused on creating alignment, scale and efficiencies across the KW ecosystem,” said Darryl Frost, a spokesperson. “Over the short term, we’ll continue to have more exciting developments to share on our momentum.”

Sales volume was again strong from Keller Williams in the third quarter. Agents in the U.S. and Canada closed nearly $150 billion in sales volume, up slightly from the $145.3 billion in sales volume in Q2 2021, and up 17.7% from the same time period a year ago. This increase came despite a 0.8% decrease year-over-year in the number of transactions agents closed. Quarter-over-quarter, however, transactions were up to 371,700 in Q3 2021 from 367,248 in the second quarter.

The number of contracts written in the third quarter dropped both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year to 393,600, suggesting that the number of transactions that will close during the fourth quarter will be lower, as would be expected due to seasonal market changes.

“We are pleased with our productivity metrics in the U.S. and Canada, while we declined slightly resulting from the base effect of Q3 last year,” Jason Abrams, head of industry at kwx, said in a statement.

As of September 30, 2021, Keller Williams had a total of 188,244 agents worldwide, with 174,151 operating in the U.S. and Canada. This is up from 184,654 total agents at the end of the second quarter.

“In Q3, we’ve netted substantial agent gains, which is best positioning us to reap dividends in market share going forward,” Marc King, the president of Keller Williams, said in a statement.

Globally, Keller Williams Worldwide Momentum agents (agents operating outside of the U.S. and Canada) closed 16,500 transactions during the third quarter, resulting in $3.2 billion in sales volume, up from $2.9 billion in Q2. Unlike their domestic counterparts, KWW Momentum agents saw a quarter-over-quarter increase in contracts written, rising to 19,700 in the third quarter from 17,281 in the second quarter.

There has been much speculation about the franchise brokerage going public via an IPO, but the company provided no hints in its press release. Kwx noted the appointment of Raymond Jones as head of Keller Offers, its iBuyer program, and Keller Manage.

The earnings announcement on Wednesday comes on the heels of two other recent company announcements.

Last week, the franchise real estate brokerage announced that it is partnering with educational and test prep services platform Kaplan to create a new real estate training program, dubbed “KW School of Real Estate” (KSCORE). According to Keller Williams, the cost of pre-licensing and continuing education classes for a KW brokerage varies state to state and ranges from $199 to $599 depending on location and the number of programs purchased. Once a KW brokerage enrolls in KSCORE, the brokerage can enroll an unlimited number of students in the program.

Hergenrother Realty Group, one of Keller Williams’s top teams, also changed its name in the third quarter to “Livian.” The Vermont-headquartered real estate team received an undisclosed strategic investment from Keller Williams, which will enable it to expand faster, company officials said. Livian has 270 agents on 33 teams across 21 states.