Austin Bergman is a leading luxury real estate within the esteemed Carroll Group, with nearly 20 years of experience and $2B in career sales, he provides an unparalleled level of commitment and expertise to the South Florida clientele he serves.
How did you get started in Real Estate?
AB: I was 19, living in Richmond, Virginia, and enrolled in culinary school when I met my ex-wife. We bought our first home that same year and I was shocked by how little effort it seemed our real estate agent put into the transaction. Although the home successfully closed, it seemed he had done the bare minimum in terms of communication and negotiation. I was both intrigued by the industry and sure I could do better than he had done. So, just 30 days after closing on our first home, I became a licensed real estate agent. Shortly after, my partner and I founded a real estate company. We worked tirelessly and it paid off. By just 23 we were doing $150M in production.
It sounds like a great success!
AB: In many ways it was, but all the while, I was harboring a secret. Although we had a successful business and a happy family, I had been hiding the fact that I was gay all my life. In 2017, after an affair, I finally came out to my family. In so many ways, life had been great, I loved my family and our business had never been better but I couldn’t live a lie forever. The next year was one of the most painful of my life, as I lost both my family and the business. By the end of 2017, I found myself completely alone and forced to start over.
What came next?
AB: Desperate for a fresh start, and some semblance of community, I moved to Fort Lauderdale. I scheduled a meeting with Chad Caroll, the founder of Carroll Group, South Florida’s #1 team, and the star of Bravo’s hit TV show, Million-Dollar Listing. I landed a position on their team and began listing luxury homes. I realized that I was finally doing what I was meant to do and living how I was meant to live.
What differentiates you from others in your industry?
AB: I have over 19 years in the industry, which is half my life! In the first 15 years of my career, I sold on average, 500 homes a year. For those reasons alone, I’ve worked with individuals from all walks of life and experienced nearly everything the industry has to offer. I’ve learned the importance of communication and expert negotiation skills, no matter the situation, I can do what it takes to produce the best possible outcome for my clients. Marketing also plays a big factor in my success, at the end of the day, a client is simply hiring a marketing company when they hire an agent. Because of my affiliation with the Carroll Group, I am able to market listings locally and globally and get a level of exposure no other agent can achieve for their clients. Finally, I am committed to living and selling authentically.
What does “Selling Authentically” mean to you?
AB: At the end of the day, when my client signs their closing papers, I am 100% confident in my work. I know that nothing was left undisclosed. I never close a deal that I can’t fully put my name behind. This is also how I strive to live my daily life. After years of pretending to be someone I was not, I am finally living into my true identity and calling.
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