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Keller Williams was founded in 1983 by Gary Keller and Joe Williams. The company began in Austin, TX, and that original Keller Williams office became Austin's largest single-office residential real estate brokerage. By 1993, Keller Williams was streaked by all other competition in Texas with 45 market centers, and its nationwide agent count had climbed to 30,000. KW opened its first out-of-home state location in Oklahoma.
As it moved into the next century, Keller Williams became the 6th most prominent real estate agency in the United States. An example of its rapid expansion came in Florida, where in 2004 it was attributed as the largest real estate office in Polk County with 114 agents. Keller Williams continued expanding, and in 2007, the company launched Luxury Homes by Keller Williams, a division within the company that brokers luxury-only real estate.
In 2008, it launched KW Commercial, a division providing commercial real estate associates with specialized technology, marketing tools, and resources. In 2012, J.D. Power and Associates ranked Keller Williams "Highest in Customer Satisfaction" among both home buyers and sellers in America. KW was also ranked No. 9 on America's top 150 Workforces and was the only real estate company on the list. Keller Williams Realty was ranked as the No. 1 real estate franchise on Entrepreneur magazine's 31st Annual Franchise 500 list.
Between 2005 and 2011, the company saw a 40 percent increase in the number of offices in North America. It awarded its first overseas franchise in Vietnam in 2012, launching Keller Williams Worldwide as a subdivision to manage its international franchising. At the end of April 2014, Keller Williams reached 100,575 agents worldwide. This was due to an 18 percent increase in agents during 2013. As of 2014, it is North America's largest real estate franchise by agent count and the only privately held global residential real estate brokerage. 
Keller Williams formed KWx in 2020, a holding company, to oversee its portfolio of companies.
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