Around the time when the Keller Williams company was gearing towards its annual four-day training event, one after another, catastrophic hurricanes made landfall and caused unimaginable devastation in several states and key cities in and around the US. And, as thousands of people flooded the Austin Convention Center seeking safety and shelter from the storm, KW's Mega Camp swiftly turned into Mega Relief.
Image Source: Team Franklin
The switch from a revenue-generating conference into a nonprofit disaster response campaign happened in a heartbeat. KW opened up the convention center to several charity groups and talked to Convention Center representatives about taking in evacuees.
“As we were talking to the Convention Center representatives about the possibility evacuees would be housed there, it became clear to us that doing what we could to help those affected by the storm was more important, and we made the decision to pivot to focus on the relief effort in our backyard,” said Darrell King, Keller Williams’ COO.
Image Source: Mega Relief
KW Cares: Mega Camp is now Mega Relief
Chuck Roberts, regional director of the Gulf States Region, is touched by the energy and effort he sees his teams giving to respond to the crisis. “There is just nothing to compare to the KW culture. It gives me goosebumps to think about [it]; we have such amazing leadership from the very top of the organization to the leadership that’s the agent. It’s just really hard to wrap my mind around a lot of times.”
It was a situation that you would normally only hear or see in the movies. That sense of urgency, the complete 180 shift of focus of the largest company in the industry from the top executives to the rank and file from income generation to charity, the automatic response to organize starting with the groundwork and across all platforms. Everyone's main goal is to help.
And When Sending Supplies Just Isn't Enough
Keller Williams agents didn't spend time talking about the housing market during the time when there is usually agent and business leader-led panel sessions and mastermind discussions focused on the latest best practices in the industry. They instead spent hours this week filling disaster relief buckets - kits that will be used for quick response for not just Harvey, Irma but for future storms - and distributing them to those who need them. Once the buckets are full, they get loaded into trucks and the agents follow them to neighborhoods
All around the nation, KW agents from different teams saw an urgent need and rose to meet it. There are calls on social media to help, donated supplies were collected, prayers, time and money were offered. People showed up to help gut and clean out homes that were destroyed by the relentless floodwaters. In Texas, agents are being bused to volunteer sites during the day and returning to Austin for events that raise awareness and funds in the evening.
Image Source: Inman
“We had the hotel rooms, we had the buses, and we had the hardest-working, most compassionate real estate agents in the world. We decided to do the right thing and leverage the energy and generosity of our associates to make a real difference in people’s lives.” - Keller Williams CEO John Davis.
Additionally, KW Cares has sent more than a dozen 18-wheelers filled with supplies to areas affected by Harvey along with a fleet of trucks loaded with essentials to various parts of Florida to support the Irma recovery.
"God was so busy he sent his angels. Thank you Keller Williams." - Ofelia Montoya, Sealy Texas
Help IS Still Needed!
Since Harvey made landfall, thousands of Keller Williams associates have volunteered across the state of Texas, helping families clean out their homes.
The ongoing need to support individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey, and now Hurricane Irma, is a great one.
Join us by contributing to KW Cares’ RED Relief fund. Your donation will be used to provide emergency grants, equipment, and the supplies necessary to rebuild the lives of those who have lost so much.
Led by Keller Williams’ associates and key leaders, KW Relief assesses crisis situations...