The roots and rhythms of Nashville Sub-culture

BY Arthur Perlen, CCIM

Bless your heart.

Well isn’t that nice?

Thanks for sharing!

More than just a melting pot of musicians and creatives, Nashville is a city with a vibrant sub-culture that extends far beyond its iconic music scene. Nashville is the perfect mix of rich history and old school charm with modern liveliness.  Just like some of our favorite sayings above (that undoubtedly require interpretation based on circumstance), there are certain ways of life here that are worth a deeper look. In order to thrive in this market, real estate professionals in Nashville must understand the unique sub-culture that exists here.

The unwritten rules of the business scene

One of the most shocking things about Nashville? Everyone makes eye contact and no one’s trying to scam you! Business here is conducted with a blend of professionalism and southern charm.  No matter who’s involved, there’s always a high level of mutual respect and the expectation of integrity. It’s really unlike any other market I’ve ever experienced.

Transplants or brokers from out of town would be wise to acknowledge that the slower-paced life we enjoy here plays a role in transactions. We talk slow, but we think fast. There’s a level of affluence that exists here that people can’t fathom because it’s rarely put on display like it is in LA, New York, Chicago, and other major players in the real estate industry. For those who aren’t from here, it can be hard to relate at first. But the longer you’re here, you’ll realize that understanding the depth that exists beneath the surface is the key to a successful interaction.

Blending in, not standing out

Did you know that last year an average of 86 people a day moved to middle Tennessee? You’d think that means 86 different influences daily moving and shaping the culture to create a “new” Nashville. Instead, the existing culture just grows deeper roots, as those who move here experience an almost seamless transition into our way of life. Southern hospitality, modern amenities, picturesque landscape, affordable cost of living… there isn’t much that people find they’d like to be different here.

Because of this, existing businesses continue to do exceedingly well and new ones are finding home here. Restaurants, bars, music venues and retail locations play a huge role in Nashville having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, even with the steady surge of new residents. Assimilation, rather than alteration, has proved to be the way to go for those moving to middle Tennessee.

Putting into words that which can’t be put into words

It’s not arrogant, it’s just true: Nashville exudes an indescribable sense of cool that doesn’t exist anywhere else.

Why do you think celebrities choose to move their families and make a life in Nashville versus LA? The social dynamics here make it so that Nicole Kidman can grab a drink at a local coffee shop completely unbothered yet adored from afar. It’s not uncommon for musicians like Ben Folds to be three rows away from you at your kid’s school musical, and he’s able to enjoy it as much as any other parent. With Nashville’s longstanding reputation as Music City, it’s just understood by the masses that at any given time, a cool kid is going to make an appearance at a very ordinary location. That’s the way we live. It’s that sense of cool without trying that on some level we all aspire to, but Nashville has actually mastered.

If you visit Nashville for any amount of time, there’s no doubt you’ll observe and experience all of these for yourself. These insights will help any broker who’s trying to break into this market understand their client base better and close transactions others can’t. And if you’re new here and do see a celebrity, leave them in peace and forget the selfie- even the bachelorettes know better.

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