Emmitt Smith, E Smith Realty Partners
What does Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, have on his plate as a new season of football begins? He’s starting a new company: Dallas-based real estate brokerage firm E Smith Realty Partners. Smith formed the new company in part through his real estate development and asset management firm, ESmith Legacy, and it joins in his business roster EJ Construction, which focuses on civil construction and commercial building projects.
I’ll tell myself, ‘Self, if this is challenging for you, can you imagine what it must be like for a person that doesn’t even have a brand like yours?’”
Why start a new company?: It’s a natural progression in terms of where we are. We felt like the market itself was headed in the right direction and now was the time to expand our offerings to retailers we’re working with in the marketplace.
Benefits of name recognition?: No, it doesn’t help at all. It makes it tougher. Everyone wants to know if I’m serious about the business. They see me on “Dancing with the Stars” and they don’t think I’m completely focused on the business. And some folks, once they see you have pockets, they want to go deeper.
Why the brokerage business?: We needed both sides of the business, so whether we’re representing the tenant or land owner, we could look at a site. This is a people’s business and it’s relationship oriented.
More to come?: All of what we’re doing kind of all works together from a development company to a construction company and now a brokerage firm. There’s a couple more components we can add to the table, but I’m not going to disclose what those are.
Biggest challenge?: For people to take me seriously. People want to leverage the brand to their benefit. Most people think I’m another athlete starting a business. … I don’t let folks define who I am. Any business is always a challenge to grow, whether you start a new venture or not. People question whether you can execute a new game plan, but actions speak louder than anything you can say.