Kenya Burrell Van Wormer Found Her Way in Real Estate by Taking Many Paths

Updated: Aug 22, 2019




“You earn what you give. So you have to be giving your all, all the time.”

Kenya Burrell-VanWormer is a sixth-generation Texan and native Houstonian and distinguished real estate professional with more than 18 years in the industry. Her career path took numerous turns over the years which has led to her varied experience ranging from new home construction, sales, marketing, management, and working with clients from around the world.


Her top-producing achievements have earned her numerous honors and awards and landed her in the esteemed position as president of The Houston Association of Realtors. HAR represents nearly 39,000 members and is the second-largest in the United States.


Regardless of what path you are on today, Kenya shares that if you’re honest and fair, there will always be an opportunity awaiting you.



Please share the moment you decided you wanted to step into leadership.

After a few years of gaining experience in the industry and involvement with my local association, I decided to take my career to the next level and obtain my brokers license. As my involvement in leadership increased, simultaneously, additional career opportunities became available. The decision to get involved in leadership started at the committee level with Women’s Council of Realtors, the Houston Association of Realtors and the Texas Association of Realtors. I believe in the principles of Servant Leadership and have always kept those values close to heart when serving. As Immediate Past Chair of the second largest Realtor Association in the country, it was an honor to serve our 39,000 + members and their interests.


What advice did a mentor give you?

I feel fortunate to have had a number of mentors in my life, from my amazing family to industry veterans. Narrowing down just one piece of advice just doesn’t seem right, as I credit my mentors with providing the guidance and balance to my success! So here are a few nuggets: 1. Keep learning. 2. Time is one of our most precious resources, spend it wisely 3. Follow Your Passion 4. Give back


What advice do you have for women in our community?

The sky is the limit, and knowledge IS power!

Know your market. Know your business.

Understand what the consumer wants and give it to them. Evaluate the various business models, brokerage options (Independent/Franchise/Team) and deliver exceptional service. We are empowered to decide how we choose to succeed in this industry.


Kenya Burrell Van Wormer, immediate past president, Houston Association of Realtors, sat down to chat with Debra Trappen in January 2019.


Post by Molly McKinley


Rather read it? Check out the full transcript below


Hi, I'm Kenya Burrell-VanWormer from Houston, Texas, and I'm a proud Texas realtor. I've been in the real estate industry for 18 years, and what's amazing to me about the industry that we're involved in is there are so many opportunities for women, for everyone, who's interested in being involved in this, in this industry. I started out as a licensed realtor in Texas, then decided to earn my broker's license. Once I earned my broker's license, I thought about the clientele that I was serving and decided to earn my CIPS, which is a Certified International Property Specialist designation.

I was fortunate to earn that designation in Paris, France in 2006, and it really opened a lot of door for me with the international clients that I was working with. So, from realtor to earning a broker's license, t