It’s unprecedented for a leading real estate company like Keller Williams to hold their annual awards ceremony in August. It’s also unprecedented for a real estate agent to have five closings on the same day in mid-August. However, 2020 has been a year of unprecedented events.
“Never, ever, in 33 years have I had five closings on the same day in August, in this part of the country,” said Mike McCarty of the McCarty Group—annually among the top producers on Marco Island.
Normally, their awards ceremony is held in February or March, but with the COVID-19 environment of 2020, the annual ceremony had slipped through the cracks.
“It’s so weird to have an awards banquet in August,” McCarty said. “Everything is delayed. I forget what even went on last year. Our market that we didn’t even have in February, March and April is pretty significant this summer. It’s very exciting. We’re experiencing buyers retiring early because of the COVID. They’re saying, ‘Wow, I think I’m going to retire early. Life’s too short.’ We’re having a lot of those scenarios.
“We have three buyers right now who were on a 5-year plan who are retiring this year. We’re experiencing low–interest rates. The government has made it very enticing for buyers to buy. That’s created a lot of excitement in this market. This market is doing really well. It’s going totally against the grain of what should be happening. There are other businesses that aren’t doing that great. We’ll take it.
“We’re experiencing people who have been locked up in their houses for three months who are saying, ‘I don’t like my kitchen. I don’t even like my house. I’m moving.’ They realized they want something different. So, there’s that kind of buyer.
“Then we have that group of younger people who are saying, ‘I can work anywhere in the country. I can work out of my home. I can live in Marco Island and still do my work up north.’ We have a lot of sales with that type of younger family saying, ‘I’m out of New Jersey. I’m coming here.’ One person bought a house; didn’t even see it. It was $1.6 million. Had four kids, couldn’t get away. Closed on it. Never saw it. He’s moving here because he realized after three months of being locked down in his home that he can work anywhere. So we have that buyer running around. It’s interesting.”
“We’re seeing sales increase in the midst of COVID,” said Bruce Mitchell, Team Leader of Keller Williams, Marco Island. “Inventory levels have dropped. Prices have gone up. Things are selling quicker than they would have ordinarily. Keller Williams is upping their sales volume and not everyone can say that.”
Team members at Keller Williams feel they’re part of something special.
“Keller Williams was founded on culture and their values,” Mitchell said. “Part of that is God, Family and Business. Our mission says, ‘When you’re with Keller Williams you can have businesses worth owning, lives worth living, legacies worth leaving, opportunities worth giving, and careers worth having.’ Here at Keller Williams, the culture is what we are. Part of what we do is we give back to our local communities, once a year. It’s called Red Days. It’s unlike any other company that’s out there. It’s funded by the agents. It’s called Keller Williams Cares. That’s the message we want to get out to the community. We’re here to serve the community, we’re here to serve the agents.”
“Also, we are a technology company,” stated Adrien Sabitino, Operating Principal for both Naples and Marco Island. “We own our technology; we have our own database. We can mold it and keep growing. We have something no one else has. We have 35 years of data. It takes a lot of data to make artificial intelligence work. You need big data; you need time and you need money. And no other company can do that.”
“We have profit sharing,” said Jerry Oppenberg. “It started in 1989. We have $1.3 billion coming back to our agents in profit sharing. I don’t know of any other company that does that. The culture here is just unbelievable. We’re not just agents, we’re friends.”
“I’ve had the good fortune to work for a number of top brokerages,” said Jeff Jones, the new broker. “I think what differentiates Keller Williams is our focus on quality of life. They truly believe in a work-life balance. What’s the first thing we encourage you to put in your schedule? Family and vacation time; then your work. We really encourage quality of life. I’ve never seen a company who stresses it as much.”
“We’re the number one real estate company in the United States,” Mitchell said. “For 3 years in a row, we’ve been voted the number one training company in all industries. Not just real estate. We’re in the training hall of fame.”
“We sold $365 billion, over a billion dollars a day, in luxury properties,” added Sabitino. “A lot of Marco Island is in that category.”
Keller Williams 2019 Annual Award Winners
- Top Individual Closed Volume: 1st Cindy Timmerman, 2nd Michael Ludwig, 3rd Becky Irwin
- Top Team Closed Volume: 1st Team Sandell, 2nd Hackman Ahern Team, 3rd Henderson Team
- Top Group Closed Volume: 1st The McCarty Group, 2nd The Lambros Group
- Top Listing Agent: 1st Cindy Timmerman, 2nd William Reynoso, 3rd Nicole Bremer
- Top Listing Team: 1st The Henderson Team, 2nd Hackman-Ahern Team, 3rd The Martin Team, 4th The Sandell Team
- Top Listing Group: 1st The McCarty Group, 2nd The Lambros Group
- Highest Individual Sale: Wendy McCarty
- Cappers: Mike & Wendy McCarty, Kristina Lambros, Cathy Ahern, Cindy Timmerman, Becky Irwin, Steve Hackman, Michael Ludwig, Gara Ann Martin, Donna & Garrett Sandell, and Greg Henderson.
- Culture Award: Jerry Oppenberg