2017 Rookie of the Year for Cedar Hill: What I Learned My First Year and a Half as a Realtor


I received this award recently, but I haven’t shared with many people. It’s not because I wasn’t proud of or thankful for the recognition. I really just didn’t know what to think about it.

Here, encapsulated a bit of ink on paper affixed to a wooden plaque, was a memento of my first year and a half in real estate. When I look at I see not just the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears; I remember the actual sweat and tears and toiling of achieving my modest success.

I remember the marathon of it all, and I see the faces and hear the voices of the people I served. I remember the houses and agents on the other side. I think of my managers and the agents who worked in our Cedar Hill office who helped me achieve this award for the office.

I also think of the agent who won the company-wide Rookie of the Year award who had been in the same training class as me. I think of how she made 10x what I made in her first year+ and wonder what travails she passed through on her way to that accomplishment. More power to her.

But mostly I think about what I learned that will help me get through the end of year two. If I were more optimistic about my progress, I’d be looking forward to longer-term goals. But right now, I want to pause to ponder the next stretch of road ahead in this marathon I’ve signed up for.

I’ve learned to keep a better watch on my pennies. As my savings ran out and I didn’t get all of the clients I thought I would, the need for a good, working budget became very real to me. Even though I had read and worked the Dave Ramsey baby steps to build up my savings to enter the real estate profession, I got into the bad habit of taking on debt once the income plummeted from where it had been when I was focused solely on freelance writing. I never thought I’d be back at step one, but I made it back there because of my income shortage.

I have a new perspective of bootstrapping to get out of this and have found a mix of ways to bring in income. My first garage sale was rained on, but I’m ready for the next try. I’m looking for freelance writing work to pick up that I can fit into my schedule. I’m driving for UberEats several hours a week. Family and friends have been generous too.

I think the greatest gift of all of this is seeing the amazing support that surrounds me. When I’ve felt broken and ready to give up, there have been those who’ve held me up when I didn’t think I could go on. Prayer and meditation is a deeper, quieter, and sweeter place than before.

And yes, I’ve learned more about the buying and selling of real estate. Every day there’s a new problem to solve while working to maintain the discipline of prospecting for new business in a way that is meaningful and kind. It’s a fascinating profession with all manner of human drama and comedy. More than any other work that I’ve done, I truly enjoy it.

So I take a deep breath and set my symbol of success aside so that I can move forward. I don’t know where the road will take me, but I’m committed and I’m continuing on.

And Also … Happy Mother’s Day to the Childless

I used to hide in my house on Mother’s Day.

There was a deep grief and resentment that overcame me when I realized I wouldn’t have children.

I couldn’t bear the joyful Mother’s Day wishes and random flowers thrust upon me by merchants or community members. Or the moments when someone was about to say “Happy Mother’s Day!” to me only to be stopped by a thought: “Oh. She’s not a mother.”

We make so many quick judgments that happen, don’t we? We do it for so many reasons: race, religion, creed, etc. All of those reasons that laws and society supposedly prohibit us from demonstrating that we hate each other.

The Mother vs. Childless Woman judgment is another one that we would be wise to set down and walk away from.

I’ve healed from most (most) of the pain of childlessness now, but I have observed this:

Some of us are Mothers in a specific way, and some of us are Mothers in a general way.

I am a Mother in a general way. I’ve cared for well-over a thousand children in my classrooms and within my family and circle of friends. I’ve had the back of many Mothers who needed extra help with their children. I was able to be patient and present with the children of others when others were not able.

I Create all the time; just not people.

Also, I have a Mother. Heck, I come from a long line of Mothers. So it makes perfect sense to me that, regardless of my own personal biological Motherness, I should happily receive a “Happy Mother’s Day” wish as well.

Let us celebrate all Mothers and Sacred Motherhood in general.

The Mothers in a specific way can–and no doubt should–be honored by their loved ones specifically. And we Mothers in a general way can enjoy Mother’s Day too, judgment- and guilt-free.

So go ahead and say it.

Happy Mother’s Day!




Story of a Home: 906 Stillmeadow … Oak Cliff

For over 50 years, one family has called 906 Stillmeadow Road their home. But it was long before the first brick was laid that the man who designed the home, Dr. Ben Moore dreamed of the French-provincial-style house on the corner.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A second generation Oak Cliffer, Dr. Moore began plans for making this home a reality in the early 1960s. As a young Dallas physician with a wife and two sons, he had a clear vision of his family home.

His home would be full of light, music, spaces for warm gatherings as well as for private moments of solitude and contemplation. His home would be a home of safety and the nurturing of the creative spirits within. It would a home of science and art … all under one roof, among the trees on the tender hills of south Dallas county.

From the moment you walk up to the front door, an eye to craftsmanship is evident. Inlaid in the front walk is the insignia of the Oak Cliff craftsman who built this fine, mid-century Oak Cliff home. The cast aluminum lighting and the mailbox are functional works of art that greet family, friends, and neighbors. The formal foyer features stunning tile work designed by Dr. Moore himself. The powder room at the entrance even has a vintage crystal chandelier that was part of his original design.

Each of the living areas provides the option for openness or intimacy with the custom-designed folding doors. The main living room was originally used as a music room. Imagine the beautiful songs coming from the grand and baby grand pianos that were played in this light-filled room overlooking the deck and backyard. The sound system constantly filled the house with music to cheer and delight the family.

The den’s wall of built-in cabinets and the fireplace surrounded by Italian marble invited family and friends to gather around. And when the Texas weather brought its great storms, the tornado shelter kept the family safe.

