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Meet Donald Matthew Williams of Williams Real Estate Advisors in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Donald Matthew Williams.

Donald, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Ever since I was young, I had a passion for real estate. It is this passion that has driven me to build a property management company. When I first started back in 2010/2011, my first client was a four-unit apartment building in Hollywood. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but was determined to work through any issue that came up. Six-plus-years later, we now manage over 80 properties from Santa Monica to Glendale. Today we don’t just manage, but clients also pay us to advise them on their properties.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has been challenging. When I started the business, I was only 26 years old. The only clients that would work with me were clients with problems that required a personal touch. For example, my client had a tenant that did a huge remodel job to their property without permission. The work was not done by a licensed contractor. The tenant was now refusing to pay rent and was threatening to sue for the cost of the remodel. We helped the owner successfully navigate that situation. We had another owner that had challenged an LAHD inspector. In the process, the client requested a supervisor come out to see the property. The supervisor not only validated the inspector’s original comments but added even more items that needed to be corrected to the list. We worked with the inspectors and helped to get the client out of trouble. These are just two of many stories. Each one of these stories has helped lay the foundation for the company we have and will become.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Williams Real Estate Advisors story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a full-service property management company. This means we do all the nuts and bolts of traditional property management such as collecting the rents, paying bills, working with inspectors, taking maintenance requests 24/7, hiring vendors to do work, posting notices, etc. But the true keys to our success are caring about the same details our clients care about and being available when they have a question. For example, we had a client working with one of LA’s largest property management firms. When he switched over to our company, he said that he felt like a burden had been lifted off his shoulders. The large company didn’t care about him. They gave his property to a nice portfolio manager that worked 8 AM – 5 PM Monday through Friday. The truth is most owners work 8 AM – 5 PM and have questions in the evening. The portfolio manager’s inability to be available to their clients after hours cost them the business.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
What most people may call luck, I call prayer. In my personal life, I start out my days being thankful for everything I have and yes, even the things I don’t have. Life is too short to worry. When it comes to my business, property management is the poster child for Murphy’s law. What can go wrong will go wrong: pipes break, checks get lost in the mail, neighbors are noisy, owners run low on funds, tenants lose their jobs, etc. Anyone who depends on luck when they manage buildings needs to contact me asap!

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