AgentReal Estate

Gary Keller stars at KW’s Mega Camp

Company event focused on agent training including on diversity

HW+ Gary Keller, executive chairman of kwx
Gary Keller, executive chairman of KWx 

Whatever changes are afoot at Keller Williams, Gary Keller remains the company’s public face.

Last October, Keller, founder of the real estate franchise network, stepped down as CEO. He took the role of executive chairman of KWx, a holding company that would showcase the 38-year-old, Austin, Texas business’s forays outside straight home selling. Carl Liebert, a veteran executive of companies from HomeDepot to Auto Nation, was named new CEO.

Fast forward to the present and a three-day long Keller Williams event this week, dubbed “Mega Camp,” featured multiple sessions with Keller. He interviewed “top-producing agents and leaders throughout the industry. The company founder conversed with the company’s head of inclusion and belonging. And Keller emceed the proceedings on a stage for the virtual event.

In front of hundreds of small screens, wearing a black blazer, Rolling Stones t-shirt, and brightly colored sneakers, Keller was the star.

Liebert had a lower profile, as did Marc King, who replaced Josh Team in February as Keller Williams’ president. The KWx CEO appeared on the stage early Wednesday morning, said a Keller Williams spokesman. Plus, the event’s emphasis was agent training.

“Mega Camp 2021 is primarily focused on how top-performing agents and teams are using listings, leads, and leverage tactics to grow their business and wealth-building strategies,” said Jay Papasan, Keller Williams’ newly minted vice president of strategic content in a statement.

Toward that end, Keller Williams announced two new other training hires. James Shaw is now the vice-president of learning, after previous positions in the company including coaching agents. And Meredith Maples, a former instructional designer at Maximus, was named head of Keller Williams University, which the company described as a proprietary learning platform.

Another training component for the brokerage is diversity.

Keller spoke over video with Julia Lashay Israel, the company’s head of inclusion and belonging. The company said it is trying to reach 10,000 of its 184,000 agents over the next year with classes on unconscious bias and fair housing policy.

Israel noted that homeownership rates for people of color are markedly lower than white ownership rates and would like the company’s agents to “advertise to a broader audience.”

Keller said he “agreed 100%” and thanked her for “championing the cause.”

Keller Williams is presumably the largest private residential real estate company in the U.S., and it releases a limited amount of financial data. The company said it had $145 billion in sales volume for the second quarter.

Unclear is how far along the company is with new business components. For example, Keller Williams announced a new head of its iBuyer program, Raymond Jones, but provided few details about transactions so far completed.

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