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Power Women: She Dreamed Of Singing Backup For Elvis, But Now Hall Group's Kim Butler Has A Burning Love For CRE

This limited series profiles DFW Power Women who have made their mark in the Dallas-Fort Worth commercial real estate industry. Each of the women profiled will be honored at Bisnow's Dallas-Fort Worth Power Women event Nov. 12. 

Kim Butler leads leasing efforts for HALL Group's extensive office portfolio and is a member of the development team and board of directors. The landmark assets in Butler's portfolio include KPMG Plaza at HALL Arts and the 16-building office park known as HALL Park in Frisco. 

Kim Butler (center-bottom) with her family.

Butler has spent three decades in the business, 25 of those at Transwestern, where she routinely ranked as a top performer and held senior roles within the company. In her career, Butler has been honored with Commercial Real Estate Women’s Outstanding Achievement Award, Transwestern’s inaugural Founder’s Award and the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors’ Stemmons Service Award.

She serves on the board of directors of The Real Estate Council and National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. An undergraduate accounting alumni of Texas Tech University, Butler also obtained an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Even though commercial real estate has led Butler to numerous leadership positions, she started her life dreaming of a more fanciful career. Fortunately, the real estate and entrepreneurial skills she learned from her parents paved the way for Butler to become a huge success in commercial real estate.

Hall Group's Kim Butler with her husband.

Bisnow: What did you dream of becoming as a child? How does your current career feed that inner child inside of you?

Butler: I wanted to be a backup singer for Elvis Presley, but the voice thing was a deterrent. My dad and mom owned their own business and also built apartments and a shopping center/medical office building (in addition to owning numerous other businesses over the years). You could say they were classic entrepreneurs. I always saw myself as owning my own business and being an entrepreneur. I feel that real estate is very entrepreneurial and I love the aspect of building a book of business and brand through relationships and performance, kind of like owning your own business. 

Bisnow: If you could teach women growing in the industry today just one thing, what would it be?

Butler: Trust your instincts and have the confidence to do so at the earliest point in your career possible. We all have doubts, even as tenured professionals, but having confidence in your decision-making is so critical. I remember the minute the lightbulb went off for me and I realized that I had good business sense and judgement and made very good decisions. I just wish it had happened a decade earlier because in retrospect it should have.

CRE Power Women at Machu Picchu: Lynn Dowdle, Sharon Friedberg, Kim Butler and Kathy Permenter

Bisnow: Who inspires you on a daily basis and why? 

Butler: I can’t think of any one person. I draw inspiration from many people. My husband and family inspire me in certain areas. Craig Hall and others at HALL Group inspire me wth their vision and leadership. I also find incredible inspiration from the strong female professionals with whom I get to interact. They are brilliant, adventurous, dedicated and faith-filled and take care of themselves and others while giving back to their communities. I strive to mimic the best qualities I see in each of them.

Kim Butler with her husband, Bruce, Craig Hall and Brad Gibson after winning the Stemmons Service Award.

Bisnow: What is your biggest career failure and what positive lessons did it teach you? 

Butler: I had a career setback that was not of my doing. I learned that even if you are doing all the right things the timing may be off or there will be situations that are out of your control. I learned to accept the setback and to turn and apply the same energy and drive in another direction. It was likely God’s hand in moving me to another place where I could be even more effective and much happier. One of my favorite sayings is to bloom where you are planted. Sometimes you might get moved to a new planter, but keep blooming.

Bisnow: Describe your greatest career accomplishment.

Butler: That’s a hard one if you look at a particular event in your career. I have climbed the corporate ladder and managed many people, chased and won numerous large assignments for the company, and have executed some large rewarding leases. What I am most proud of are the 35-plus-year relationships that I have in the real estate business in Dallas. I love the fact that we have grown up together in the business and are friends beyond pure business.

Honor Kim Butler and other women who shaped Dallas-Fort Worth at Bisnow's Dallas Power Women event Nov. 12.