Keller Williams Vs. eXp Realty (In-Depth Comparison)

Keller Williams Vs. eXp Realty (In-Depth Comparison)

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eXp Realty versus Keller Williams is one of the most heated confrontations in the real estate brokerage market right now. When I was researching each brokerage model, I came across a lot of misinformation and half-truths.

Let me begin by mentioning that both brokerage firms are fantastic businesses with distinct advantages over one another. Although I work with eXp Realty, I will try to remain as objective as possible while writing this post.


Company Background

Keller Williams Realty

Let's begin by contrasting the histories of the two brokerages. Gary Keller and Joe Williams launched Keller Williams in 1983. The company started out as a single office in Austin, Texas. With 72 licensed agents, it quickly became the largest real estate firm in the Austin area. The housing market witnessed a nationwide housing bubble around 1985. Keller Williams began offering "Profit Sharing" at this time in order to retain agents and get through the recession.

Keller Williams began giving franchise opportunities in the early 1990s and opened their first facility in Oklahoma. Keller Williams continued to expand across the country throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, with over 30,000 agents countrywide in 2004. Keller Williams launched their luxury segment in 2007 and their commercial business in 2008.

Keller Williams has over 77,000 agents by 2010, making it the second largest brokerage. Keller Williams expanded internationally in 2012, debuting in Vietnam. It opened operations in Germany, Austria, and the United Kingdom in the same year.

Keller Williams now has over 160,000 agents and represents almost 10% of all home sales in North America.


Realty eXp

eXp Realty, on the other hand, was launched in 2009 by Glenn Sanford, a former KW team leader. Glenn was a high-volume team leader, with many expansion teams across the country delivering over $80 million in volume. However, when the property market crashed in 2008, Glenn was left with a mountain of debt. He was on the verge of going out of business because of it.

Instead of giving up, Glenn decided to start his own real estate company. This real estate brokerage would not rely on physical locations. Instead, it would use a cloud office to support agents around the country. eXp Realty was the brokerage, and the office was renamed eXp World.

Glenn learned how vital profit-sharing was to Keller Williams' huge success after taking a page from their book. "Revenue sharing" was established by Glenn at eXp Realty. There are a few key changes here that we'll discuss later in the article.

Glenn took eXp Realty public in 2013 and developed the agent-equity program, which allowed agents to earn publicly listed stock in the company in exchange for their sales production and attraction efforts.

The organization was quickly expanding in 2015, but there were still less than 1,000 agents nationwide. That was until late 2015, when eXp Realty hired Gene Frederick and Rob Flick, two high-profile former Keller Williams agents. Gene owned over six Keller Williams market centers, and Rob was a top profit share earner for the company.

Between 2016 and 2019, eXp Realty grew from 1,000 to over 20,000 agents and expanded its footprint to nearly all of the United States and Canada. According to The Real Trends 500, it is the second largest independent real estate brokerage.


The Business Models Of eXp Realty And Keller Williams

Although these two organizations are very different in many respects, they share a similar attitude in that they prioritize the requirements of real estate agents.

Keller Williams is primarily focused on training and education, while they are expanding their technology portfolio. Agents can use systems like Command for CRM and Kelle, a voice-activated AI personal assistant, from Keller Williams.

eXp Realty also places a strong emphasis on agent training, providing over 50 hours of live training per week in its cloud office and even more on demand. Additionally, through kvCORE, a third-party product that typically costs agents thousands per year, eXp Realty provides all agents with first-class websites and CRM.

Both companies provide additional revenue opportunities for agents in addition to providing support. As previously stated, Keller Williams offers profit sharing to its agents, whereas eXp Realty offers revenue sharing.

eXp Realty also provides shares to agents in exchange for their production and attraction efforts. Keller Williams is a privately held company that does not provide its agents stock ownership.

Keller Williams is a business model based on franchising. It divides countries into areas, each of which sells franchises or "Market-centers" to those who want to launch a business.

In contrast, eXp Realty is a single independent agency with no territories, regions, or franchise sites. Agents and brokers have the potential to grow their businesses by attracting agents from all around the world. Agents also only have to pay a single cap, even if they have licenses in multiple jurisdictions.


Profit Share Vs. Revenue Share

The companies' giving of residual income to agents who assist build the company is one of the most discussed features of these two companies. Profit Share is provided by Keller Williams, while Revenue Share is provided by eXp Realty. To compare eXp Realty with Keller Williams, agents must first grasp their differences.


