Visionary Women: Karen Ryan

Positivity is contagious

When the going got tough, this Realtor got creative

Karen, real estate in the Lowcountry is big business.  You are an established Realtor, own a brokerage, a property rental company and a vacation rental company.  What or who was your inspiration to do so much more than traditional home sales? My inspiration was my mom, Kitty Egan. She was an Irish immigrant who came through Ellis Island at just 17 years old. She was a small business owner and handled her business endeavors with grace, honesty and perseverance. She was always involved in the local community and worked to help other women improve and better their lives. She inspired me to serve in the community and lead others as I grew my own businesses. 

With all of the ups and downs in the real estate industry, you must have faced many challenges over the years. Is there one time that was particularly challenging for you and how did you overcome it? Without a doubt, the biggest challenge I overcame was the 2008 recession! It was especially difficult because we had five offices and many staff, so I felt determined to stay afloat and keep as many staff as possible. We had to pivot our business model to serve foreclosures and short sales. That was the time we opened both rental companies to diversify our portfolio. We are thankful that we were able to overcome the 2008 challenges and grow through it, despite the market. We were creatively diversified. 

Do you have any good advice? My advice would be to stay true to your vision. Be positive, people want to be around positivity and it is contagious. Hard work, focus, and dedication always pay off in the end.

Three Lessons Learned 

Many young women look up to you as someone who made it. What lessons can you share with them? 

1. Always be ready to pivot in business and continuously learn. No matter what industry you’re in, it changes constantly and you must stay relevant. Surround yourself with good mentors who help you learn as well.

2. Stay true to your vision and keep good energy. Once you become successful, people think it’s easy, but they have no idea the road it took to get where you are today. Keep looking forward.

3. Surround yourself with positive people who match your energy. You will bring out the best in each other. 

Karen Ryan

CEO/owner of  Weichert Realtors – Coastal Properties, Coastal Vacation Rentals & Coastal Rentals


Call: 843-422-1101


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