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Ten: Doug Bowen

Agent Insight // Apr 15, 2011

Doug Bowen

I met Doug Bowen about ten years ago, when I worked alongside him as a broker. His enthusiasm for the business is contagious. He is a deep thinker, a man with integrity and is always willing to lend a hand. I am fortunate that he joined CORE more than four years ago and is now an integral part of our company.

1. SHAUN: What did you do before going into real estate?
DOUG: I was a union set builder for 13 years where I worked on 40+ motion pictures, various TV shows and commercials, but mostly movies. I worked in ten different states and even out of the country. I was in Mexico for over a year on the Titanic set, where I was a construction foreman. For me it was like a paid Peace Corps mission; I created my own role as a kind of field general for between 30 and 70 Mexicans who came from the Sindicato (the Mexican film union) in Mexico City in groups with names like Las Estrellas (The Stars). Each group had a jefe ( chief ), a segundo(a foreman ) and the rest of the capinteros. I learned their language and, in turn, their respect. What they taught me is more than I could have ever imagined. I cried like a baby saying goodbye.
2.SHAUN: Why did you go into real estate?
DOUG: In 1999, I purchased my first brownstone in Brooklyn and then another a couple of years later. As a landlord and an investor I witnessed firsthand the potential of real estate. Back in ’99, I was general contracting a 2,500-square foot loft renovation on Great Jones Street and a lifelong friend, who knew that I had been feeling constrained by union labor, told me that he thought that I would make a great real estate broker. I found myself taking the practical steps to consider this life change and my actions tell the rest of the story.
3.SHAUN: Who is your mentor?
DOUG: I will forever be a student of life and I have had many mentors. My Mom’s recent passing created a new intimacy between my two brothers and my father and I that I consider a gift. These men have mentored me through much and I am humbled, grateful and a better person as a result.
4.SHAUN: What is your greatest daily challenge?
DOUG: Time management.
5.SHAUN: What is the one value you admire most in a person?
DOUG:Personal conduct. The way we conduct ourselves with all the people we meet in the course of our daily lives is a responsibility. And there is always room for improvement.
6.SHAUN: Name one place you find inspiration?
DOUG: The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City. This magical place has one of the oldest Japanese Gardens in New York. It is a lovingly cared for meditation on the life a great artist, landscape architect, thinker and doer.
7.SHAUN: What is your favorite book, artist or movie? Name just one.
DOUG: Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, The Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin.
8.SHAUN: What makes you choose that?
DOUG:I am reading this book for the third time. For me, this is a book about perception and being truly in the moment with your life. For many years, Irwin did not allow people to photograph his work. After much success, he rejected the studio environment and his subsequent work transforming space as his medium is a oner.
9.SHAUN: How would you like to be remembered?
DOUG: As hardworking and a decent friend.
10.SHAUN: Do you have a question for me?
DOUG: Where do you find stillness in your life?
SHAUN: I find stillness with my daughters in my arms, asleep.