Dawn P. Warren makes history with real estate business

Published 1:47 am Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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LUTCHER — With the grand opening of her new building at office at 1356 Lutcher Avenue scheduled for this month, Dawn P. Warren is making history as the first African American woman to open a brick and mortar real estate office in St. James Parish.

Warren is the owner of Premiere Choice Realty LLC as well as the property that houses it. She’s a River Parishes native who grew up on the West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish in Edgard before moving across the river to LaPlace at 10 years old.

Warren said the historical significance of her new office hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

“It’s hard to believe that we are in 2022 and I’m the first. I’m still trying to take it all in, but it’s a good feeling. It’s inspired me, and I hope it inspires other people to keep on pushing to do more,” Warren said.

Besides holding a real estate broker’s license, Warren has also earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing/management from Southeastern Louisiana University and a master’s degree in leadership and homeland security from Grand Canyon University.

Eula Johnson, Warren’s grandmother who passed away this past summer, encouraged her to dive into the real estate business 22 years ago. Warren had a knack for working in commission-based sales, and Johnson knew she could find the same success while building a business of her own. Warren was also inspired by her grandfather, Frank “Diggin” Perrilloux Sr., who ran his own business for many years.

Four years after starting in real estate, Warren went through additional training to obtain her broker’s license in 2004. In 2011, she started her own company in St. John Parish. It wasn’t long before locals were familiar with Premiere Choice Realty’s sunny tagline — “Has it Dawned on you to buy or sell?”

Warren has enjoyed every minute of serving homebuyers on the East and West Banks of St. John, St. James and St. Charles parishes, in addition to Tangipahoa, Ascension and parts of Jefferson Parish.

“What makes me most passionate is seeing people who have been renting their whole life decide to become the first person in their family to purchase a home,” Warren said. “When the first person purchases a home, the other family members start to see it is possible for them.”

One of Warren’s former clients, Ana Frank, has been happily living in her home since August 2019. Frank was still a child when she met Warren through Milesville Memorial Church in St. John Parish.

“She watched me grow up into the woman that I am today, and when it was time to buy a house, I realized she’s a darn good advocate for her business. When it dawned on me to buy or sell, she was my go-to girl,” Frank said.

The first steps in the process were rocky as Frank worked to obtain job stability and improve her credit score. When she obtained a job that would allow her homebuying dreams to become a reality, both she and Warren agreed it was time to get rolling and proceed with paperwork.

“All around, it was a hell of a learning experience, but I wouldn’t go through it with anyone else,” Frank said. “When it was time to go through insurance, she taught me things to look for, what’s good and what’s bad. She has all of her go-to-people, and they are just as sweet as her. I recommend her to everybody who is talking about purchasing a home, building a home, selling a home.”

Despite the challenges of a fluctuating market, Warren said it is always a good time to buy rather than rent because it’s a step toward creating generational wealth that will appreciate in value over time.

“Right now, specifically in the River Parish area, the challenges we are having right now are the high cost of flood insurance, interest rates, and at one point we had a housing shortage just a few months ago. That has flipped, and now we have an abundance of houses,” Warren said. “It’s still a good time to buy. With the interest rates, we’ve had to get creative with how we offer financing.”

Another trend Warren foresees is a new focus on multi-family housing as more homeowners look to rent to tenants to create additional income.

To reach Warren, call 504-975-8077 or 985-210-4745, or follow Premiere Choice Realty LLC on social media @DawnSellHomes.

The community is invited to join the River Region Chamber of Commerce for a grand opening and ribbon cutting at the new office, 1356 Lutcher Avenue, at noon on Monday, November 21.