JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Growing up in a rural area, Realtor® Wendell Davis, executive vice president of Watson Property Management in Jacksonville, knew of the sacrifices his parents made for him.
“Just being allowed to play football was a big deal,” says Watson, who notes that long hours at school meant alterations to his parents’ schedule.
However, he, like his parents, realized the importance of being involved. The lessons learned on the football field prepared him for life.
“I learned how to collaborate and get along with others,” he says. “The lessons you learn on a competitive team pay dividends the rest of your life. You learn how to be a leader, a problem solver; you learn to give and take.”
Giving comes naturally to Davis. His involvement in the community is extensive. From board positions with the Clay YMCA, St. Johns River State College Foundation and North Florida March of Dimes to his community leadership involvement with the Clay County Commission, Florida Realtors®, and Seven County Regional Planning Council, Davis believes in serving the community that has treated him so well.
In 2015, he was honored with a Twelve Point Award by the Boy Scouts of America, which recognizes outstanding service to youth and the community, not only for his involvement with the Boy Scouts of America but also for his civic contributions and leadership in the community.
Davis earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida. Following graduation, he served for two years in the U.S. Army as an armored tank officer in Texas and Korea. After his active military service, Davis entered the civilian world. He coached high school and college football for 23 years while continuing to serve in the Army Reserves as a military police officer (MPO).
Davis first earned his real estate license in 1978 after a career of coaching high school and college football. “Like most professionals, real estate was the second career for me,” he says. And it happened quite by accident. As part of the required continuing education, Davis and the high school principal decided to take a real estate course at the local community college.
Davis recalls, “The instructor was a friend, and he pushed me to take the real estate exam at the end. I passed and worked that summer selling real estate.”
However, his passion for football was still calling him to the sport. He took a college coaching position at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina. “We had a lot of players who [transferred] from Division 1 schools. So, with that talent, in 1981, we had three NFL draft picks and finished fourth in the country,” he says.
He retired from coaching in 1986 and went into real estate full time. “People spend too much time talking about down markets. I just did it and made a living at it,” he says.
As a Realtor, Davis has worked diligently over the years to help his clients and his colleagues. He has been an active, involved member of his local, state and national Realtor organizations: the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors® (NEFAR), Florida Realtors and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). He served as Florida Realtors president in 2010 and was honored as the state association’s Realtor of the Year in 2011.
Davis is proud of his career, but even more proud of his community efforts.
“The more you give, the more you receive,” he says. “When you help someone, say, visiting a friend in the hospital, you’re taking the time to let them know you care. But, after the visit, you feel better, too. You were helped. It turns out they gave back to you, too. If you give with your heart, you will benefit, too.”