Karen Fay Ottewell is a brilliant, charismatic and an astute Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Bay to Bay, in Tampa, Florida.
Karen is known as “The British Realtor.” She was born in Southampton, England, which is on the south coast of England, and is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire, seventy-five miles south-west of London. She says, “I came from a University town where the legendary Titanic took sail from Southampton on its maiden voyage. Our town lost hundreds of people in the tragedy.”
Karen has very fond memories of her childhood there. “I grew up in the New Forest, which includes one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in the heavily populated south of England.” She says, “Ponies ran wild and I rode them bareback as a child. Queen Victoria had a summer retreat on the Isle of White and the Queen owns the New Forest. I personally met Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, who was one of the ninety elected hereditary peers that remain in the House of Lords.”
With such an idyllic childhood, Karen wanted to indulge the people of her community, so she attained a catering degree for Hotels and Restaurants in England and Europe. She was a well-respected Commissioned Chef working at the Royal Hotel in Southampton, and went on to work for Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey. Founded by Thomas Sutton in 1611, where Hereditary Peers and Princes attended and still do to this day.
Karen met her future husband, Simon, a businessman who owned his own Company, selling appliances, and they had an instant connection. Together, they decided to get into business and opened two “Impulse Discount Stores” which retained a catalog clothing return line, which is equivalent to outlet malls in America. Karen and Simon wanted to expand their businesses, so they opened a Printing and Computer Designing Company and named it “ABD” after their son, Alexander Benjamin David. She says, “A wholesaler bought both of our businesses, which financed our move to America.”
Karen and her family moved to Brandon, Florida near Tampa, with a Business Visa in 2000. The terms were in writing. As long as they owned a business and employed a minimum of three American citizens – they were fully funded on an E-2 Visa. They employed 38 staff members and bought a house and a housecleaning business called “The Cleaning Authority.” Their company outperformed the number one house cleaning service, ‘Merry Maids’ in Florida and won many awards due to their conversion rate of 95%.
As the business ran so efficiently, Karen elected to get into Real Estate so that they wouldn’t miss any opportunities to help non-represented customers whose houses were up for sale. Karen obtained her Real Estate License immediately, joined the Re/Max company and took off from there. Unfortunately, while driving to an appointment, she got into a major automobile accident with a Direct TV vehicle, which almost ended her life.
Once she settled that lawsuit; she gifted her son Alex, $50,000.00 to do whatever he wanted to do. She says, “Alex graduated from Leonard High School as an ‘A student’ in design, technology and computers and went to Orlando Technical College. Alex was wise. He didn’t want to rack up debt with student loans, and upon his mother’s advice, he went away to become a Marine Mechanic.”
Karen was a proud mom. Not only had she raised and taught her son well, but she advised him to have a trade to fall back upon should anything happen. Alex did so, and with the money his mother gave him, he decided to invest in properties, just like his mom and dad, and has become a very successful entrepreneur in Florida.
Karen, herself, has accumulated many prestigious awards through Re/Max, which Alex proudly posts on his social media pages. In 2016, she became a 5 time Award Winner, which was a huge unexpected celebration.
Karen is very proud of her family members who served in the Military. Her youngest brother served with the British Army in the Gulf War, and her Great Uncle in the Burma War with Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma, the uncle of Prince Charles. She says, “I sincerely enjoy working with Veterans and Military families. They can be disconnected with day-to-day life when they return. You should always empathize when working with people who lead such a dangerous life and count your blessings as you thank the servicemen and women you come into contact with. They literally need to switch gears and deal with the world they left behind, fighting for the rights of their fellow citizens. People tend to forget that. They take their freedom for granted.”
Karen earned her Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification because she wanted to help evaluate every situation for her Military clients. “I fight for them,” Karen says, “I want them to have the best deal possible. They have such a burden on their shoulders – and just like the wars they fight for us – we have to fight for them. It’s our responsibility. There is nothing more satisfying than giving back to Military. I want to give a polished approach to perfecting the art of finding the ultimate house for our Veterans and Active Duty Military families. House buying should be a joyous, exciting experience. It should be thrilling and a high!”
Karen serves the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Wimauma, Riverview, Brandon, Valrico, Lithia, Seffner, Palmetto, Bradenton, Sarasota, Maderia Beach, Treasure Island, Reddington Beach, Wesley Chapel. Lutz, Dade City and Dover.
‘Sterling Service in The British Tradition’ has always held true to heart!” she says.
For more information about “Military Friendly Agent” Karen Fay Ottewell, please visit these important websites:
Karen Fay Ottewell
RE/Max Bay To Bay