Tell us about your career at your company.
I received a master’s degree in architecture and worked for a large firm here in Dallas. But after loving my field of study, I became disenchanted with devoting my life to architecture.
I was married, and we’d had our first child. The pay and hours in architecture were not promising for making it a career.
I had my real estate license, so I joined my father’s firm of 12 agents, thinking that the job was temporary while I decided on my long-term plans.
I came into a field dominated by nice people who sat politely by the phone waiting to be called. Hungry and motivated, I took a more aggressive approach, and in no time found myself consummating deals and bringing in a good book of business. Those around me questioned how I was doing this, and I found myself doing as much coaching, mentoring and managing as selling. I discovered I actually really loved the business, and here I am, over 35 years later.
How and why did you wind up in Texas?
I was born in Tulsa, Okla., because my father served in the Korean War and my mother returned to Tulsa until he returned. Dad was from Dallas, so my parents raised my brother and me here.
I went to St. Marks School of Texas for middle school and high school, and the Tulane School of Architecture for both undergraduate and graduate school.
What is your view of the business climate in Texas?
The business climate in Texas leads the country. Dallas is one of the world’s nine top cities for investment opportunities, according to the latest report by Cushman & Wakefield.
Because Texas has no income tax and a business friendly government, we are attracting companies from around the world, especially from Southern California, Illinois and New York.
The current drop in oil prices has affected Houston and cities such as Midland. Currently both Dallas and Ft. Worth have not seen a slowdown primarily due to the large influx of relocating corporations.
Why did you decide to join YTexas?
I already am deeply involved in the North Texas Regional Chamber, the North Dallas Chamber and the Fort Worth Chamber, but YTexas is different.
It is statewide, with the mission of attracting and helping CEOs who plan or have recently moved their companies to Texas.
What makes your business different?
First, we are Metroplex-wide, with offices in Dallas, East Dallas, Uptown, the Ballpark, Plano, Southlake and Fort Worth. We also are opening a new office in the Plano/Frisco area this summer.
Our Sotheby’s International Realty association is made up of many of the strongest companies across the U.S. And it is the only real estate company that is truly international, with offices in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Canada and across Asia, with the newest locations in Beijing and New Delhi.
What issues are affecting your company that you are concerned about?
Our challenges are like of those of many companies. We are growing rapidly, but our motto is to “give the Extraordinary in all we do.” We must maintain the personal touch as we increase our footprint and embrace new technologies.
We are in a relationship business, not a transaction business, so treating everyone as important is key.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
From 2005 to 2008, my wife and I, along the two youngest of our five children, lived in Beijing, China.
These were the years leading up to the 2008 Olympics, and we got to see first hand China transform itself overnight preparing for its world debut. It was truly the greatest experience for me and for our daughters, not just to be in China, but also to be part of a city on the world stage, where we interacted daily with people from all around the world and all walks of life.