“The app has been a fantastic addition. As our company grows, the app is growing with it.”

—Lee Prescott | Director of Operations, Keller Williams
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Client Background

Keller Williams is one of the largest and most recognized real estate companies in the world. Lee Prescott is the Managing Broker and Director of Operations for the Keller Williams Realty Group office in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

The office has about 230 agents, which is considered to be a fairly large brokerage.

Lee has been in sales for 25 years, with more than a decade of experience in the real estate industry. He knows what it takes to manage agents and succeed in the world of real estate.

“As a company, we pride ourselves in technology,” Lee explains. “We’re a world leader when it comes to real estate technology.”

Connecting and Training Agents

Real estate agents are constantly on the go. They’re meeting with clients and spending most of their days at different properties—spending very little time in the office. 

The job also requires lots of agent training and development to be successful. 

It’s a challenge to keep hundreds of agents connected when they’re rarely all in the same place at the same time. Like most companies, Keller Williams relied on a wide range of tools for internal communication, but it proved to be inefficient. 

“Prior to BuildFire’s app, we utilized social media, calendars, email, and text to reach agents,” Lee says. 

Lee and his team historically used private social media groups to share training event information with agents. “Doing posts on social media just doesn’t get it done. Agents said they just gave up trying to find the link or day of an event.”

The importance of training goes beyond the ability to sell houses better. “There’s a lot of legal risk and financial risk to the brokerage,” Lee explains. 

Aside from effective communication and training, this Keller Williams office also struggled with admin bottlenecks. The phones were constantly ringing from agents in the field. These calls slowed down administrative processes, as the office employees were forced to stop what they were doing to assist agents over the phone.

Lee knew that there had to be a way to address these problems. “We’re always looking for ways to make things more streamlined and more efficient for our agents.”

The Keller Williams Mobile App

Since launching the app, the Fort Wayne Keller Williams Realty Group office has grown from 170 to 230 agents and counting.

“Everyone on board here loves the app. We make it part of our leadership meeting that we have once a week.”

The app is continuing to evolve to improve operations at Keller Williams. In addition to providing quick access to agent information, it’s also improving the way agents find vendors.

The real estate industry has lots of different players and moving parts. You have loan officers, insurance agents, home inspectors—the list goes on and on. “We would get questions from agents on social media asking if anyone knew a good plumber or if anyone knew a good photographer.”

“Those questions are starting to go away. Now agents are using the vendor catalog.”

For $25 per month, third-party vendors can rent space in the Keller Williams app. This vendor program is already covering the monthly fee to run and support the app. “Slowly but surely, that will become more revenue for the business,” Lee says.

Lee has even bigger plans for the app moving forward. He’s planning to add more video functionality, so agents can re-watch an event or training seminar that they’ve missed.

“The nice thing about the BuildFire platform is that you can build stuff before you publish it.”

This gives Lee the opportunity to experiment with new features and functions without having to update or change the current version of his app.

“I check the app daily because I like it so much,” he says. “But it doesn’t require daily maintenance. It’s not something you have to check on if you don’t want it.”

Growth, Revenue, and Engagement

In his search to solve these problems, Lee came across a mobile app from another Keller Williams that was created by BuildFire. “We liked it instantly,” he says. 

Inspired by this other app, Lee reached out to BuildFire to build an app for his office. Three months later, the app was live.

The app addresses the specific problems that the office was facing—related to internal communication and agent training. 

One standout feature is the integrated events calendar for training sessions. The calendar shows the date, time, location, and description of each event. If it’s a virtual meeting, the Zoom link can be accessed directly from the app. For in-person events that require an accurate headcount, agents can register directly through the app via an Eventbrite integration. 

“From a training perspective, we’re showing agents how to become better agents and how to better serve clients,” Lee explains. 

To make things easier for agents in the field and reduce bottlenecks in the office, the app also has a complete agent roster with everyone's names, email addresses, and phone numbers.

“With a couple of touches on their phone, agents have all the information they need readily available,” Lee continues. “That stopped the phone calls into the office. Not only does it save them time, but it also saves time on our admin side.”