Take Five With:
Diane Butler, CEO, BBG
- What were your first jobs and what did they teach you?
My first job was working as a lifeguard and swimming instructor, but I started my career as an appraiser out of college. That position taught me how to build relationships and be resourceful. The first day on the job I was asked to switch from a commercial appraiser to a residential appraiser because the firm had landed the two largest builder accounts in Houston. I was forced to learn in a very fast paced environment. The experience helped me see that I really excel in an entrepreneurial environment where client service was largely dependent on my performance. I also liked being part of a larger corporate culture and enjoyed mentoring younger associates.
- Tell me about mentors who helped you get where you are today.
Many people have helped me along the way, but there are two people I would consider mentors. The first is Bill Dotson. He was an industry mentor, and he taught me how to run a business and to invest in people smarter than yourself. The second is Eliza Solender. She has always pushed me personally and professionally in leadership roles that have helped me grow throughout my career.
- When I was young, I wanted to be a _________.
I wanted to be a lawyer because I thought that they had control over their success. However, I watched my father be creative in his agriculture and real estate businesses and my thoughts began to change. Later I decided to get involved in finance and real estate. I knew valuation was the best foundation for any career in real estate, and fortunately I loved the challenges in the valuation profession so much that I never left.
- How has TREC impacted your career?
TREC has provided great networking and engagement with the most influential commercial real estate professionals not only in the city but nationally. The TREC Foundation has given me and all of its members an opportunity to give back and to support the city in a very meaningful way.
- TREC uses the phrase, “Build the city you’ve imagined.” What is your vision for Dallas as a city of the future?
TREC has tremendous visionary resources and the ability to channel a variety of efforts to strengthen education, housing, infrastructure and to influence policy to make Dallas a better city for all people.