Success is finding your passion and creating a life from that
Katie Harrison of Nestlewood Realty
Written by Heather Pluard
Photos by Kelly Klemmensen Photography
As the Roman philosopher Seneca said, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. So, with hard work, thoughtful planning and the ability to seize the day, Katie Harrison is the prime example of a lucky REALTOR®! At 38 years old, she’s already sold over $150 million in real estate and is a partner in one of Charlotte’s coolest boutique brokerages, Nestlewood Realty.
“I truly appreciate everything I have earned,” Katie says. “Including the trust of my clients, the growth of my business and making partner at Nestlewood Realty. We have such a cool and refreshing vibe here. It’s a positive environment to work in, especially in a chaotic real estate world like it’s been lately.”
A Minnesota native, Katie graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, IL, with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing. That summer, she moved to Charlotte to be closer to her older sister, who is also her best friend. Then, she connected with an agent in Lake Norman and decided real estate was the perfect fit for her. Katie obtained her license in 2006 and launched her career at Allen Tate as a buyer’s agent on a top-producing team.
“After my first year in business as a REALTOR®, the housing market crashed, and it was one of the toughest times in my life,” Katie says. “But it was also the best thing to happen to my career. I was just 22 years old and only knew a couple of people in Charlotte at that time. I was trying to grow a business while fighting an uphill battle as a new agent in a housing crisis. I lived poor and barely could afford any means, but I got through it and came out ahead in the end. Because of those early experiences, I have always operated a lean business model and have a conservative approach to life.”
Which isn’t to say Katie doesn’t take risks. In 2010, she joined Nestlewood Realty when just three others were there. The move was a huge success. “It’s been an incredible journey with amazing colleagues,” she says. “We now have 40 licensed agents/builders. I am passionate about our brand, integrity and helping our agents succeed. I love being a mentor to them! Success is finding your passion and creating a life from that.”
With $25 million in sales last year, Katie has excellent advice. “Create a vision board,” she says. “As soon as I started writing down my goals and visualizing them, it changed my business. Also, have a morning routine. My days significantly improved once I established a better structure. Finally, don’t be afraid to ‘fake it ’til you make it.’ We all have to start somewhere in this business.”
Katie worked nonstop for years and made a lot of personal sacrifices in the name of real estate, but it’s also how she found love. “My husband, Brian, was a former client,” she smiles. “We started dating in 2016, were engaged in 2017, married in 2018 and had our first child, Millie, in 2019. My life changed quickly, bringing a new invigoration to my business as I now have something to work for besides myself. My family is everything. They are my biggest supporters and fans! You can usually find us at a brewery or a community park on any given weekend. We also love to frequent our beach home in Hilton Head, SC, and travel, especially to Europe.”
Overbrimming with positive energy, Katie recently created a brand, Queen City Real Estate Pro. “I’ve created a website and online presence for things outside of property searches, like travel, local events in Charlotte, seasonal products to shop for, etc.,” she says. “Eventually, I would love to write a book and create a podcast. I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and love for all things real estate. In addition, I love everything health, fitness and wellness. I have competed in half marathons and marathons representing a Charlotte race team through Charlotte Running Company, and I ran the Boston Marathon for four consecutive years, 2014 through 2017. My record marathon time is 3:04. Brian is training for the 2022 Chicago Marathon, and I’m super proud of him. We are fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Hospital for his entry.”
Today, Katie is leveraging her years of experience to find more work/life balance. “Real estate fits perfectly into this season of my life, as I have the flexibility and the freedom to do things with my family. Of course, I still grind, but being a wife and a mom comes first. The creative piece to my brand and business is still to be told, which is exciting, and I feel lucky to have a career that evolves with me.”