Realty Leader Leverages Advanced Revelation Linear Hash Data To Publish Property Listings on the World Wide Web
Re-Deploying Existing Linear Hash Data, Keller Williams’ Realty Offers Sophisticated Access For Buyers To Select Potential Properties
From its founding in 1983 by Gary Keller and Joe Williams, Keller Williams Realty has not wavered from its vision of real estate service. In their view, agents, buyers, and sellers must all win through transactions based on teamwork and trust. That vision has served the company well as it has blossomed into a full-service national real estate powerhouse with 64 independently owned offices and 3,300 professional agents spread across 17 regions.
That ingrained philosophy is also reflected in Keller Williams’ unique profit-sharing plan - an innovative benefit that agents receive in addition to their traditional commissions. Each month, all franchisee agents share in a seven-level profit-sharing system that is determined by agent activity and overall company profitability. It’s based on the Management Operations in Real Estate (M.O.R.E.TM) application driven by Advanced Revelation from Revelation Software.
Advanced Revelation Drives Unique Profit-Sharing
Advanced Revelation (ARev) is Revelation’s comprehensive environment for creating efficient, powerful, character-based applications using a native linear hash DBMS that is ideal for managing text-intensive applications. The application was primarily designed and constructed by Bob Carter, MIS director for Keller Williams. According to Byron Shindler, a senior consultant with A. L. Kaufman & Associates, an independent contractor/software consulting firm that handles Keller Williams application issues, the ARev application supports a comprehensive profit-sharing system.
"For several years, Bob had built and enhanced a very durable back office accounting application that had been collecting records from the field offices to calculate and issue our profit-sharing payments to the agents," he said. "This is rich data: new property listings, completed real estate transactions, agents, brokers, co-brokers, and so forth."
Taking the Data to New Levels
"With Revelation’s OpenInsight Internet Gateway, we saw the opportunity to do more," Shindler said. "First, we saw that we could re-deploy a selected portion of this data. And we wanted to reduce the burden of assembling and sending this information, which was falling to office administrators. We also realized that this would be a great method for enabling agents to enter some of their own personal data for Web publishing."
A Shortcut to Windows Functionality
When Kaufman & Associates analyzed the deployment of a Windows application across dozens of offices, it gave them pause. They needed a shortcut to Windows functionality. "It was a big step to both re-deploy the application in Windows and roll it out nationwide all at once. We thought that was a big bite. We want to go in that direction with OpenInsight, but we wanted to proceed at a prudent, cautious pace." The solution: the World Wide Web. "Around this time, Revelation released its Web gateway for linear hash data," said Shindler. "We found that we could provide the power of a Windows application by providing browser access and we could create a new, powerful application for customers, too."
Web-Based Real Estate Listings
Today, using Revelation’s Web gateway that enables developers to publish ARev/OpenInsight native linear hash data into HTML, Keller Williams is providing customers with Web-based access to real estate listings. Any Web surfer can access http://www2.kw.com/ and browse through a wealth of regional real estate listings. Users can select the size of house, location, and price range. OpenInsight then processes the query, populates an HTML template created with Microsoft FrontPage, and returns the resulting HTML document to the user through the OpenInsight Internet Gateway.
"The original ARev application is text-based and therefore the data is text," said Shindler. "Already, we’ve added the photos of our agents and hyperlinks to the search application. The OI Internet Gateway will display the photo as soon as that data is delivered from the field. It’s also smart enough not to display a link to a photo unless a photo is, indeed, available."
Getting More Value from Linear Hash - Quickly and Inexpensively
"Properly published on the Internet, this data we had been collecting for M.O.R.E.TM had tremendous additional value," said Shindler. "The data was already there. We just had to add a couple of fields - beds, baths, rental, condo, things like that. And of course, it’s very easy to tack on a couple of fields in linear hash tables.
"The big benefit is that we could do this faster - with less change and less risk - using the Internet. We will still be eventually moving to OpenInsight, because our M.O.R.E.TM application needs to be updated. However, the Web gateway buys us lots of additional time. OpenInsight will replace ARev in the 64 offices, but the Web gateway brought us a lot of that value very quickly.
"Our chairman, Gary Keller, was very impressed by the application. Right away he saw that this application reduces costs and adds value to the franchisees. The benefits of leveraging the data in a less-expensive manner are very high across the board."