THE DREAM TEAM: Meredith Chapman & Jordan Brown

THE DREAM TEAM: Meredith Chapman & Jordan Brown

K Hovnanian’s top trailblazers talk resilience, goal-setting, and charting their paths

While most people might call it bad timing, Meredith Chapman and Jordan Brown consider it a blessing to have broken into the real estate industry in or around 2008 — just as the housing market took a sharp downturn. Jordan had joined a small custom builder in Fort Worth, and Meredith was selling homes in Austin. Neither are strangers to a challenge, and as Meredith says, “I didn’t know any different. It’s just the way it was.” To jump into such tumultuous waters right out of the gate prepared them to overcome every barrier they’d come up against over the next several years.

Meredith and Jordan have hustled their way to the top, dominating their fields as sales reps, and now serving as Area Sales Managers for K. Hovnanian Dallas-Fort Worth. Jordan joined the KHov team in 2011, and Meredith followed closely behind in 2014, becoming salesperson of the year after only 8 months at the company. She was the top producer in her division three times, and the top national producer in 2019.

Upon graduation from Texas State University, Meredith jumped head-first into real estate, thinking she would find her path in interior design. Her passion for people was quickly unearthed, however, and she found herself better suited to sell the homes than to design them.

New on the scene at the age of 22, she sold nearly 50 homes in her first seven months. “A light switch came on. I was all in,” Meredith said, noting that the first community to which she was assigned was deemed, unbeknownst to her, a “black hole community” where reps struggled to sell. She became what was known as a “fixer” — if there was a neighborhood that wasn’t selling, Meredith was sent to sell it. If there was a new community the builder couldn’t afford to have flop, Meredith was put in charge of it. She was a machine, working ridiculous hours and sitting in model homes on Labor Day while her friends and family relaxed on the lake. “I had no life,” she said, “But I loved my work. There’s a reason we’re deemed essential workers. We determine where people lay their heads at night. It’s noble work.”

Looking back, she’s grateful to have lived sacrificially for a time, as her life would soon shift drastically with the arrival of her daughter, Ember. Now three-years-old, Meredith credits Ember as her greatest influence and inspiration, and as the catalyst for her transition into the role of a trainer. As a younger rep, she scoffed at the idea of giving up her sales commission but noticed a new spark as she spent more time teaching novice sales reps how to reach their goals and expand their business. If she had one message for the world, she said, it would be, “Never settle for less than your best.” It’s a mantra that was instilled in her as a young child, and it’s one she embodies every day for her team, and most importantly, for Ember.

“I found myself getting more excited over the successes of my team than my own,” she stated, her inflection shifting, as if she were still a bit surprised at her change of heart. Spend an hour with Meredith, though, and you’ll see the move makes complete sense. Friends and colleagues describe her as, “Absolutely driven to a fault. Loyal. Motivating. I’m a cheerleader with a pitchfork,” she laughed, which would seem to be the perfect description of an ideal trainer. It’s her openness, however, that suggests she’s a successful teacher because she’s first and foremost an eager student.

Her passion is palpable, and her belief in her team practically spills through the phone. You’d be hard pressed to find a more determined leader — in any industry — and this is only the beginning for Meredith. Her ultimate goal is to be one of the first female division presidents of K. Hovnanian, and if her current track record is any indication of whether she’ll meet that goal, it’s safe to say she’s well on her way. In the meantime, she continues to work toward a place of internal contentment even as she smashes ceilings and drives her team forward. When asked what she does in her free time, she excitedly shared that she loves fitness. In particular, she loves to “lift heavy things,” which is an almost-comically perfect response for the force that she is. Whether she’s carrying tires or teams, you can bet you’ll find her out in front — always setting a new standard, always blazing a new trail, and never settling for less than her best.

Jordan, a native of northern California, made his way to Texas in the early 2000s and never looked back. He attended Texas Christian University where he graduated with a double major in Communications and Sociology, which turned out to be helpful in his decision to get into real estate.

He and Meredith have worked together for the past seven years or so, and he’s grateful for the parallel paths they were able to take: “It’s nice to work closely with someone who has been in the same trenches.” There’s an element of shared language that’s helpful in navigating the ever-evolving wilderness of leadership.

Jordan originally saw himself in marketing or advertising, but providentially stumbled into sales after a successful interview at a home construction company toward the end of his college career. He was recognized as “Rookie of the Year” after his first year in the industry, and he realized he was quickly falling in love with new home construction: “There is a certain reverence when it comes to new home sales and being able to help secure one of the most important investments a family will ever make in their lifetime,” he says. Joining the K. Hovnanian team in 2011, Jordan has seen success after success, even as he slogged through several tough years and challenging communities through the market downturn. All of his hard work and perseverance paid off, as he was recognized as a President’s Club Member most years in the industry and named K. Hovnanian’s “Sales Consultant of the Year” in 2018. Then, in the fall of 2020, he snagged one of two coveted Area Sales Manager positions.

Having a front row seat to the leadership practices of his dad, an oral surgeon, Jordan’s greatest priorities are to treat people well, operate his business with integrity, and serve as a pillar for his family and an example for his daughters, Kylie and Parker. Even from behind a screen, Jordan exudes kindness, and could redeem any negative preconceived notions you might have about salespeople being a little too slick. He radiates humility as he admits to having missed out on some “moments” when his girls were younger and is taking serious initiative in making up for them now. Of all his accomplishments, he’s most proud of his family, and says that savoring moments and maintaining healthy life-work balance are his major focus, even before growing his business.

Jordan embodies the notion that the best teachers are the best students. When asked what’s next for him professionally, he explained that taking the time to develop a robust understanding of the entire business was crucial, and this starts with intentionally and carefully choosing his relationships. “I always try to surround myself with people who know a heck of a lot more than I do. The people I want to be like.” There’s no doubt he’s that person for others, as mentorship is a vital part of his success. Understanding the “behind the scenes” aspects — particularly in the financial realm — are how he wants to spend a chunk of his time this year.

Both Meredith and Jordan underscored their gratitude for their new schedules which allow for exponentially more family time, especially on the weekends. Jordan has an innate love for the outdoors and likes to spend time outside with his family any chance he can. His days are packed, and he runs about a hundred miles an hour, so it’s hardly surprising to learn he’s also a big fan of extreme sports and a major adrenaline junkie: “Mountain biking, wakeboarding, bungee jumping, skydiving, you name it. I’ve done it all and I’d do it again,” he laughed.

In living such a fast-paced lifestyle, Jordan emphasized the importance of staying grounded and maintaining perspective. Quiet early mornings allow him to clear his head and focus on the day. His faith keeps him centered and on track as he strives to build a legacy of integrity and goodness for his family. His message for the world? Simple: “Be kind.”

It’s safe to say that anyone with the privilege of running with these two should consider themselves blessed, indeed. From the beginning of their careers to now, Meredith and Jordan have met every challenge head-on, running through walls and pulling their teams with them. Industry titans in the making, they’re not only real estate influencers, but shining examples of leadership, scholarship, and unparalleled work ethic, lighting the way for the next ones in line.