How Does It Work?

This is how revenue and profit sharing function at their most basic level. When an agent "Sponsors" another agent to their organization, that agent is paid a share of the new agent's commission for the rest of their career.

This proportion is determined by the profit from the market center to which the agent belongs, AFTER overhead expenses.

The percentage at eXp Realty is calculated based on income before expenses. The revenue share is a fixed proportion that is calculated by multiplying gross commission income by the percentage level.



A seven-level model is used by both companies. This means you get paid not only for the agents you sponsor, but also for the agents their sponsors sponsor down seven tiers. Each level has a varied amount to give.

When an agent departs one of your seven levels at Keller Williams, other agents under that agent move up a level. When an agent departs eXp Realty, the position becomes a business position, and all levels remain the same.


The Overall Picture

Agents that have made millions of dollars in profit share with Keller Williams and now earn similar amounts with eXp Realty say the following. Because of the difference between revenue-sharing (before expenses) and profit-sharing at eXp Realty and Keller Williams, they make between 6 and 10 times more every month with the same number of agents in their organizations (after expenses).


Monthly And Transactional Fees

When you compare eXp Realty and Keller Williams compensation programs, you'll discover that they have a comparable structure. However, the overall cost of one company's package is significantly lower.

Before we go into the specifics of each company's compensation plan, there's one thing to keep in mind. Each market center at Keller Williams is independently operated. As a result, compensation programs varied from one office to the next, especially between states. At eXp Realty, regardless of state, length of experience, or productivity levels, all agents are paid the same split.


Fees For Transactions

According to the majority of Keller Williams offices I've spoken to, the normal split is 70/30 with an annual ceiling of $18,000. However, depending on the region and market center, this can range from $9,000 to $42,000. Additionally, agents often pay a 6% transaction royalty fee to Keller Williams corporate, which is capped at $3,000 per year. Every transaction has an E&O cost that is not capped. Depending on the market center, it might cost anywhere from $40 to $75.


Here are a few simple examples:

Keller Williams pays a $10,000 commission.

  • $3,675 is kept by Keller Williams.
  • $6,325 is kept by the agent.

The commission split at eXp Realty is a set 80/20 split with a $16,000 ceiling across the board. Each transaction also includes a $25 broker review fee and a $40 risk management cost. After 12.5 transactions ($500) every year, the $40 risk management fee is waived.

eXp Realty offers a $10,000 commission.

  • $2,065 is kept by eXp Realty.
  • $7,935 is kept by the agent.


Monthly Charges

In most market areas, Keller Williams' monthly fees range from $60 to $80 per month. The monthly costs for eXp Realty are $85 in the United States and $139 in Canada.


eXp Realty's New Agents Vs. Keller Williams'

If you're a new agent contemplating Keller Williams vs. eXp Realty, keep the following in mind. New agents will often be offered a different commission split and special training options particular to new agents at both real estate brokerages.


Split Mentorship


Keller Williams Realty

For their first $1 million in sales volume, most Keller Williams new agents are set up on a 60/40 split. Because each Keller Williams market center is separately operated, this is subject to change. This seems to be a consistent trend among the agents I spoke with. Note that the 6% royalty is added on top of this split, making it closer to 54/46 at first.

The market center provides additional training and tools to agents during this initial launch phase. As a result, the greater separation is justified.

When the agent reaches their first $1 million in sales volume, they will be eligible for the commission structure we outlined before.


Mentorship Program At eXp Realty

The eXpand Mentor program at eXp Realty is designed to help agents who haven't sold three or more deals in the previous year.

The eXpand Mentor program pairs the agent with a LOCAL mentor. Having someone in your exact market or within 50 miles of you is the most common scenario.

The mentor is certified based on their work, attendance at a certification session, and willingness to participate in the mentor program. They are in charge of assisting you with the first few transactions as well as the subsequent eXpand Mentor classes.

Mentees receive a 60/40 split for their first three closed transactions, then return to the usual 80/20 split once the mentor program is completed.


eXp Realty's Training Vs. Keller Williams'


Keller Williams Realty

Keller Williams has long been regarded as the best training brokerage in the real estate industry. It published the Millionaire Real Estate Agent (MREA) book in 2004. For real estate brokers, this book has become a type of "Bible." Keller Williams has since developed a number of training programs, including Ignite and Maps Coaching, as well as BOLD.

