Meet David Kowitz, vice president of business development at Resource Real Estate Services LLC for the Owings Mills office. He is an attorney who earned his jurist doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law. And he received his bachelor’s degree from Emory University. He is also the host of Baltimore CBS Radio’s “Dave The Real Estate Guy” (1300 AM), which airs Tuesday evenings between 5 and 6 p.m.
On that show, Kowitz answers listeners’ questions ranging from how to improve credit scores to how to get the best interest rate on a home, business or industrial loan. He’s had lively discussions with callers and with special on-air experts.
To hear this confident 37-year-old husband and father of two girls command the air on anything real estate is sometimes difficult for Kowitz to believe.
The Baltimore City resident is dyslexic, and for his entire life he has had challenges reading. He gives much credit for his success to the Jemicy School. Located in Owings Mills and founded in 1973, Jemicy educates students ages 6 to 18 with dyslexia and any other related language-based learning differences.
“I continue to struggle with reading,” said Kowitz. “It’s an ever-present challenge for me. But Jemicy gave me the tools I needed to succeed.”
All one has to do is listen to Kowitz to realize that his dyslexia is not holding him back.
His office is a place where real estate law mixes with Father’s Day artwork from his children, Ella, 7, and Lane, 4. And there’s even a Louisville Slugger baseball bat with his name inscribed on the barrel.
He’s a huge Orioles– and Ravens fan; Kowitz’s older brother, Brian, played briefly in the majors leagues for the Atlanta Braves.
His brother is one of his heroes, as are his grandparents and parents. His grandparents were Holocaust survivors, who rebuilt their lives in the grocery business here in America.
“They taught me how to focus and work with discipline,” he said. “They were always telling me ‘you can do it.’ They were the epicenter of or family. When my bubbie was cooking in the kitchen, my grandpa would say ‘David, she’s cooking with love.’”
Working and studying hard and through his dyslexia, Kowitz passed the Maryland bar exam. He started his career as a practicing litigator for the Lutherville firm of Weiner & Weltchek. He said he was litigating many medical malpractice claims. Perhaps his most important piece of litigation happened in July 2007 when he was on the attorney team successfully pressing for a settlement in favor of Joseph C. Schultz, who was mistakenly shot in the face by an FBI agent.
Kowitz decided to move into title and real estate law in August 2009. He works with clients, be they local or from any part of the nation. He said he had recently finished a high-end refinancing of a property in New York.
His outlook on life reflects the man.
“Making money is not my motivation,” he said. “Building relationships, being a good person and [being] someone who can be relied on, that’s what is important to me about law. To build a relationship, you have to be a good person. Bad people don’t make good business people.”
He started with his radio show last November. He did this without having any radio experience, and his face became momentarily intense when he talked about just how nervous he was the first time. He shows a loose-leaf binder with many pages of radio-show notes he has used over the months. Some of the shows are pre-recorded and involve many interviews with experts on real estate law. His live broadcasts are often a combination of open phones and a studio guest. Many times, it’s just Kowitz and his listeners.
Kowitz, who grew up in Owings Mills, went through several shows, when interest rates were at their lowest, almost pleading with listeners to refinance their mortgages. Some of his callers did not know if they were eligible or did not know how to do it. Kowitz would talk them through their concerns with on-air answers.
Not hard with dyslexia? Kowitz keeps two books near for inspiration and motivation. One is “Wherever You Go, There You Are,” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a work that helps readers reduce their stress through meditation and mindfulness. The other is “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, which follows the theme that if one follows what one feels in their heart, it can lead to success.
“[I just want to] provide the best possible service for a wide range of clients,” he said.
Phil Jacobs is the former executive editor of Washington Jewish Week — firstname.lastname@example.org