Since its December 2021 launch, KW Sports + Entertainment (KWSE) amassed an impressive 1,248 members – and counting. Under the leadership of Global Director Jordan Stuart and his Chief Operations Officer Jason Ross, the segment has flourished far beyond a trusted referral partner network. “It’s a shared mindset,” says Stuart. “It’s partially luxury, partially commercial, and there are some land acquisition elements. I love the fact that the client base we have in sports and entertainment checks a lot of different boxes. There was a need for a segment specifically dedicated to what we focus on.”
The duo attributes part of their success to their well-established systems – albeit on a smaller scale before transitioning into the division’s current state. “We had already built something, and we knew that it worked,” Ross shares. “And, we were able to take that into the Keller Williams ecosystem, where agents are naturally excited.” In truth, the Sports + Entertainment secret sauce lies in relationships, both in Stuart and Ross’ complementary partnership and the web of relationships formed across KWSE leaders, members, and the clients being served along the way.
Here, Stuart and Ross share the leadership philosophies that have allowed them to exponentially grow the KWSE segment into a tight-knit community coming from a place of value.
Four Leadership Lessons
Consistency is key.
As the segment continues to scale, training agents to share the same collective messaging is top of mind for Stuart and Ross. “From a leadership perspective, we need to be extremely consistent with how we’re conveying the right message, and provide feedback and assets to the agents so they can succeed and be consistent in what they convey to their clients,” shares Stuart.
On their part, the duo is also consistent in listening and accepting feedback. “To actually scale, we need to listen to the feedback of this large audience of real estate agents and be able to give them what they’re asking for very quickly. If you’re not delivering quickly, you’re potentially losing a captivated audience,” Stuart adds.
Collaboration, not competition.
One of the main messages the gentlemen of KWSE continuously pour into the segment is that of collaboration of the competition. Ross shares a recent phone call from an agent inquiring about the segment’s potential presence at SXSW, an annual conference and festival hybrid which takes place in Austin, Texas. Instead of Ross and Stuart telling members how to approach the group’s involvement, they hosted a Zoom meeting where Austin-based agents could mastermind. “As members of KWSE, you get guidance from leadership, but then you get to work together as a team with your fellow members,” Ross says. “One thing I can’t tolerate is breaking each other down within our group. You should build each other up. As leaders, we can’t be everywhere, so our goal is to teach our members how to bring together a core group of people and be successful that way.”
Keep the long range vision in mind.
Stuart shares that the team anticipated the feedback they would be receiving on the segment from the very beginning. “I’m really excited when there are 200 members, but what is going to be my mentality when there are 1,000?” he ponders. “Everyone likes the exclusive group, but many wonder how their role changes when there are three agents in their market center that are part of KWSE instead of it just being them.” This is where the mindset of collaboration, not competition really shows up. “Our hashtags are #BetterTogether and #WeAreKWSE,” Stuart says. “Agents should feel like they are getting value no matter how much the group continues to grow.”
In fact, Stuart and Ross point out the strength in numbers, especially for efforts such as events. The segment is currently planning a large event in Nashville, with the intention of getting agents together for networking, masterminding, and, of course, entertainment. Set to take place May 11 – 13, 2022, the event looks much more different with the segment’s current makeup than it would with fewer agents. “There is a bigger pool of agents that are excited to mastermind together,” Stuart says.
Focus on what YOU bring to the table.
When everyone in the KWSE network comes together and implements the collaboration not competition mindset, that’s when the real magic happens. Through the network, Ross shares, the team was recently able to connect with a major record label CEO and a decision-maker for the Atlanta Falcons football team. “We had to think through who made the most sense to cover an offer for a Falcons player. If we have four people in Atlanta, how do we decide who is the right one? If we mess that up with the Falcons decision-maker, we are done. Reputation means everything, and it is a very big deal for us to ensure that we have enough people to cover all the angles,” Ross says. At the end of the day, Stuart says, it is important to be introspective and ask yourself: What am I adding to the group and giving back to my peers? “Once agents have that mindset, the conversation changes. Don’t focus on what someone else is giving to you. Everything you have is enough. As your cup overruns, that’s all just bonus. You’re going to places you’ve never been before. Leveraging relationships is what it’s all about,” says Stuart.
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