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Keller Williams franchise agent slams "complacent, unimaginative" industry

One of the UK franchise holders of US-based Keller Williams has accused this country's agency industry of being "complacent and unimaginative" - and so is organising a cocktail party to sell a high-end property on his books.

Ian Richardson, who operates the KW franchise in the north Cotswolds, says the US model of offering commission to agents who bring buyers to high value homes on sale, is superior to the "complacent attitude of many agents" operating in the UK.

“For too long, agents in the UK have been complacent and unimaginative – there’s no excuse for that kind of attitude. If you want to sell a £3m property, you need to show it to its best advantage, and that doesn’t mean spending 30 minutes guiding potential buyers through a cursory tour – sellers deserve more than that” he says.

A press release from Richardson says his approach, by contrast, "doesn’t stop with arranging and overseeing viewings" - for example, he is organising a cocktail party for potential buyers of one home he is marketing. 

“The key issue here is that it’s not just potential buyers who are going to want to see this stunning property. I am a huge advocate of supporting other agents – we’re supposed to be a network with one end goal, so to that end any agent attending the event who then brings me a buyer will get 0.5 per cent commission despite it not being their instruction" he says.

Richardson's outspoken comments come just as Keller Williams' first national market survey says that high end sellers of £2m-plus homes across the country are now cutting asking prices in a bid to find buyers.

The survey, compiled from data by around 40 of Keller Williams' 90 UK agents, says properties priced from £500,000 to £2m continue to sell well.

But above that, and particularly in prime central London, "there has been a slowdown and some people are actually decreasing prices to generate interest." One client told the agency to slash £100,000 off his asking price. 

The firm says that in other areas of the UK, mainly northern England and Wales,  there had been no movement in prices at all during the three months to September.
 
While 55 per cent of its agents had seen prices stabilising only 28 per cent - mostly in London - reported prices increasing. 

The firm says 60 per cent of its enquiries come through referrals; another 25 per cent came via Rightmove and 15 per cent directly from its website.

  • Chris Arnold

    If any vendor cares to take a look at the Keller Williams BOLD training programme for their franchisees, on YouTube, they will see agents rolling on the floor shouting "I'm a money magnet". Hardly the behaviour one expects at a cocktail party!!

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    It would be interesting to see how Keller Williams do. They are very good with their training in the US, but as companies over there have found out - It's hard to crack the UK.

    Re-Max, Century 21 et al have not enjoyed the impact here that have in North America. The market is VERY different.

    Does anyone know the Keller Williams UK trading name? I can't find any listings on Zoopla.

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    Update: Found on Rightmove as KW KellerWilliams - Still can't find on Zoopla.

  • icon

    Oh a cocktail party... how 'new wave' of you, KW...!

    Good points Glenn - re American agents coming here with big franchise names but not really making waves.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Sharing commissions- how new and revoltionary.....oh no, hang on, agents have been sharing commissions since the industry started. The KW website is very basic, apparently only interested in 'off market' sales- but then how can you boast market-leading marketting?
    If you look at the US property market, we are way ahead in terms of tech, info, services, design and so many more. I'd be as bold to say that the UK agent market is probably the best in the World- despite the wideboy images hangover from the 80's/90's.

  • Guy Medd

    Hardly 'cutting edge' stuff KW!

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