In my 20+ years in real estate, and a dozen more before that in corporate, cubicle life, I have rarely seen a company change their belief system or even update it to reflect the changing times. Companies are slow to act, unless they are employee driven. Or in the case of Keller Williams Realty, Agent Driven. Then they act swiftly and boldly. Awareness is the first step to more equal opportunities for all. However, without action or a concrete plan, these talks about equality are ultimately meaningless. They will achieve nothing.
Keller William Realty has taken a concrete step towards ending racial discrimination. It added Equality as a pillar in it belief system in 2020 to its WI4C2TES belief system and proposed a powerful plan of action. These moves are unique in the industry, reflecting more than just token actions taken by other companies.
Keller Williams is one of the organizations that is spearheading the right to equality for all. And it is done by taking methodically planned steps that will be effective in doing so.
What is the WI4C2TES Belief System?
Culture is at the heart of everything Keller Williams does. It influences how they think about the world around us, how they act in work and what their values and beliefs are. Keller Williams has always been known to harbor a strong culture.
It is solidified by the WI4C2TES belief system. Keller Williams believes in God, family and business. In that exact order. This system has heavily influenced the culture inside the company and also how they operate inside and outside the business.
The KW culture dictates whoever is part of the Keller William team, bring fulfillment to their lives and also to the workplace. They have a belief system in place to help achieve that.
The WI4C2TES is the system that guides how KW and its agents treat the people they work with and also how they conduct their business.
The elements of the WI4C2TES belief system are:
No settling. It is either win-win or there will not be a deal in place. KW is a key player in the real estate scene. A major part of its business is it follows a win-win method. This is one of the first elements of the belief systems.
It states that everyone involved in any transaction should get value from it. Either the deal is win-win, or there is no deal at all.
Everyone should have the utmost level of equity. Do the right thing, always. Real estate agents helping buyers and customers the right way is very important. You need to have unfaltering integrity.
KW associates and agents are taught the importance of relationships. Commitment is important in all things that they do. If you have given your word for something, you must see it through. This is where commitment comes in.
Communication is important no matter the industry or the career path. Listening and expressing your points of view and slow understanding others is a key factor for success. Effective communication builds long term relationships and gives a clear idea of what is going on.
Creativity is another important aspect of the belief system. If there are new and innovative and proven ways to improve the system or the processes, you are fully empowered to adopt it. Original ideas are always appreciated.
Customers are at the heart of everything. They are the ones that make it happen. It is not about the profit, numbers – it is in fact about the people.
Trust is of utmost importance. Lying will not get you anywhere.
The importance of teamwork and working together has been highlighted as a very important factor. Together you can achieve more and efficiently. KW’s emphasis on teamwork facilitates collaboration and empathy. And the concept of team work does not just apply to real estate teams. Individual agents also work together to create a fantastic culture in the market center and company.
Newly added in 2020, but in action in many ways since the beginning of the company with the fairness built into the commission system. 2020 brought the attention to Equality and the need for opportunities for Black agents as part of the greater Black Lives Matter dialogue across the country and the world.
KW is the place for success. Surrounding yourself with like-minded successful people is one step. It is the people around you, both in business and personal is what makes you successful.
The WI4C2TES belief system is quite a comprehensive guide for how KW agents go on conducting their business.
How KW is Tackling Racal Discrimination?
CEO of Keller William, Gary Keller wrote a letter to associates and leaders, stating it is simply not enough to just talk about these matters. Rather concrete action needs to be taken to rectify the situation.
He even goes on to admit that racial biases and injustice persist as of today. Soon after, immediate steps were taken to rectify the problem, starting with creating a task force for social equity KW.
The task force includes a total of 68 members. The task force has associates from every KW region spanning across Canada and the US. They are charged to create strategies to eradicate racial disparities and also within the organization and also facilitate reform in the whole industry as a whole.
On the 17th of September, KW passed two proposals that look to be a major win towards the fight against racial discrimination. Both of these task forces were brought forth by the task force.
This is one of the key indicators that the IALC (International Associate Leadership Council) meeting is already proving effective through the share decision making and taking concrete and effective actions.
The meeting had a total of 124 agents all across the world. 122 agents among them were present and voted. The IALC has been recognized as a way to facilitate agents to influence the company’s future and preserve the KW’s culture.
Let us takes a look into the two proposals:
The WI4C2TES Now Includes Equity
The WI4C2TES, as mentioned in the belief system that guides how the company’s associates treat people and also how they conduct business. Proposal number one moved forward with the notion that the belief system should also include equity.
With the inclusion of equity, the belief system now looks something like this:
The vote’s results were unanimous and mark a historic moment for the company and also takes the belief system forward.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee Added to Local ALC Standing Committee
A committee for diversity, equity and inclusion will also be added on market center levels. The committee will help ensure promoting and developing best practices as well as strategies for the improvement of KW’s culture.
The committee has also put forth actionable points to further clarify how it plans to do this:
- Ensure everyone is welcomed: age Protected classes should be welcomed. This means people of different of sex, gender, religions, ancestry, national origin, disability, age and veteran status are to be welcomed.
- Train agents: The committee will teach agents to overlook biases and help networking by becoming open to a wider demographic.
- Promote equity and diversity: The committee will actively promote the much-needed notion of equity and acceptance of diversity. Educational initiatives will also be taken to further the impact of the committee as well.
- Uphold KW Culture: Maintain and uphold the KW culture and ensure that KW associates are not discriminated against by any means at all. Discrimination based on differences is one of the key aspects the committee looks to eradicate.
The meeting closed with some words from the vice-chairman of the board, Mo Anderson. He mentioned how proud he is with who organization and how the KW’s agents and associates have taken its culture forward and to a new level.
President of KW, Josh Teams showed his gratitude by stating that he is honored to see an organization as large as KW come together and work as one unit.
It is no secret that racial discrimination is a major factor in our society. Although it might be naive to think these problems will disappear overnight, concrete steps like this historic IALC meeting is a big step closer to one direction.
The meeting saw two effective and concrete proposals and added equity in 2020 to eradicate racial discrimination and a major win for equity. Here is to opportunities for all!