The present civil action, initiated under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, does not assert the direct involvement of Keller Williams Realty, Inc. & KW Management, LLC (operating as Keller Williams Austin SW) in the commission of illicit telephone communications. The complaint alleges that Tim Heyl, a team leader, oversees the calling metrics of representatives and operates an organization named Phone Animal, which employs autodialers to facilitate calls made by representatives.
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However, it is claimed that these corporations purportedly directed their property brokers to participate in those actions.
The complaint is directed towards all individuals residing in the United States who have been contacted via their mobile phones by a KW Austin SW agent, utilizing a prerecorded audio message, on or before the date of class certification.
The lawsuit alleges that KW Austin SW, which was established by CEO Gary Keller and holds the distinction of being the biggest real estate office in North America, prioritizes lead generation as a key component of its agent training program.
According to the lawsuit, team leader Dianne Johnson emphasized the significance of lead development and script mastery for brokers joining the industry.
The lawsuit additionally asserts that Melanie Kennemann, the team leader, actively endorses the practice of cold calling & advocates for a comprehensive approach to generating leads, referencing the KW BOLD educational program.
According to reports, KW BOLD purportedly provides instructions to agents to engage in unsolicited telephone communication with individuals, including those who own expired property listings or are attempting to sell their properties without the assistance of a real estate agent, without obtaining their prior authorization.
As per the reports, the course purportedly offers systematic instruction on the practice of cold calling, encompassing the provision of scripted materials.
The complaint references a publication authored by Gary Keller, in which he underscores the significance of creating prospects and the concept that an individual can never possess an excessive number of prospects.
Additionally, it is claimed that the training classes may encompass instructions on the utilization of autodialers, wherein agents are educated on the preparation of prerecorded messages for calls that remain unanswered.
Violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
Restrictions of Use of Telephone Equipment
Demand for a Jury Trial and Class Action Complaint
This particular case pertains to the entitlement of consumers to privacy and protection from unsolicited phone calls made by real estate agents who promote their realty products on behalf of their brokerage firms.
Keller Williams provides training to its brokerage firms & brokers to generate leads through cold calling. Furthermore, the company explicitly approves and supports this widely adopted lead acquisition strategy within the real estate sector.
- Asher is a resident of Sunset Valley, Texas.
- Keller Williams is a corporation that is registered & located in the state of Texas. It operates its company’s operations within this District, as well as across the nation of Texas & the United States.
- The company known as KW Management, LLC, Inc., also referred to as Keller Williams is a real estate company that was founded in 1983 by Gary Keller and Joe Williams. It operates as an Austin SW a firm based in Austin, Texas that is both incorporated and located in the state of Texas. Austin SW undertakes commercial operations inside this area.
KW Austin SW Supports Cold Calling Practices Among Their Agents
KW Austin Southwest acknowledges and supports their most accomplished groups & individuals who effectively produce their listings via the method of cold calling.
The team leader of KW Austin SW, Melanie Kennemann, possesses knowledge as well as approves the practice of cold calling by Tim Heyl’s leading team. This is notwithstanding Tim Heyl’s explicit acknowledgment that his team acquires leads by cold-calling customers.
During the interview conducted by Melanie Kennemann, she introduced herself as the team leader at Austin SW as well as OP at Austin NW. She expressed her enthusiasm about having Tim Heyl, a renowned agent, and her close friend, as her guest.
Melanie acknowledged Tim’s widespread recognition, including his achievement of being named Inman’s creator of the year in the previous year.
She invited Tim Heyl to share his current endeavors with each of the businesses he is associated with, while also highlighting his exceptional performance as the top group in their location for GCI.
Tim Heyl, the individual who manages the leading team at KW Austin SW & ranks among the best 5 property sellers at Keller Williams overall, strongly advocates for the practice of producing his listings via cold calling.
According to Tim Heyl, it was subsequently recognized that mobile phones provide the capability to enhance the regularity and stability of our commercial operations.
Tim Heyl has also established a supplementary enterprise known as “Phone Animal.” This venture offers Keller Williams agents the opportunity to procure a phone animal membership from Tim Heyl’s team of “investors.”
These individuals serve as internal sales agents, responsible for producing phone leads just for the designated Keller Williams firm or broker.
In a separate video, Tim Heyl asserts that the origin of our company’s name, ‘phone animal,’ is from our belief in the necessity of individuals who possess a relentless drive to engage with telephone communication regularly and vigorously.
It denotes their assigned function or responsibility. This function exhibits a high degree of concentration and specificity. An individual engages in the act of donning a headphone and initiating audio playback, subsequently dedicating the following 6 hours to diligently and vigorously attending to phone-related tasks. This is the rationale behind the necessity of seeking a phone animal.
The individuals expressed their intention to initiate the process by providing a comprehensive list of properties in the least desirable neighborhoods, employing a technique known as circle reconnaissance. Subsequently, they would guide them through each stage until they acquire the ability to contact previously expired listings and for sale by proprietor properties.
Next, we proceed to contact recently expired listings and recently listed properties being sold by their owners. In due course, individuals are contacting properties that have expired listings as well as those that are now being sold by those who own them.
Additionally, they assert their intention to closely monitor the number of acquaintances established per dial, the duration of their daily phone usage, the number of nurtures conducted per discussion, and the presence of scoreboards within the office premises that display standings.
In his exposition, Tim Heyl elaborates on the establishment of a system wherein fellow agents have the opportunity to engage his “phone animals” to conduct exploratory contacts on their behalf.
According to Tim Heyl, six individuals in his workplace utilize the autodialer to make a daily average of 800-1,000 phone calls, which enables them to achieve such high call volumes.
According to Tim Heyl’s account, the prevalence of individuals utilizing autodialers in Austin, Texas is remarkably high, with a significant number of individuals engaging in the practice of contacting expired listings as well as sale by owners. The magnitude of this phenomenon is described as astronomical.
Tim Heyl elaborates on the sources from which he acquires the phone numbers that he subsequently provides to his telephonic fauna. There are several methods available. One option is to utilize the Cole directory, which they have a membership to. Cole’s information was integrated into Vulcan7 for a significant duration.
Who is Tim Heyl?
Tim Heyl is the ambitious creator and esteemed head of the Heyl Group. The individual’s upbringing took place in Austin, Texas, where he was exposed to the realm of real estate from an early stage.
The introduction was facilitated by his father, who is the proprietor of Heyl Homes, prestigious enterprise specializing in the construction of custom luxury residences. The team has successfully facilitated the purchase and sale of residences in Central Texas for over 250 people. To know more about him, you may follow the link: Tim Heyl.
In summary, it can be determined that the legal proceedings, which are based on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, do not explicitly accuse Keller Williams Realty, Inc. & KW Management, LLC (operating under the name Keller Williams) of engaging in illicit telephone calls.
However, the primary emphasis lies on the accusations that these organizations allegedly instructed their real estate agents, led by Tim Heyl, to adhere to specific calling metrics and deploy autodialers through the operation of Phone Animal.
In general, the charges indicate a wider trend of purported support and promotion of specific actions by the corporations in question.