Will profit share cuts drive agents back to Keller Williams\’ arms?

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Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: Keller Williams President Marc King warned that agents who’ve left the company will see their profit-sharing slashed unless they boomerang within six months.

The hyper-competitive real estate landscape of the last few years has seen agents wooed with sign-on incentives, marketing budgets and, often, talk of downlines and profit-sharing plans. For Keller Williams agents, this had been familiar territory ever since the brokerage company began offering a revenue-sharing program in 1987 which transitioned to a profit-sharing system a couple of years later.

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Now, however, with the growth of cloud-based brokerages and a plethora of options for agents both old and new, not to mention tougher market conditions in 2022, the company seems to have chosen to prioritize only those agents who are still holding fast to the brand, announcing last week at the company’s Mega Camp that it would cut profit-sharing for former agents from 100 percent to 5 percent.

Keller Williams cuts profit sharing for agents who fled to competitors by Andrea V. Brambila

On Aug. 16, at KW’s Mega Agent Camp event in Austin, Texas, the company’s International Associate Leadership Council (IALC) voted to change its profit share distribution policy so that vested agents who joined KW before April 1, 2020, and who “actively compete” with KW brokerages have their profit share amount cut from 100 percent to 5 percent.

In a letter to company leaders, KW President Marc King said the change was made to foster “continuous growth” within the company.

“This decision emerged from thoughtful deliberations, echoing the collective sentiment of our agents, franchise owners and team members who contribute to our shared prosperity,” King said.

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“This change to Profit Share highlights our commitment to supporting those who continue to grow and journey with us,” he added, noting that “Profit Share will increase for agents that continue to partner in our growth.”

The hue and cry from both sides of the equation was intense (just check out the comments on that story for proof). Some felt that the company had broken its promises to agents while others felt that those who don’t stay don’t get a ride on the gravy train.

Whichever way you’re leaning (and I know, I know, you have thoughts), the questions are many. First, will agents feel compelled to boomerang back to Keller Williams? Next, what will agents do who were counting on that income post-retirement? And finally, what should you do to make sure your post-real estate life is comfortable and financially secure?

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