Agent And Advocate

Maria Mason guides area homebuyers, focusing on clients who are Spanish speakers and TCU alumni.

A seated woman, drink in hand, speaks enthusiastically with a homebuyer.

Maria Mason, right, CEO of Camino Real Estate, helped Melondy Doddy-Munoz find the perfect home. Photo by Jill Johnson

Agent And Advocate

Maria Mason guides area homebuyers, focusing on clients who are Spanish speakers and TCU alumni.


As a licensed real estate agent in Fort Worth, Maria Mason ’02 often finds herself working with Horned Frog clients to navigate the overheated Dallas-Fort Worth market. Since 2017, Mason has worked with hundreds of homebuyers, most of whom grew up speaking Spanish.

Melondy Doddy-Muñoz ’22 EdD sought Mason’s help in finding her family’s dream home. They decided to build a house in Fort Worth that ticked nearly all their collective boxes.

That’s when things got interesting.

While their home was under construction, Mason reached out to say she’d found the perfect property for them. Mason then guided the Muñoz family through the process of untethering themselves from the new build and buying the house she’d scouted for them.

“I was blown away by the fact that Maria never stopped thinking about us,” said Doddy-Muñoz, executive director of The Ladder Alliance, a Fort Worth nonprofit. She noted that Mason would have made a larger commission with the new build.

“I didn’t want a Realtor; I wanted someone who cared about me,” Doddy-Muñoz said. “Maria is an incredible human being who is dedicated to strengthening communities. She also gives back to TCU by putting her time and money where her mouth is. She’s the real deal.”

A portrait of a sand-colored, two story suburban home.

Mason’s journey to Fort Worth began when she was 9 months old. Her parents decided to bring her and her older brother to the United States from Zacatecas. Now she is a leading Fort Worth Realtor. Photo by Jill Johnson

Mason, who studied marketing at the Neeley School of Business, considers herself the personification of the American dream. She said that plus her Christian faith propel her to give back. She serves as an ambassador for the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and on the board of TeenLife, which supports students on public school campuses.

Mason’s journey to Fort Worth began when she was 9 months old. Her parents decided to bring her and her older brother to the United States from Zacatecas, a state in central Mexico. The family of four (which would grow to six with the addition of another sister and brother) settled in the Texas Panhandle where her parents found agricultural work.

Once she learned English as a kindergartner, Mason became the family translator.

“I would miss school to help my family,” she said. “There would be a pickup truck of people and I would go and knock on the farmer’s door and ask if they had any work.”

A few years later, Mason’s father took a job in road construction while her mother began cleaning hotel rooms, both of which helped elevate the family’s standard of living. Opportunities in construction brought the family to Fort Worth, where Mason learned of TCU.

Mason toured the university as a seventh grader at Leonard Middle School. At the time, she and her family were living just off Las Vegas Trail, which she said is “one of the worst areas in Fort Worth to this day with poverty and drugs.” Though stepping on campus was a revelation, she also described TCU as “a distant dream.”

“Maria’s energy has always been infectious.”
Susie Olmos-Soto

Upon graduating from Western Hills High School, Mason enrolled at Tarrant County College (then known as Tarrant County Junior College), where she thrived. As her academic adviser at TCC, Susie Olmos-Soto’01 MEd, now a senior learning and development consultant at TCU, supported Mason on everything from admissions to financial aid. Olmos-Soto, who recommended that Mason continue her education at TCU, had been a first-generation college student, which Mason said inspired her.

“Maria’s energy has always been infectious,” Olmos-Soto said. “And here 25 years later, she and I sit on the TCU National Alumni Board, and we are friends. It’s a beautiful story of a relationship coming full circle.”

The academic scholarship Mason earned by becoming a transfer scholar made TCU possible. She also received assistance from Student Support Services, which provides academic help as well as some funding. Still, tight finances meant she had to commute to campus from her family’s home. She also worked, usually juggling more than one job at a time.

Mason started as a communications major but switched to marketing and marketing management. What resonated with her most was the idea of harnessing success in business as a way of helping people and enhancing communities. In 2002, she became the first person in her family to graduate from college.

Armed with her degree, Mason traveled the country as a multicultural marketing specialist for the Memphis, Tennessee-based St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She also worked as associate director of corporate development for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, headquartered in Irving, Texas.

“She has a 10-year vision for the business, but also for our communities.”
Sam Mason

Her husband, Sam, is the son of a real estate agent and a broker himself. In August 2017, Maria joined his family firm, Mason Real Estate. She knew from the outset that matching clients to homes was a perfect marriage of her talents and interests.

The couple had an ongoing conversation about the barriers to homebuying that Spanish speakers face. She often encounters men and women who think they will never own their own property. To dispel myths and educate residents, the Masons began hosting free homebuying seminars. In partnering with the TCU Alumni Association, they have presented their Homebuying 101 workshop to various groups on campus and in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In October 2020, the Masons launched Camino Real Estate, a full-service agency. “It’s a very Latino name,” Maria said, noting that camino means the way. They say they were motivated to help a Spanish-speaking clientele buy and sell homes in Tarrant County.

“When I have a passion for something, I run with it,” Maria said, flashing her megawatt smile. “The timing might have surprised some people, but we knew we could make Camino a success.”

“She has a 10-year vision for the business, but also for our communities,” said Sam, who calls Maria “the face of our agency.” Since most of Camino’s clients speak Spanish, so do their real estate agents.

The plan includes opening additional Camino offices, with the goal of one day serving all the major Latino markets in Texas.

Mason manages to balance a high-octane professional life with motherhood. The couple has two sons, Samuel, 8, and Joshua, 5.

She shared some advice from lessons learned along the way:

Get involved —in school and in life.

I gravitated to the Hispanic sorority on campus, which was Sigma Lambda Alpha. It was a place where I went and felt accepted. I’ve also always been involved in my church. Building a community is so important.

Move through your days with an entrepreneurial mindset.

Growing up, I was always trying to think of ways to get my family out of poverty. I learned at a very young age to work really hard.

Learn all you can about the homebuying process. I wish they taught courses in high school or college on how to buy a home. One of our goals as a company is to educate everyone on the process.

Harness the power of social media.

I found a home for a TCU alum close to campus but still within his budget because I saw the home pop up on Facebook from one of my Realtor friends. The buyer had already given up on us finding the right home because of how crazy the market has been.

The key to success?

It’s never about the money—it’s about relationships. We love people really hard.


Melondy Doddy-Muñoz, left, is executive director of The Ladder Alliance. Maria Mason helped her family find its dream home. Photo by Jill Johnson

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