Woman: Pam Goodwin
Company: Goodwin Commercial
Place in the Industry:
Eleven years ago, Pam Goodwin made the leap out of “corporate America,” where she had been a very successful commercial interior designer and, subsequently, commercial developer for Brinker International. The group that owns, among other restaurant behemoths, Chili’s. She maintained a positive enough relationship that one of their restaurants provided the founding deal for her own company.
Today, Goodwin owns and runs Goodwin Commercial, a property development company 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 are 100-percent in retail, so 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,” she said. Noting that her online contacts and regular physical meetings with key city planners and officials keep her company well ahead of the curve. Specifically, when it comes to knowing what companies might be relocating to an area, and what areas of the state and country are most likely to be targets for new development. “I’m very tuned in,” she said, adding that this enabled her recently 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 – especially in Texas – and an exciting time to be a woman in this sector as well.”
What’s Ahead in 2017:
“Right now, we are just living in the Texas market. It has to be one of the strongest real estate markets in the entire country. More people are moving here than to any other state, we have so many corporate relocations (especially from California), and that means people moving here who need new houses, new multifamily living options. Then we [Goodwin Commercial] come in on the retail side. All these people need restaurants and we specialize in restaurant development and brokerage – you still can’t eat online!”
Crucial “Key” to Success in the Industry:
“It is amazing how much being on social media will expand your business. From LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter, social media is such a great resource. If you are not on it, you lose so much business opportunity.”
“I encourage everyone, but especially women in real estate, to write a book. It was a big turning point when I wrote my first book. It enables you to be on radio shows, podcasts, have speaking opportunities. Everyone has enough information to write a book, and it can change everything for you.”
Note: Goodwin is the author of two books, One Cent Lemonade to Million Dollar Deals -25 Jobs & 25 Lessons I Wish I Learned Sooner! and #1 Best-Selling on Amazon Winning Ways in Commercial Real Estate-18 Successful Women Unveil the Tips of the Trade in the Real Estate World. She is also the creator of a four-part audio real estate course, “How to Win in Commercial Real Estate – Zero to $1,000,000 with One Deal.”
“When I was working [with Chili’s], they had a large chili pepper on the front of the store, and the city of Dallas wouldn’t approve it for the front of the building. I met with city hall, had the hearings, and was really persistent in looking at the ordinance and finding a different way to get that pepper up. I ended up getting the first chili pepper approved, which was a really big deal and they made me the Pepper Queen. So that was one of my proudest moments: I overcame a big challenge for the company. My persistence paid off in never giving up, and I got it approved. So, anytime you fight city hall and get something approved is good, and you should be proud!”
“Second, my other proudest moment was recently when I invested in two buildings on which I had done a pro forma and personally presented them and backed them with a partner. I knew they were a great deal. In the past, I always relied on male business partners to finish the financial part of things, which always required paying them with a portion of the property. I decided I wanted to learn that financial aspect, and get out of my comfort zone, so I went to a variety of banks trying to get my own financing for the project, which was a little over $1.6 million – not that big. I had presented it to several male investors and they all turned it down. Typically I would have thought they knew something I didn’t, but I knew in this case it was a great investment so I didn’t give up. I ended up investing with a friend who had the confidence in me to invest, and we sold that property last year. Our husbands may never actually have been that happy for us before!
“The main thing is: I went with my gut. I knew that deal was good, and it was the most profitable property I have ever sold.”
A Word for Women in Real Estate:
“Start investing early! I just think all woman should invest in real estate. Most women leave it up to a spouse or partner.”
“Also, ask for equity. I once was working with a company where I was doing a development project and they needed partners to bring in the equity to buy the property. They had ten equity partners, and I was the only female equity partner. The only reason I was an equity partner was because I knew I had to ask, ‘Is there any way to be part of this investment and the property?’ Most women do not ask, and they are turning that equity over while still doing all the hard work. Don’t give someone else the benefit and all the profits because you did not ask if there could be an ownership in the property for you.”
Pam Goodwin will serve as a panelist on Think Realty’s 2017 “Women to Watch in Real Estate” panel at the Think Realty Dallas Expo on April 29, 2017, in Dallas, Texas. Read more about Pam Goodwin in her official Think Realty “Women to Watch” profile, and meet her in person at our Dallas Expo. Register here to reserve your space.