Realtor and Uptown FirmownerGary Crowe didn’t want to go the “traditional college route,” so when he was in his early 20s, he got his real estate license.
Now, the Chattanooga native has his own company, which he opened during the Great Recession, and is working to acquire homes, remodel them and convert them intothe midcentury/modernist style.
Nooga.com did a Q&A with Crowe to find out more about his business, which will have a booth at the upcoming Tri-State Home Show Feb. 26-28.
How and why did you get into real estate? What about it was appealing?
Real estate was one of the only trades where you could get your license in a few weeks and not be capped monetarily. It offered autonomy and the ability to “be your own boss.”
How long has Uptown Firm been in business?
I opened it during the recession. Everyone advised me not to do so at the time, but one friend told me I’d be crazy not to, and so I took the risk. Luckily, we’ve been received well in the community.
You’ve been acquiring and remodeling homes. Is that your specialty? Do you also help people buy and sell their homes? What range of services do you offer?
Yes, I am a Realtor, but my main interest is development. I have a passion for midcentury modern homes and revitalizing structures that would otherwise be forgotten. There is an art in that and allows for a certain level of creativity.
We offer services to all, whether a first-time homebuyer, commercial investor or someone looking to acquire/customize a modern design.
How many employees do you have?
None. All of our team members are considered independent contractors. This gives them the ability to be freely creative and practice autonomy in the workplace.
General thoughts on the Chattanooga real estate market? How’s it doing now compared to recent years?
My personal opinion is that the bubble we are currently experiencing is likely to burst after the elections. I would predict a slight drop in the near future. For the average home seller, this means right now is as good of a price as you are likely to get. It’s a good time to sell.
What makes your business stand out in the local industry?
I specialize in modern design. I feel very lucky to live and work in a creative and evolving community.
Chattanooga has come a long way in recent years, and it’s been a neat process to witness people becoming more interested in minimalism and the idea that “less is more.”
What else do you want people to know about you or your business?
I’m heavily influenced by American real estate developer Joseph Eichler, who was known for developing midcentury modern-style housing.
I was recently fortunate enough to travel to California and see some of the original Eichlers, an inspirational experience.
It is a goal of mine to put Chattanooga on the map with modern design. One of our homes was just featured in Atomic Ranch magazine, which was a true honor.
I’m currently building a modern home on Crestwood Avenue in Stuart Heights. The project is an exciting one. [It has features that range] from the floating staircase to the sprawling view of Chickamauga Dam. I like the idea of leaving the world more beautiful than you found it-for my children to one day drive by a home I created and be able to say, “That was my dad’s vision/contribution.”