Find out how this broker-owner left his role as a marketer for brands like Patron Tequila, the Dallas Mavericks and SMU Athletics to lead — and grow — a real estate company.

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Name: Mark McDonough

Title: Owner-CEO

Experience: 14 years

Location: North Texas and Southern Oklahoma 

Brokerage full name: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Winans

Rankings: Ranked No. 13 residential brokerage by Dallas Business Journal in 2023

Team size: 210 agents

Transaction sides: 1399

Sales volume: $584,530,630

What are 3 things you’d like readers to know about you and your brokerage?

  • Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Winans is a family-owned and operated brokerage that has been serving communities in Dallas/Fort Worth for 40 years.  
  • We are laser-focused on the growth of our agents.  It’s the primary reason agents join us and why we’ve had such low turnover over the years.
  • I have a deep passion for helping people build and grow both personally and in their business.  This passion is the reason I left my last career and found my way to real estate. Real estate and this brokerage have put me in a position to do what I love every day.

How did you get your start in real estate?

After graduating from college with a business degree in marketing and advertising, I worked at a large ad agency for several years.  As time went on, I realized that I wanted something new and different. Specifically, I was looking for something in the world of small business where I could make a direct impact on the bottom line.

I began discussing the idea of working together with my in-laws, David and Dana Winans, who owned a small GMAC real estate brokerage.  The brokerage may have been small, but it had been around for over 25 years and had an incredible reputation in the industry, especially in the world of corporate relocation. They had a goal of growing the business and asked if I would join the company to lead that growth.

It wasn’t real estate that attracted me into the industry but rather the opportunity to build something and make a real, positive impact in the lives of the agents and staff. Very quickly, though, I came to love the real estate business and especially the people within it.

Over the last few years, we’ve experienced steady and profitable growth from six staff members and 35 agents to 20 staff members and 210 agents.

What do you wish more people knew about working in real estate?

I wish the general public understood how hard Realtors work and how difficult it is to make it in this business.  I admire our agents’ skills, determination and tenacity so much and want the world to better understand what it takes to be a successful real estate agent. 

The Hollywoodification of our business has made it look like anyone can get their license and make millions with ease. The reality is most agents are underpaid when you consider their time, expertise and the value they bring to both buyers and sellers. 

As an industry and as agents we need to do a better job of showing our clients all the work that is actually going on behind the scenes.  We always share our closings and photos with keys, but what about sharing the fact that we showed the client over 60 homes before they decided to make an offer? Or post the photos of the hoarder’s house we cleared out just to make it presentable to be marketed.

Tell us about a high point in your brokerage career

I’m currently in the middle of the highest point in my career. After 14 years with this company and the last eight serving as its president, my wife and I recently closed on the purchase of the company and have become the owners of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Winans. We’ve been working towards this goal for a very long time and are thrilled to lead the brokerage into its next chapter.

Name 3 people you admire

My father: My dad taught me what it means to be a leader and an entrepreneur. He carved out a successful career as an electrical engineer in the microprocessor field, all while being an incredible dad to my sister and me.  He is one of the most thoughtful and generous people I know and always found a way to put family first, even while running successful companies.

David Winans: I’m blessed to have David as both a mentor and a father-in-law. He is a visionary in the world of real estate and I’m lucky to have been able to work alongside him for almost 15 years.  He taught me how to inspire others and is still teaching me what it means to lead a brokerage the right way.

Our agents: This amazing group of individuals impresses me every single day with the way they approach business.  I admire their sales skills, their resilience, the creative way they navigate unique and challenging situations all while maintaining a positive attitude and a smile on their faces.

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Email Christy Murdock

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