A Legacy Worth Leaving: A Tribute to the Life of KW Jamaica’s Rory Marsh
Last month, the Keller Williams Worldwide family bid farewell to an inspirational leader: Rory Marsh, regional operating principal of KW Jamaica, and beloved husband and father of four. Keller Williams president Bill Soteroff recalls, “From the moment I met Rory, I realized that I was in the presence of a great family man, businessman, and representative of KW culture. Coming from Jamaica, he established the largest English-speaking real estate company in the Caribbean in less than two years. His influence spread around the world for all operating principals, team leaders, market center administrators, and agents, and his wisdom was shared with and cherished by so many new and developing regions.”
For Soteroff, Marsh was more than a business partner. He was a great friend. A mentor. A brother. “He’d say ‘Ya Mon, come to Jamaica! Why are you in Texas? It’s too hot there.’ I think about that every day. We miss him.”
When news of the passing reached the KW family, KW Worldwide vice president JP Lewis flew out to Jamaica to be alongside Marsh’s family, friends, and business colleagues during the memorial, and spoke on his tremendous impact in the Keller Williams world. “We like to say about leaders like Rory that he was KW before he was KW. He showed us and all the leaders around the world what is possible when you remove limiting beliefs, and when you lean into your home family and your work family, and get up every day for them and not just for yourself,” Lewis says. “That is who we aspire to be in business with, because that is who we aspire to be ourselves.”
Marsh’s vision for his business impacted thousands of people – from the more than 220 agents who are now part of KW Jamaica, to the agents he impacted through his teachings, to all those who have gotten to experience the joy of homeownership through his work. “They say a life should be measured by the quality and not the length. Rory was always our example of a life well lived,” shares Lewis. Here are only a few of those whose lives have been impacted by Marsh throughout the years. If your own life has been touched by him, we invite you to leave your stories in the comments section.
Nevin Nish, Chairman, Associate Leadership Council (ALC)
“I have known Rory since September 1994, as we went to the same high school. He was some years ahead, but he was part of the school leadership and was very impactful. It was a no-brainer when he brought KW to Jamaica and asked me to join. His leadership has made me understand my Big Why and has moved me from Entrepreneurial to Purposefully profitable.”
Michelle Watkis-Robinson, Co-Chair, ALC
“Rory was an extraordinary leader. He led by example. There was never a doubt in his ability to lead and guide. Whenever I was in doubt, I could depend on Rory’s wisdom and knowledge to carry me through. I have known Rory since he was a toddler, and our relationship evolved from Rory the little kid to Rory the real estate guru. He commanded respect in the real estate industry as he worked to revolutionize it. As an agent and director of the real estate board, I have seen how Rory’s plans have evolved to be industry standards-based on the depth of his proposals.
Rory was a family man, and this transcended into his Keller Williams team. He gave us wings so that we could fly. Rory is the parent that brought up a child to lead, and once they became of age, they would soar. No idea was a bad one. However, he would open your mind to endless possibilities. He was a dreamer and he believed in translating your dreams into reality. He gave us big targets – even sounding unrealistic. We would not only achieve them, but exceed them. He made himself available to all, and everyone felt special.
Sleep in eternal peace. You fought a good fight, you finished the race and kept the faith. The baton has been passed.”
Blossom Ormsby, ALC
“Rory’s leadership has had the most profound impact on my perspective as a person and as part of the incredible team that Rory so meticulously created. In his calm, positive, and optimistic way, Rory showed me that I could achieve and surpass any goal that I set for myself. He taught me to see the glass as always half full, never half empty. In building our team, Rory had the ability to make each of us feel special as he showed us how to build confidence in our abilities. I called Rory “the Encourager in Chief,” as there was never a challenge too large that he would not be able to come up with a solution.
Rory was simply the greatest, and it has been the pleasure of my life to have worked with him in his quest to build KW Jamaica to become the region’s #1 real estate agency. The last four years of being part of Rory’s team, I have felt so proud to be a part of a great and noble company. Thank you, Rory! Your legacy lives on and will always be held in high esteem for generations to come.”
Alvis Watson, ALC
“Rory’s leadership was one-of-a-kind. It consisted of hard work, determination, and rewarding results. For me, he was the best leader I have ever had in all my employment. Whenever he came to the Ochos Rios office, we knew it would be a day full of fun and laughter. He would always have some new jokes to give us.
Rory was always a family man. He put God first, and family after. I had known Rory from when he was a small boy growing up. I worked with his mother and father, so he was like family to me. In fact, I considered Rory as my son. I am very proud of all his achievements, and thank God for allowing him to be a part of my growth and success today. His memories will always be with me. Rest in peace, my son Rory.”
Kameika Swaby, ALC
“Rory Marsh didn’t just impact my life in a positive way, he changed it. His leadership was like none I have ever seen. Before coming to Keller Williams Jamaica, I had pretty much given up on real estate. Coming to Keller Williams was the best decision I have ever made, and getting to work under Rory’s leadership makes me feel like I can take over the world.
Historically, I was not selling nor was I getting any listings of properties. All of a sudden, I was selling millions and getting listings that I only dreamt about. I became one of the top five agents in one year. I couldn’t have done it without Rory. All of those early morning calls telling me how great I am and how the ball is in my court, teaching me how to approach every challenge… After a chat with Rory, you always felt like there is nothing you cannot do. Rory is not just a broker to me. He is my motivator, mentor, friend, father figure. I can go on and on. Writing this is one of the hardest things I had to do, but in Rory’s voice ‘Cam yea man, you can do this, you were made for this, you are stronger than you know.’ Rory saw things in you that only he can explain. He wanted great things for us all at KW. We miss you, Rory!”