John Davis

CEO, Keller Williams Realty International

Overall Rank: 7
Category: Corporate Executives
Category Rank: 6

Raised in Vail, Colorado, Davis has more than 20 years of experience as a Keller Williams agent, team leader, operating partner and regional leader. As a team leader, he turned the Southlake-DFW market center into one of Keller Williams’ most profitable offices, a pattern he rep-licated in market centers and regions throughout the company. John Davis and Chris Heller were named co-CEOs in 2015, then in April 2017, Davis became sole chief executive of the largest real estate brand in the world based on agent count. People in the know say that Davis was not only integral to this success, but the real driver behind the phenomenal agent growth. KW projects to end the year with more than one million closed transactions and more than $300 billion in closed sales. In 2011, it looked like the company might be plateauing as it came out of the Great Recession. Gary Keller tapped Davis to implement companywide systems and models Davis had developed as a local and regional operator. Based on the initiative’s success, which more than doubled the size of the company over the past five years, Keller promoted Davis to CEO, challenging him to leverage the same models, systems and tools in order to help indi-vidual agents boost their production. Since 2011, Keller Williams’ agent count has grown 125 percent, agent commissions are up 165 percent, and franchise owner profits are up 286 percent. What’s more, the company’s profit-sharing program has now shared more than $1 billion with the agents; $700 million of that amount was distributed in the past six years alone. As of Q3 2017, Keller Williams had over 154,675 agents in the U.S. and 163,442 agents worldwide. Reaching 200,000 agents by 2020 is very possible and will make KW the first real estate brand to break this historic landmark. Davis’ brazen and powerful leadership style has created unprecedented growth, and with the departure of co-CEO Chris Heller, he rises from a previ-ous top 20 SP200 ranking to the 7th most powerful person in the residential real estate brokerage industry in 2017/18.

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