Agent Snapshot: Steve McKenna, Realtor, Bowes Real Estate, Arlington


Steve McKenna is a Realtor with Bowes Real Estate working in Arlington.

What was your first job in the realty industry? Interestingly enough, my first job was here with Bowes Real Estate in 1986, and I have never left. I was mentored by a terrific man that had been in the business for 20 years. Bob Bowes, president of Bowes Real Estate, has been an excellent manager and owner and has allowed me to grow my business and expand my team.

Where did you grow up? I was a city kid and grew up in Allston, Mass., which is a part of Boston.

Growing up, what did you want to be? I wanted to be in law enforcement. In the application process I found out that I was color blind and wouldn’t pass the required eye test.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I like to play golf when time is available. I work out every day and spend time with my wife at home and in our condo in Miami Beach.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? John Wayne. He was my childhood hero and an American icon.

Where is your favorite place to hang out? With my wife. Could be in our back yard or on our sofa. Doesn’t matter.

What do you love most about the industry? The challenge – or as Trump called it “The Art of the Deal.” I truly enjoy helping people buy and sell property. But it’s not just the property. It’s the fact that I help people with lifestyle changes. Most people who are not in the industry don’t realize that it’s not all happy times when people are moving. We have to balance the creativity to be a good agent, but we have to be sensitive to the reasons behind their decision to buy or sell. On a daily basis, we are dealing with families growing and looking for a new, perfect home. But we are also dealing with loss of jobs, relocation, death, divorce and financial difficulties.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I stay positive and professional. I absolutely love what I do and I think people can sense that. I want them to know that I truly care about their issues and want to help. I’ve also been blessed with an amazing real estate team. I have been able to form a team with seven amazing women that all make me look good. We’ve always heard it takes a good woman to make a successful man. Well, I have seven of them and they do an outstanding job.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? There’s a lot of stress for everyone involved with the sale or purchase of a home or property. I find it difficult when the professionals involved with the transaction are not professional or don’t truly know what they are supposed to be doing for their client. I think it’s important for everyone to stay focused and maintain a certain level of kindness and appreciation for the other side of the transaction.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I’m blessed that I work and live in a town that is reasonably small, and I get to see people all the time that want to talk about real estate. But I’ve always believed in getting involved with community organizations, and I also have the best social media manager.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? Personally; marrying my wife. She has made be a better person. Professionally; being with the same company for 29 years.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I read “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. If anyone thinks they are having a bad day at work or things aren’t going well for them at some particular time – read the book. Life throws a lot at you. But what Louis Zamperini had to deal with and yet stayed true to himself and knew what was important.

What is your favorite restaurant? Ice Box in Miami Beach. They have the best desserts!

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Boston? Wow! There’s so much great architecture in Boston and Cambridge. That’s a hard question to answer. Beacon Hill has so many interesting buildings and streets. Harvard University has some great buildings, as well. But since I was married at the The Hampshire House, I would say that. It’s actually where the original Cheers bar is located.

What kind of car do you drive? Range Rover Sport Supercharged. It’s a guy thing.

Smartphone or paper? Both. Smartphone is a necessity, yet I still place a post-it note on my computer if it’s important.

What is your favorite city after Boston? Miami Beach. My wife and I love the culture, the restaurants and the beach.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Be sincere and honest. If you’re not, you will never be successful.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Top Producer 8I. It’s the best.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I like to follow a range of people, personally and professionally. I think you can learn a lot from others – both within your industry and outside of it. A few of my favorites are: @BostonDotCom, @GlobeHomes, @BostonBizJournl, @NHLBruins, @RedSox, @ArlingtonPatch, @The_Advocate, @MedfordPatch, @HuffingtonPost, @BarbaraCorcoran, @InmanNews, @KCMCrew, @MARealtors, @WSJRealEstate.

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