Making Their Own Way: Chrissy Kirkwood
Tell me about your business.
Chrissy Kirkwood: I am a real estate broker and owner at Kirkwood Property Group. We are LGBTQ+ led and managed. We help clients through the process of home buying and selling. We enjoy representing good people doing good things and enjoy helping people find more freedom and flexibility through their real estate ventures. I also have another business—a house venue called Urban Ecovillage East Nashville, and Rhythm Bird, a drum circle collective.
How did you get into this field, and why do you love it?
Chrissy Kirkwood: I got into real estate after purchasing my first house at the age of 20. I was working at an entertainment law firm on Music Row during the day, and I noticed I was spending all my free time looking at neighborhoods and learning about real estate investing. I decided that buying a house was the smartest thing I could do for my future.
After going through the process and learning about first time home buyer options, I decided I wanted to help others do the same. When people decide to buy or sell real estate, it usually signifies a transition in their life. It’s an honor to guide people through the process of home buying and selling. We aren’t therapists, but we listen very well!
As a Gemini, I love how real estate is always fresh. Each client is a new puzzle with different variables. Same overall process, but different every single time! I also love meeting people from all walks of life, hearing their stories and finding the connections and common ground.
What difficulties related to gender or sexuality have you had to overcome to be successful?
Chrissy Kirkwood: In the beginning, I had to overcome my look. I was a 21-year-old Asian (so I looked 12) who dressed like a tom boy. I had to really embrace my serious side and professional side. I remember channeling my inner 40-year-old in my early 20s. I would also speak to myself in the mirror, “I am a real estate professional.” I remember hoping that people would not ask my age, and they would just let my skills and knowledge speak for itself.
To be successful, I had to practice accepting myself. Learn about my preferences. Learn how to honor myself authentically. Instead of conforming or trying to represent clients that didn’t accept me, I focused on finding people who did accept me.
I embraced the queer community, I found support and friendship within our community. It spurred our business early on and still supports our business today.