Gary Keller is executive chairman of the board of kwx, the holding company of Keller Williams Realty.
- Current role:
- Executive chairman of kwx, co-founder of Keller Williams Realty
- Austin, Texas
- Power 200 Leadership Ranking:
Other notable roles
CEO, Keller Williams Realty. (Stepped down in 2020 to become executive chairman of the newly formed kwx.) Best-selling author of several books including "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent," "The Millionaire Real Estate Investor," "SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times," and "The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results."
The son of teachers, Gary Keller initially planned on pursuing a career in music after high school, but soon changed course and enrolled in Baylor University, where he earned his BBA in Real Estate and Finance in 1979. Keller quickly relocated to Austin where he went to work for the largest brokerage in the area. By 1983 he was promoted to vice president of expansion but quit to co-found Keller Williams Real Estate with Joe Williams. Keller says he started his own company because of a fundamental disagreement about the business: His vision was that the company should work for the agents, not the other way around. From that single office in Austin, Keller Williams has grown to become an international franchise and the largest franchise brand by agent count in the U.S.
How he describes himself
Like his parents, Keller says he is a teacher at heart and counts helping others reach their goals in real estate is the key to his professional achievement. "When I wake up in the morning, I understand that my success in life is in direct proportion to the number of people I help become successful."
How others describe him
"(Gary) Keller has been one of the five most powerful people in residential real estate every year since the SP 200 debuted in 2014. He is considered by many to be the most dynamic and charismatic leader of his generation," according to the T3 Sixty Real Estate Almanac.
"Often punctuated with high-fives and fist bumps, Keller's high energy talks include the basic messages that money helps us fulfill our purpose and that our purpose comes from our mission, vision, values, beliefs and perspectives," Baylor University said of his sessions with student and faculty during his 2011 stint as Entrepreneur in Residence. "His emphasis on finding purpose and establishing defined morals, and allowing that purpose and those morals to be the basis of your business was truly inspiring, and continues to resonate with me daily," one student said.
Keller established the Gary W. Keller Endowment for The Keller Center for Research at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. The Center focuses on research of real estate sales, marketing, management, technology and ethics.
Keller is also a major benefactor of the Austin music scene, co-founding the Austin Music Movement, dedicated to preserving and growing the city's famed live performance legacy. In addition to efforts like helping to fund health insurance for musicians, Keller has bought and rescued storied but distressed musical venues in Austin.
Did you know?
Keller is married to fellow Baylor alum Mary Pfluger and has one son, John. Besides family, music and real estate, his passions include fly fishing, hunting, snow skiing, golf, music, reading, movies, sports and dogs.