Former Madisonian breaks into Texas real estate market

When Nicole Williams was a little girl in Beloit, she sat at the foot of her grandfather and listened to him talk about his passion for real estate. He owned several properties throughout the area and was determined to share all he learned.

“He had the vision of creating generational wealth to pass down to his children and grandchildren,” said Williams, who moved to Madison with her mother and sister when she was 8 years old. “I decided to pick up the mantle and run with it after growing tired of watching everyone else flip properties on HGTV for many years.”

Her ambition and desire to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps inspired her to begin educating herself about residential and commercial real estate. She attended seminars and workshops facilitated by industry leaders. Once the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the country and state, Williams decided it was time to apply all the knowledge she accumulated. Last year, she and her husband Jermaine Williams took advantage of their ability to work remotely from home and they relocated to Dallas.

“We settled on Dallas for several reasons.  It is a progressive city, rich with opportunities for people of all ethnic backgrounds,” said Williams. “The Potter’s House, a church we followed online for years, was located there and we both had family members that lived in the area. The move made sense.”

Shortly after moving, she established Gates & Keys Property Solutions, which has quickly emerged as one of the city’s fastest growing Black and woman-owned renovation and development organizations. To date the start-up has acquired multiple single family residential properties and vacant lots for future development in its efforts to create more affordable housing for working class people.

According to company records, GK has a net worth of $1.7 million and is positioned to greatly surpass this valuation in 2022. Williams leverages more than 10 years of experience as a Fortune 50 corporate health insurance sales executive in ways that allow her to be proficient in property acquisitions, project management, forecasting, relationship management, negotiating, and overseeing GK’s day-to-day business activities.  

“There is a mental toughness and soundness needed to be successful in real estate.  You have to be able to pivot, adapt and not lose sight of the end goal,” she said.  You must continue to press on through the adversity that threatens to jeopardize your goals and dreams.  You have to be fearless and unapologetic.” 

Her support system is just as strong, dynamic, and unapologetic as she is. Husband Jermaine works with building architects to redesign layouts for properties being rehabbed and on newly constructed units. He also serves as reinforcement when Williams may not always be taken seriously by other men working in the male-dominated construction field.

Civic and community-minded, Williams is intentional about creating ladders of opportunity for others. GK donates a portion of their revenues to Compassion International Ministry, a Christian-based charity whose mission is dedicated to eradicating poverty and advancing educational options for children.

“My business exists to help others,” said Williams. “The whole point of starting a real estate company was to pass down a blueprint for how to create generational wealth but also to generate enough revenue to make an impact in the community and in the world.”