“I chose this profession because it is a peoples’ business. I enjoy the relationship aspect tremendously.”

Real Estate

CEO Spotlight: Emmitt Smith

The real estate leader on lessons learned and future goals.


University of Florida (B.S.-Public Recreation)

Why Real Estate

“I chose this profession because it is a peoples’ business. I enjoy the relationship aspect tremendously.”

Toughest Challenge

“My greatest love for the business is also my greatest challenge, and that is people. Learning to collaborate well with others and work with various personalities is a challenge.”

Lesson Learned

“Sometimes it takes 1,000 ‘no’s’ to get one ‘yes,’ but that one ‘yes’ makes all the ‘no’s’ irrelevant.”

Looking Ahead

“We have made every attempt to build a platform that is integrated to the point that we have something for everyone in the real estate space. The thought that we have the capability to work with anyone, anywhere excites me about where our future could lead.”

Keeps Me Up

“What keeps me up is the construction division of our company, as it relates to capital. We spend a lot of time investing dollars into a project, and that capital can sit for two or more years. Trying to fill the requirements can be very challenging for a small, minority construction company.”

Fun Fact

“I’m very frugal.”

Advice for an 18-Year-Old You

“Play football to the best of your ability, but then get a business degree/learn business! Business is what makes the world move, and someone has to run it.”

Frightening Moment

“I was on a plane ride in the early ’90s into Dallas, and we had a wind shear try to push the plane off the runway before landing. It actually happened twice that day, and the second time, the pilot announced to the passengers that the plane was ‘going down one way or the other’ because there was not enough gas to divert the plane to another airport.”

Favorite Food

“I love breakfast: grits, eggs, bacon, toast, chicken, and waffles.”

First Car

“I had an old Nissan 240 ZX.”

Favorite Movie

“The ‘Bourne’ series”



Standout Destination

“The Vatican”

Bucket List

“To own an NFL football team.”

This Q&A is extended content from the Dallas 500, a special edition produced by D CEO that profiles the region’s most influential business leaders. Visit www.dallas500.com for details.


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