KW Red Notes
On May 3, 2016, Keller Williams associate Jesse Dill of Beaverton, Ore., experienced a great loss. It was on that day that Dill learned his 26-year-old brother-in-law, Ryan Kautz, suddenly passed away from a tragic climbing accident. A caring man known as someone who was intentional about building others up, Kautz’s kindness and knack for leaving handwritten notes of encouragement inspired a movement that is really taking off.
Dill recalls a story about the time Kautz wrote a message for his roommate on a whiteboard. The message simply said, “Let joy rule your life.” This was just one of many notes Kautz wrote to let those around him know they were loved.
Wanting to keep his brother-in-law’s legacy of spreading joy in motion, Dill started KW Red Notes. With many people struggling to find enough hours in the day, seeing people take the time to let one another know how much they are cared for is the epitome of the Keller Williams culture.
“I told my KW MAPS Coach, Lisa Archer, that I wanted to order notes for all of the market centers around the world so they would be encouraged to spread joy without want of recognition,” says Dill.
It started with Dill sharing the idea with his Associate Leadership Council (ALC) and buying them their first sticky pad to use with their associates. Then, with the support of Dill’s regional director, Bruce Hardie, it spread to his entire region. And, in February 2017, Red Notes popped up at Keller Williams Family Reunion. It wasn’t long before the positive movement started to gather attention nationwide.
Dill recently created a video about KW Red Notes, which was shared on social media and viewed by more than 6,600 people in just three days. “I was getting messages from people outside of the company who saw the video and said they want to do this at their business,” says Dill.
“It is such an honor to be part of a company with a rich culture of giving and sharing, and it is a privilege to be in business with such an inspiring and caring person like Jesse,” says KW associate Leslie Hilbert of Beaverton, Ore., who is experiencing Red Notes firsthand.
May 3 marked a year after Kautz's passing. Hilbert and other associates at the KW Sunset Corridor market center decorated Dill’s office, leaving hundreds of KW Red Notes filled with words of encouragement, support and love.
“I thought I knew the power of culture,” says Dill. “Then I got to witness culture move mountains. I had a simple idea, but what has happened with the support of my fellow KW associates is incredible.”
Reflecting on the instant power of Red Notes, Hilbert says, “As a leader, getting to witness this in my market center on a daily basis is so moving. It is another way for everyone to come together as a Keller Williams family and support each other without expecting anything in return. This is our KW culture in action.”