If you ever wondered how athletes find their housing, they generally turn to a real estate expert who specializes in the needs of athletes, but keep in mind — it is not a one size fits all type of deal. Not everyone is Max Scherzer who bought a mansion overlooking the Potomac River on a tony street, and most players are just looking for simple furnished apartments in Arlington and the Navy Yard neighborhoods. For the past few years, several of the Washington Nationals‘ players have turned to Jordan Stuart of Keller Williams Real Estate and the national Next Move Network which Stuart serves as the CEO and brainchild of solving the athlete conundrum. Baseball players moreso than other sports have the most demanding needs for a real estate expert like Stuart.
“Baseball players need spring training housing, in-season housing, and off-season housing,” Stuart said. “Then there are the panicked calls when a player gets traded across the country. They have families, and many have young children. I have to weigh their budget, their need for security, and right down to pet accommodations.”
Having the right relationships within the baseball space is how Stuart got his start with the Nationals. One of his referral partner agents is Holly Meyer Lucas, of Meyer Lucas Real Estate in Jupiter, FL. Meyer Lucas happens to not only be a top producing real estate agent, but also a baseball wife. When she needed a trusted agent in D.C. to refer her Spring Training housing clients, she turned to Stuart and they have maintained a close-knit professional connection ever since.
Not all players want to purchase a home in the D.C. area, and in fact, Stuart said that most decide to rent, and purchase a home in other areas for the off-season. This is an important distinction because many realtors do not want to handle rentals for players due to the fact that there may be no commission for them, and even if there is a commission, it is low.
“It’s interesting that you knew that about rental commissions or the lack thereof,” Stuart said. “I understand that relationships are not built on what I get paid rather keeping my clients happy. My first athlete client was from the Washington Capitals. That business grew and players talk to each other and before you know it they are referring me to other players and that led me to Nationals players. Because of confidentiality, I won’t divulge all of my clients but some are happy to take photos which you can find on my Instagram and Matt Adams and Kyle Barraclough were kind enough to agree to say kind words.”
For Stuart, his cellphone has the numbers of all of the agents and CPAs and financial planners who also specialize in athlete relationships. He also saw the demand to handle his clients on a national basis. Stuart founded the Next Move Network to increase customer service by finding real estate experts in the local markets throughout the country.
“We weren’t sure where we wanted to live this season, and Jordan showed us so many amazing options — we found it hard to choose!,” Matt Adams said. “We ended up in the perfect place for us in a building with all the amenities we asked for. Jordan and his team had everything move-in ready for a totally stress free start to the season.”
“We were new to the area this season,” Kyle Barraclough said. “Jordan provided us with a ton of information, and plenty of great living options to choose from. We love the building and location we ended up at! Jordan was really helpful and attentive throughout the whole process.”
When a player has a housing need out-of-state, Stuart’s strategy turns into a collaborative effort within his Next Move Network as he contacts a member of his team in that city. One of the first realtors that Stuart added to the Next Move Network was Tyler Kendall who was highly recommended to him. Kendall is a former baseball player and knows Palm Beach County well. It was Kendall who put Bryce Harper and Trea Turner in a home that was well featured in social media, and Kendall has done the same for many others. Finding short-term housing is extremely complicated, but so is finding the perfect family home. In Los Angeles, Stuart secured Dina De Laurentiis for the Next Move Network, and her last name is synonymous with old-school Hollywood as the youngest daughter of Dino De Laurentiis.
“I stay involved with each of my clients, but to get them the best service we need the local experts. Having people like Tyler, Dina, Kendra and so many others in our Next Move Network, we can operate at a micro and macro level,” Stuart said.
Another point to be made is that wealthy players are easy targets, and Stuart believes you have to negotiate as hard for them to get a deal as he would for a family member or friend. Yes, Stuart takes real estate referrals even for non-athletes. Also, he has in his network a top mortgage lender too because not everyone can pay cash for a home. Even some athletes do not want to pour all of their cash into real estate if they can get financing. Sure, everyone can use a tax break.
“I subscribe to the mantra of always being a professional before being a fan,” Stuart said. “Just this week a player texted me from a road trip with a housing maintenance request which I personally took care of before he arrived back home. It is this level of service which I believe is second to none and distinguishes me from the normal real estate agent in the market.”
Forbes Magazine recently wrote an article about Stuart and his Next Move Network as his national success has caught the eye of many in-the-know. With the D.C. area having teams in every major sport plus soccer (D.C. United) and the WNBA, it has made Washington, D.C. the perfect location for Stuart to set-up his corporate offices which are located in a high-rise in Arlington near the Key Bridge with views into Georgetown and the monuments. In the Washington, D.C. metro area, Stuart closed over $25 million in transactions in 2018 — making him the #2 individual agent in all of Keller Williams Capital Properties last year.