Keller Williams overtakes Re/Max as third largest real estate broker

The Re/Max real estate brand is infinitely better-known than Keller Williams, but that hasn't stopped the little upstart from Texas from overtaking Re/Max to become the third largest real estate brand in the country, according to REAL Trends.

Keller Williams had 72,794 US real estate agents at the end of 2008, representing growth of 52% since 2006. Keller Williams has been successful in luring top agents away from competing firms with what it claims is an innovative commission structure characterized by profit sharing -- a system that allows agents who recruit other agents to earn a percentage of their sales. In 2008, the company paid out more than $30 million in profit sharing revenue.