There’s a Maya Angelou quote that stays on real estate broker Dexter Binder’s mind: “People don’t care what you know until they know how much you care. They don’t remember what you say or what you do, they remember how you make them feel.” That ethos has driven him through his 17-year real estate career with 21st Century Realty Services, where he arranges transactions “from contract to keys” throughout the Jacksonville, Florida, and First Coast areas. Since getting into the field in 2005, Dexter has personally handled hundreds of transactions totaling some $100 million in value for both buyers and sellers, as well as corporate and military relocations. But even with this illustrious career and natural talent for the business, Dexter shines the brightest light on the people in his life, from his 21st Century team to his family and mentors. “Without them and their support, I wouldn’t be who I am today,” he says.
Dexter’s love of people carries through to his clients and colleagues, too. “It’s all about how you make them feel on the inside. I love everyone. It’s about caring and sharing more than anything.” Back in 2005, Dexter was fortunate enough to have the real estate business shared with him. After serving in the U.S. Navy in the Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm, Dexter was a business owner, and enjoyed working for himself. His broker, Shelby Mapp, who would later become a mentor, told Dexter that he would be great in real estate thanks to his innate aptitude for working with clients. Dexter took the advice and got his license. “It was three years before I executed one deal. I was irritated about it, but I was persistent,” he remembers. And his persistence paid off. “My first deal was for about $20,000, and I never had that kind of money in my hands. I thought, ‘Maybe I can do this business.’”
After landing even more successful deals, he went back and got his broker’s license four years later. Shelby brought Dexter into 21st Century and showed him the ropes. When Shelby passed away in 2017, he left Dexter the business, and as the leader of this thriving firm, he works to uplift and celebrate his colleagues and everyone he touches, engaging in public speaking, encouraging young children to work hard and dream big. “I try to draw the best out of them,” he says.
Dexter’s drive comes from his deep appreciation and respect for those around him who have helped him become the success he is today: his parents for setting an example of hard work and dedication; his mentors Shelby Mapp, Bruce Perkins, Carol Henderson-Brooks, and Fred Walters, for introducing him to the business and helping him grow in it; and his wife, Nakiya, for always being there by his side, supporting him every step of the way. He’s also grateful for his colleagues at 21st Century and the entire Jacksonville community for their support of his business. “Anyone can boast numbers, but clients want to deal with real people with real stories. My business is great, and I love what I do, but without your people, you’re nothing in this industry,” he shares.