Detroit-based Keller Williams Platinum has vowed to offer free pre-licensing to many of the approximately 3,000 soon-to-be unemployed workers of a Michigan furniture and mattress company that on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close May 3.

Art Van Furniture, which boasts three locations in Michigan, filed for bankruptcy just days after disclosing that it would be liquidating its assets. Keller Williams Platinum swooped in to help sales associates currently working at the furniture stores.

Angela Ebejer | Keller Williams Platinum

“It’s terrible to one day find out you don’t have a job,” Angela Ebejer, Keller Williams Platinum agent and market center administrator, told Fox 2 Detroit. “We’re offering to put them through pre-licensing at no cost to them and get them started in the business.”

Typically, pre-licensing training can cost a few hundred dollars. In Michigan, potential real estate agents need to complete a 40-hour pre-licensure course of real estate fundamentals from an approved pre-licensure instructor.

Sales skills can certainly come in handy as a real estate agent, so those individuals already working in a sales capacity at Art Van may be in a good position to make the transition, Ebejer noted.

“They already have sales experience, they have the skills, they have the training in that aspect,” Ebejer told Fox 2 Detroit.

“We want to offer them the option to become real estate agents. With them having that sales experience with furniture, obviously, they’re used to talking to people about their homes. I’m sure they could walk in and give decorative ideas.”

In February, Keller Williams reported at its annual Family Reunion event that agent count was down slightly year-over-year after accounting for its purging of about 10,000 ghost agents.

Art Van is also providing a job board on its website for former employees to access and search for new jobs.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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