Levi Rodgers was a 21-year-old soldier when he decided to buy a double-wide trailer near Fort Bragg – it had a hot tub, after all.
But Gary Langdon, his real estate agent, sat the young soldier down, tore up the trailer contract and gave him 30 seconds of advice. He advised her to buy a top repairman a little further afield – with a blue carpet, no less – which ultimately put him on the path to not only a successful career in real estate, but also a chance to help other servicemen and women find meaningful and lucrative work. .
“He helped me make a good decision,” Rodgers said. “It took me 12 years to realize how much this man coached me and it changed the direction of my whole life.
“His 30 seconds of honesty changed things.”
Rodgers was recently named director of Keller Williams Military, a new initiative to provide tools, training and camaraderie to veterans and their family members. The goal of the national initiative is to help veterans and their families pursue careers in real estate and transition from military life to the civilian workforce.
Additionally, Rodgers said KW Military will leverage its KW School of Real Estate to help veterans and their family members navigate the pre-licensing procedures needed to launch their careers as real estate agents.
“It is a true honor and privilege to announce Levi Rodgers as Director of KW Military,” said Carl Liebert, CEO of kwx, KW’s holding company. “A decorated veteran and recognized leader in the real estate business, Levi has a deep passion for providing the highest levels of customer service to active, reservist and military service veterans and their families. “Since my first interaction with Levi, I have been deeply inspired by his service, his sacrifice and his commitment to serving military families.”
Rodgers, 44, enlisted in the military in 1996. He retired as a Green Beret with the 7th Special Forces Group, serving in South America, Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2009, he was serving as the commander of a special forces team in Afghanistan when his vehicle was destroyed by an improvised explosive device. He woke up in a hospital bed in Texas with most of his bones broken and 3rd degree burns to 40% of his body.
“I was pretty spoiled,” he said. “It was a two-year recovery. I lost three of my men that day under my direction. It’s a weight that I still carry today.
He retired medically and, like so many retired men and women, initially had no idea how to re-enter civilian life or find a civilian career. He struggled with job applications and making new connections. As his savings dwindled, Rodgers decided to sell his home in North Carolina.
And this advice to avoid buying a trailer? It paid off. Rodgers said he made a decent amount of money on the sale of the house and, emboldened by his past experiences in real estate and advice from Langdon, decided to get his agent’s license and start. to sell houses.
“You have to take the emotion out and put some logic into it,” Rodgers said. “Gary helped me do that. And I will be eternally grateful. »
This pay it forward attitude is what he hopes to maintain in his tenure as a director at KW Military. He said service members should adopt a mindset for leaving military life early in their enlistment — not later — so they can begin planning their exit strategy for a more informed and achievable transition to the work market.
“My team at Levi Rodgers Real Estate Group has done a lot of this before, but obviously not on this scale. Not only do I want to do this, but I feel an obligation to do it,” Rodgers said. want to change lives I want to take care of people and help them win in life.
He has a proven track record of success. The Levi Rodgers Real Estate Group in San Antonio, Texas has an annual sales volume of over $940 million. And more than half of his team members are ex-military or have family members in the military.
“The hardest thing our military is facing right now is transitioning to civilian life,” Rodgers said. “And I have a responsibility to give back and help. Real estate has changed my life. It changed the lives of others. We need to prepare our transitioning members for life after the uniform.