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  • Writer's pictureKersten Bowman

Kersten Reed Bowman On Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Real Estate Industry

11 min read

Adaptability is Key. It goes without saying that the market can change at the drop of a hat. That’s why it’s critical to stay nimble and keep upraised of your local market fluctuations, and what’s projected nationally.

As a part of my series about the ‘Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Real Estate Industry’, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kersten Reed Bowman.

Meet Kersten Reed Bowman, the residential real estate maven shaping the Emerald Coast real estate market. Kersten is a third-generation real estate professional, stemming from a long line of real estate developers in the region. With nearly a decade of real estate successes in the greater Destin, Niceville, and Miramar Beach areas, Kersten is a dedicated resource with in-depth, local information and real community roots.

Real estate runs deep in my family, with two generations preceding me as developers. Being a third-generation professional in the industry is more than a career for me; it’s the continuation of my family’s legacy. When I made the move to Florida nearly a decade ago, I saw an opportunity to continue this tradition and maintain a connection with my family that kept communication open from afar. Real estate allows me to blend relationships and community involvement, making it a natural fit for me.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or takeaway you took out of that story?

I walked into a vacant townhome with a client. As normal, we were walking through and looking at the property at hand. I opened the linen closet to look at the storage available and found myself staring at a bobcat. I screamed, my client screamed, and we both realized it was a taxidermy. It was a good laugh!

Do you have a favorite “life lesson quote”? Can you share a story or example of how that was relevant to you in your life?

“As long as you are alive, you will either live to accomplish your own goals and dreams or be used as a resource to accomplish someone else’s.” I say this to myself often as an independent contractor. After all, you get what you put in! Real estate is limitless in terms of opportunities. You must choose your version of success and how you get there, every single day.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

At present, I’m excited about an exhilarating venture I’m a part of alongside my brother, a seasoned real estate agent; particularly in the land acquisition arena. Our collaborative efforts have given rise to a compelling project –The Retreat at Innerarity, Phase II. Nestled in the scenic locale of Perdido Key, Florida are 27 townhomes overlooking Perdio Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway.

The townhomes boast a warm and familiar coastal aesthetic and are meticulously designed with modern accents on the interior. Situated along the water, the townhomes offer an ideal haven for people seeking vacation homes or those with a penchant for the beautiful outdoor, Florida lifestyle. The complex features a brand-new marina, a beach area, a community pool, and is golf cart-friendly.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

For me, it’s not just about being good at closing real estate transactions; it’s about being an active and supportive part of the community. I hold dear my relationships with local business owners and maintain friendships with other industry professionals. These connections, mixed with the resources of Corcoran Reverie, make buying or selling a home feel manageable and exciting for my clients — something I really value.

In the Summer of 2023, I received a call from a condominium owner in Destin, Florida. The owner recognized the Corcoran logo on my website, and I immediately had an increased level of trust and rapport with her based on our Corcoran brand. My knowledge of current events and other items that may be of interest, specifically to a local, continues to allow my marketing to appeal to individuals who may want to become a part of our community as opposed to being a visitor. By understanding and showcasing community staples like our farmer’s market, music nights in the park, and private beach access points I was able to secure the buyer, and the property sold in record time.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am profoundly grateful to my father, a successful developer in my home state of Alabama. His advice, knowledge, work ethic, and passion for a great deal were instrumental in shaping my real estate know-how and my attitude toward entrepreneurship. Growing up surrounded by his expertise, I learned invaluable skills and insights into the intricacies of property development, negotiating, and the importance of fostering meaningful connections within your community. His guidance equipped me with the skills necessary for success and ignited a strong sense of ambition and a willingness to hustle in the real estate industry.

Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Real Estate industry? If you can please share a story or example.

  1. Crafting Personalized Experiences Everyone’s version of what a luxury home is is different. I find immense joy in tailoring the home-buying or selling process to each client’s unique needs and aspirations. Whether it’s finding the perfect waterfront estate or assisting a family in a smooth relocation by finding them a new place to call home, the ability to help them on their new adventure is a constant source of happiness for me. Being a pillar into the community and a resource after the closing is the icing on the cake!

  2. Navigating Diverse Market Trends The dynamic nature of the real estate market keeps me engaged and motivated. Staying up-to-speed on evolving trends, market fluctuations, and emerging opportunities for growth allows me to provide informed guidance to myself and my clients. I enjoy the challenge of finding off-market homes and negotiating deals that have fallen off course.

  3. Building Lasting Connections The real estate industry’s foundation is built on long lasting relationships with people and communities. Establishing rapport and understanding the ever-changing, unique needs of each client can be incredibly rewarding. Relationship building and remaining a resource for those relationships is an ongoing process. There is not a better feeling than to have a returning client and there is not a worse feeling than to see your previous client with another agent.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest? Please share stories or examples if possible.

  1. A client does not necessarily know they have had a bad real estate experience until they have had a good one. This could mean they have gone through multiple transactions with the bar set too low. Real estate is a service industry, but there is no set standard for that service. For example, one real estate agent can market a listing without photos or with poor-quality photos while another showcases professional photography for all properties. Both agents may sell their properties, however, does one process over another achieve top dollar for the client? That’s the real differentiator.

  2. As with any commission-based business, you are relying on third parties (clients, lenders, insurance agents, etc.) to make choices that will either benefit or hurt the transaction at hand. Regardless of the amount of time and work you put into some projects and clients, or how badly the client does or does not want the transaction to close…the end result may inevitably be a no. And that no, more times than not, comes without a commission payment.