At the heart of the home, many bountiful meals were served around the table and built-in buffet in the large dining room. This room offered many options of letting in the light from the sunroom, living room, or kitchen, or creating a warm gathering space for dining by closing the custom-designed doors.

The kitchen had plenty of room for the family to prepare meals and eat together at the breakfast bar. The built-in desk and ample storage provided all the space the family needed to nourish and care for the home.

At the back of the home is a handyman’s dream. How many projects were contemplated and completed in the large workshop just off of the laundry room? With an exterior door, breaks could be taken on the lawn under the trees or on the deck off of the sunroom. The garage’s built-ins and oversized driveway provided great space for projects too, and the photography darkroom was the site of many creative developments.

Each of the four bedrooms was designed with the family in mind. The largest bedroom at the top of the stairs was the perfect room for the two young boys who moved in back in 1963. Their two desks and lamps side-by-side, the boys had a place to work on their projects and schoolwork. One closet for each child and a peg board divider between their twin beds, they not only had their own space but someone to enjoy it with.

The master suite also features a workspace, where Dr. Moore spent many hours working and enjoying the view from his window-filled office. From this place he certainly made other dreams come true, such as helping to create the emergency care system for the city of Dallas. Dr. Moore was one of the six founding members of ACEP (American College of Emergency Physicians), which set the national standard for emergency care and is now our modern EMS system at Methodist Hospital of Dallas, which due to Dr. Moore’s work, is now staffed by specially trained emergency physicians.

One wonders if he pondered his legacy from this room. Certainly, even as a physician, he couldn’t have known that his life would end at the young age of 46. But in his short life, he undoubtedly left a legacy. Part of which is the elegant French-Provincial home on the corner of Stillmeadow Road in Glen Oaks in his hometown of Oak Cliff. His children and wife lived in the home for many years long after he was gone. Even after the home leaves the family’s hands, no doubt it will always be called home.

The home was SOLD by CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Co. (another Oak Cliff treasure) and Realtor, Dawn McCallum.

Click HERE for more details.

How to Get Ahead in Real Estate

In 2016, I took a leap into Real Estate.

While working a demanding job as a marketing contractor for a large, global, software company and working on as many plays I could at Duncanville Community Theatre, I found time to study for the Real Estate licensure exam.

When I was considering a broker, I chose the one that a family member worked with for many years. It was a natural choice; it was a good choice.

Here I am approaching the end of 2017, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what I’ve learned … on what the books and classes didn’t teach me.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that what it boils down to isn’t about how to find leads or how to manage a smooth transaction.

For me, it boils down to this: drawing upon one’s Inner Resources is how to get ahead.

This has been a path that has shown me what I’m made of. Of course there are many paths that can teach us this same lesson, but—as I stand upon this path of Realtor in a moment of pause—I’m reminded that …

I am Patient.
I am Caring.
I am Generous.
I am Compassionate.
I am Surrounded By Many Patient, Caring, Generous, and Compassionate People.
I am Blessed.

I know that when I pause to remember, when I keep moving forward (no matter how tough it gets), I can gently guide others ahead where we reach what we are reaching for … Home.


Dawn McCallum

Oh, by the way®… if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me with their name and business number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

[Click here to get my FREE home search app.]

Grand Opening: Dove Creek in Midlothian

Let me know if you’d like to visit Dove Creek to become a part of this active and growing community.  Two homes will be move-in ready this summer, or we could visit with the Antares Homes sales consultant to discuss your new home construction options.


Available for a JULY move-in:
Price: $354,231
Floor Plan: 2622
3 Beds | 2.5 Baths
3-Car Garage | Stories: 1
2,622 SQFT

Available for an EARLY-AUGUST move in:
Price: $385,941
Floor Plan: 3135
4 Beds | 3.5 Baths
3-Car Garage | Stories: 2
3,135 SQFT


Community Schools

  • Mountain Peak Elementary
  • Frank Seale Middle School
  • Midlothian High School


Estates at Grady Niblo – by Gehan Homes

Looking for luxury living 15 minutes from Downtown Dallas and 15 minutes from Joe Pool State Park? Take a look at Estates at Grady Niblo.

But don’t wait too long!

They have a few lots left and a handful of homes almost ready for move-in. The stunning design and elegance is a treasure along the natural beauty of  Spur 408.

Take a virtual tour by clicking HERE, or feel free to stop by to say hello.

Some of my favorite features I saw in the community:

  • Many of the remaining lots are backed by a greenbelt of trees native to the area.
  • The master bedroom closets feature a styling area with a large, full-length mirror and seating.
  • One of the floor plans I saw had an oversized laundry room with a SECOND PANTRY and home-management center where owners can take care of their home business with ease (Downton Abbey style!)
  • The community has one of the SHORTEST build times I’ve heard recently. A contract today could put you in a gorgeous new home in about 5-6 months.
  • They also have some incredible “Quick Move-In Homes” that will be available this summer.

While most of Gehan Homes community are north of I-635 in areas such as Frisco, Plano, Estates at Grady Niblo is the only one near the Heart of Big D and the natural beauty of the Best Southwest.

For my Ellis County home buyers, be sure to keep an eye open for Lawson Farms in Midlothian which will bring the elegance of Gehan Homes to “South of 20.”

If you have any questions, stop by for a visit. And if you’re ready to make your move, I would love to help you have a great experience working with this outstanding home builder.

Estates at Grady Niblo Model

Real Estate Tips

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.


Are you ready for taxes?

Tax time is almost upon us. While a tax professional can let you know more about the deductions you may qualify for, the information from Buffini and Company below will help you get the conversation started.

I know I’ll be using this list to help me get my paperwork together!


Oh, by the way®… if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me with their name and business number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.