Donnell Toler Knows Beauty
Donnell Toler has a heart for single moms. She knows how important it is to have a warm, cozy and comfortable home to go to at the end of a busy day for both the mother and her children.
As a single mother of four, she felt fortunate to have such a home near a good elementary school, DISD's Hexter, in Lake Highlands. Although on a limited income, she beautifully decorated her home so her children and guests enjoyed being there.
Donnell has a gift for staging homes—highlighting the unique beauty of each home, decorating them with furniture and accessories—so they would look even more appealing and quickly sell.
She worked in the family business full-time for 18 years. In 2009 her youngest son was diagnosed with Cancer. Donnell was crushed by the news. She went running around her beautiful neighborhood, frustrated with her life, upset at God. Unfulfilled at work, worried about her kids, she didn’t know what to do.
Then she heard a still, small voice which said to her, “Do what you know.”
Her goal was to do something to provide for her kids and still have time to be a very active mom. Carpool, bake sales, school carnivals were important. She wanted to be there for her kids.
“My first passion is and has always been my children,” Donnell says. “All the rest comes After.”
She feels God sent Cole to make her see what’s important in life, and to teach her to keep going no matter what. “When I want to give up I am reminded of my son. He wants me to give everything I do, my all.”
So Donnell changed her life: she quit her job and got a career. She got back into what she loved: staging homes for sale. But she didn’t stop there. She got her real estate license within a year after Cole dying. She’s been a full time real estate agent for nearly four years now, with her work anniversary coming up this December.
At one point someone questioned her ability to sell homes, even asking her, “What’s going to set you apart from any other Real Estate agent?”
Donnell’s immediate reply: “Me! My great customer service!” To prove it, she poured herself into each property for sale. The homes she staged were selling within 48 hours.
Now Donnell is a key agent in the east Dallas neighborhood where she began in Real Estate. The Hexter Elementary School area, located near White Rock Lake, the Casa Linda neighborhoods and Old Lake Highlands Estates, is her special territory. A member of Nathan Grace Realty of Lake Highlands, she’s listing more than two dozen homes in the area.
In addition to her Real Estate license, Donnell works as a professional home stager. She took over the business—and a warehouse full of beautiful furniture and accessories—from a woman who was retiring. A home stager typically receives ½% of the sale of the home, and a good home stager can make the home look so spectacular that it sells at a higher price—and sells more quickly. Donnell also stages the homes she lists for no extra charge, a perk for those who hire her as their agent, and obviously benefitting the seller in a big way.
Her children are now age 14, 11 and 11. They are thriving, and so is Donnell’s business.
Like many single mothers, Donnell is so busy she has little time to look back at the difficulties she’s overcome. Her focus continues now, as it was then, on her children, on their future, and creating more beauty in the world—in the homes she lists, in the homes she stages, and in her own home.
“Home isn't where you're from, it's where you find light when all grows dark.”
? Pierce Brown, Golden Son
To contact Donnell Call (469) 371-4788 or follow her on twitter: @dtfrealestate or Nathan Grace Real Estate 9661 Audelia Rd, Dallas, TX
Author Judy Porter is also a mother of four and President of Porter People PR, firstname.lastname@example.org