AUSTIN, TEXAS, March 6 /CNW/ - Gary Keller, chairman of Keller Williams
Realty Inc., the fourth-largest residential real estate franchise in North
America, has donated $5 million to his alma mater, Baylor University, to fund
a new research center. He says the Keller Center will take residential real
estate research to a whole new level.
"The goal of the Keller Center will be to study the issues that are
pressing for real estate companies and agents in today's marketplace," Keller
says. "For all the awesome research that is already out there, there is an
equal amount that is still not being done."
Terry Maness, dean of Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business,
adds: "We have conducted literature reviews of academic work in real estate
marketing, and very little of it has dealt with buyer-seller relationships.
That is, why do people really buy? How do they consider the role of the agent?
What influence does the Internet have on information search processes and
subsequent purchase decisions? These are the kinds of questions we will be
Kirk Wakefield, chairman of Baylor University's marketing department,
says the Keller Center is "an exciting opportunity to be entrepreneurial in a
space or niche to which no one else in academia has really paid much
"The buyer-seller issues in real estate are important not only for agents
at real estate agencies, but also on a broader scale for marketers and
salespeople in a variety of settings," he says.
Keller says he commends the real estate studies being conducted at
institutions such as the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, the
National Association of REALTORS(R) and REAL Trends Inc.; however, the Keller
Center will explore the industry through both the eyes of the agent and the
Adds Maness: "Other real estate programs focus on the aggregate economic
issues related to real estate, such as interest rates, pricing, et cetera. We
will focus on the factors that influence individual home buyers in their
decisions, as well as marketing and management issues that are important to
real estate agencies and small businesses."
Keller says that he is "honored and humbled" that Baylor University
shares his interest in advancing the study of residential real estate.
"I see this as being a very synergistic partnership between higher
education and the private sector. The result will be more-relevant findings
that will enlighten the residential real estate industry as a whole," he says.
According to Baylor University spokesperson Cynthia Jackson, the Keller
Center will operate under the auspices of the Hankamer School of Business. The
university is currently searching for a research writer, who will join a
research team of business school faculty members. The Keller Center will begin
its first project in August.
"My hope is that the Keller Center will put Baylor University on the map
as the definitive resource for comprehensive, in-depth studies that can bring
insight and value to residential real estate professionals," Keller says.
Keller graduated from Baylor University in 1979 with a bachelor of
business administration degree in marketing, with a specialization in real
estate and insurance. In 2006, the university honored Keller with its
Distinguished Alumni Award. That same year, Realtor Magazine named Keller one
of the Top 25 Most Influential Thought Leaders. In 2005, Inman News recognized
Keller as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Real Estate.
About Keller Williams Realty Inc.:
Founded in 1983, Keller Williams Realty Inc. is the fourth-largest real
estate franchise operation in North America, with more than 600 offices and
more than 77,000 associates in the United States and Canada. The company's
agent-centric culture emphasizes access to leading-edge education and promotes
an economic model that rewards associates as stakeholders and partners. Keller
Williams Realty, which began franchising in 1990, is growing by more than a
thousand agents a month. Keller Williams Realty associates place high value on
professional education and a full-time commitment to real estate sales. For
more information, visit Keller Williams Realty online at (www.kw.com).
About Baylor Business:
The Hankamer School of Business holds to a visionary standard of
excellence whereby integrity stands shoulder to shoulder with analytic and
strategic strengths to build leaders, not simply careers. In the Ethics
rankings done by BusinessWeek magazine, the undergraduate business program is
ranked 3rd in the nation. Among private business schools, the undergraduate
program is ranked 22nd by U.S. News and World Report and 23rd by BusinessWeek.
Baylor's Entrepreneurship program is ranked 14th by U.S. News and its
Accounting program is ranked 18th by Public Accounting Report. Visit
(www.baylor.edu/business) for more information.
For further information:
For further information: Frost Media Relations Karen Frost, 512-451-7770
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