Desk Fees at Keller Williams
Difference: Keller Williams is not structured to make a profit off of the desk fees charged to it’s agents.
Desk fees at Keller Williams Realty are Optional. They are NOT REQUIRED. Only a small percentage of agents actually rent a desk inside the office market center, and when they do, they are charged the exact cost that the office bears for the square footage that the agent occupies. This agent-centric business model is actually very unique. The Keller Williams offices realize that the reason that they are in business is because of the agents, and not the other way around. No place is this truer than it is in the application of Desk Fees. Rather than charge a mandatory desk fee to the agents, Keller Williams allows the real estate agents to have the option and choice to invest their own money in the way that they see fit. Some agents want an office environment and they are willing to allocate part of their expenses towards this, while other prefer to work alone or at home and not incur these cost.
The offices, or market centers as they are called in the Keller Williams model are set up with bullpen areas of cubicles that allow for agents to drop in and work, using their own laptop or tablet or one of the computers provided by the office.
Agents come into the office for scheduled training that is published on the office training & events calendar at the start of the month, and the rest of the time they are either working with buyers and sellers out in the field or working from home. With this being the case for so many agents… Why do so many other companies continue to charge their agents so much for required desk fees?
Keller Williams teaches it’s office owners how to be proper caretakers of the AGENTS money, so that they can provide the services actually required by the agents in the office. Training, Education, Support, Conference Rooms, Meeting Rooms and Technology – printers, copiers and scanners. If an agent is doing enough business that they need to pay the desk fees, then so be it, they have the opportunity. But the model is set up from day one so that the office is not balancing the books on the backs of the agents. Any desk fees are strictly a pass through and not a Profit Center. There are plenty of other ways to make a profit in real estate without over charging the agents.
Keller Williams Monthly Fees
OK, so if Keller Williams does not charge required desk fees, then they must make it up by charging outrageous Monthly Fees!!! FACT: This is not true. The average Monthly Fees paid by KW agents to their office ranges from $37-$125 per month depending upon the location of the office and the economic environment that the office is working in. Obviously an office in Downtown New York or LA will pay a bit more than one in Idaho…
Why charge monthly fees at all?
Some companies take this approach. And they do not provide the benefits of Errors & Omisions insurance & access to the real estate industry’s first and only lead to close platform for real estate agents: KW eEDGE(agent website, contact management & marketing) to their agents. When the agent is forced to pay for these things on their own, the cost adds up. The collective buying power of the market center and Keller Williams as an entire company is put to use, and no where is this more evident than the low amount charged for monthly fees.
Agents are Shareholders
And because they are shareholders in the Keller Williams system, they are empowered to make decisions. Decisions on Training and support and technology. Decisions of the Financials of the office. Decisions on the way the office operates. Open Decisions. Decisions that are based on how to make the agents in the office more productive vs. decisions being made by a select few that only benefit the profits of the sole or small group of owners. This open book approach ensures that they are NO HIDDEN Fees. If a dollar is spent, the associates in the office have the opportunity to know where it went. If the owner of the office wants to go buy a new Mercedes, he can do so and he is encourage to do so. He won’t be doing it with company money!!! He will be paying for it out of his own pocket. Open Book ensures this. Monthly accounting and reporting ensures this. After all, who earned the money? That is right, the agents in the office. Doesn’t it make sense that they have a say in where that money goes and how it is spent? YES IT DOES.
If you are new to real estate, you just don’t understand how UNIQUE this is in the industry. You have seen me refer to an interdependent model, an no where is this more true that the application of Desk Fees and Agent Monthly Fees. Disclosure and Communication are the hallmarks of this model and they are frankly not found with others in the industry.
So what fees with I be required to pay?
NONE. The rest of the decisions are yours… Yours to make to support your Career, Business & Life. What do I mean? It is your decision to invest in business cards, open house signs, signs riders, name badges, etc… All of these items, unlike a number of the competitors will reflect your name and your phone number and your brand so that you get the majority of the benefit from these investments. KW has negotiated and will continue to negotiate competitive discounted rates with local advertising sources and national vendors, to help our Keller Williams associates maximize their budget.
Yes, other companies provide business cards and signs at “NO CHARGE” and then require you to feature the phone number of the office or the branding of the company with your info added on to a rider, almost as an after thought. They want for you to become dependent on their brand and lull you into the false sense of security that your success is dependent on the brand name – vs. your own hard work and reputation.