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Photo by Rob Harris

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The 'Underwater' Realtor

Dawn Harris’ Passion For Scuba Diving Has Led To Adventures Around The World

As a Realtor, Dawne Harris would never lead anyone into a transaction that could leave them underwater. But when she’s not helping clients buy and sell their homes, underwater is exactly where she wants to be.

“I’ve been a certified scuba diver since 1992 and was an instructor for a time,” she says. “It’s a passion for me. I still dive and do exotic travel four to six times per year.”

Harris takes several diving trips annually along with her husband, Rob. As the owner of Island Hoppers Scuba in Berry Hill, he sells gear, teaches certification, and leads dive trips to locations around the world. While Indonesia is perhaps her favorite spot, so far this year she has visited Turks and Caicos and made a pair of trips to Bonaire off the coast of Venezuela. Upcoming adventures include a trip to the Red Sea in October followed by the British Virgin Islands in November. “When I’m diving, I really like to look for small, interesting creatures and bright, colorful nudibranchs which can be found at depths of 20 to 50 feet,” she says. Her deepest dive has been 120 feet. 

Harris got into diving to fulfill her sense of adventure. “I always wanted to scuba dive or snow ski,” she says. “No one would go diving with me, so I just did it and became so enamored that I never hit the slopes. Besides, I enjoy being underwater and I don’t like the cold.”

Harris says that the dynamics in scuba and real estate are actually very similar. “You have to be relaxed and in-the-moment,” she says. “You can’t let yourself become stressed. I carry that over into my business because you have to be focused and not let small things that don’t go as planned stress you out. It’s about keeping that even keel throughout a transaction, no matter what else is

Harris attended O’More College of Design for a year in the 1980s before transferring to MTSU where she earned a degree in history. From there she went to work in the family business, installing wallpaper, mostly in residential properties in Brentwood, Green Hills and Belle Meade. Eventually, she made the transition to real estate and has been a Realtor with Berkshire for 10 years.

“I thought real estate would dovetail nicely with my prior experience,” she says. “The 9-to-5 routine is not for me. I like being in different spots every day and being on the road, seeing different properties.” She says that the market is stabilizing which is good for everyone. “Homes aren’t sitting for months but they’re not getting 20-30 offers as soon as they’re listed either. Competition is a little stiffer for homes in the $400,000 range.”

Which makes it easier for everyone to stay above water. Unless they have other ideas.

“I always wanted to scuba dive or snow ski. No one would go diving with me, so I just did it and became so enamored that I never hit the slopes."

  • Dawne Harris
  • Photo by Rob Harris
  • Photo by Rob Harris
  • Photo by Rob Harris

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