Links to: Commercial real estate icon Diane Butler

Commercial real estate veteran Diane Butler sold her regional appraisal firm, the Butler Burgher Group, bought it back for pennies on the dollar, and then sold it again six years later for 150 percent more than the original sale price. When it comes to making deals, and when it comes to working her way around the golf course, Butler is smart.

The Old American Golf Club of the Colony Hosted Butler – Former National President of the CREW Old American Golf Club in the Colony Butler – Former National President of the Commercial Real Estate Women’s Network (CREW) – Hosted Butler and I As we maneuver the beautiful course through the ascending LPGA benefited from the experience of volunteers from America Pro-Am. For Prologue 9, the four-amateur Scramble team is paired with LPGA pro Maude-Aimee Leblanc. Butler stepped up, with the sun rising behind the tee box, and plotted her drive in the middle of the lane. My lead found the right rough but the A position was about 80 yards from the pin.

Our approach shot hit us at 6 feet and we hit our first birdie of the day to go 1-under through our approach shot hit us at six feet, and we caught our first birdie of the day to go 1-under through one hole. Walking over the bridge on our way to the second tee box, Butler and I talked about the experience of selling her company.

In 2005, we received an unsolicited offer from a fortune 500 company to buy our company, just right,” Butler recalls. But she and her team weren’t ready to sell yet. “So, we just realized we had something unique that the market wanted and we put a bunch of new processes in place.

We made another birdie pass on the par-5 which is 539 yards long. After three consecutive pars, our Scramble has holed up on the final four holes of the front nine.

Loose Butler Swing. It’s smooth. It’s short and simple. It’s everything a golfer wants in a swing – and I mean a golfer myself. I’ve tackled legends like Kathy Whitworth, who saw Butler break 80 for the first time, and Sugar Ray Leonard, in honor of The Real Estate Council’s 25th anniversary Fight Night.

A year after LandAmerica’s acquisition of the Butler Burgher Group, the financial crisis destroyed LandAmerica’s core business in the residential and commercial real estate industry, and because the Butler Burgher Group was operating as a subsidiary, Butler and her team were left to weather the turmoil. “I didn’t know what to do,” she says. “I felt a personal responsibility to take care of the people in our business and our clients.”

As a result of the financial collapse, LandAmerica went bankrupt at the beginning of 2009. In May of the same year, Butler and its partner, David Burgher, purchased the Butler Burgher Group for a fraction of what LandAmerica paid for it. “It took a while to see if I wanted to do it again,” says Butler. “But being able to buy it for pennies on the dollar was very fortunate.”

She and Borgir considered relaunching the company under a new name: Alliance Advisors. But they thought it was better than that. “We had to go back to the name that the market knew and respected,” says Butler.

The sixth hole was a par of 496 yards. A great tee putt set us up and our close got us close enough for a birdie to climb down to 3 under. On the seventh day, we went to 4 under. And in the eighth, we went up to 5-under.

By 2013, the Butler Burgher Group had quadrupled its business, increased its staff from 62 to 200 employees, had 25 offices nationwide, and became known as the nation’s fastest-growing independent commercial real estate appraisal and advisory firm.

Two years later, another buyer emerged: the private equity firm Silver Oak. The Illinois-based company, which has more than $1.1 billion in assets under management, invests in companies that generate between $15 million and $150 million in revenue. It paid 150 percent more than LandAmerica paid to acquire Butler Burgher Group.


We finished on the front nine with another birdie to score a 6-under at the turn. Our team was locked in, and I asked Butler about her most memorable ride.

“I shot 72 a few times,” she says. “I just got into this impenetrable area. My putts can catch fire, my cuts can catch on the spot, and there are days when I don’t hit any bad shots.”

For the fullback nine, we played alongside LPGA Tour winner Nanna Koerstz Madsen, who shot a 1-under in his tournament weekend, placing a T39. Our scramble started the back half with two straight drives.

Butler tries to bring the same approach she brings to leadership to golf: consistency. But in 1998, her toughest challenge tore through her work, her drive, and her entire life.

“I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer,” she says. “But I just tried to approach it like any other challenge in life, but it was definitely daunting. I’m a very competitive person and I was determined to beat it. I had to stay flexible, and even through it all, I worked every day for our people to try to make them feel comfortable and not Worrying about my situation. I had to tell them, I was going to stay around.”

On the 12th and 13th holes, we spun two straights at 394 yards the 4th and 551 yards the 5th.

These days, Butler works as a development and investment advisor. Recently, I helped Wilks Development develop the upcoming mixed-use Firefly Park in Frisco, which primarily develops projects in West Texas. Next, it’s working on a yet-to-be-announced mixed-use development at McKinney.

Butler kept busy, even while contemplating retirement. “I just love real estate so much,” she says as we stroll down the left side of the leafy fairway on the 14th. “I know I can’t play much golf until after retirement and I know I’m going to miss the people and the industry way so much.”

Views from Frisco’s new Firefly Park development.
Courtesy: Un Studio

In January 2021, BBG sold the former Baby Butler to Incline Investment Partners, a private equity firm based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that invests in companies worth up to $450 million. Butler still clapped from afar. The company’s current CEO, Chris Roach, is someone she recruited right out of college from Texas Tech University.

Butler also works with the LPGA. She helped capture the Ascendant National Title as the new co-title sponsor of the Ascendant LPGA Championship benefiting the Volunteers of America and works to reduce the gender pay gap. “I am determined to bring the LPGA up to the same standard as the PGA,” she says. “It’s ridiculous that women make 10 percent of what men make, and that’s why I’m so excited to raise the bar for the LPGA. We have to grow it to a better place. Women’s tennis has done that, women’s soccer has done that, so women’s golf has High ceiling.

From the 14th hole to the 18th, we swapped pars and birdies on a 10-under card, 61, for the day. Not too shabby, in my opinion, but Butler was definitely part of the best score.

In two years, Butler plans to spend much of her time in the Palm Springs golf district, where she is currently building a home. But, for now, she still sees a lot of opportunity in the Dallas real estate market.

“The interest rates have been holding things back, but even so, North Texas is poised to continue to grow because of all the demand generators that are here because of the corporate relocations,” says Butler. “As immigration continues, I’d say I’m very optimistic.”


I am pregnant

Ben Swanger is an assistant editor at CEO drthe job title of d magazine. Ben manages Dallas 500

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: