Another Keller Williams market centre closes with several others set to shut

Keller Williams’ Warwick market centre has announced that it is closing with immediate effect, the second such Keller Williams UK casualty in just four months.

KW Warwick is one of just 11 UK franchises established by franchisor Keller Williams in over nine years and this closure comes swiftly off the back of the insolvency of Keller Williams Bristol.

Its principal, Martin Bowley, liquidated KW Optimum Ltd in April subsequent to two years of trying to make the franchise work financially. He has since joined Fine & Country.

It is rumoured that several other of the remaining market centres as recruited by KW UK CEO Ben Taylor, are also close to shutting shop due to their lack of profitability. This raises serious questions over the viability of the Keller Williams model in Britain. It is also alleged that there is substantial PAYE and VAT debt within the UK organisation.

Keller Williams UK first launched here in 2013 and has been managed by Ben Taylor since 2017 but has failed to gain much traction. A number of high profile senior leadership personnel have fled the business in recent times including Nicky Stevenson (EA Events, Fine & Country), Simon Leadbetter (Knight Frank, Countrywide, Fine & Country), Russell Quirk, Anthony Quirk, Gaven Swan (Countrywide), Wayne Albutt (KW South Africa, EweMove), Jason Cannon (Spicer haart), Will Clark (Knight Frank) and Matt Thomson (Foxtons and D&G) – some of these names are very high profile property industry people and none of which lasted even a year at the UK headquarters of the US based entity.

Several investors in the Keller Williams UK business are said to be disgruntled.

KW Warwick has been owned and managed from the outset by JP Downes and Sarah Downes, former Territory Owner of one of the UK’s biggest territories and Director, respectively, within PurpleBricks the online estate agent.

A KW Warwick spokesperson said: “On Wednesday 31st August the company closed its doors to all new business. The company will apply for voluntary administration and will be wound up.

“Many of the representations made to us by KW UK and by Ben Taylor prior to us agreeing to purchase this Keller Williams franchise turned out not to have any substance at all and were wildly exaggerated. Stated market centre performance and the likely financial outturn of our business together with most of the benchmark KPIs provided to us, were a total fiction.

“The financial statements made by Ben Taylor and KW UK were simply untrue and we are now seeking legal advice to remedy the blatant misrepresentations made to us.

“We have therefore taken the disappointing decision to voluntarily close to all new business from here on and to cut our losses. We will be supporting our agents to ensure that they and our mutual customers are unaffected by this sad but necessary resolution.”


Keller Williams Bristol centre goes out of business



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  1. Mike Bidwell

    Unfortunate but typical of a lot of failed businesses to blame others rather than take a stark look at the themselves in the mirror. Joining PB represents poor judgement, switching to KW appears to be equally so.

  2. jan-byers

    Not more PB comments zzzzzzzzzz

  3. Tornado

    A number is issues exist it appears. KW offer very little to support business growth. Their training and processes look solid but tech, marketing and lead generation are not and as such it is incredibly difficult for a new agent to make progress at a pace. In turn the level of financial commitment needed to really make this work is unavailable to most. In a US market where fees are often 4 to 5 times bigger you can perhaps see why a greater percentage of agents may succeed. The recruitment policy is quite different to EXP who focus heavily on experienced agents as opposed to KW who will take on anybody and hope that their training and guidance will suffice. From an Operating Principal perspective there just isn’t enough of a margin in it for them and as such it often doesn’t meet expectations. It also seems clear that the way the model and potential is explained to both OPs and Agents has been heavily over stated, unrealistic and mis-leading. From a broader perspective the question is can a US model work at all in the UK market. I don’t think so unless the model is radically changed. If it isn’t I believe it will disappear.

  4. KC54

    No mention from PIE so far that Russel Quirk exited Keller Williams Plus on 15/8/22  Wonder why!


    1. Ohmygod

      Check eXp


  5. AndSotheStoryBegan

    Almost single-handedly responsible for the public perception that realtors/estate agents aren’t trusted,  I wish this brand a speedy departure from our shores.. Nothing good to say about the model or the systems.

  6. 22fdunst91

    RQ failed again? Surely not because he has all the answers… This just doesn’t make sense!

    1. FreeAgent

      Seems blame could be laid more at the doors of KW if RQ is not the only one….

    2. TopBanana

      Always tempting to assume a situation is negative to suit one’s biased narrative of course – however, contrary to your belief (or hope?) rumour has it that Quirk actually did rather well out of his investment in KW and got out just at the right time….

  7. FreeAgent

    Having looked at KW from the agent perspective, it is complex, American, poorly suited to the UK market and the brand looks dated. When you factor in the fact that some of your subs and split get sent to the US for seemingly nothing to show for it and a lot of the so called industry leading training is not helpful in the UK, you weigh up the offer and decide against. Or certainly I did.

    Seems that having read this and previous stories about how life is for the market centres that struggle to persuade good agents to join, KW’s days on this side of the pond have to be numbered? Saw Ben Taylor comment on another of these stories that it closed because it couldn’t attract agents (doesn’t surprise me) – we know as agents, if a property is priced and presented well it will sell. Maybe BT needs to look at KW in the same light?

  8. Woodentop

    Is this surprising This raises serious questions over the viability of the Keller Williams model in Britain. It was said from day one it wouldn’t be viable, just like all the others gone or going out of business, by those who understand our industry, yet would they listen …….. no. Hyped up all the promises of making money with no foundation, otherwise they wouldn’t be in this position today. Far too much spare cash floating around without due diligence.

  9. 22fdunst91

    Despite my misgivings about a certain individual I think the disruption we’ve seen over the last few years (including PB) is welcome.

    The industry needs to keep evolving and this disruption forces the incumbents / traditional models to adapt and improve.

    I’m sure many of these self employed models are here to stay and will provide many great agents the flexibility and earning potential they crave.

    Just wish each new business / model wasn’t launched or promoted by claiming it’s better, the future, game changing etc. As with the travel industry, lots of different models can coexist…

  10. FutureWarrior

    Ben Taylor believes his own hyperbole.

    I feel sorry for some of the OPs that were sold a dream based on what the USA do. These MC are not profitable, hemmoraging cash even ones with US investment. However the writing has been on the wall a long time before Martin B left and JP Downes should have got out a year ago. I suspect they were all waiting to see how Russell Quirks court case against KW went but he settled out of court meaning no case  evidence for the other OPs to ride on the back of.

    It’s a cult. It sucks you in, bleeds you dry and spits you out. Emotionally and financially. Period.


  11. fruity Mo

    Clearly some concerns at KW recently, however DO NOT fall for what the owners of KW WARWICK are suggesting, there is a track record of ongoing under perfromance for many years along with blaming everyone who tried to support them, Including taking people down with them. Ben should have completed his DD in a better fashion.

  12. FutureWarrior

       “Track record of underperformance” is an interesting concept when the OP owns their own business.
    it’s a market centre with what 10 agents? Yep pretty dismal. 
    interesting that Ben Taylor quoted in Negotiator yesterday “clearly the model does work and despite a covid we have grown the business” Really? Agebt count from 400+(Although Ben was bashing figures of 500 around at some point last year) to 388 including staff? Is that growth?????
    66% attrition rate for agents is growth?
    MC in huge debt? Is growth??

  13. Sick Astley

    And people fall for the CW old-boy band:

    Ben Taylor up front guessing the songs of going self employed that hes never done himself

    Andrew Ben on keyboards doing numbers on excel from his time at Britains worst employer

    Paul Sloan on the bongos bewildered as thought was going to meet Trump


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