Pamela J. Goodwin: A customer-centric, fun-loving real estate entrepreneur

Women in Real Estate


The idea of being an entrepreneur comes to a person at the most unexpected time and moment. For Pamela J. Goodwin, it was at the early age of four that she developed a high interest in entrepreneurship. The Founder and Chief Revenue Officer has expertise in helping investors buy and sell property and build wealth. She is widely acknowledged for her confidence, knowledge, determination, resourcefulness, ability to find hidden opportunities, and rolodex of connections. Her parents’ ethics and work ethic serve as a huge source of inspiration for her, and she intends to impart these values to her two grown sons, Grant and Garrett. Alongside that, her greatest influence in real estate has been Jim Christon, who believed in her and helped her start her own boutique commercial real estate business, Goodwin Commercial, in 2006. It has one corporate location based in Plano, Texas.

Pamela began to explore the basic business aspects with her first venture—a lemonade stand. Later, she went on to work for her family’s poultry business, from tenant coordination and project management with several large shopping center owners to developing more than 50 pad sites with Brinker International (Chili’s and Maggiano’s). Pamela has been working from an early age and has always enjoyed challenging herself. She is adamant about learning from the best firms in her field. For instance, she went to work for Brinker International, one of the biggest restaurant chains in the world, thinking she would like to establish a restaurant. She quickly concluded that she preferred to own real estate rather than run a restaurant. She gained in-depth knowledge during this time that covered the perspectives of the tenant side in the commercial real estate market. 

The real estate industry is exciting and unpredictable because every day and every deal is different. After being in the industry for more than 35 years, it is always evolving with new tenants; you never know what the next phone call will have you working on or the business owners you meet. Barbara Corcoran has been a big influence on Pamela; Barbara built her residential real estate business ‘The Corcoran Group in New York City’ at the age of 23 and 30 years later sold it for 66 million dollars. Pamela had the opportunity to meet with her at her NYC office one-on-one for a business meeting that was supposed to be for one hour but turned out to be for two hours, and she also provided a testimonial for her first book. The most important thing she took away from the meeting was that she acted right away. Pamela told her she could help her with something relating to commercial real estate with one of her Shark Tank investments. Rather than holding off and making the call afterwards, Barbara stopped the meeting to make the call to make an introduction on a property they were considering inside a shopping center in California. “The takeaway was to not wait and do it immediately in business. In real estate, time kills deals,” she adds.

Pamela J. Goodwin: A customer-centric, fun-loving real estate entrepreneur
Pamela J. Goodwin

Making connections

Goodwin Commercial is a boutique commercial real estate firm that specializes in retail and restaurants—single-tenant net-leased pad sites, tenant representation, NNN investments, ground-up development, 1031 exchanges, and consulting. Pamela and her team strive to find hidden opportunities and go above and beyond on due diligence for every property. “We represent them to make sure there are no red flags for our clients,” Pamela adds.

The distinguishing factor between Goodwin Commercial and others is having a niche and being an expert in single-tenant properties. It always adds a personal touch and wants to make sure it is servicing the customer to the highest degree with trust, integrity, and looking out for their best interests. “We respond quickly; communication is key; always update the client,” Pamela highlights. It goes above and beyond by providing research, information, details, and experience to make sure the customer will move forward with a real estate transaction. She takes pride in her solid network of connections. She thinks it is the biggest advantage that separates her from others. “You must know who to call,” she adds. “It takes years to build relationships with people, and the value is priceless.

Finding the Way

While employed with Brinker International, Pamela was creating brand-new Chili’s restaurants from the ground up in the city of Dallas. The famous big red chili pepper on the building’s front entryway was never approved by the authorities. Her guiding principle has always been to “find a way,” so during a City Council meeting with the mayor of the city and presented it as an architectural element to City Council, receiving the mayor’s approval for the first time. At a yearly staff gathering, she received recognition in front of all attendees and was given the title “Pepper Queen.” This experience taught her that there is always a way to make things work and a win-win situation. You may need to change an ordinance and never give up. According to Pamela, most women are not pushing themselves to learn new things, which is a skill that is necessary for success in any industry. She states that women usually wait until they are overprepared for a position, and most men jump in and learn on-the-job training. Women are predominantly raising the children, even though this is slightly changing with being able to work from home. “I see a lack of confidence more in women than in their male counterparts,” she highlights.

Pamela believes that there are many more advantages than disadvantages to being a woman in the commercial real estate industry. Her best clients have been other women who only wanted to work with another woman to be their real estate broker. They all indicated a trust issue and were looking out for their best interests. “We bring our YOUnique traits of being able to multi-task, patience, listening, being more responsive and communicative, and building long-term relationships,” she adds.

"The takeaway was to not wait and do it immediately in business. In real estate, time kills deals"

Work hard, play harder

Hustling not only requires strong determination and hard work but also an understanding of being a good teammate. Pamela suggests that every leader should be cheerful and meet with their team to know what drives them and to make sure they are waking up on Monday loving their job. If they are not happy, then one must find the reason behind it. A leader must try to have an open conversation with team members. She reckons that life is short and having fun does not hamper one’s growth but propels it. She states that the culture of a company plays a significant role in this. When she used to work for Brinker International, the culture there was casual, but to work hard. “You could wear shorts and a t-shirt to the corporate office,” she asserts. “The company had fun events to get out of the office. Offered free food. Brinker made work fun. We worked hard but had breaks during the day.” Pamela wants all business leaders to understand that having leisure activities at work is highly beneficial as it reduces creative overload and increases staff confidence and morale. In order to create successful businesses, leaders need to keep these points in mind. “Work hard, play harder,” says Pamela.

Giving back

Pamela currently serves as the Chairwoman for the Zoning Board of Adjustments in the City of Lewisville where she resides. Pamela life changed when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2019 and co-founded Kiss Breast Cancer Goodbye gala in 2021 and the first event was held in Nashville at the Country Music Hall of Fame with headliner Dolly Parton to raise money for Susan G Komen to end breast cancer. To date has raised more than $250,000. She says, “I want to give back to my city and encourage everyone to be involved in their city by volunteering.” She is on a mission to encourage everyone to schedule their annual 3D mammogram (the standard 2D mammogram would not have found her breast cancer) for early detection. “I spent the first part of my career seeking achievements and now in the later part is seeking projects that are fulfillment,” gleams Pamela.

10 Admired Women in Real Estate, 2023