Four-time premiership Hawk Jordan Lewis has joined the leadership ranks of one of Australia’s most exciting group of companies.

The Entry Group, which includes Australia’s largest real estate institute, is renowned for its New-Age workplace and innovative management style. Nicknamed by those who know it well as the ‘happiest workplace in Australia,’ Entry is composed of four separate companies that share a common link to real estate.

For Lewis it’s a natural fit. Entry Group is very much a people-centred group of companies that employs high levels of communication with a strong focus on customer-first service. And Lewis, as well as being an elite footballer, has well-practised leadership skills.

Awarded the Peter Crimmins Medal, nominated for the AFL Rising Star Award and being Vice-Captain of Hawthorn for six years, it’s clear that Lewis’ leadership skills developed alongside his football skills. And when Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge was sidelined early in the season, Lewis also stepped up and successfully led the team.

“The people around me, people like Alistair Clarkson, Sam Mitchell and Luke Hodge showed me what it was like to be a good leader,” Lewis said. “They also showed me that it’s okay not to be perfect and that every player and staff member does things differently, and that’s okay.”

If you’re a young leader with no guidance or experience, he added, “you expect people to act the way you do and expect them to play the way you do – and that’s not the way to get the best out of any team or environment.”

Lewis also possessed the rare skill of recognising the right time to retire from his sporting career. “Sometimes you need to be pushed in the direction… players tend to think they can play forever and everything’s going to be okay,” he explained. “But you need those around you to give you non-biased feedback and say, ‘You’ve achieved enough in football and maybe it’s time to go and explore other things.”

Despite retiring in 2019, Lewis knew intuitively that the Melbourne Football Club, where he’d played for the last three years of his career, was “on the verge of something special”. Then, in 2021, they proved him right and won the premiership. He was, however, okay with that. “It was someone else’s time to experience what I’d experienced,” he explained.

Football star Jordan Lewis partners with Entry Group

As a partner of Entry Group, Lewis will focus on Entry Conveyancing and implement the business skills he’s developed over the past four years to further its market reach. Currently, the company is expanding rapidly into the private residential market, but Entry, with Lewis, is aiming for larger property developments where they can really exercise their expertise.

“We want to open up doors and build the business in an organic way,” Lewis said. “Buying and selling your property can be one of the most stressful times in your life, and we want our service to provide peace of mind with a transition that’s as easy as possible.” Einstein’s words “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value,” appear to rest easily on the former star footballer’s shoulders as he makes strides in the business world.

Lewis credits his country upbringing for his people skills and natural confidence. “I’m always happy to go into a room of 10 people or 10,000 people; I don’t feel overwrought and I like to make connections, I’m an inquisitive person,” he said, “I like to talk to people and find out where they’re from and what makes them tick.”

And while his confidence served him well in the AFL and his subsequent roles, it’s not lost in his new endeavour at Entry either, where he describes his transition into the company as seamless. Lewis’ partnership with Entry is a long-term career move that’s ticked a lot of boxes for him. The workplace culture and management’s dedication to nurturing employees and having fun at work fit well with him.

With four young children at home, he feels fortunate to be able to partner with a company that provides flexibility and freedom to work creatively. Work–life balance is another box that Entry ticks, and Lewis appreciates the opportunity to join a company that shares his values.

Although Lewis does suspect he’s the only person in the office who doesn’t bring a dog to work. His observation that it “creates an environment of comfort and relaxation” and that productivity hasn’t waned since staff started bringing their furballs along for the day, may or may not influence his decision to get a dog of his own to take to work.

That Lewis landed at Entry and has chosen to partner with the entrepreneurial company is no coincidence. Its co-founders and co-directors, Ryan Keys and Michael Dewar, have built a remarkable group of companies from the ground up. Entry Education, Entry Conveyancing, Entry Finance and Entry Recruitment have grown organically from referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations over the past nine years.

At 29 years of age, Keys was one of the youngest CEOs of a training organisation in Australia when they started Entry. Together with Dewar, who is just a few years older, they’ve turned real estate training in Australia on its head with their sophisticated, but easy-to-use, online and face-to-face courses that are interlocked with high-level and reliable student support.

The dominant focus of Entry’s approach is looking after their clients, and this human-centric approach rewards them in spades. The secret sauce, however, is that their approach doesn’t end at the office door. They treat staff with the same loyalty and respect they give to their clients, and with a staff retention rate of almost 100% it speaks for itself.

They say that success is doing the common thing uncommonly well, and for Keys and Dewar this is certainly true. Lewis brings an outstanding contribution to the partnership – one that will help Entry make greater strides in the real estate industry. As Lewis said “I want to really solidify myself into the business and help the other parts of the business grow as well.