MULLINS, S.C. – Mullins native Cody Pressley is showing signs of promise as a budding real estate agent turned businessman. He returned home last week to talk business with a group of 40 Palmetto Middle School students participating in their first Distinguished Gentlemen Initiative meeting of the year.

Lead advisor Eric Troy describes Distinguished Gentlemen as a middle-school aged brotherhood designed to increase academic, behavioral, and social capacities through exposure to new experiences, mentoring, community service, and scholarship.

The program meets every week and often invites special guest speakers to help provide encouraging messages. Pressley and business partner Damian Burris launched Burris & Pressley Realty on February 28. Base in Columbia, Pressley has been in the real estate industry for the past five years, selling up to 100 homes a year.

Pressley’s message to students was learning what’s important. He gave one student $50 for being the only one to know who was on the bill and another for naming all seven continents.

“You have to make sure you’re priorities are right,” he said to the group.

Pressley said it felt good to give back.

“It’s definitely a blessing, a pleasure and an honor to be able to come back to our community and give back to the youth,” he said. “We want to be more involved and show people that we’re examples and they can do what we’re doing and even more. It’s very key to our success and very crucial that we do things like this.”

Burris, a Marlboro County native said Pressley motivated him to get into the industry. The duo’s work ethic resulted in growing to more than 70 agents throughout the state and an office opening in Florence in November. Burris & Pressley Realty projects to sell more than 400 homes this year.

“We’re blessed,” Burris said. “Just looking back at what God has done it’s been astronomical.”

Burris said he wanted the students to get the message that no matter where you come from, there is potential in everyone. “We just have to unlock that and do what God has place in us to do as instinct and it will all work-out.”

Pressley said exposure got him into real estate and wanting avoid the pitfalls of the streets.

“Getting the license is easy but actually getting into business and being productive making money is the hard part,” he said. “Only 10 percent of agents in each office produce.”

Pressley said it took eight months to sell his first home. “It was a good feeling but I wanted that feeling over and over again,” he said.

Pressley is currently utilizing social media to grow his business and has a youtube channel with his wife Avarie flipping homes. The family of four develops their own show All Flip, No Flop.

Burris operates Money Smart University to teach financial literacy and budgeting.

“No matter what industry you’re in you have to certain level of commitment,” Pressley said. “We’re entering into other markets. I brought an apartment building in Chicago and we both travel nationally trying to help as many people as possible.”

Pressely also conducts a monthly real estate seminar, visiting cities such as Charlotte, Houston and Atlanta.

Troy said he wanted Pressley to visit because he is a self-made businessman and wanted the students to learn of entrepreneurship.

“Today we brought them in to give an example,” he said. “I think that examples are some of the best things you can do for a kid. We like to provide examples of people that come from here that are doing things beyond most people’s expectations.”

Troy said the students participate in several activities, including field trips to gain exposure to opportunities.

Students are chosen based on their grades, behavior, weekly meeting attendance, community service participation, and weekly dress-ups.

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Born in Atlantic City; raised in Mullins. Graduated from SC State University, home of the mighty Bulldogs. Editor of the Marion Star & Mullins Enterprise. Loves spending free time with his daughter. Huge sports fan.

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