Grow a Global Empire With KW Referrals

January 22, 2020

The process for referrals has been a major pain point, especially for real estate agents looking to find qualified referral partners abroad. They have spent countless hours sorting through and interviewing potential partners, tracking referrals, and communicating with agents before making any formal connections on behalf of their clients. It is crucial agents find a trustworthy referral partner to advise clients they have cultivated a relationship with. If the transaction goes south due to a poor agent experience, the referring agent’s reputation is on the line.

“Referrals provide the opportunity to take our real estate business worldwide and give us the opportunity to grow our business even when our economy is down.

Robert Serrano, Jr.

But not anymore: Keller Williams’ referral platform has gone global.

Connections can pass from country to country given KW’s strong worldwide footprint in over three dozen regions outside of the United States and Canada.

Referrals Is Born

Referrals was born in 2017 when 225 KW teams with a collective $50 billion in volume came together at the company’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, to build Command, the company’s real estate-specific platform. One issue repeatedly dominated the conversation – agent-to-agent referrals. After hearing pain points, it became clear that technologists could design a better experience.

The goal was to provide an intuitive way to send, receive, track, and manage referrals within the Keller Cloud. In February 2018, this goal was achieved, and the victory has been immediate.

101,373 referrals have been exchanged, representing more than $33 billion in sales volume in the United States and Canada in the first 15 months after the technology’s release.

This number has grown dramatically since launch, fueled by the strong interest in purchasing investment properties, second homes, and retirement residences in other countries. In the United States, foreign buyers purchased 183,100 residential properties worth an estimated $77.9 billion between April 2018 and March 2019, according to a National Association of Realtors® report.

The Reward

“Fostering these global networks will allow the opportunity for all Keller Williams agents to transform their businesses,” according to Bill Soteroff, president of KW Worldwide.

For agents, the reward is twofold. Easy access to global connections helps them achieve their goals of providing outstanding service to clients while boosting their sales. And, unlike other real estate brokerages that use off -the-shelf technologies, Keller Williams worked with numerous worldwide regions using the Labs process to ensure that the program’s expansion met their unique needs.

“We live in an increasingly global economy. A world where nearly every transaction occurs as a result of people connecting internationally is not far off,” says Soteroff. “It starts with every agent, market center, and region in Keller Williams being joined through best-of-class technology.”

Fostering Connections Worldwide

Jose Luis Garza of KW Pedregal in Mexico echoed this sentiment – he knows his credibility in the eyes of his customers is tied to the size of his network. He’s already chosen to hang his license at the largest real estate franchise company in the world. Now, he’s eager to receive additional, tangible benefits from it. Garza is confident that access to this platform and the 180,000 associates connected by it will be a game-changer.

“The Referrals tool enables us to have direct contact with agents outside of Mexico with whom we want to do business. This creates a major commitment on both sides and better communication, facilitating the possibility of doing successful business. Undoubtedly, the tool will enhance everything.”

In Nicaragua, where political unrest in 2018 created an unstable housing market, agents may struggle to sell real estate in their home country. Roberto Serrano, Jr., the regional director for KW Nicaragua, has encouraged agents to capitalize on the referral network to earn commissions by connecting their families and friends who live abroad to KW agents in countries like the United States and Canada. Taking advantage of the referral network is one of the main strategies Serrano has promote to help his agents have a career worth having and a business worth owning – centerpieces of Keller Williams’ mission statement – during times when home sales in Nicaragua are dormant.

“Referrals provide the opportunity to take our real estate business worldwide and give us the opportunity to grow our business even when our economy is down,” Serrano says. “Now we can serve our contacts no matter where they live.”

Referrals By The Numbers

101,373 referrals have been exchanged, representing more than $33 billion in sales volume in the United States and Canada in the first 15 months after the technology’s release.

Additionally, in a global economy, building a referral network with agents across the globe will not only help KW agents serve their clients, it also helps solidify Keller Williams’ reputation as a global brand that goes the extra mile to help its agents succeed.

“A referral fee is very attractive for agents who live in other countries and know that referring their clients means those clients will be cared for by a local KW agent,” says Tonya Dorsey of KW Bahia in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. “We needed a way to become one with our KW family all over the world and unlock our powerhouse potential. Now, we’re unstoppable.”

Get Started With Referrals

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