It’s not enough to just be the first or the largest, you have to pave the way for the next.

Our featured guest today is T. Dallas Smith.

Dallas is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at T. Dallas Smith & Company.

Dallas began his commercial real estate career in 1982 at Atlanta Air Center Realty under the guidance of Thomas W. Tift as leasing and management representative for the portfolio. In 1989, he became the first African-American broker at Cushman & Wakefield of Georgia.

His affiliation with the company opened doors for many minority brokers. In 1995, he pioneered the brokerage division for H.J. Russell & Company, an African-American owned construction and management firm, where he served as VP of the Brokerage Division. Dallas led the company initiative of acquiring 40 parcels of real estate, a full city block in the intercity of Atlanta resulting in a mixture of office, retail and multifamily developments now valued at over $20 million.

In 2006, with the blessing of the late Herman Russell, Dallas opened T. Dallas Smith & Company, specializing in tenant representation. T. Dallas Smith & Company has led projects across the country with metrics exceeding more than seven million square feet of commercial property leasing and acquisitions and five thousand acres of land purchases. Since its inception, the team has grown exponentially successfully leading transactions totaling over $15 billion in aggregate value. Dallas is an innovator and thought leader in the commercial real estate community and is intentional about cultivating and developing diverse talent to help shape the commercial real estate industry.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #missionfuel


  • Atlanta born, Atlanta bred, when I die I'll be Atlanta dead
  • I grew up about 20 blocks from downtown Atlanta
  • I grew up in a neighborhood where everybody took care of one another
  • If you're willing to meet people in the heart, not on the exterior, you can cover a lot
  • Herman Russell was the very first cold call I made when I was at Cushman & Wakefield
  • Herman Russell specialized in one thing; plastering
  • People forgot that Herman Russell was a specialist in one thing, that eventually morphed into several other things
  • Be very intentional and sincere about building relationships
  • It really comes down to the golden rule: Treat people the way you want to be treated
  • T. Dallas Smith and Company is the largest African American tenant representation firm in the country.
  • My calling was to bring people who look like me and you, into the commercial real estate space
  • God gave me one word – EXPOSURE
  • The reason there's only 2% of people in commercial real estate that look like me and you is lack of exposure and racism
  • The idea of giving up is not in my DNA
  • You got to be loved in your community first, to be liked in theirs
  • I've literally been the guy who's been too stubborn to quit
  • The scripture says: The footsteps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord
  • Take one step at a time
  • “There are no such thing as bad teams, only bad leaders” Extreme Leadership book quote
  • Fundamentally, before you leave, you have to serve
  • You want to be a plumber, hang out with plumbers. Find the best person in the field, and go be around that person.
  • Take the first step! If you have an idea that had never been done before, then go study pioneers and learn how they carried out their ideas that had never been done before.
  • Believe in something and believe in yourself
  • Seek His Voice and hear the thing He's called you to do; God called Noah to build the ark. He didn't called Jesse or James.
  • What is that thing He's called you to do? Seek His voice for your direction
  • Between the age of 8 and 10, the things you love doing will be the foundation of what you end up being for the rest of your life



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