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Community Highlights: Meet David Nations

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Nations.

Hi David, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I purchased my first piece of real estate in 2004, one year out of college. A high-school friend of mine and I thought it would be a good idea to buy a home to rehab and sell. At that time, neither of us had any knowledge of construction or real estate. It took us eight months to complete and we made very little money. We were just excited to get our money back and sell our first property. We bought our second property in 2006.

This one didn’t go as well. We couldn’t sell it for what we needed to so we ended up renting it. We still own this property today. In 2007, I decided to get my real estate license and go to grad school. I completed the program in 2009 and received a Master’s in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development from St. Louis University. My plan was to get a job working for a real estate developer. The problem with my plan was my timing. In 2006, the market started to shift and my lack of real estate knowledge led me to make decisions that were not the smartest. It was a classic case of, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.” I would also say looking back, the lack of knowledge probably benefited me because I didn’t realize I was getting into an industry that was going to be at an all-time low.

After working at my own independent real estate brokerage for a couple of years, I met a Realtor from Keller Williams Realty who recruited me over several months. Joining Keller Williams in 2011 absolutely changed my life. I was able to get training on how to be a better Realtor and business owner. Over the last ten years, I have been able to build a successful real estate team and investment business, become an investor in a Keller Williams Market center and work as a Team Leader of a Keller Williams Market Center for three years. In 2020, our real estate team finished the year selling over 180 homes having our best year ever!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Getting into the real estate industry in 2007 as a Realtor was not an easy task. My friend, who I bought my first couple of properties with, and I started our real estate brokerage. We taught ourselves everything. We didn’t have any real training. We created our own niche and promoted it. Many people we knew didn’t want to work with us because we were new in the industry and they didn’t trust we knew what we were doing. We had to go out everyday and earn the business and eventually the trust of our friends and family by being in the real estate business for the long haul. When I met the agent at Keller Williams and decided that it was the place for me, I had to have a very tough conversation with my friend and business partner. I chose to walk away from something we were building because I believe the training and education I could get at Keller Williams was going to set me up for more success so I could take care of my family. I was very passionate about wanting to build my brand and a business and with Keller’s model, I could still do that, so it was a win-win. Along the way, my brother and I built a real estate flipping company and in the beginning no banks wanted to give us money. We didn’t have the income to back it nor the experience. Fortunately, my father-in-law was willing and able to invest in us to help us get started. That initial investment allowed us to go from owning no real estate and rehabbing one home at a time to owning 45 rental doors and rehabbing 3 to 4 homes at a time.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
The Nations Network is a top residential real estate team in the St. Louis Metro area. I started building our team in 2012 after I joined Keller Williams Realty Southwest. Over the last ten years, we have sold over 1000 homes. Our mission is to develop lasting relationships through exceptional real estate experiences. I believe we are living out our mission because our business is about 85% referral-based. We are a team of real estate experts that are passionate about educating our clients on the process to buy, sell or invest in real estate and making sure you are making the right decision for you and your family. Not only do we have the residential real estate team but we also have a renovation business that buys, fixes and flips homes as well as owns rentals called Nations Brothers Renovations LLC. My brother, Jeff and I have been building this business since 2010. We are very passionate about creating a quality product for the buyers of our rehabbed homes. We take pride in our work and stand by the quality of the work we do.

What’s next?
We are constantly looking to grow our current businesses and add new businesses to the mix. Our vision is to build a business that is a true “one-stop” shop. We want to create a company that we can help you buy or sell a home, remodel a home, invest in real estate, provide the insurance for the property and provide the loan for the property as well. We are passionate about learning so we are constantly masterminding with other real estate business owners to determine “what’s next” for us. If we aren’t growing we are dying.

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