David Williamson believes in doing business the “old-fashioned” way. He believes in helping people who help you. He believes in the power of a handshake. He believes in working hard to build things from the ground up. So it’s no wonder he has whole-heartedly embraced his newest venture—commercial sales & leasing agent with The Norton Agency.
Williamson grew up in Jefferson, Ga., working summers helping his dad who was in the building business. “Back then, subcontractors were unheard of—if you built homes, you did everything from the framing to the electrical, so I became very familiar with all the trades involved in constructing a home,” he says.
Following high school, Williamson enlisted with the U.S. Navy, serving four years of active duty and six additional years in the reserves. After his discharge, he packed up and headed for Gainesville, where he enrolled in college with his G.I. bill.
While in school, Williamson began working in sales at West Building Supply, and later Builder’s Way, but following graduation, he decided to enter into business with former high school buddies James & Jerry Tipton to form Tipton Construction.
In the early 1990s, Williamson struck out on his own to start David Williamson Construction, designing and building custom homes up to $2 million as well as smaller scale commercial projects. During this time, he also met Frank Norton, Jr.
“I built the Norton Agency building in Oakwood, and also completed a major ‘tear down’ renovation of Frank’s home,” Williamson says. “I had so much work, I was turning down jobs—the business had a great run, but it also created a lot of headaches.”
After 18 years, Williamson closed his construction business in 2011 and took an 18 month sabbatical to decide what he wanted to do next. He approached Frank Norton about working with his agency and, in May 2013, secured his real estate license. Williamson decided to work with the Norton Agency because of its leadership. “Frank’s has always been straight up and honest with me, and he’s been a great help to me starting out. He’s given me the pathway to find success,” he says.
Williamson does admit he struggles slightly with new marketing technologies, but isn’t worried about the learning curve and says his approach to real estate will be a marriage of the new with the old. “I think a hand-written letter or a handshake and personal introduction still has its place—I’ve found this simple approach works,” he says.
“I’ve also found that real estate is a profession where you benefit by being older,” he continues. “Through my career, I’ve built hundreds and hundreds of contacts, from every building supplier and major builder to clients. That kind of contacts list only comes from experience.”
In his downtime, Williamson enjoys being a non-professional “day trader,” dabbling in the stock market with small scale trades. He also boasts being a long-term avid University of Georgia football fan—he’s only missed 11 games, home or away, in 30 years. And when it’s not a football weekend, he spends time on his 200-acre farm south of Athens hunting and fishing.
As far as his entry into real estate, with a $1.2 million dollar listing right out of the gate, Williamson seems off to a strong start, but he realizes he has a ways to go. “This process is like a 100-yard dash, and I’ve only made it the first yard,” he says. “But I’m accustomed to challenge and working hard, and I’m ready to knock on a lot of doors.”
Professional Accomplishments & Community Service
- Certified Construction Arbitrator
- Licensed General Contractor
- Authorized Rockford Steel Building builder
- Certified Home Inspector
- Two Honorable Discharges and Good Conduct Awards, United States Navy
- Member, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce
- Former Member, Board of Directors, Gainesville State College
- Former President, North Hall Junior Trojans Football