Title and Affiliations:
Founder of Goodwin Commercial, member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, member of the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors and Real Estate Professionals, Founder of “Deals in Heels,” approved Texas Real Estate Commission instructor, Think Realty 2017 “Woman to Watch in Real Estate,” and Real Estate Forum “Southwest Woman of Influence.”
Goodwin handled tenant coordination/project management for multiple shopping centers and developed more than 50 pad sites with Brinker International before launching her own company, Goodwin Commercial, in 2006. She is a #1 Best Selling Author on Amazon for her book, “Winning Ways in Commercial Real Estate: 18 Successful Women Unveil the Tips of the Trade in the Real Estate World,” and also authored “One Cent Lemonade to Million Dollar Deals – 25 Jobs and 25 Lessons I Wish I Learned Sooner!”
Why She’s Here:
“Too many real estate investors think they’re stuck in residential real estate when they could be breaking into the commercial sector.” Pamela J. Goodwin, founder and CEO of boutique commercial real estate consulting firm Goodwin Commercial based in Dallas, Texas, and the latest member of Think Realty’s Resident Expert faculty, does not pull any punches in business or with her students.
“The best thing to do if you want to start doing the really big deals, the commercial deals where a single deal can be worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, is to just dive in,” she said bluntly. Fortunately, she’s willing to help her students take the plunge and has created a custom course for Think Realty students, Commercial Real Estate 101, to give them the guidance (or the little shove) they need.
“The first part of diving in is to absolutely understand what you’re doing in commercial real estate, and that is where the Commercial 101 course comes in,” Goodwin explained. “A lot of people in residential would like to break into commercial, but feel that because of a lack of knowledge they are simply unable to do so.”
Because commercial real estate is such a diverse sector, Goodwin recommends investors start with a solid understanding of their options and choose one area in which to focus. “Commercial real estate means so many things, from retail to office, industrial to churches, shopping centers to working with tenants in any of these developments. There is so much variety, you really have to just look at them all and then pick one,” she said.
Commercial Real Estate 101 certainly covers the bases, dealing with breaking into the sector, identifying the best niche for you, understanding legal agreements and investor protections, finding properties and hidden opportunities, and much more. Goodwin, who started her own commercial firm in 2006 after working for Brinker International (Chili’s) and building a long track record of successfully guiding local and national clients (Walgreen’s, McDonald’s, Chase Bank, among others) with their commercial real estate acquisitions, lease obligations and consulting services, is well-equipped to instruct. She has written and published two books, created a four-part audio real estate course about going “Zero to $1 Million with One Deal,” and is a regular contributing expert to numerous national newspapers, magazines, podcasts, and radio shows.
Just over 11 years ago, Goodwin took her more-than-30-years of experience in the commercial real estate industry and made the leap out of corporate America. Today, Goodwin owns and runs Goodwin Commercial, a commercial real estate and consulting firm specializing in developing and investing in retail and restaurant pad sites with a national footprint.
“We do it all,” she explained, noting that her business relies heavily on her ability to establish and retain contacts throughout multiple industries. “We work with national restaurants and retailers to acquire land, do all the due diligence, work with city hall, hire the architects and civil engineers, do the pro forma, and eventually figure out exactly how much profit you will make on each deal,” she said, citing as an example a recent deal wherein she worked with Mattress Firm to convert an older, freestanding, 3,000-square-foot building to a sales location for the company.
“It really is all about your network,” Goodwin added. Her online contacts, active social media presence, and regular physical meetings with key city planners and officials keep her company well ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing what companies might be relocating to an area and what areas of her state and country are most likely to be targets for new development next. This recently enabled her to identify risk factors associated with two companies planning to downsize later this year. “This is an exciting time to be in commercial real estate and an exciting time to be a woman in this sector as well,” she said.
Pamela J. Goodwin on “Taking the Leap”:
“I think everyone has a certain fear of breaking out of what is comfortable for them and starting something new. Working with Chili’s, I was very comfortable with a six-figure income and all the free food I wanted! But the harder I worked, the more projects they gave me, and while that was good for them it made me realize that it was time for me to take that leap and go into commercial real estate on my own.”
“I prepared a business plan and identified three ways that I would make money at my own firm. In my case, I decided to focus on consulting, brokerage, and development, so that I had short-term, middle-, and long-term money coming into the business.
“So many people let fear prevent them from doing what they really want to do in their lives. Just getting the confidence to do that first deal is so beneficial. I always advise when you’re going to learn something new, team up with the right person to show you the entire ropes of how it’s done. That’s what I want to do with Think Realty and Commercial Real Estate 101.”