Remembering Dave Jenks

September 21, 2021

Dave Jenks

A giver. A force of nature. A gracious visionary. These are but a few of the many attributes used to describe Keller Williams cultural icon Dave Jenks, who passed away Sep. 14, 2021. As the co-author of The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, and SHIFT, Jenks leaves behind a tremendous real estate legacy, not only touching the lives of 186,000+ current associates, but many others that came before and have followed his thriving career in the industry ever since the 1980s. 

Jenks’ imprint on the Keller Williams universe is immeasurable. As the first dean of Keller Williams University and a co-launcher of KW MAPS Coaching, he was a key figure in setting the foundation of learning DNA across the company – all while having a ‘full speed ahead’ approach. In fact, alongside Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, Jenks co-wrote The Millionaire Real Estate Agent in 100 days. Here, current Keller Williams leaders share how their lives have been touched by Jenks throughout the years. 

An Abundant Life and Legacy 

“He has been a truly beloved member of our KW family for over 25 years, and I know I speak for all of us when I say that we are deeply saddened by his passing,” kwx executive chairman Gary Keller shares. “It has been a complete honor and privilege to partner and collaborate with him for all these years. An amazing teacher and coach, his impact on our company and the entire real estate industry cannot be understated.” 

“Twenty years ago when I was starting at Keller Williams, Dave was one of my first instructors,” shares KWRI president Marc King. “I wanted to be like him and loved his passion then, and it only continued through the years. I think of Keller Williams as a Disneyland for real estate entrepreneurs. And for me, Dave will remain one of the greatest ambassadors of our culture, powerfully drawing agents to our brand. Dave deeply loved his family and wife Gina, along with his extended family of more than 186,000 KW associates strong.” 

“Dave leaves a remarkable legacy of learning, laughter, and love. He impacted many lives over the course of a remarkable career. He will be dearly missed. But, through his books, his classes, and our KW learning culture he helped shape, his legacy will live on and will continue to help real estate businesspeople everywhere,” says vice president of strategic content Jay Papasan.

Celebrating Dave’s Legacy

“It’s been a great life. What a journey! So many opportunities, so many blessings. I even got to be part of building the greatest real estate company in the world and co-authoring a couple of bestsellers,” Jenks shared in one last Facebook post before his passing. “For everyone, I am sad to be leaving you, but I am so happy for all the memories you have given me!” 

Have Dave’s teachings touched your own life and career throughout the years? We invite you to share your thoughts and memories in the comments section below.

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  • Ryan Cave says:

    I count myself lucky to have built a successful team based on the MREA book he helped write, to have heard him teach in venues big and small, and even to have shared drinks at happy hour while picking up nuggets there too. My life is better because of him, as are countless others, and that’s a legacy worth leaving.
    R.I.P. Dave Jenks.

  • David A Rosales says:

    I have never had a one on one conversation with Dave Jenks… I know he has been to our local market area and have seen him speak! His energy, contributions to the industry, and love for helping and serving others through his knowledge and abilities has been a help to me and my agents and colleagues for sure! So what I will also cherish in my memories of Dave!

  • Melanie Kennemann says:

    Amazing friend and mentor. His spirit and energy lives through all of us and it was an honor to know him!

  • Desiree Mier says:

    He came to California to speak back in 2005. I had a chance to meet him. I bought the MREI book and had him sign it. I remember his energy and him sharing all his knowledge. So sorry to hear KW had to say goodbye to one of the “OG”s. His legacy lives on…he has poured so much into so many. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 Job well done! Prayers over family, friends, and those loved ones around you. Like my father said who left this world 8 years ago…never goodbye…”. “See you when I see you!”
    ~~~Desiree Mier, Realtor @KellerWilliamsNorthValley

  • Greg Sundt says:

    I never met Dave in person, but he was kind enough to offer a series of seminars to our MC via Zoom last year. As the discussion progressed, Dave acknowledged and expanded on some of my comments. What astounded me was that, though we had never met, he “knew” me! He obviously had studied, asked or been briefed on the agents he might be meeting with, and it made the presentation more like a conversation.

  • Johan Gouws says:

    I met Dave at Mega Camp of 2019 and if there was one thing that stood out from the time he shared with me and Natasha, it was his preparedness to do anything he can to help. He sent me his notes and training material which is what I am using every day.