Ignite training is designed to help agents get started in their first 90 days. This program is often taught at scheduled intervals throughout the year by the local market center. Although it is primarily a Keller Williams agent class, other brokerage agents have been permitted to attend depending on the market center's team leader.

Maps Coaching is additional training that coaching agents can join up for to help them grow their business. This tutoring is usually charged separately to the agency. Mastery, OnDemand, BOLD, Breakthrough, and Group coaching are presently available through Maps Coaching. One of the most common MAPS coaching groups is BOLD.

BOLD's design aids real estate professionals in overcoming one of the most difficult challenges, prospecting. This course is appropriate for both new and experienced agents. It will give you collective responsibility, scripts, training, and resources to help you prospect more effectively as an agent.


Realty eXp

eXp Realty's training is constantly expanding and evolving as the more modern real estate agency on the scene. The majority of eXp Realty's training takes place in their cloud office, eXp World. Today, agents can see approximately 50 hours of live training from the comfort of their own homes every week.

eXp Realty's weekly training is led by corporate trainers, top producing agents, and team leaders from across the country. Some trainings are held on a weekly basis, while others are one-time events focused on a certain topic.

Every Sunday evening, eXp provides a schedule with the entire week's schedule of training. Agents can mark their calendars and prepare to attend live in eXp World on their computers, or listen in on the go using the eXp World mobile app.


Keller Williams Vs. eXp Realty Teams

When agents compare eXp Realty vs Keller Williams, one of the next most typical things they ask is how do the teams compare. The answer is dependent on a few factors, which are detailed below.


Keller Williams Realty

There are several team fees at Keller Williams, depending on when you joined the firm.

Additional Keller Williams team agents are not added to the cap for some grandfathered Keller Williams team leaders.

Most new agents and team leaders now pay their $18,000 maximum, plus an additional $4,500 for each team agent.

The team's whole output goes toward paying the 70/30 team cap.

The team obtains 100% of the gross commission money for the rest of the year once it exceeds the cap.

Before and after capping, the team leader can set any split they like with their agents.


Realty eXp

At eXp Realty, there are three clearly defined team types and a separate "Domestic Team" for married couples. I'll go over each one below:


Self-Contained Group

The ICON stock award, as well as all other eXp stock awards and revenue share programs, are open to team agents.

For this type of team, the team leader does not need to meet any past production standards.

Set up like a referral connection with agents. Each team agent is limited to $16,000. (as does the team leader). Team leader gets first dibs on agreed-upon transactions, followed by eXp.

For instance, a $10,000 commission shared 50/50 with the team leader. $5,000 to the agent, $5,000 to the team leader. Then eXp Realty gets 80/20. 4,000 dollars to the team leader and 4,000 dollars to the agent. If the team leader or agent's commission was already capped, they would receive 100% of their commission. In this case, $1,000 would be applied to the $16,000 cap for team agents.


Team Standard

A 12-cap ($8,000) applies to team agents. This $8,000 is not included in the $16,000 cap for the team captain. A minimum of 25% of all deals written in the name of each team agent must be divided with the team leader.

Team agents are not eligible for ICON stock awards, but they are eligible for eXp Realty stock and revenue sharing.

In the past 12 months, the team leader must have closed a minimum of $6 million or 30 transactions.

Team leader gets first dibs on agreed-upon transactions, followed by eXp.

For instance, a $10,000 commission split 75/25 to the team leader. The team leader will receive $2,500, while the agent will receive $7,500. Then eXp Realty gets 80/20. $2,000 for the team leader and $6,000 for the agent. If either the team leader or the agent was capped prior to the transaction, that individual would receive 100% of their split. In this case, $1,500 would be applied to the $8,000 yearly cap for team agents.


Mega ICON Group

The following changes have been made to the Standard team:

  • All team agents are limited to 14 cap dollars ($4,000).
  • In the past 12 months, the team leader must have closed at least $40 million in transactions and had 10 capping team members.
  • National Team
  • Couples who are legally married are eligible to join an eXp Realty domestic team.
  • A one-time fee of $149 applies.
  • Cloud brokerage cost of $85 per month
  • Monthly spouse technology fee of $50
  • A $16,000 maximum on shared commissions
  • Both couples contribute to one cap and are eligible for one ICON prize.
  • One revenue line should be shared.


eXp Realty Vs Keller Williams Offices

One of the key differences between eXp Realty and Keller Williams is the presence of actual offices.

