Barbara Corcoran Drew Hundreds at Champions School of Real Estate Keynote

Full disclosure: I am not a morning person. The fact that I obligated myself to head out to the Plano Centre at 8:30 a.m. to see legendary real estate broker and reality TV star Barbara Corcoran is on par with a visit from the Pope for us here at, so of course I put myself together for the early morning event.

And people, it did not disappoint.

The event, put on by Champions School of Real Estate, brought in Corcoran for their signature event, drawing a crowd of more than 1,200 real estate professionals from around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But it didn’t just highlight Corcoran’s inspiring story and wicked sense of humor, it also showed how far Champions School of Real Estate has become a powerhouse in the industry.

Worth noting: Not only did co-chairs president Kim Dydalewicz and communications director Karla Lárraga pull off one of the most fabulous events of its kind in Texas, but they did it twice in the span of 48 hours, with a second keynote on Wednesday, March 11, in Houston. Also consider the growth Champions School of Real Estate — counting eight campuses offering hundreds of courses and areas of study — which, as founder and CEO Rita Santamaria pointed out, isn’t showing any sign of slowing thanks to their new online education tools.

So it’s no wonder that the Plano Centre was crawling with top-producing Realtors, including many from JP & Associates Realtors, a presenting sponsor of the event. We also got to see a “Shark Tank”-style sketch from fellow presenting sponsor ZOCCAM, wherein the founder pitched the idea for the app that transfers earnest money to title companies via remote deposit.

But my favorite part of the entire program was when Corcoran shared her formula behind the wild success of her NYC brokerage, lessons that took her decades to learn. None of that is news for people who have read her book “Shark Tales: How I turned $1000 into a Billion Dollar Business.” It’s a lesson of persistence, of learning to “fail well,” and what it really means to seek work-life balance.

“The difference between the most amazing entrepreneurs and everyone else is one group’s need to feel sorry for themselves.” Corcoran said to attendees.

After the presentation, Corcoran engaged in a brief Q&A with the audience, from which we learned a few of Corcoran’s core philosophies. “Build a brand based on what your unique gift is,” Corcoran advises listeners.

Then one person in the audience asked the real estate mogul and TV personality a really poignant question, considering nature of the event host — a real estate education firm: Just when is the best time to act on an idea?

Immediately, she replied.

by Joanna England

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