At 69 years old, Dennis DeWine continues to lead his business for the same reason he started it more than 35 years ago — the people.
“I get great enjoyment out of watching people grow,” said DeWine, CEO of Harker Heights-based ERA Colonial Real Estate.
As a husband, father of two and grandfather of four, DeWine’s management style has let him partake in more than business. As a family, ERA Colonial has been a part of births, marriages and, unfortunately, deaths.
“I look at my entire real estate company as if it were my blood family,” DeWine said. “I think that is the only way to run your company.”
The family aspect carries on to the clients, too.
“We have a strong sense of faith in my family and we live that everyday,” DeWine said. “We would like to treat everyone the way I would like to be treated... you can’t help but make friends when you treat people that way.”
That mantra is one of the reason’s DeWine became a real estate agent in 1978 after serving as a Army helicopter pilot for seven years and several more years as a securities salesman.
“I really enjoyed flying,” DeWine said. “I just couldn’t see a long-range career in boring holes in the sky. I wanted something that was more.”
The “more” turned out to be ERA Colonial and striving to be the best in customer service and providing quality service to people looking for homes.
“My father (who took over the family lumber yard) used to tell me, ‘There are lumber companies all over the place and the only difference between me and the others selling boards is service,’” DeWine said.
ERA Colonial Real Estate began in 1987 and has always strived to offer the highest quality service in the greater Killeen-Fort Hood area.
Caring for clients has worked for ERA as it grew from one office to 12 throughout offices Texas before the housing market tightened in 2007. With home sales declining, ERA Colonial reduced to three offices but now has five locations between Harker Heights and San Antonio.
The company also operates two property management companies, one in Harker Heights and one in Austin.
As CEO, DeWine oversees about 125 sales agents and managers.
While not immediately looking to grow, the company always seeks good talent and is open to new markets.
“I don’t rule it out because there are a lot of places we could be,” DeWine said.
One thing people will notice this year is ERA’s logo change.
“We will look a little different. That is something people will see starting in July,” he said.