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Bokeelia woman opens new Century 21 Sunbelt Realty office in Cape Coral

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Oct 14, 2020

Century 21 Sunbelt Realty Realtor Stephen M. Longest, Realtor Madison Sharp; Broker Associate Kelly Perkins, Realtor Lorena Reyes, Realtor Romina Dean, Realtor Shamra Lee Hanlon and Realtor Lou Zappitelli. PHOTO PROVIDED


One Bokeelia woman found her niche three years ago when she stumbled upon the right real estate company that fit that sense of community in which she enjoys.

Kelly Perkins became the broker associate of Century 21 Sunbelt Realty in May after a new location opened at 1506 Chiquita Blvd., S. The real estate career interested Perkins due to the opportunities, freedom and flexibility.

“We have a great market and I absolutely love where we live and I love sharing that,” Perkins said.

A native of Chicago, she cut her ties for good approximately 30 years ago when she found Southwest Florida — specifically Matlacha and Bokeelia. Perkins said her son at the time was 12 years old and the island locations were a great new exciting beginning for them.

“I taught in schools and then I found real estate and a whole new community of people,” she said, adding that she was a master educator in cosmetology for many years.

The quaintness of Pine Island drew the northerner in and has kept her there since.

“Every time I ever thought about relocating, it was too heartbreaking. I can’t leave this place. Everything is so wonderful, even the horrible stuff is still wonderful,” Perkins said. “It’s a great space and the people there are so amazing. It’s a tight knit community.”

The importance of “community” stemmed from Perkins’ years in the military, as an Army medic.

“When I lived in Chicago, it was one of the only options to better myself and get a head in life,” she said, adding that she had a very turmoil childhood.

Not having any food, or options to obtain food at the age of 5, has stuck with her throughout her life. The military was a way to get out of the negative situation she was brought up in as a child.

“From being unable to capable is always the gift I want to give,” Perkins said.

She was on Reserve contract for eight years before she was honorably discharged from the Army in 2008. Again, the sense of community is what stood out about the military, the automatic “million best friends” she acquired. Perkins said that is where the initial community begins, making that intense commitment and joining the military with a bunch of strangers who become instant family. 

“Back then I didn’t know that is what I needed and the lifestyle I enjoyed. When I came home I really missed that,” Perkins said of that community. “It’s a wonderful thing in so many ways. The military doesn’t promote the camaraderie, the community. Florida is very heavily populated with veterans from all different wars. I can go anywhere and see someone with a hat on from their service.”

Now she has a strong sense of duty to continue to be of service and value to other veterans, which is done through her new career as a Realtor and broker associate.

“I try to work with all veterans and business owners. In return they support me as well,” Perkins said. “We take care of each other.”

Although the main goal is to help anyone find a home, she loves working with veterans to get them into their home. Perkins said as a veteran she understands that some things need to be said different, or approached differently.

“Sometimes uninformed people haven’t been informed about their benefits and they miss out greatly,” she said. “It can be very difficult to navigate and understand benefits. Sometimes you have to work a little harder to get it. We get information out there and put them in contact with other vendors that are veterans to help them along the way.”

Perkins said the great thing is her brokerage is behind her in working with veterans.

“To be able to take this new building and the people that come here to work with us … for them to appreciate that and accept that and be cautious is really special. It’s a great brokerage that we have,” she said.

The Chiquita Boulevard South building focuses on the care and concern about a human, rather than just the contract of helping a client find a home. In addition, Perkins said they pride themselves on how they can be of service and value to the individual.

“You need to give them what else is available,” she said in terms of what is on the market. “What lenders to be shopping.” 

Century 21 Sunbelt Realty is a global industry reaching 83 countries.

Perkins invites individuals to call the office if they would like a free evaluation.

“We would love to list and invest the home,” she said, adding that they will teach the individual about the market and home buying process. “If you are not educated, you will make a poor decision.”

For additional information about the new real estate office, call 239-540-2255.