  3. Real estate agents are not lenders, lawyers, title companies, insurance agents, or anything else other than real estate agents. Professionals who wear more than one hat and misinform clients do not benefit from any one party. Understanding what a real estate agent has to offer and the expectations thereof needs to be communicated regularly in exchanges between agents and clients.

What advice would you give to other real estate leaders to help their teams to thrive and to create a really fantastic work culture?

Allow your team to develop their own brand by complimenting the team or brokerage’s brand as a whole. Many agents and brokerages get caught up in a seamless look or vibe, which may eliminate a portion of the market. Having agents who can develop a personal touch that highlights your features will speak volumes for your company! It will also instill a sense of pride and ownership for your agents, increasing your retention.

Ok, here is the main question of our interview. You are a “Real Estate Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non-intuitive things one should know to succeed in the Real Estate industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?

As a passionate and seasoned real estate professional, with nearly a decade of experience under my belt, I’ve navigated the intricate landscape of the industry. Here are my five things to know in order to succeed in real estate.

  1. Learn & Embrace Local Dynamics. When I first started in real estate after moving to Florida’s Emerald Coast, I quickly learned the importance of understanding the nuances of each local community. Hard-earned marketing dollars are key if you use them wisely. For instance, one neighborhood may be filled with young families so the magazine advertisement may feature kids doing their homework while showcasing a gorgeous kitchen. Another neighborhood may be for short term rentals and the feature may highlight a wine night or upcoming event. The right clientele from one community to another differs and understanding those nuances is key.

  2. Prioritize Relationships Over Transactions. A pivotal moment came early on in my career when a client I had assisted in finding their dream home referred me to several friends. That gave me the momentum to catapult my career, step into the luxury market, and put my expertise to use at an even higher level. The trust and rapport developed during our time working together was of immense value. Fostering genuine connections has become a cornerstone of my success. Becoming actively involved in local events and engaging with residents on a personal level has proven more fruitful than words can express, or any paid lead can buy!

  3. Leverage Technology Wisely. We all know that we’re in an era entirely dominated by technology. Because of that it’s easy to assume that the latest tools guarantee success. However, indiscriminate reliance on technology can lead to a lack of personal touch and that personal connection is crucial. Incorporating technology strategically, such as using virtual tours to enhance property showcases, allows you to maintain a balance between efficiency and the personalized service that all clients appreciate.

  4. Invest in High-Quality Marketing. With each of us on our smartphones constantly nowadays, scrolling social media, the importance of digital marketing cannot be understated. I’ve made it a point since my career began to invest in high quality video content and inviting B-roll that I can share across social media and my blog. Don’t forget to explore unconventional avenues as well. Host a local art exhibition in your client’s property for sale, bring in live entertainment that will reach a new group of people — think outside the box and collaborate with other local businesses to boost your personal relationships and to advertise to different audiences.

  5. Adaptability is Key. It goes without saying that the market can change at the drop of a hat. That’s why it’s critical to stay nimble and keep upraised of your local market fluctuations, and what’s projected nationally.

Success in real estate goes beyond transactional expertise. It involves understanding the community, valuing relationships, embracing technology judiciously, exploring marketing avenues, and, ultimately, remaining adaptable to the ever-evolving industry landscape. Flexibility enables us as realtors to seize opportunities, adjust strategies swiftly, and provide tailored solutions for our clients so that they continue to choose to do business with us.

Because of your position, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 😊

I would put forth my best efforts to further the old adage to be kind to your neighbor. It goes without saying that as a real estate agent that’s critical. And in any community having a good rapport with your neighbors is key for everyone’s happiness. We really are all in this together.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Follow me on social media! I’m always interested in connecting with new people.

Instagram: @homesbykersten_emeraldcoast

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

About The Interviewer: Jason Hartman is the Founder and CEO of Empowered Investor. Jason has been involved in several thousand real estate transactions and has owned income properties in 11 states and 17 cities. Empowered Investor helps people achieve The American Dream of financial freedom by purchasing income property in prudent markets nationwide. Jason’s Complete Solution for Real Estate Investors™ is a comprehensive system providing real estate investors with education, research, resources and technology to deal with all areas of their income property investment needs. Through Jason’s podcasts, educational events, referrals, mentoring and software to track your investments, investors can easily locate, finance and purchase properties in these exceptional markets with confidence and peace of mind.

Starting with very little, Jason, while still in college at the age of 19, embarked on a career in real estate. While brokering properties for clients, he was investing in his own portfolio along the way. Through creativity, persistence and hard work, he earned a number of prestigious industry awards and became a young multi-millionaire. Jason purchased a California real estate brokerage firm that was later acquired by Coldwell Banker. He combined his dedication and business talents to become a successful entrepreneur, public speaker, author, and media personality. Over the years he developed his Complete Solution for Real Estate Investors™ where his innovative firm educates and assists investors in acquiring prudent investments nationwide for their portfolio. Jason’s sought after educational events, speaking engagements, and his popular “Creating Wealth Podcast” inspire and empower hundreds of thousands of people in 189 countries worldwide.

While running his successful real estate and media businesses, Jason also believes that giving back to the community plays an important role in building strong personal relationships. He established The Jason Hartman Foundation in 2005 to provide financial literacy education to young adults providing the all-important real world skills not taught in school which are the key to the financial stability and success of future generations. We’re in a global monetary crisis caused by decades of misguided policies and the cycle of financial dependence has to be broken, literacy and self-reliance are a good start. Visit for free materials and resources.


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