The Willis-Cunningham Team are four family members who bring their unique set of skills to the bigger picture of real estate.
It makes a winning formula for a successful real estate experience, according to Steve Cunningham.
“The team concept (has) really allowed us to focus on our own individual strengths and personalities and deliver the resources needed by our clients for a successful real estate experience,” he said.
The Willis-Cunningham team began in the early 1970s when Betty Willis started her real estate career. And what a career it was, as she led the sales force of Waco’s largest real estate company for many years.
Betty earned ABR, CRS, GRI and the Certified Home Marketing specialist designations through the National Association of Realtors. Over the years she has also served on the board of directors of the Baylor Waco Foundation and because of her active involvement she received the Alumna by Choice degree from Baylor.
Her husband, Jack, joined the company to help his wife with the day-to-day demands of the business. These days Jack meets with appraisers and inspectors and takes photos for promotional materials and internet postings.
But while it started with Betty and Jack, it expanded to become the Willis-Cunningham Team when Steve Cunningham joined the company after 17 years in the computer industry. He sold his company and earned his real estate license in 1999.
A graduate of Midway High School and Baylor University with a degree in marketing and real estate, he said his first love is real estate.
Steve was followed shortly by his wife, Jeanette, in 2000 and the Willis-Cunningham Team was complete.
Jeanette had grown up in the real estate business thanks to her mom, Betty. She attended Baylor University and served as the executive secretary to Baylor President Dr. Herb Reynolds. She has had her real estate license for 10 years now.
Betty and Steve are the natural “out-front” personalities, while Jeanette and Jack provide organizational and support activities.
“We all pitch in where needed though, and in this business that changes with a phone call,” Steve said. “Buying or selling property involves many resources, such as knowing current market data and trends, negotiating, contractual issues, inspections, surveys, title issues and the mortgage process, all of which our experienced team of Realtors is here to provide for our clients. It really is a team effort.”
Today the Willis-Cunningham Team specializes in acreage, executive homes, land, new construction and new homes in Waco and throughout McLennan County as part of Coldwell Banker Apex, Realtors.
“It is very gratifying to help people find a place to call home for their family” Betty said.
The Willis-Cunningham brokerage, Coldwell Banker, Jim Stewart Realtors began in 1970 and was No. 1 in the Waco market for 48 years.
As top producers they joined Coldwell Banker Apex in 2017 and are still No. 1 in Waco, but are now part of a $2 billion brokerage with 18 offices across the state.
Steve said the real estate market in Waco is not without its own set of challenges.
“It has really challenged us to keep up with technology and dealing with clients all across the country,” he said.
Coldwell Banker Apex is known for providing cutting-edge technology, something that has truly helped the Willis-Cunningham Team in implementing tools and services to keep up with the new era of sophisticated clients, he added.
“Being a Realtor is very challenging and rewarding,” Steve said. “It is a constantly changing environment and each client has unique needs that we have to adapt to, and at the end of the process have a client that feels good about the decision they made to buy or sell a home.”
All four said they believe it is the team spirit that sets the group apart.
Steve said he believes working together as a family has been a blessing — perhaps another part of their recipe for success.
“We all have strengths and weaknesses, and working together we get to support each other and enjoy helping each other succeed,” Steve said. “Most importantly, together we can provide the very best service for our clients.”
Coldwell Banker Apex Realtors
500 N. Valley Mills Drive
Steve Cunningham: 254-744-4325
Betty Willis: 254-744-3679