Dwan Smith

When I was in high school, I was a part of a work study program and worked at a real estate office. The broker of that office was amazing. She ran all aspects of the business and was good at what she did.  The property manager at the time told me that if I was interested in getting my license, talk to her.  At the time, I was young and just wanted to go to college.  So I did just that, enrolled in business school.

Fast forward a few years, I moved to Nashville. When I first got here, I met through my best friend this girl named Chrissy Kirkwood. She was a little drummer that wanted to “jam” with my friend all of the time. I thought at the time that she was crazy. (and she is. :))

I told my dad one day having a chat about what direction in which I wanted my life to head that I wanted to buy houses, remodel, and sell them. (This was before the flipping craze and HGTV Flipping shows.)

10 years later, I had gone through acquiring my Bachelors of Business Administration and Masters of Middle Grades Education, and I was working as a teacher in Metro Nashville Public Schools.  That same friend was searching to purchase a home in Nashville with who…Chrissy Kirkwood. Chrissy had become an agent in Nashville and was on the hunt for the perfect property for my friend(s).  Tagging along for some of the showings, I knew that Chrissy knew her stuff.

After that, my partner and I called Chrissy to list our house.  Hanging out with Chrissy, we could both tell that she had found her niche.  Real estate was her thing and she was good at it. She sold our house in the recession and helped us purchase another. This trend continued for a while since we love to move and change locations on average every 2 years. I love houses. We moved multiple times into a home that needed a remodel, fixed it while we lived there, and sold it. 

Chrissy saw my love for houses.  One night, over dinner,  Chrissy told me, “get your license and come work with us.”  I thought she was crazy at first but we talked about it often over the next year. At the time, I was still teaching middle school in Nashville. One day, I finally called Chrissy (she was in Hawaii at the time), I told her, I just took my exam and I need to meet you to sign off on the paperwork.  Just like that, I became an agent with Kirkwood Property Group.  During my first year, I practiced real estate part time while teaching.  During my 2nd year, I resigned as a teacher to pursue real estate full time. When people ask how I got into real estate I always joke and tell them that Chrissy forced me to get my license because she was tired of us moving every year. :)

Over the last four years in the profession, I have moved from being an agent, to obtaining my broker’s license. Chrissy and I are now are co-partner’s of the brokerage that she founded and I love as if it were my own. The broker that I worked for in high school passed, and I think about her all of the time. I believe that much of my desire to be successful in this industry is because of the example that she set.

My partner and I have a weekend hobby of looking at houses. Our kids moan and groan because when we say that we are “going on a ride” that means we are touring about 3 houses. 

I feel that our paths are pre-determined but it always amazes me when something comes full circle. My real estate career (that started in high school) has definitely completed the circle.