Gary Keller is an American entrepreneur and best-selling author. He is the founder of Keller Williams, the largest real estate company in the world by agent count and second in closed sales volume and units sold. Keller founded Keller Williams on training and education and later brought his teachings to print. His books include The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, and The ONE Thing. He is the executive chairman at KWx, the holding company that oversees all Keller Williams properties, and is considered one of the most influential people in real estate.
When Keller moved to Austin in 1979, he worked for a company that would later become a competitor. Nevertheless, he found success in Austin, selling five houses his first month, and became VP within five years. In 1983 he partnered with Joe Williams and started two companies – Keller Williams Realtors, which Keller ran, and Keller Williams Commercial, which Williams ran. The commercial company never took off, but Keller's residential side did. In 1987, inside the residential company, Keller created a division that would later become Keller Williams Realty International, known as KWRI.
Within two years, the company grew to be the largest real estate agency in the Austin area. After expansion and franchising, it became the largest real estate franchise by agent count in North America and the only privately held global residential real estate brokerage, reaching over 100,000 agents worldwide in 2014 and surpassing 180,000 agents by 2018.
In 2017, he began to transition Keller Williams into more of a technology company, launching technology initiatives that included KW Labs, KW Keller Cloud, and "Kelle," an artificial intelligence app used as a virtual assistant and an agent-to-agent referral tools platform called "Referrals." Keller replaced John Davis as CEO of the company in 2019. As of 2020, Keller serves as the executive chairman of KWx, a holding company that oversees all Keller Williams affiliate companies.
Keller began writing during his early years at Keller Williams Realty. He established KellerINK to publish instructional and inspirational business books specializing in real estate. His first book, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, was co-authored with Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan and released in 2004. The book made the bestseller list on BusinessWeek. He co-authored a second book, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, in 2005, along with Papasan and Jenks. This book became a New York Times bestseller.
In 2013, Keller and co-author Papasan published their first non-real estate book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. The book reached #1 on the Wall Street Journal business bestseller list. It was also a bestseller on The New York Times and USA Today's lists. Hudson Booksellers named The ONE Thing one of the five best business interest books of 2013. The authors have been featured in publications, including Forbes and Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership Review. In all, Keller has published four best-selling real estate books and sold more than a million copies worldwide.
In addition to writing and real estate, Keller has been involved in other ventures, including that of an investor. He has invested in companies such as Austin-based Music & Entertainment Television. Keller is also a public speaker and panelist for the nonprofit Relationship & Information Series for Entrepreneurs in 2013, along with former Texas Longhorns quarterback Vince Young.