  • Ron Wexler says:

    Leader, Friend, Mentor, Teacher, Big Brother, Co-Father of many great Real Estate Careers…What a life well lived! We are living his legacy…Grateful to have reconnected with Dave and Gina the last few years…what an incredible human being….just another way that being in the KW world has changed the trajectory of my life and everyone we get to play Real Estate with… so grateful to GK and Dave for the commitment they made to all of us!

  • Stan Adamcewicz says:

    Dave was an amazing gift to this world. His passion, knowledge, leadership and compassion is how I remember him. He was always engaged in the conversations I’ve had with him as, if I was the only one in the room. I will miss Dave, my thoughts and prayers are with Gina and the families.

  • Joanna Blackstock says:

    I feel honored to have known Dave personally in recent years and been a student of his for decades. His love for life, willingness to share his life’s lessons and continue to give back to the real estate community will continue to impact many of us for years to come.

  • Joan M. Kilton says:

    Because I am on the ALC I was lucky enough to receive a coaching session with Dave from Debbie Zois as a Christmas Gift back in 2014. That one session with Dave convinced my husband he could leave his corporate job/career. My husband has been my partner in our business since June 2015. Since 2001 I wanted my husband to leave his corporate job to join me in my business as I knew it would help my business as well as give him an opportunity to get out of a job/career he was not happy in and I knew it would also be great for our family. By 2011 I realized he needed to make this decision on his own if ever. When I was making the appointment with Dave I purposefully scheduled it on Todd’s day off so he could join me. It was in that meeting that Dave showed Todd that when i made my calls my business went up and when I didn’t there were peaks and Valleys. He also explained we could work together and if we had 3 months put aside for all our our monthly expenses then he could quit. We went over the numbers and decided May of 2015 would be our goal for him to leave that corporate world. In order for him to do that I had to double my income. That was my big why after that meeting and we were a month off he retired June 1st of 2015 and joined my business at that time. Now it is our business and we are very blessed and grateful to Dave for that one session.

  • Ron Birmingham says:

    I met Dave for the first time in September of 2008 at FSO in Austin. I was one of two “guests” exploring the possibility of opening a Market Center in Canada. Mo and Dave both taught that week and I knew after day 1 this was a company I had to be part of. His passion and his knowledge was second to none. There was a period when Dave was away that I often thought of him, and then was so excited to see him finally back on stage at Family Reunion a couple of years ago for Light My FIRE. In the past year we connected personally and we contracted Dave to do 5 “Zoominars” as he would call them, for Atlantic Canada. Through that time we got to spend some incredible time with Dave and you could feel the friendship developing – no doubt he made thousands feel that way over his career! It was 4 days before our fifth and final Zoominar that he emailed to say he had contracted Covid and would have to reschedule for a few weeks time. We shared well wishes and prayed for him, fully expecting to see him back soon. Never did we think he would be gone a couple weeks later. He will be missed by so many, including myself, and I am eternally grateful for what he has done for ALL of us, and the passion he has shared with me. Thank you Dave, you have left an amazing legacy with us all and your DNA will be imprinted on Keller Williams and our industry forever.

  • Lori Ballen says:

    Courage, Love, Freedom. He lived out loud, unapologetically, and gave openly. He changed lives, he changed mine. He saw the good in people. He inspired and empowered. His words were magic. He saw me as few do.

    I think pasting this letter to Dave from a few years back is appropriate and shows how he made an impact on so many.

    “There are seriously no words that can truly express the impact you have made on me, my life, my business, the lives of the people in my business, and in the lives of my family.

    You have encouraged me, re-focused me, scolded me with love when needed, and have been the single most person in my world that keeps me being ME!!

    Your calls, your messages, the masterminds, our lunches, and dinners had been priceless. Who knew the first day we met to discuss my business plan that YOU would be the spark that started The Ballen Method. Like it was yesterday, I see your face and hear your voice saying “Oh. You have a method. You have The Ballen Method” And so it was named.

    My favorite thing is having you in my corner. Forever Grateful!!!!!”

  • Roger Higle says:

    Thinking about his legacy daily and intend my actions to pay tribute to his energy and beliefs

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