Real estate brokerage Keller Williams has teamed up with Facebook to communicate and work via video. Along with virtual home tours, agents have been utilizing the social network to learn better practices as they work from home.
Instead of laying off or furloughing employees, Keller Williams is taking advantage of the digital workplace and its flexibility.
“In these uncertain times, we benefit from being the largest, privately owned real estate franchise,” Keller Williams President, Josh Team, said in a statement. “This gives us the flexibility to not only protect our employees, but equally important to lean into our agents in this time of need. As a company that was founded in a shift, and has a mantra of people over profit – we are continuing to monitor the situation and are committed to doing what we need to do to help our people.”
On March 16, Keller Williams began its virtual home tour training as a part of its ‘Pivot: Shifting Ahead’ initiative based on the book SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times, written by Keller Williams Founder Gary Keller and Vice President of Learning Jay Papasan. This book and practice is based on best practices learned during the last recession and was published in 2008.
Each morning, Keller Williams offers on-demand training sessions with content on how to tackle today’s market. In those sessions, agents are given tips on strategies, scripts and tools they need to work remotely.
Although the brokerage has been working with Facebook for almost four years, the current situation offers a great opportunity to utilize Facebook to help agents working fully from home, Papasan told HousingWire.
“We’re being forced to go where people wouldn’t have gone before,” Papasan said. “Agents are social creatures, they want to go into a training room, they want to interact with people, so it was never their first choice to go virtual. Now, it’s their only choice.”
“I believe that what we’re seeing is what was once a novelty might become the norm,” Papasan continued. “I think that we’ll see a lot more virtual training in the future, because now that people have broken through that barrier, they’re like ‘okay I can benefit from this and there are real benefits to doing it this way. If I can’t go there I can do it on demand.’”
As for post-coronavirus, Papasan said that these options will still be around for agents, homebuyers and homeshoppers.
Like many other brokerages, this technology will only prove what the agents and consumer want in the long run.
However, it’s the process as a whole that Papasan said is the bigger learning experience, especially if the agents want to utilize virtual showings further.
“Things that were kind of novelty that we’re testing for the future showed up very unexpectedly in mid-March,” Papasan said. “I’m happy that we’ve made those investments because it allows us to penetrate them much faster.”