As the director of Farm & Ranch at Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI) and the owner of Mock Ranches, Kasey Mock is a man on the move.
“I don’t sit still very well, unless I’m hunting,” Mock, who is a native of Kyle in Hays County, said. “While I love the fast-pace and can’t imagine ever doing anything not involving land, people and business, there are days I envy mountain men just a bit. I love the solitude of leading a pack train in the western mountains.”
Actually, it was his passion for the outdoors that prompted Mock, in 2009, to found Fever Pursuit, a consulting business designed to help landowners and outfitters maximize trophy hunting opportunities. It was the first company, in what has become a family of businesses, created by the serial entrepreneur.
“At the time, I was working for [Texas AgriLife] Extension, which gave me the opportunity to work directly with a lot of landowners—and see what their needs were,” Mock, a graduate of Tarleton State University, said. “Fever Pursuit allowed me to fill in a niche in the marketplace, help landowners and do what I love.”
Ranch real estate was a natural outgrowth of the initial business.
“One day, as I was helping a landowner understand the highest and best use of his property. It turned out the landowner had used an agent to buy a small ranch, and the agent had sold him the wrong one, prompting me to ask myself, ‘Who’s the land professional here?’” Mock said. “Because I was delivering experience and expertise, it made sense that I should position myself to earn more than a consulting fee, so I drew up a business plan with partners to get into real estate.”
And, there was a natural synergy between the outdoors enterprise and ranch real estate.
“Fever Pursuit is a sales funnel to the real estate business,” Mock said. “It introduces us to landowners, outfitters and their clients, all of whom have an interest in land. Through our work in the hunting enterprise, our clients learn to trust us, so when they need ranch real estate they turn to us.”
In Mock’s world, there is no such thing as “one and done,” so his team continues to serve clients after the sale.
“It’s not enough just to connect at the point of sale,” Mock said. “My team and I have to deliver value throughout a business relationship. It’s the only way clients will give you permission to stay in front of them.”
One of Mock’s recent value-adds is a podcast called Bucks To Business. During the hour-long segments, Mock interviews entrepreneurs who have succeeded in outdoor-based businesses. While there may be a few hunting stories swapped, this is not a digital campfire. Instead, the guests share the secrets of their business success.
“Our goal is to learn with our listeners,” Mock said. “It is a win-win: it gives our guests a larger platform for their business while expanding our network. Plus, because the information is valuable, it creates an engaged community and another sales funnel.”
At this writing, the podcasts are a relatively new addition. In fact, the team is just completing its ninth episode, but the segments are already gaining a foothold in the market. Without spending a single dollar on promotion, more than 1,000 people per episode have downloaded the broadcasts.
“It’s the long game and something different,” Mock said. “As a young guy in the ranch real estate industry, I can either do things the way that people have always done them or try to stir it up. I’m a stirrer.”
The Keller-Williams Connection
Mock appreciates the positive power of mentoring.
“Throughout my life, I’ve been blessed to have good coaches and mentors,” Mock said.
One of the most influential has been Gary Keller, COB and co-founder of Keller Williams Realty, the largest real estate company in the world. They met about six years ago.
“Gary’s success comes from investing in people,” Mock said. “He likes people who think big and drive hard. Our lives intersected when I was ready for my next opportunity.”
Mock had identified ranch real estate as his next business arena and he asked Keller for his advice about getting into the land brokerage business. Keller told Mock it was about time and he then coached him through writing a business plan.
After that Mock met Mary Tennant, who was then serving as President of KWRI. They, too, developed a mentoring relationship. While Mock embraced the company’s philosophy and respected the company’s top leadership, there was a problem. KWRI was a residential company.
Unbeknownst to Mock, there was a group of highly-respected ranch brokers serving on a leadership council within the company and working toward developing a farm and ranch division. Mock joined the leadership council.
“KWRI was built on the principle that if it’s good for the agent then it’s good for the company long-term,” Mock said. “We followed suit in the farm and ranch division, asking ourselves: How can we build a platform where agents would never want to leave?”
As plans for the farm and ranch division were finalized, Keller Williams asked Mock to lead the new division’s launch and then stay on as its director. Mock seized the opportunity.
To give KW Farm & Ranch the attention it deserved, Mock pulled back on his own business for a year. Then, he jumped back into production with Mock Ranches, running a lean team consisting of himself, a certified assistant and two referring associates. This year, he will hire two full-time land specialists.
