• Report: #154897
Complaint Review:

Keller-Williams Realty

  • Submitted: Wed, August 24, 2005
  • Updated: Fri, February 06, 2009

  • Reported By:Birmingham Alabama
Keller-Williams Realty
3535 Grandview Pkwy. Suite 350 Birmingham, Alabama U.S.A.

Keller-Williams Realty ripoff Birmingham Alabama

*Consumer Suggestion: KW Agent in Birmingham

*UPDATE Employee: Not a ripoff

*UPDATE Employee: Deception?

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Keller Williams Realty has descended into the Birmingham marketplace. As a brand new agent their system sounded great they promised a commission split of 30%-70% agents making 70%.

I was told that after the company received $19,500.00 in total commissions from an agent then the agent cut would be 100%.

After deciding to associate with Keller Williams their agent orientation class was another ballgame! At this point you are informed that Keller-Willaims corporate will get a 6% royality cut deducted from the 70% you were told you would receive. Now you commission is 64%. ALso they are all about recruiting agents they wanted agents to come in and help call 1000 area agents to attend a seminar that was to be held in Birmingham about Keller-Williams great sucess.

I decided not to associate with this comapny after the decepton and after I read reports on this site about other complaints of Keller-Williams. BE CAREFUL what you hear it's too good to be true!!

Birmingham, Alabama

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/24/2005 08:49 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/keller-williams-realty/birmingham-alabama-35243/keller-williams-realty-ripoff-birmingham-alabama-154897. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

KW Agent in Birmingham

AUTHOR: Dr - (U.S.A.)

I am sorry that some people feel they have been "duped' but I have found that with agents as well as clients the problems tends to come from attention to detail, reading, and asking a LOT of questions! I do not work for the particular Office you were dealing with but I do work for one of the Keller Williams Offices in the Birmingham area. My husband and I came from a another well known company (with a balloon). We had no complaints of our former company but we found that the cost for us to be in business was more than we could afford as new agents. We did go to Keller Williams but we asked a lot of questions, talked to other people who had been there and left or considered going there. I read every word of every document. I can not vouch for what you were told but unless you are talking straight to the Broker, as an agent you should know that no one else has the authority to speak for the business. What we found when we came to Keller Williams? A well run business, with bumps in the road. Of every Real Estate Company we have looked at this Keller Williams has the strongest business models I have ever seen. You do not get just an office but an entire resource center that is second to none. If we recruit we recruit because we want people we like to share in the good we have found. Given, Keller Williams is NOT for everyone, but I haven't found a business out there yet that fit every person. I am very sorry that you felt you were deceived but I hope that you understand some day you are going to have a client that is going to say you didn't do what you told them, but it's going to be in the paperwork and you are going to have explained it but it was the one point they missed. They are going to "assume" you are a terrible agent they may even assume ALL REALTORS are crooks. Reality is when someone has a bad experience they want to lump all into that experience. Not ALL Keller Williams offices are run the same (Independently Owned and Operated), not ALL agents are created equal - do you want to be lumped in with every agent that ever did something stupid? Not all offices are created equal. If Keller Williams is not for you that's okay, lumping ALL Keller Williams offices together is not fair. Hope you find success wherever you go! Good luck.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Not a ripoff

AUTHOR: Mshare - (U.S.A.)

When I first got my real estate license, I interviewed with every major brokerage. At my local KW office, I was given an information packet that clearly explained the EXACT splits (including the extra 6% to KW National). It is unfortunate that caught you by surprise; but it probably was in your paperwork and told to you and you tuned out and didn't listen carefully to the whole story.

In any event, the point is that the way KW is set up, they have a CAP (maximum amount of commission they take per calendar year). That cap amount varies from office to office; but if you are an agent who produces (caps), it really doesn't matter whether they take 30%, 36%, or 90% of your commission. Once you pay your cap amount, you will get 100% of every single transaction for the rest of the calendar year. I had absolutely no problem reaching the cap after 6 months in my first 2 consecutive years in business as a new agent. I created a spreadsheet to compare what I would have kept of my commission with other major firms and with the same volume I did, it would be just about a wash. KW front loads it and takes it all out in the first 6 months while others will take less for a full 12 months; but at the end of the year the total amount I pay to KW is about the same as it would be at most major name brand firms. As my business grows and I cap earlier in the year, I will have more months of earning 100% and will keep much more than I would anywhere else.

To me, this pay scale is effective in weeding out the dead weight. If you are a part time agent who sells one home per year then, yes - they will take alot and you could make more at another firm; but if you are even a mediocre producer, you'll do better at KW.

As far as recruiting: it is true that there is an incentive for agents to recruit other agents and 50% of the companies profits are divided among the agents as a bonus based on the production levels of the agents they recruit. You need to keep in mind, this is a BONUS - not your primary source of income or primary focus. I have yet to recruit person ONE to the company (no profit sharing bonus) in 2 years with them and I still make about the same as I would at my local Re/Max, C21, etc. People are often turned off by the "multilevel" aspect of the recruiting incentive; but loose sight of the fact that it is a profit sharing bonus. Every dollar you make via that avenue is $1 more than you would make at any other firm. Furthermore, since the bonus is tied to the profits, those with alot of recruits have a financial incentive to help new agents to be successful so that the profits continue in the future which creates a more team-driven and cooperative atmosphere. It is a WIN-WIN - even the clients benefit by the team-oriented support that a KW listing receives from other KW agents in the area who want their fellow agent to do well.

I can understand how you felt duped if they really failed to tell you about the extra 6%; but based on my experience, I believe this was an honest mistake or oversight and was never meant to intentionally trick you. I also think that you did yourself a disservice by not sticking with it. In any event, no matter who you are with I think you will benefit by reading the best-selling Millionaire Real Estate Agent Book (written in part by Gary Keller - of KW).
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#3 UPDATE Employee


AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Let's see. Someone (probably an office manager) at a KW office told you about the 70/30 commission split, which is far better than the normal 50/50 split most major agency franchises use.

Then you find out that there are some additional costs and fees, and you are told this before you are required to commit anything to the company.

While the public often doesn't realize this, you're an agent, so you must know that each office is an independent business. The 70/30 split refers to the office's split. There are additional costs that come out of your part, and in this case it includes some fees to KW International. This might be a problem if you weren't told about it before you had to sign a contract. (But you were!)

Ok, for anyone else reading this. Just so that we don't get accused of ripping anyone else off. Not only do you pay some fees to KW International (about 6%) but you also may have to rent desk space (mine costs me about $70 a month) and pay for copies, signs, advertising and keyboxes.

Essentially, the 50/50 outfits pay more of the costs (like franchise fees, etc...) than KW does. Is this a surprise? If the other agencies didn't pay more of the costs, they would be ripping off their agents, in my not-so-humble opinion.

A productive agent will more than recoup these costs and will end up making more money with KW. An unproductive agent could actually lose money, as some of those monthly costs go on even if you don't make a single sale.

It sounds like you were given all the information, before you made any commitment whatsoever, and your main complaint is that KW is not the tooth fairy or Santa Claus.

If you're considering entering any type of business (especially real estate), remember the words of Robert Heinlein "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch!"

So, now that you're working with some other outfit that only pays 50%, do you really feel better than if you were getting "ripped off" at KW, where you would only get 64%?

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