Expanding the Keller Williams brand
Keller Williams Realty announced today that it will continue its international franchise expansion plans to include Indonesia and South Africa, after announcing earlier this year their international debut starting with Vietnam.
KW Worldwide President, Chris Heller, said, “We welcome aboard our partners in Indonesia and the Southern Africa region, which includes South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, and Mozambique. We are excited to see them experience the same momentum and growth we have seen in North America.”
Preparations for the newest international market centers are already underway and are located in Pretoria, South Africa and Jakarta, Indonesia.
“We are extremely excited and cannot wait for our opportunity to offer the South African real estate industry the Keller Williams value proposition,” said master franchisor, Johan Gouws. “We simply cannot carry on in the South African real estate industry the way things are now. Keller Williams is the company of change for us; the company for agents, by agents. Over the past year [my master franchising partner, Niel Cronje] and myself have become very fond of our Keller Williams friends and their value system of ‘God, family, then business.'”
In addition to Gouws’ involvement, Tertius Zitzke, CEO and owner of AccTech Systems, is the partner responsible for managing the technology and will be integrating the South African and Keller Williams systems. Completing the master franchise team is real estate industry icon Stefan Swanepoel, the New York Times Best-Selling Author of Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business & Life and renowned inspirational speaker on topics including leadership, personal development, technology, and annual real estate trends.
The two new KW Worldwide teams, led by Gouws, Cronje, Zitzke, and Swanepoel in the Southern Africa region and Tony Eddy, Chairman and CEO of Tony Eddy & Associates in Indonesia, join nearly 77,000 associates and 675 offices in the United States and Canada, where the company has been franchising since 1991. Eddy has over 14 years in the real estate project marketing consulting business, covering the Jakarta and Bali markets.
More countries to come
In a statement, Keller Williams said that negotiations with potential franchisees in several other countries continue as they intend to add 50,000 associates worldwide over the next 10 years.
“We’ve been asked why we’ve chosen worldwide expansion in the current market, and the answer is simple: momentum! Our proven models and systems allow our associates and offices to succeed in any real estate market,” said Willis. “As we continue to see years of unprecedented growth and technological innovation, expanding our opportunities abroad signifies the next logical step towards our growth as a company.”
While there are already many international brands based in America, the expansion of Keller Williams is of particular interest not only because they are the second largest brokerage in America, but because of their use of international team members to do more than translate languages, rather the international road map for expansion includes cultural translation, and a lengthy process of understanding other countries’ laws and customs, which requires nuances experts on their team that lay the groundwork for each country over a matter of months, or in some cases, years.
Look for KW to be extremely ambitious about their expansion plans, with next countries coming soon.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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