Erin clad in black for a photo shoot. Courtesy of Erin Mathews

Resume: Erin Mathews

The real estate pro opens up about how she got her start.

Bio

If you’ve ever driven by a “For Sale” sign in Preston Hollow or Highland Park, you’re probably familiar with the name Erin Mathews. You’ve surely seen her portrait in upscale magazines; maybe you read a profile about her in Texas Monthly. If you like fancy clothes, you’ve espied her shopping at Chanel. But beyond all that, you may not know that Erin is one of the hardest-working women in Dallas. Her quest for high standards, her exceptional work ethic, and her signature customer care began at a preppy little store called Harold’s and now forms the backbone of Mathews Nichols Group, the real estate team she co-heads with David Nichols at Allie Beth Allman.

Experience

Erin Mathews with son Travis. Courtesy of Erin Mathews
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

Moves to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, after a brief stint in Austin, Texas. “My dad was a physician after the war, and he was moving from one hospital to another.”

Discovers a love for reading at an early age. “The best way to say it is that I’ve always been a little bit of a fancy kid. I was a voracious reader—I always had a book in my hand. I was an ‘inside’ kid. I read everything—magazines, everything that came through the mail slot in our house. I read books of all kinds, even things for older kids. I read lots of biographies, encyclopedias. I read everything, and I still do.”

Also discovers a love for clothing very early. “My mother always dressed well, but it wasn’t a thing of hers at all. I was very particular about clothes. I shopped by myself when I was a girl.”

Attends junior high in Norman, Oklahoma. “I really consider Norman my hometown. It was just an idyllic childhood, I would say. I had two younger sisters and a drama-free childhood. Both of my parents were very encouraging. They gave me a lot of personal freedom. I was very responsible, so there was no question I would have freedom. I made good grades.”

Gets her first job at 15 years old at Norman-based upscale clothing shop Harold’s. “I started working there before I even had a driver’s license. I worked there for 11 years, and when I left, I was running the women’s division. I loved retailing and working with the public.”

Erin showcasing her good looks and early flair for style as a young girl in Oklahoma. Courtesy of Erin Mathews
Graduates from high school. “I was very busy and social. I worked all during high school and college. Not that I didn’t enjoy being with my friends, I just didn’t have a lot of time for that. I was very fortunate to work because I loved it—it wasn’t a compelling necessity.”

Attends the University of Oklahoma. “I studied a couple of things. I started as an art major, but shortly after that, I switched to fashion merchandising. Fashion merchandising was in the school of home economics back then. I liked everything about school—the social aspect of it. I loved working at Harold’s. It was a lot of fun, but I worked hard. I have a lot of friends from there to this day.”

Moves to Dallas. “After college, my then husband and I moved to Dallas. I had been coming down here for the market for many years. I will say, when I came here, I didn’t know one person. It was a bit of a jump off the cliff for me. I had been so active in my hometown civically. But over time, I became active here, too. I’m a huge Dallas fan. It’s a very inclusive town, and it always has been. Even back in the day when it was a little smaller and more of a small-town atmosphere. I think Dallas has the best restaurants of any place. It has great fashion. Dallas is just a kinder, gentler New York. Plus it’s just below the freezing line coming from Oklahoma.”

Takes a job at Neiman Marcus. “I was really a retailer. That’s how everyone knew me. Real estate began as a hobby.”

Erin parties in a fancy frock. Courtesy of Erin Mathews
Gets her real estate license. “I felt like that would be a handy thing for me to have. As it turned out, a woman I had met at Neiman’s heard that I had gotten my license. She asked if I would represent her and her husband on the sale of her home. It was my first real break. I told her of course—that I would be delighted. Through them, they were kind enough to refer business to me. Many of my friends were so supportive. I was very fortunate that I had business right off the bat.”

Makes the move to full-time real estate agent at Briggs Freeman. “A lot of people transition from retail to real estate. Both require people pleasing. Your goal has to excite you to make people happy. When you have done your magic, they are thrilled, and that has to thrill you. People don’t think of it in those terms, but that’s the overriding thing. It’s not looking at the pretty houses. It’s not negotiating contracts. [Pleasing people] is the juice. That’s what keeps you going. It’s a very competitive and demanding business.”

Becomes a real estate institution. “In the real estate business, you don’t ever really feel like you’ve made it. It evolves every single day. In some ways, that’s what keeps it interesting. Every day is different than the day before. I don’t know any industry where this is more true. You’re dealing with families, children, jobs, relocations, a lot of personalities. And a home is a person’s most valuable asset.”

Erin gets down to business with real estate partner David Nichols in an advertisement. Courtesy of Erin Mathews
Merges her business with David Nichols at Allie Beth Allman. “We have eight active sales people and full-time assistants, too. I did imagine it would happen. I was coming from a business background. I had teams working for me before in that industry. I knew what you could do with a well-organized and well-trained staff. I always had that in the back of my mind as volume started to grow. I was eager to make sure that I was able to maintain the high level of customer service. You can’t do that by yourself. You need a good team behind you. I’m not saying it wasn’t hard, but it was second nature. I knew the goal from the beginning.”

Future plans include continued impeccable customer care and success. “I’m so proud of where we are. We are the most successful team in Dallas and one of the most successful in the country. We are always watching. We are vigilant. We do not like things to slip through the cracks.”

Fun Fact

“I am a competitive person. I like to think I am fun, but I do like to win.”

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