Mock Ranches is a Keller Williams Team, which gives the boutique firm the power of the international giant’s marketing, technology and training prowess. In 2015 for instance, Training Magazine named Keller Williams as the “#1 Training Organization in the World.”
“We can bring the resources of the largest real estate company in the world to bear along with the personal service that people expect when they are making what is generally the largest expenditure in their lives,” Mock said. “It’s a winning combination for everyone involved.”
Putting together a deal that is a win-win for everyone seated at the table is important to Mock. For him, the best deals are not always the biggest. One of his most memorable deals involved two ranches and an agreement between neighbors. The sellers hadn’t listed their property, but the buyers wanted to secure it as a hedge against development in rapidly developing Hays County. Over time, Mock negotiated a deal where the sellers were able to relocate and purchase a larger ranch and the buyers added a key piece to their legacy ranch, on which they established long-term conservation goals.
“We were able to help everyone involved ensure their land legacy,” Mock said. “They each had a piece of Texas to call their own—a place where their stewardship would leave a mark for the future. It just doesn’t get much better than that.”
A Family of Businesses Built on Family
Hard work is Kasey Mock’s not-so secret ingredient for success.
“I had the best parents ever; they taught us value of hard work while we were growing up on a small farm in Kyle,” Mock said. “My twin brother and I had our first job outside of the family when we were seven years old. We hoed cotton for a neighbor.”
The Mock twins and their younger sister spent their formative years in livestock show rings. The trio wanted to be competitive at the major shows, but their budget didn’t allow them to buy the elite animals necessary to get the judge’s nod. The youngsters assessed the assets of their small operation, which included 80 Boer-cross goats, 15 sows and a handful of show cattle.
Led by brother Kevin, they set out to learn the show industry and put together brood stock that allowed them to produce high-quality prospects. By the time his sister, who is four years younger than the twins, made it to high school, the family team was raising animals that consistently earned her spots in the winner’s circle, including a Reserve Grand Champion at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and in the all-important sales at every major livestock show in the state. In the process, they also created a business that positioned Mock’s twin to go to the top of that industry, producing champion livestock for young people across the nation.
“In life, you can either see challenges or opportunities,” Mock said. “You can wish for it or you can work for it. In our family, working trumped wishing.”
After graduating from high school in nearby Kyle, Mock headed to Stephenville. At Tarleton State University, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Services and Development, a degree designed to prepare students for ag. careers in either teaching or outreach education such as AgriLife Extension.
“Initially, I accepted a job in Extension and I learned a lot about team management, scheduling and the resources available to landowners,” Mock said. “But opportunities in private land industries called more loudly and quickly got my attention.”
Something, well actually, someone else had already gotten his attention. When Mock was a senior, he was attending a Bible study where he crossed paths with a freshman from Lometa named Elizabeth Maddox.
“Although I didn’t know her very well, I was smart enough to know that I couldn’t let her get away,” Mock said.
The young couple married and made their home in Hays County. Elizabeth earned both her Bachelor’s degree and her Master’s from nearby Texas State University. Today, though, she is the work-at-home mother of two-year-old Maddox West who will be joined by a baby sister in May.
“She’s the best mother I know,” Mock said. “My family inspires me to deliver my best every day.”
While Mock is driven to be successful for his family and his clients, he knows that success can be a two-edged sword if not managed properly. To that end, he relies on a piece of wisdom he received as part of the KWRI team: “what you focus on expands.”
“Essentially, it is a reminder that as businesspeople we have to focus only on the core activities that bring us closer to our goals,” Mock said. “By keeping focused, you make the most of your time, which in turn gives you time back to spend with the people you cherish.”
When Mock isn’t building a business, he and Elizabeth serve at their church and enjoy the outdoors together doing things like backpacking and hunting elk in Colorado.
Mock said “I think about this daily—’If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ – Steve Jobs. For me, the answer is yes.”
About Mock Ranches
Mission, Values, Beliefs, Perspective
Mission: To build businesses that matter, with people we value, while helping others realize their dreams.
Values: The Best IDEAS – Innovation, Determination, Entrepreneurship, Accountability, Service
Beliefs: That great businesses are defined by amazing people with innovative ideas.
Perspective: A family of companies built on the foundations of faith, hard work and innovation that services landowners, businesses and outdoor enthusiasts.
This article appears in the spring 2017 issue of TEXAS LAND magazine. CLICK HERE to read more and subscribe to future issues.