Photography by Brandi Stage Portraiture
Even as a young girl, Emily McDougall found satisfaction in making others happy.
That calling to serve led the wife and mother of two from Gulfport to enter the medical field, where she worked for six years — helping patients find answers and resolve issues daily.
“I know now that I discovered my passion for going above and beyond to show compassion and put others’ needs before mine,” she says.
Today, as a broker and owner of Mississippi South Realty LLC, McDougall still improves people’s lives in a different, but still vitally important, way. The fifth-generation Coast native uses her extensive knowledge of local school districts, neighborhood trends and other factors to empower her clients in their real estate decisions.
“Helping them get to the closing table, whether buying or selling, and most importantly, conducting each transaction in a smooth process for the clients’ experience, is always first and foremost,” she says.
Photo by Brandi Stage Portraiture
STAYING THE COURSE
Growing up in a commercial fishing family, McDougall was raised with a deep appreciation for the local heritage and culture. As a young woman, she watched with pride as the Coast attracted new businesses and a wealth of economic opportunity. Then came Katrina.
“The historical homes that I grew up seeing line the beachfront were gone; the neighborhoods and homes of friends and family were torn away,” she recalls. “I felt it as a duty to my ‘home’ and my fellow coast residents to help, love and give back after seeing the impact of this natural disaster.”
McDougall and her husband, Nathan, started buying and rehabbing investment properties in 2006 – putting her on the front lines of the region’s revitalization efforts. The storm allowed her to grasp what “depressed territory” really meant, and she witnessed how the area’s residential environment had been reshaped.
In 2007, McDougall earned her real estate license, and in hindsight, she says her timing could not have been worse.
“Some of my most significant challenges were the housing market crash in 2008 through 2010, followed by the BP oil spill, and working my way through a highly aggressive housing market,” McDougall recalls. “Over the years, many of my most outstanding rewards have been the relationships I’ve made and the individuals I have been able to help throughout my real estate career.”
A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT
Over the course of 15 years, McDougall has guided several hundred clients as they began the next chapter in their lives. Through all the turbulence, she says, “My passion and love for ‘my Coast’ has brightened the horizon and allowed me to see the shore ahead.”
“I have trenched through dark waters, but have been able to sustain the winds,” McDougall adds. “I have learned that as long as I stay steady on course, I can handle the mission. My passion is helping people get to the other side.”
McDougall has come to view her career as a marathon, not a sprint, and she attributes her success to her relatability, positive outlook, putting others first and being a good communicator and problem solver. She makes integrity a priority whether she is finding a family’s dream home or negotiating a multi-million-dollar deal for the future home of Buc-ee’s in Pass Christian.
‘HARD WORK PAYS OFF’
Since establishing her own brokerage in 2018, McDougall has been on the fast track but never lost sight of her purpose. She and her team take seriously the task of helping individuals make one of their most valuable investments
“My dreams for Mississippi South Realty are to continue growing with more like-minded Realtors who put their clients first and show their passion for them through their actions and outstanding sales skills,” she says.
The seasoned broker advises those looking to pursue real estate to remember it’s a long-term investment that takes time to yield results. Nonetheless, she’s living proof that the reward can be worth the risk.
“Hard work pays off,” she says. “Never give up on something you love.”