All week, Inman is taking a Deep Dive into Keller Williams. We’re talking to key executives, unpacking its strategic moves and reporting live from the virtual KW Mega Camp, with the goal of telling you everything you need to know about KW right now. Watch for future Inman Deep Dives into top brokerages coming in the months ahead.
Keller Williams co-founder Gary Keller kicked off his company’s Mega Camp conference Tuesday by urging real estate professionals to get COVID-19 vaccines and to wear masks.
“COVID is not out of control,” Keller said shortly after taking the stage. “The lack of faith in vaccination is out of control.”
Keller made the comments to a nearly empty room. That’s because Mega Camp, which is an annual gathering that typically draws thousands of Keller Williams professionals, was moved online earlier this month thanks to the ongoing pandemic. In that context, it wasn’t a surprise that Keller made a business case for vaccinations and ending the outbreak as quickly as possible.
“Businesses can’t wait to get back,” he continued, adding at another point that hopefully vaccine approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will lead to more vaccinations.
Jay Papasan, Keller Williams’ vice president of strategic content who appeared with Keller on stage Tuesday, agreed.
“Fingers crossed we’ll see a real surge in people getting the vaccine,” he said.
The comments came as the delta variant of the coronavirus has spread across the U.S., prolonging a pandemic that began in early 2020, and which many had hoped would be over by now. Speaking of the delta variant, Keller reiterated that vaccination is key to finding a solution.
“There’s already another variant in the works and the only way you’re going to stop that is through vaccination and masking,” he added.
Keller, Papasan and other panelists Tuesday morning argued that this situation has a number of implications for real estate professionals. For example, Keller Williams Chief Economist Ruben Gonzales said the result is that thanks to the delta variant, “everyone is sort of on edge again.”
“COVID has created a roll of the dice everyday it feels like,” Gonzales added.
And Jason Abrams, Keller Williams head of industry, urged real estate professionals to check in with their clients the way they might have been doing at the height of the crisis last year.
“This is the moment for a care call,” he suggested.
Keller himself agreed that agents should make care calls, noting that real estate workers are “more in tune” with their clients than professionals in other industries.
But his ultimate point when discussing the pandemic was that vaccinations and masks are key.
“It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are, the facts are this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” he said, adding that the end is “going to be through vaccination, guys, it’s gonna be through masks. There’s no way around that.”