It’s been almost a year since Angela Downes joined Compass Real Estate after Virginia Cook shut its doors. After carefully considering all of her options, she decided that Compass was the best fit for her and her clients.
“They had a great opportunity for nationwide marketing,” she said. “Compass having offices in Florida and California made for great networking opportunities to cross-market the properties there.”
One project Downes is busy marketing right now is the Prestonwood Polo and Country Club development in Oak Point near Lewisville Lake. It features 16 2.5-acre build-to-suit lots that back up to three polo fields. According to her, the only properly similar to it in the country is one in Colorado. And, while it may seem far out, it is actually only a few minutes from the Dallas North Tollway.
“You have this sense of country fields and yet you are smack-dab in the middle of the suburbs,” she said. “It’s now getting ripe for the lots to start turning and investor interest seems to be heating up.”
She’s also actively marketing The Renaissance in Heath, which has 33 build-to-suit home lots ranging from 0.5- 1.3 acres, as well as a development project in Maine. For each one, she’s worked hard to create unique marketing. Her content is more akin to short film than simple marketing pieces. One of her most recent efforts required a full-day shoot with the assistance of a film producer.
The Long Way to a Real Estate Career
Many moons ago, Downes worked as an executive assistant for various presidents, chairmen and CEOs around town. Friends in the real estate business would sometimes tell her she would do well selling homes. She had no interest. Downes loved taking care of her executives and enjoyed being a mirror to the company. Then one of the executives she worked for suggested she consider real estate as well.
“I was offended,” she recalled. “I picked up my purse, walked out of the office and went home.”
At the time she found the “compliment” condescending. Downes was an educated professional who worked directly with some of the most important people in business. To her, the image of a Realtor was a bored housewife who wanted a reason to dress up and be seen about town, cocktail in hand. However, as others made similar suggestions about real estate, her outlook started to change. Eventually, she attended real estate classes and took the exam — without studying a lick. She’d failed by one point despite the fact she had not put any effort into it.
“That was enough to light the fire under me,” she said. “I took the exam, passed, and started off with Ebby Halliday.”
During her time there, Downes began to truly learn the business. Her time working with executives taught her that pulling out the Rolodex and calling all of her contacts might not be the best route. She was once on the other end of those calls and knew just how ineffective they were. Instead, she hunkered down and pursued every opportunity she could find no matter how big or small.
“I was grateful for every opportunity that came my way,” she said.
It didn’t take too long for her to become a top producer at Ebby Halliday. Then, an unexpected opportunity arose to help a brokerage owner in Maine. She relocated there for a time. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as planned. When the market there began to tank, she returned to Dallas, a primary market where no matter what the economy is doing, people will still need a primary residence.
Upon her return, Downes joined Virginia Cook because it was very reminiscent of what she remembered at Ebby Halliday. Since then she has continued to thrive. When she joined Compass, she had a whopping 67 listings in tow. More importantly, she’d established an unexpected second career that loved just as much as her first.
“My tenacity hasn’t dampened in 23 years of practice,” she said. “I love and adore all of the challenges because each and every single transaction to me is like taking care of my executives all over again.”