The Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders report seeks to include not only thought leaders, power brokers and deal makers, but entrepreneurs from outside the industry whose ideas are influencing the way homes are bought and sold.
This year, Inman News recognized six Keller Williams executives and associates as real estate industry leaders whose ingenuity, strength, conviction, power and persistence are driving change. Congratulations to Gary Keller, Mark Willis, Cary Sylvester, Sue Adler Team- Short Hills, Summit, Maplewood, Livingston, Chatham NJ, and The Geeky Girls, Lisa Archer and Laurie Weston Davis.
Co-founder and Chairman
Keller Williams Realty co-founder and Chairman Gary Keller had a full year in 2013. In March, his productivity book, “The One Thing,” came out and became a New York Times best-seller. In September, Keller Williams claimed the North America agent count throne; a month later it unveiled a new logo and in November it moved all of its 90,000-plus agents to Google’s cloud software. Keller co-founded Keller Williams in Austin, Texas, in 1983. The company began franchising in 1990, and now claims 700 offices and approximately 90,000 associates around the globe. As chairman of the board, Keller helps provide strategic direction for the “agent-centric” company. Keller and his writing team have written five best-selling books: “The One Thing,” “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent,” “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor,” “SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times,” and “FLIP: How to Find, Fix, and Sell Houses for Profit.”
Keller Williams Realty CEO Mark Willis helped the large Austin, Texas-based real estate franchisor claim the North America agent-count throne in 2013 thanks to a net gain of 12,000 agents over the year. He also solidified the firm’s new global business with a 2013 franchise agreement in the United Kingdom to go with existing agreements in Austria, Germany, Indonesia, southern Africa, Switzerland, Turkey and Vietnam. Willis began his career with Keller Williams in 1991 as the team leader an Austin office, where he quadrupled production over a five-year period. After rising to regional director, Willis next became the franchisor’s president and then its CEO in 2005.
Executive Director of Technology
As executive director of technology, Cary Sylvester helped Keller Williams Realty continue the rollout of its eEdge software platform and oversaw the launch of an agent-branded consumer mobile app for all of the large franchisor’s more than 88,000 agents. Prior to joining Keller Williams in 2002, Sylvester worked as a consultant for Oracle and for Database Consultants Inc., as an implementation manager for Copera Inc., and as a database architect at Dell Computer Corp.
Adler helps head up Hear it Direct, a conference series that aims to put consumers under a microscope and highlight “what they think, what they want, what they value, and what is a waste of time” to agents. Adler has used some of the most powerful material from Hear it Direct panels to forge programs designed to help real estate companies craft more consumer-driven businesses. Based out of Short Hills, N.J., she leads a “team of specialists” in New Jersey’s Midtown Direct Train Line towns. The group has been the No. 1 Keller Williams team in New Jersey for nine years running.
Lisa Archer and Laurie Weston Davis
Laurie Weston Davis and Lisa Archer are “The Geeky Girls,” licensed North Carolina agents who speak all over the U.S., providing training in technology, social media and Internet lead generation.
The unranked list of individuals in this report is organized alphabetically by last name in each of the following categories:
Among the criteria considered in the review and selection process:
- Does this person have the power to change his or her real estate industry company on a daily basis?
- Does this person have the power to change other real estate companies on a daily basis?
- Does this person have the power to influence the industry as a whole?
- Has this person made decisions and taken action in the past year that created change within the industry?
- Does this person participate in boards, committees or organizations that create changes within the industry?
- Has this person been responsible for driving growth at his or her company in the past year?
- Does this person have the ability to influence regulatory and legislative decisions impacting the business of real estate?
- Has this person demonstrated the ability to influence public opinion within the real estate industry?
- Is this person in a position of power that can impact a significant share of real estate industry participants?
- Has this person been responsible for creating programs, services, technologies, etc., that have led to widespread changes in the industry?
- Has this person driven changes in the industry that are beneficial for real estate consumers and industry practitioners?
- Has this person launched initiatives in the past year that have been particularly impactful for the business of real estate?
- Does this person regularly capture the attention of other industry leaders and decision-makers?