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So, what do you suppose a fourth generation Texan kid wants to be when he grows up? If you said oil man, president of the United States or the owner of the Rangers, you’re way off: At least for this Texan. Justin Bowman wanted to be a whale trainer at Sea World. “I’m not the best swimmer in the world, so it didn’t really work out,” he said, laughing. Sea World’s loss, however, is Austin’s gain, especially for folks looking for a home to purchase.
Bowman was born in Hearne, Texas, which is about an hour and a half away — a bit north and east of Austin — depending on traffic (there’s always that caveat, right?). “When I was in the eighth grade my folks moved us up to Marble Falls where they ran a camp for inner city kids called Camp of the Hills,” he recalls. Dad is still executive director of the camp, a position he took on in 1995.
Right out of high school Bowman went to work for MCI. He started as a telemarketer but also worked in sales and customer service during his tenure. Next stop: Conn’s, where he used his customer service and sales skills in the electronics and appliance arena. Bowman then ended up in Minnesota where he and his cousin decided to pursue remodeling and flipping homes.
As you can imagine, a lifelong Texan living in the deep winters of Minnesota is a bit like a gecko in Siberia – more than a little uncomfortable. It didn’t help that the market tanked, either. “Unfortunately, 2005 is when everything pretty much crashed in Minnesota so we didn’t make out too well on the flipping business,” Bowman recalls. So, he took his amazing ability to work with the public to Sprint where they eagerly hired him to work in customer relations – a position he excelled in for seven years.
Although Bowman was happy, something was missing. He decided he wanted to work for himself. In late 2011, he found himself back home in Texas where everything fell into place. One of Bowman’s close friends recommended him to Kasey Jorgenson. The two had a couple of meetings where “He told me he was looking for a buyer’s agent to help him out in the business,” Bowman recalls. That’s not quite how Jorgenson recalls it, however. “My first impression of Justin was that he had a great attitude, was hilarious, and I felt like I could trust him whole-heartedly.” Jorgenson’s first impressions were on the money. After working with Bowman, he says he admires “his good heart, and his ambition. He also treats our clients like they are his best friends.”
It’s a pity not all real estate agents are created equal. It’s a shame so few have the integrity, empathy and passion of Justin Bowman. Many of his buyers come to him after dealing with other agents and the first thing they comment on is his down-to-earth way of selling homes. He offers an explanation of every step in the process – a true believer that an informed buyer is a comfortable buyer and a happy one.
When he’s not working, you’ll most likely find Bowman hanging out with his wife. “I’m a newlywed,” he says. “We’ve only been married for a little over a year now.” In fact, he let us in on a little secret: “We’re about to start a family and we’re pretty excited about that,” he says. Mainly, the couple just takes advantage of all that Austin has to offer, reveling in this amazing place they call home. But, every year Bowman makes a pilgrimage back to his roots. “I volunteer at Camp of the Hills every summer. I usually run the boat and fishing events for the kids – basically untangling lines and baiting hooks,” he laughs. “I also help out in the kitchen. We usually cook for 150 to 200 people – breakfast, lunch and dinner,” he says with pride. Working with inner city kids as young as 8-years old is “a lot of fun,” he says. “It’s fulfilling to see the changes the kids go through. A lot of them are from the inner city – some of them haven’t ever seen dirt, they’ve just lived on concrete for most of their lives, so it’s pretty rewarding to go through the discovery process with them,” Bowman says.
Rule number one in the Bowman book of real estate is: Communication. “Talking with people, seeing what their actual needs are is of the utmost importance and always top-of-mind with me,” he says. “An agent that doesn’t listen to his clients doesn’t know what they want,” he adds. “I work hard for my clients and I want them to be happy. I don’t want them to choose any particular house just because it’s available,” he continues. “Finding that one home where my clients can walk in the front door and give a sigh of relief; a place they see themselves surrounded with things they love, and things that hold meaning for them; where they absolutely know it is THE place they want to build memories. That’s my goal,” he concludes. “And if it takes a little extra time to actually find the house that’s right for them, I’m willing to work the overtime.”