Opening Southbound Real Estate this year was a leap of faith for Broker Owner Lindsey Cutshaw, but she says everything came together as if it was meant to be.
“This has always been a dream, and I didn’t think it would be more than that, but God put everything in the right place at the right time,” Cutshaw said.
Cutshaw got into the real estate business five years ago with Hometown Realty of Greeneville, after realizing when she was pregnant with her first son Kruze that she wanted a career with more flexible hours than her job at Greeneville Dermatology could offer.
“I realized working at the hospital I couldn’t just leave if he got sick, so I wanted something more flexible,” Cutshaw said.
Cutshaw said it was her dad, Bill Muhlhahn, who is now back in the real estate business after retiring from Greeneville City Schools in 2018 as a behavior specialist, who suggested she consider real estate.
Cutshaw said Muhlhahn worked in real estate while he was a student at Tusculum University, then Tusculum College, before his career with the school system.
“Dad loved real estate and thought I might do well in it, too,” Cutshaw said. “We have really similar personalities and we love people.”
Cutshaw said she did enjoy it and quickly became busy selling houses.
“When I finally got the nerve to take the broker’s test, ironically enough it was time for dad to retire from central office,” Cutshaw said. “We are very close, and he decided to get his real estate license and come and help me.”
Cutshaw said her aunt Lynn Broyles also encouraged her to start her own company and got her own real estate license soon after, and around that same time Cutshaw’s younger son Kix’s preschool teacher connected her with the house on Tusculum Boulevard that is now her office after significant renovation and remodeling by Cutshaw’s husband Bryan Susong.
“Everything happened exactly how it’s supposed to,” Cutshaw said. “It felt like God was saying, ‘you can do it.’”
Cutshaw called her current job a win-win, as she is able to enjoy working with people as well as the ability to make her own schedule that allows time with her kids at any time.
With Greeneville City Schools on a hybrid A/B schedule due to COVID-19 community spread, Cutshaw said Kix, who is in kindergarten, often joins her at work to attend class via Zoom on days he is not in school in person.
“I joke that he may not know his ABCs yet, but he knows about interest rates,” Cutshaw said.
Cutshaw said that while the pandemic has complicated many things, increased interest in moving to the area from out of state has led to a boom in the local real estate market.
“We got the ball really in motion and started investing in signs and everything just as COVID hit,” Cutshaw said. “I thought, ‘what am I doing?’ I thought it was the worst time ever to be doing this, but it wasn’t. It was actually the best time ever.”
Cutshaw said that although many aspects of the typical real estate business, such as open houses, came to a halt in the spring, the interest in moving to east Tennessee was not negatively affected.
“It was scary, but all the agents in town started getting calls from people up north as well as a flood of people from Florida,” Cutshaw said. “All these people were trying to get out of their states and come to Tennessee.”
It has been a good time to sell houses, Cutshaw explained, but more difficult to buy them because they sell quickly and often have multiple offers. She added that she and some people she sold a house to while with Hometown Realty have re-listed their homes this year and quickly sold them at a profit with little or no renovations or upgrades.
Before the pandemic, Cutshaw said Tennessee and specifically Greene County attracted interest often from soon-to-be retirees in other areas.
“People want a mountain view, and it also seems like a lot of people know Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, and they want to be near those attractions without actually living there,” Cutshaw said.
Other transplants to Greene County, like Cutshaw’s family, decide to move after visiting family who have already relocated.
Muhlhahn, Broyles and much of Cutshaw’s family are originally from New Jersey, and Cutshaw said after her parents relocated for studies and to play sports at Tusculum College, other family members decided to follow after visiting.
“My family have almost all now gravitated to Tennessee,” Cutshaw said.
Cutshaw added that the name Southbound Real Estate was inspired by her family’s move south.
“I’m thankful that my parents came southbound,” Cutshaw said. “I love Greeneville, and I’m thankful I was raised here. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.”
Cutshaw is a Homes for Heroes agent.
Through Homes for Heroes firefighters, EMS workers, law enforcement, health care professionals, teachers, and military members, including those on active duty, in the reserve and veterans buying or selling a home through a Homes for Heroes representative receive a portion of the real estate firm’s commission back when the sale closes.
“I have a lot of teachers in my family, so I thought it was awesome when I found out teachers are included,” Cutshaw said. “I think teachers don’t always get the appreciation they deserve.”
Cutshaw said there is only one Homes for Heroes agent in each zip code. She is the representative for 37745, but she is not restricted from buying or selling for her clients outside of the zip code or the county.
Southbound Real Estate had its grand opening at 1220 Tusculum Blvd. on Oct. 22.
In addition to Muhlhahn and Broyles, Cutshaw’s team also includes Amanda Kilday, Been Brooks, Hilda Pickering and office manager Cheryl Erb.
For more information find Southbound Real Estate on Facebook or call 470-1640 or 823-9082.