Nuggets For The Noggin
What’s Important Here – Part 4 of 6
Article by: Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown,
Another day, another life’s lesson learned! Just when I thought I had seen it all, comes Keller Williams International and more specifically Keller Cares. Yesterday I attended a meeting of the Gulf States Region that consisted of those Operating Partners, Team Leaders and Market Center Administrators that could make it to
Baton Rouge – that in
itself was a daunting task with limited gasoline, bridges out, road blocks and
what have you. Each Market Center
briefed us on how they were coping, what kind of damage they sustained and how
the individual agents made out.
I did not have a lot to offer since I have been unable to talk with most of my agents. In fact as of yesterday, I had been able to account for only 50 of the 70 agents in the
. That was yesterday, today is today and I am
in Birmingham when suddenly I have been able to contact more and more of my crew. This has turned out to be one of the toughest
days of my life emotionally. Call after
call I shared in my crews’ trials and tribulations and some of them have been
severe. Some are still missing family
members, some had homes completely rendered uninhabitable, some with upwards of
4 feet or more of water in their homes and yet there was an air of optimism
even in those hardest hit. Slidell Market
Words fail to describe how it made me feel to report to them the reason for the meeting in Baton Rouge regarding what Keller Cares has already done, is going to do and WILL do for the Keller Williams associates and Market Centers that were adversely affected by Katrina. Briefly, every Keller Williams associate will be adopted by another associate who will help them get back on their feet. They will serve as sort of a guide to help them wherever the help is needed. Each Market Center will also be adopted for the same reason by another Market Center. Keller Williams Cares has stepped up to the plate and has virtually guaranteed the salaries of all Keller Williams Realty employees and will also help cover some of the operating expenses of those Market Centers in need of help. The goal? The survival of every associate and each Market Center. But it was all exceeded when Mo Anderson announced that every affected Keller Williams Realty associate who was affected by Hurricane Katrina would have $5,000 deposited in their bank account; no questions asked. What made this promise extra special was that the Keller Cares account had only about $800,000 in the account when the promise was made. Within the week, associates from all across the country had donated enough money to backup the promise; over $4,000,000.
Among all this news about Keller Cares was hidden another wonderful fact and that is that we as a company have just surpassed the 50,000 associate count – loud round of applause please!
Keller Williams Realty associates and Market Centers have been providing assistance in money, supplies and facilities. I am sure that in a short time everyone will know what everyone has been doing and I think everyone will be absolutely blown away at the response our company has provided its “family members.”
There is one recurring thought that crosses my mind during times of crisis and that is “Oh but for the grace of God, there go I.” I have felt that way during 9/11, the recent floods in the far east, etc. It was always someone else, not me and for that I had been grateful. Now it is US, my crew and the crews of the other affected Market Centers. Words fail to describe the emotions that permeated the meeting room when Mo Anderson asked each of us to stand and hold each other’s hand while she said a prayer for us and our recovery. It is NOT just about us – it is truly about the Keller Williams Realty family and one member of the family is hurting everyone is hurting.
I am not an emotional kind of guy or at least I thought I wasn’t. But today when making these calls I discovered that I am not the macho man I thought I was. I was emotionally caught off guard to first hear the voices of my crew that I had not been able to talk with for over a week. Then to hear their stories, wow! When I asked the Keller Williams Realty Market Center in Birmingham if I could use their space, they immediately introduced me to everyone in the office from the Operating Partner, Team Leader, Market Center Administrator to associates. It was then I met Ken and Linda Hankins. Ken was counting up all the nickels, dimes, quarters and bills that had been collected in coffee cans on behalf of Keller Williams Realty associates. Linda then told me that she and Ken were donating 10% of every sale they make to Keller Cares. I had to leave the room! So much for being a macho kind of guy.
This is going on all over the country. Never have I been so proud to work for a company as caring as Keller Williams. We will all have our stories to tell in the future about Hurricane Katrina but no story will be as moving or compelling as the response that was initialed by Mo Anderson and her team of angels in Austin and other Market Centers and associates around the country. This is one very grateful Team Leader/Broker and I think I can speak for the associates in the Slidell Market Center (and probably the other affected Centers as well) when I say thank you. I sincerely hope that no one is ever in the need of help as we have but if you do, your/our company will obviously rise to the occasion and respond as it has over the past week. Everyone should pat themselves on the back – we will survive and come back stronger than ever but we could not have done it without the support of Keller Williams.
May God bless each and every one of you!