It’s not just industry-leading technology like eEdge – the all-in-one lead-to-close agent business solution – that’s setting Keller Williams Realty apart. Innovative at its core, the company has embarked on a new mission: moving away from its old Webmail system to a highly collaborative and incredibly flexible communication and productivity platform.
Creating innovative products and solutions for 93,000 associates scattered across four continents doesn’t happen easily. Which is why Keller Williams enlisted the help of Google’s Enterprise solutions.
Nathan Rader, Keller Williams Realty’s Southwest Google Apps sales manager, has been with Google for almost six years. He’s had his hands in more than 20 migrations, moving organizations of all shapes and sizes – including a real estate investment and property group with 3,000 employees – over to Google’s cloud-based enterprise infrastructure.
The KW Blog Editorial Team spoke with Rader recently to find out what it took to move Keller Williams associates over to Google Apps for Business and how agents can get up and running on their core Gmail, Calendar, Drive and Talk Apps.
What made Keller Williams Realty’s migration unique?
Rader: I’ve never seen an organization so focused on using technology and innovation as a competitive advantage for numerous people distributed over disperse geographic locations.
How many Google team members worked on the KW migration?
Rader: Six team members from Google have been involved in this project. As you might expect with a project of this scale, the team hailed from all over the country, including Fort Worth and Austin, Texas as well as Mountainview, Calif.
You attended Mega Camp 2013. What was your impression of our second largest event?
Rader: Mega Camp was an absolutely incredible experience. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak to over 10,000 agents. The excitement and passion for their business was infectious. I could smell in the air the love for KW and building a legacy in their local real estate market.
Nathan Rader speaking at Keller Williams Realty’s Mega Camp in September 2013
What were the most popular questions you received at the KW Technology booth?
Rader: The most prevalent question was, “How soon can I get this?” I also had a lot of people interested in how all the contacts will be synced to their smart phones.
And how can they?
Rader: It’s actually pretty simple. And while I won’t go into exact details here, agents can find directions on the myKW Intranet or by visiting the recommended Google Labs.
What’s your favorite KW Google Apps for Business feature?
Rader: I am still amazed by the speed and relevance of the search function across the products. I have totally changed the way I work and no longer use folders to organize anything. I love being messy in my email and just lazily leaning on Google to help me find anything I need, fast.
What tips do you have for our associates during the first 30 days?
Rader: Don’t be afraid to try new things. Take 15 minutes a week to play around with all the features, labs and tools. I promise your agents they will find at least two things that they can’t live without.
Just like KW, we understand culture is a big part of Google. What’s your favorite thing about the Google culture?
Rader: I love the openness and transparency of our culture. We are provided an incredible amount of insight and knowledge about all the good and the bad. I love being able to see what is going on behind the scenes of such a fascinating company.