Keller Williams agents have access to communal offices in the market center. They can also acquire private office space for an extra monthly fee. In higher-priced markets, this cost might range from a few hundred dollars per month to thousands of dollars.

The majority of Keller Williams' training and assistance takes occur in the actual office, which means that agents must travel to and from the office to conduct business.

There are no real brick and mortar offices at eXp Realty. Agents are given Regus memberships, which allow them to use shared workspaces in over 3000 sites across 900 cities in 120 countries.

Additionally, because of the eXp Realty membership, eXp agents can acquire private offices from Regus at a discounted rate. Private offices can cost anything from $500 to several thousand dollars per month, depending on the market and the size of space desired.

Alternatively, for roughly $30-50 per hour, agents can hire private offices from Regus to meet customers or work from. Many eXp agents also rent office space from lenders, title agencies, and neighborhood coffee shops.

Training and assistance are provided by eXp Realty in its virtual office, eXp World. Over 500 eXp staff members are available to agents in real-time from the comfort of their own home or wherever they have an internet connection 11 hours a day.


Retirement Strategy (Stock Purchase Program)

The idea of retiring as a real estate agent is frequently just that: an idea. When you ask most real estate agents and brokers about their exit strategy, you'll hear a desire or a goal, but not a plan.

eXp Realty is a publicly traded corporation on the NASDAQ stock exchange that offers equity ownership to agents and brokers in exchange for production and attraction objectives. Agents gradually gain greater ownership and begin to create a portfolio of EXPI stock, which can be sold and used for a variety of purposes, including retirement.

For example, I've been with eXp Realty for just over two years as an agent (as of July 2019). Over 10,000 shares of EXPI stock have been purchased in that time for my production and attraction efforts. I sell about 50 properties each year ($15 million in sales volume) and have been an ICON agent with eXp Realty for both of my years here.


Program ICON

ICON agents must meet the cap ($80,000 gross commission revenue) and pay an additional $5,000 in capped transaction fees (20 transactions at $250 each) each year.

That works out to about 32 deals every year at eXp Realty in San Antonio, Texas. The average commission I receive is around $7,000. So 12 transactions are required to reach the cap, followed by another 20 to become an ICON.

As an ICON agent, eXp Realty will refund the $16,000 you paid for your cap in EXPI shares at the current market price.


Community & Culture

I believe that in order to compare the cultures of eXp Realty and Keller Williams, you must have firsthand experience with both. I've only ever been a member of the eXp Realty culture, so I can only talk on that. However, I'll offer an outsider's perspective on what I believe to be true among current Keller Williams agents.


Realty eXp

The devotion to "One for all, and all for one" is one distinctive feature of the eXp Realty culture. Because eXp Realty is a publicly traded company with a majority of agents owning stock, the collaboration among agents is unlike that of any other real estate agency. The better the company performs as a whole, the higher the share price will be, and their financial interests will rise. Because of this shared interest, eXp Realty's top agents, known as ICON agents, give back in the form of training and mentoring to newer agents.

EXPCON and the Shareholder Summit are two annual signature events for eXp Realty. These gatherings bring together thousands of agents, as well as employees and leadership. Agents receive training, networking opportunities, and company updates during the public sessions.


Keller Williams Realty

One of Keller Williams' most important cultural qualities is a sense of belonging. Agents at Keller Williams build long-term ties with their coworkers and do business independently.

Creating a culture where agents watch out for one another is difficult because the financial incentive isn't as straightforward as eXp Realty's stock reward scheme. I believe Gary Keller has done a fantastic job of motivating the right agents to run their respective Keller Williams groups. Even though the financial incentives are limited, most Keller Williams agents I know are glad to be there and adore the brand and leadership.

MegaCamp and Family Reunion are two significant events held by Keller Williams each year. These are large events that attract tens of thousands of agents. They provide training sessions, breakout sessions, and discuss about forthcoming changes with the brokerage, among other things, similar to eXp Realty.



Finally, both eXp Realty and Keller Williams are excellent real estate firms. The similarities between the two companies, in my opinion, exceed the differences.

Experience The Difference

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