Team Sea Star | Sea Star Realty

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Name and Title

Robert Gates

Broker-In-Charge & Owner



Charles Robert Gates, Jr., Rob, has a Civil Engineering degree from Clemson University. After graduating college, Rob started his career in the construction industry, where he successfully operated a road and underground utility business.

Rob's background also includes starting, owning and operating a residential and commercial development company, a trucking business, a commercial landscaping operation and a pine plantation farm. These businesses completed projects throughout South Carolina and included working with several nationally recognized builders and contractors, in additional to countless federal, state and local municipalities. Some of these clients included Ginn Development, Essex Homes, Honda Motor Company, Verizon, SCE&G, University of South Carolina, SCDOT, US Department of Housing & Urban Development, City of Columbia, City of Georgetown and many others.

Real estate transactions were heavily involved in Rob's construction and development businesses, which quickly lead to a real estate career also. Rob and his wife, Dawn, began investing in property in Garden City Beach and Pawleys Island in the early 2000's. Their properties in Litchfield Beach were always the first choice for rest and relaxation. Soon the love of Pawleys Island, brought Rob and his family here permanently. After serving as broker over sales for a small firm in Garden City Beach, Rob's entrepreneurial nature led him to start his own brokerage right here at home in Pawleys Island. While serving as broker, Rob has gained experience in working closely with clients and banks to solve problems with distressed properties.

Let Rob assist you in your next real estate venture, whether it be a primary residence, a second home, a rental investment, a residential or commercial development, or a recreational tract.  

Name and Title

Dawn Gates

Owner & Realtor



Dawn Bowden Gates has a Graphic Communications degree from Clemson University.  After graduation, Dawn started her career in the printing and marketing industry, where she worked in design and sales.

Her husband's strong background in engineering led them both into the construction and development business.  Dawn continued her marketing and design work for their construction, trucking, landscaping, and development businesses.  Dawn became a SC licensed contractor and served as the CEO of their construction business, where she earned certification as a Woman-Owned Business Entity.  Dawn, along with her husband, Rob, quickly and successfully built their construction business to hold an Unlimited SC Contractor's License and was honored two consecutive years with the Contractor of the Year Safety Award.  While in the construction and development business, Dawn built an impressive client list that includes many nationally recognized companies, such as Honda, DuPont, Verizon, SCE&G, US Steeplechase Association, FedEx, Walgreens, Piggly Wiggly, Arbys, Zaxbys, and many more.

Being heavily involved in numerous residential and commercial development projects, Dawn became a licensed Realtor so that she could handle the land acquisitions as well as marketing and selling of the finished product firsthand. Her property acquisitions included real estate along the coast of SC, including Garden City Beach and Litchfield Beaches.  Dawn has also served as manager for two Home Owners Associations, one of which included over 100 properties.  Owning numerous beach home rentals in the area over the past decade afforded Dawn the opportunity to learn the vacation rental business firsthand from an owners perspective.  Dawn has been a client of many Realtors in the area as well as most of the Property Managers, which made her quickly realize there was a need for something better and led to the start of Sea Star Realty.  Dawn and Rob's love for the area landed them comfortably in North Litchfield Beach where they are raising their two young children.  Dawn is proud to be a co-owner and Realtor for Sea Star Realty.

Contact Dawn today to hear how her property management approach is unique with the homeowners interest at the forefront. Dawn would also be happy to show you around the area and use her vast experience to help you market and sell your property or acquire the property that best fits your needs and desires. Dawn has been the top selling agent in Surfside Beach since 2014, which is a testament to her hard work and dedication. 

Name and Title

Taylor Pierce

Office Manager
Contact Taylor Pierce
(office) 843-235-2031



Taylor Pierce is a licensed property manager with many years experience in the vacation rental industry.  Her extensive knowledge along with the highest level of professionalism that she exudes, quickly earned her the position of Office Manager for Sea Star Realty.  Taylor is always eager and available to assist guests and property owners alike, from insuring guests have a memorable beach vacation to advising homeowners of strategies to maximize rental income.  Outside of work, Taylor enjoys shoe shopping, beach days and roller skating with her 8-year-old daughter.

Name and Title

Sarah McKenzie

Contact Sarah McKenzie
(office) 843-235-2033



Sarah McKenzie is the newest member to our Sea Star Realty team. Sarah is a South Carolina native and has been working in the vacation rental industry for over seven years. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, and watching sports.

Name and Title

Tom Sawyer

Contact Tom Sawyer
(cell) 843-833-2445



Tom, a native South Carolinian, spent his childhood years growing up in Charleston and Georgetown. After graduating from Newberry College, Tom spent 38 years selling engineered textile products to the pulp and paper industry, which required extensive travel throughout North America.

Having tired of the 'big city life', Tom settled at North Litchfield Beach in 1976 and has been there ever since. After an early retirement in 2000, Tom became active in Real Estate and has witnessed many changes along the SC coast over the years. His vast knowledge of the real estate market on the Waccamaw Neck would be an asset whether you are looking to buy or sell.

Call Tom today to learn more about real estate opportunities here at the beach.