Although much of the news surrounding name, image and likeness focuses on one-off deals with national brands and lots of zeroes, the lasting impact of NIL will be how it changes a student athlete’s career beyond sport. After successfully running a program with BYU student athletes last year, Keller Williams is now expanding its unique NIL program to all student athletes through the Opendorse platform.
Keller Williams, Opendorse and NIL Real Estate are partnering to offer athletes on-demand access to video lessons and articles to help student athletes buy a home, invest in real estate or pursue a career in real estate.
“This partnership is a great example of how impactful NIL can be for college athletes,” said Opendorse CEO Blake. “Real estate careers and investment have been a popular path for athletes for years. Now, with help from Keller Williams and NIL Real Estate, athletes can get a jump on their future with support from the pros.”
BYU quietly offered a similar program to their student athletes last year, with more than 120 athletes signing up for the opportunity. The athletes had access to the 120 hours of on-demand video education required to earn a real estate license in Utah. Thereafter, they were prepared to take both the state and national exams required to obtain their license.
Without access to this program, Gary Veron, associate athletic director for student-athlete experience/NIL at BYU, said it would have cost his student athletes $650-1,000 to take a typical real estate education course, plus an additional $250-500 for a test prep service. After passing the exam, agents pay a monthly fee to Keller Williams. However, for the BYU student athletes in the program, the educational programming is free as part of the NIL deal and monthly agent fees are absorbed by NIL Real Estate.
The program was designed to help athletes earn their real estate license to serve as a referral agent, an agent who is not working full-time in real estate but can refer potential buyers or sellers to their real estate team and make a commission in return.
The standard commission for a referral agent is typically 25% of the commission for the party they are representing. For example, on a $500,000 home, the average commission will be $15,000 (3%) for both the buyer and seller agent. The referral agent, if they refers either the buyer or seller, would make $3,750 (25% of the commission). The transactional pieces are completely taken care of by the real estate team and not the referral agent.
“As strong advocates of NIL, we here at Brigham Young University were excited when Keller Williams approached us during the summer of 2022 with an NIL opportunity allowing student-athletes to earn a real estate license at no cost,” said Veron. “We did our due diligence and concluded that this opportunity was a perfect fit for our Built4Life program, which facilitates learning and development opportunities to support student-athletes in maximizing their potential in the immediate and long-term future.”
“With the cost of Utah real estate, even a referral commission is a significant amount of money. Thanks to Keller Williams and NIL Real Estate, BYU student-athletes are getting a world-class education in real estate, learning about investing wisely, and are able to make several thousand dollars for doing what they already do so well—use their name, image, and likeness.”
Of the 120 student athletes who have signed up for the program, Veron says 36 have completed their courses so far, with 10 having already taken and passed their exams. Five student athletes have referred buyers or sellers to Keller Williams and earned referral commission.
One men’s tennis athlete earned his license and then bought a starter home for him and his wife. Veron says the Keller Williams team loved the story so much that he was awarded 65% of the commission rather than the customary 35%, which resulted in him pocketing $6,300 in commission on the purchase of his home.
Now, athletes across the country will be able to access the program with Keller Williams and NIL Real Estate through Opendorse.
“We are beyond grateful for Opendorse and, with our team at Keller Williams, for this opportunity to support college athletes with life development beyond sports,” said Carl Spencer, Co-Founder and CEO of NIL Real Estate. “It’s so rewarding for us to provide athletes across the nation with access to real estate education and the opportunity to earn their license. There’s real joy in seeing the impact on the lives of the athletes and their families who are learning more about one of this nation’s greatest economic drivers, real estate.”
The Opendorse platform is open to all collegiate student athletes, regardless of division or school, meaning every student athlete in the country can access this opportunity.