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Real EstateCoronavirus

Keller Williams adapts to workplace changes, starts virtual home showings

The team is working remotely, too

Monday morning, Keller Williams Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Keller sent employees an email addressing necessary business changes as COVID-19 spreads.

The novel virus has put many in the real estate industry in unique situations – from Redfin suspending open houses to Keller Williams going remote and digital.

Employees at Keller Williams HQ are also working remotely, according to Darryl Frost, spokesperson for Keller Williams. “We are doubling down on the heart, training, technology and leadership needed to protect and power our agents’ business through the unexpected,” Frost said in a statement. “We feel we are fully positioned to stay digitally connected and deliver the best training content in our industry, even while we all may be at home with families, where we belong.”

This includes doing whatever it takes to adapt to the circumstances. “The economic effect of this challenge is both uniquely real and surprisingly familiar. It’s called a shift, an economic shift,” the company said in the email to employees. “This isn’t the first one and it certainly won’t be the last. Shift happens. And when it does, you must shift with it.”

Jay Papasan, vice president of learning at Keller Williams, said that offering 3D virtual tours and scheduling live virtual houses is a key solution for agents during this time. “A lot of people who are listing their homes are understandably concerned about having a lot of people into their home, so they’re offering 3D virtual tours that people can look at online,” Papasan told HousingWire. “They’re also scheduling and hosting live virtual open houses. You could imagine it would just be like you’re FaceTiming a friend, but the realtor would then, with the permission of the homeowner, walk through the house.”

Beginning and ending the day with a positive mindset is what Papasan said is most important. “We identified the No. 1 thing people have to do [right now] is just acknowledge this is a new reality,” Papasan said. “You know people who still haven’t really come to terms with where we are today. So our first goal is to help them make peace with that and get into positive proactive action.”

And going virtual in the real estate world won’t be stopping Keller Williams agents from selling homes. “[Gary] sold a house [with] Polaroid pictures, so we’ve been doing this before the good technology showed up,” Papasan said. “And it’s certainly possible now with technologies like Zoom, pick your virtual conferencing software.”

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