Broker, Watkins Realty Group, Duncanville
“I already had bachelor’s and master’s degrees and was working in sales and marketing for Xerox Corp. in Las Colinas, but after 9/11, the company downsized, and my position was going to be moved back to corporate offices in Virginia. I was offered a relocation package but didn’t want to make the move from Texas.
“I decided to go ahead and get my real estate license, which I did in 2001 on the fast track at Cedar Valley. I later got my broker’s license in 2004 at a different institution. When I started the Real Estate program, I already had a background in marketing, but I took more marketing and it helped me to develop and define marketing strategies: homes for sale by owner, new home construction, first-time homebuyers and how to understand and analyze a client base.
“The best part of the program is how realistic the instructors were about expectations in the real estate industry. Steve Brown’s contracts course was so thorough — he really walked us through the process. The contract is a legally binding document, and we can get jammed if we don’t understand what we’re doing there as Realtors. In my classes we also learned about time management, strong management, attention to detail and so much more.
“If you’re looking at real estate as a career, my advice is to learn the depth and breadth of the business. If you focus on just one area — like residential real estate — if the bottom falls out of the market, you’re not going to be in as good of shape as if you go in and learn as much about all aspects as you can.”
Gwen Watkins earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Dallas’ Paul Quinn College and a master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas. In 2004, she became a consultant to Capella Park Development Corp., which is developing a 400-acre, $465 million master-planned urban community in the southern sector of Dallas County, around Mountain Creek Parkway and Loop 12. She took Real Estate courses at Cedar Valley College.