Johnny Purselley Carves Out Unique Real Estate Niche

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Doing justice to rock star Realtor Johnny Purselley is a challenging undertaking, because whether or not he wants to be, he’s something of a local legend.

Son of a rodeo champ, RCA Champion Bull Rider Jan Purselley, Johnny was already showing horses by the age of seven. A two-time champion himself, he excelled in the Reining and Western Pleasure categories, performing on agile cutting horses.

Purselley on his first bull, his father Jan in the foreground.

I caught up with Johnny Purselly at the Fort Worth Stockyards — caught up is accurate because he is very much a man on the go.

Johnny Purselly

“It’s really straw hat season now,” he says removing a handsome felt model from his head as he gets out of his Ford F250 and replaces it with a straw one.

“I thought the felt might be better for the photo shoot,” he explains.

That is another facet of Johnny’s personality — good manners and an old-fashioned sense of correctness. He’s a rather romantic figure who seems to embody a legendary Texas of old, now faded into folklore.

Purselley was in the Stockyards to be photographed for a feature in Fort Worth Magazine highlighting Fort Worth’s top real estate producers. Uneasy with self-promotion, he was reluctant to do the story but was persuaded by its publisher and his friend, Hal Brown.

“When they asked me where I wanted to shoot the photos I told them without hesitation ‘The Fort Worth Stockyards.'” Purselly said. “My dad is from Fort Worth and after growing up in West Texas, I moved here 23 years ago. This month I have been a broker for 21 years and I took my first photo as a real estate agent here 20 years ago. Nothing explains what Cowtown is about more than the stockyards — historic and iconic.”

Purselley competing on one of his favorite cutting horses Darling Shorty

Reining it Back in

Decidedly self effacing and humble, he unabashedly attributes his success to good fortune and his profound faith.

“No matter what the article says, I owe all that I have and all that I am to Jesus Christ.”

In his youth, Purselley was something of a wild boy. He was at the Stark Club the night of the infamous raid but evaded arrest by quietly slipping out a side door and escaping in a taxi. Things spun out of control and in 1990 he hit bottom leading to 30 years of sobriety which he openly talks about in the hope that he may be of help to others.

“Not by man, not by program, but by the grace of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I am here,” he unabashedly avers.

Still a Cattleman

Certainly not “all hat and no cattle”, Purselly raises Brahmins on a small spread near Weatherford where he lives with his wife Paula, who helps out with the business, and two of his four sons. Another passion-rescuing Great Pyrenees dogs.

“I take dogs from all over the state and Oklahoma. I won’t take an animal I can’t adopt out,” he states.

“Yeah, I’ve got five horse stalls but 10 dog stalls,” he muses.


Hanging His Shingle, Solo

Having had a long and successful run as a top performer at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s Fort Worth, Purselly took the bold decision two years ago, to go it alone, forming Purselley Ranch and Residential. A successful venture from day one, he now has nearly two dozen listings with a border-to-border reach, from Val Verde to the south and the Red River to the north. He occupies an underserved niche which draws on many of his passions.

“Most of the major Realtors just didn’t have farm and ranch experience,” he says.

His ethos is still informed by a three week training Program under the legendary former president of the National Association of Realtors, Charles McMillan.

“There was very little about sales. He stressed ethics and integrity. That’s really what you’re selling,” Purselly says.

“I’m not trying to sell scripted stuff or a marketing plan. I’m selling a relationship because real estate is relationships. You need to trust me, and we need to believe in each other,” Purselley said. “When I meet people to be their Realtor, I tell them I want to be your Realtor for life and by that I want to do such a good job you don’t even consider calling anybody else.”

Still ambitious, Purselly hints at a potential upcoming listing that may be the lifetime “get.”

“Or maybe it will be the one after that,” he teases.

One of his “gets” in the Purselley Ranch and Residential portfolio is the beautiful Chapman Family Ranch a 460-acre working farm with plenty of water several pastures and nearly 2,000 feet of Red River frontage.


Eric Prokesh

Eric Prokesh is an interior designer whose work has appeared on HGTV, in books and publications including DHome, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and House and Garden. In January 2005, HG named Eric one of the 50 tastemakers in America and DHome has included him as one of Dallas’ Best Designers for 10 years. Having lived most of his life in Dallas, he now calls Fort Worth home and is one of our experts on beautiful Fort Worth Dirt.

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