Minutes after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake shook central Mexico last month, killing hundreds of people and injuring thousands more, Keller Williams agents in the country jumped into action.
KW Mexico agents, who had been closely following Keller Williams’ Mega Relief efforts in Texas after Hurricane Harvey, didn’t hesitate to follow suit. They quickly organized a massive on-the-ground effort to aid earthquake victims – both fellow KW associates and community members. More than 300 agents and their staff selflessly dropped everything to help others. They cooked and served meals, held supply drives and dispatched trucks to deliver much-needed food, water and tools to those in need.
“The unmatched spirit and culture of Keller Williams showed up in full force,” says Teresa Anderson, regional co-owner and cultural ambassador in Mexico, who’s been with Keller Williams since 2000. “In my 60 years,” she says, “I have never seen such unity. It has been an amazing experience watching how our company has impacted so many people in such a short period of time. Our KW culture goes beyond borders.”
The earthquake, which was felt in 13 of Mexico’s 31 states, toppled buildings and trapped people under rubble. It struck on the 32nd anniversary of the massive 1985 earthquake that killed nearly 10,000 people in the country. It also came less than two weeks after the strongest earthquake to hit Mexico in a century: an 8.1 magnitude quake that killed nearly 100 people and demolished thousands of homes.
Immediately after the quake, KW Mexico’s regional leadership called and initiated chats with each market center’s operating principal (OP) to make sure all agents were accounted for – and luckily, they were. The national Associate Leadership Council (ALC) wasted no time in setting up a drive for necessities such as food, water and tools.
Within 12 hours, all Keller Williams market centers in the country had set up distribution centers to take in donations. In the days that followed, several offices contracted trucks to deliver goods across the affected area. Leadership organized a call for the 600 KW associates in Mexico to engage them in helping those in need.
“We have had agents and clients contribute supplies from all over the country,” Anderson says. “People were fed immediately; meals were prepared in the market centers by our agents.” In Cuernavaca, the OP secured a warehouse to receive donations for the state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, where 20,000 people lost their homes.
Now, agents in Mexico are back at work, as well as hard at work – checking in on their clients, inquiring about clients’ families and offering to help with housing. Anderson says she couldn’t be prouder to work for an organization where employees come together in times of crisis, time after time, to support those in need.
“As a company, we demonstrate daily that we are truly a family,” she says, “and that we step up to the plate when, and every time, it’s needed.”
Whether it’s agents in Mexico after the quake, in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma or in Texas following Hurricane Harvey, Keller Williams’ culture of caring is global. Over the last few months, especially, “we have witnessed the power of culture within our company,” Anderson says.
Over time, the rubble will be cleared, utilities will come back online, rebuilding will begin and hearts will mend. Anderson says when disasters like the earthquake hit, she sees it as an opportunity to grow stronger.
“It’ll be a shift,” she says, “and just as we have survived shifts before, we will take the opportunity to grow stronger – as a nation, individually and as a company.”