July 2, 2020
By Julia Falcon
Keller Williams announced on Wednesday its expansion into more international markets.
As of May 30, the real estate brokerage said it has 107 market centers and 5,250 agents across Europe as well as 18 market centers and 1,135 agents across Asia. Now, Keller Williams has new licenses in Slovenia and Thailand.
In an interview with HousingWire, William Soteroff, president of Keller Williams Worldwide, said that choosing the next location to expand to is based on business practices and that the pandemic doesn’t mean expansion needs to stop.
Once the pandemic set in, Keller Williams offices began to work completely remotely, while keeping an eye on the spread around the world.
“At any point in time we’re dealing with 20, 30 to 40 new countries’ inquiries for people who want to expand Keller Williams in their country,” Soteroff said. “We have a pretty set criteria of how we go through that process.”
“We were very fortunate to be able to announce new countries in the last couple of months,” Soteroff continued. “We did not sit down and go home. We went digital, and upped our game and worked harder.”
Keller Williams’ franchise in Slovenia opened its first market center just last month.
“For 15 years, we’ve had an independent brokerage in Slovenia. We are now a team of 15 people and 10 agents,” said Keller Williams Regional Operating Principal Daniel Angel Sauli. “The real estate market in our country lacks robust education and technology support; it’s what I saw would be good to bring into our country. So, we turned to KW.”
In Thailand, Keller Williams launched during the second quarter of this year, with several offices.
“I’ve been a real estate agent for 15 years and have a very successful business,” said Regional Operating Principal Vit Kultanavipas. “Yet, we wanted to achieve a lot higher success, and to do that, we have to change the model and the way we think.”
Soteroff said Keller Williams Worldwide is continuing to plan further expansion opportunities across Africa, Central and South America, Central and Eastern Europe, and throughout Asia. Earlier this year, the company expanded to Latin America, the Caribbean and Japan.
Being able to support the next office from its Austin headquarters and making sure the next location is in line with its political and economic development is the criteria each new market center needs to meet, Sotoroff said.
“Political and economic changes do occur,” Soteroff said. “We’re always ready to have a conversation with anyone. And then we’ll make the decision on the criteria of the person [to lead the office], the country, the political environment, the economic environment and the opportunities, so we don’t close our mind, but we certainly go forward with an educated hand.”