Elizabeth Gatlin

Owner, Broker & Architect

Welcome to Southern Athena and thank you for visiting our site! My friends call me Liz, and I hope you will too. I am the Owner, Architect and Principal Broker at our firm and specialize in Property Investments.

If you have a question about your real estate, Residential or Commercial, I am your goto person for making the numbers work, designing your architecture to accomplish your goals, and helping you strategize your portfolio with real estate as the foundation. I am both thankful and grateful for the opportunity to put my best talents and skills to good use through a personal, savvy, integrated approach to real estate and design.

Email: elizabeth@southernathena.com

Phone: 615-930-0931


  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Investments
  • Architecture
  • Urban Neighborhoods
  • Development
  • Remodels
  • Making People Money!

Getting Into Real Estate

Many people wonder how on earth I went from a career in Architecture to coming up with the idea of developing a Real Estate business centered around “Building a Beautiful South”. Like so many others, I began my career in Real Estate with humble beginnings, it just happened to be at the bottom of the worst housing and economy crash that America had ever seen. Oops.

I have always had a passion for people, a knack for design, and a strange love of math. (Maybe because all three of my siblings are engineers, and the only way to compete at childhood games was to strategize a victory well in advance. Ha!) Born and raised in Nashville, TN, I grew up along with our beautiful city, graduating from Hume Fogg High School ready to take on the world. Well, you guessed it, artistic and mathematically minded made me a prime candidate for Architecture School, so I enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Honor’s program (thank goodness for HOPE scholarships!) and later become the Top Graduate from the College of Art and Architecture in December of 2009 with a Bachelor of Architecture.

My Passion – Building a Beautiful South

Just like so many new grads in 2009, I was overwhelmed with a lack of work options straight after school. With over 300 unemployed architects in Nashville, I struggled to find traditional work. And after many odd architecture jobs (100+ applications later), web development and design for a non-profit focused on development and growth initiatives in our region, and even a short stint as office manager at a local dentist office, I was stuck in a profession that just wasn’t hiring, and a heavy ceiling weighing on my head.

I knew I was a savvy investor, and excited about what the future held, so after school my husband and I took our savings to purchase our first investment property at the age of 23, a beautiful 100 year old Victorian in the center of East Nashville’s Five Points district. This was before the neighborhood was “hip”, as most investments are, and I remember clear as day the moment I told my parents what we were doing and the look of horror on my family’s face. That first taste of real estate, little did I know then, became one of the driving influences behind my decision to pursue a career in real estate.

I had a dear friend ask “Well, what do you REALLY want to do?”and I knew my answer right away. I wanted to be a Developer, to live out my higher calling, and help people build architecture that was both sustainable and smart – places that had a greater positive impact on their communities, that looked better, and that made people love the memories formed in them. My friend encouraged me to go talk with other local developers in town, and I soon found out that if I wanted to follow my dream, I had to either come from money (Bummer….there was no way), or be in Commercial Real Estate first. I took my tax return that Spring to get my real estate license, joined a local Commercial Real Estate firm and never looked back. It was the best money I have ever spent.

Since that fateful start, I have had the opportunity to work with large and small businesses, buy, sell and lease commercial space for clients, purchase and sell other investment properties, design buildings and prototypes around the US, and develop wonderful relationships with investors and savvy business men and women during the process.

I was lucky enough to experience the benefits and drawbacks of working with both small and large corporate firms and decided to bring my clients a higher level of service that incorporates the design aspects of architecture, with the transactional qualities of real estate and professional care through Southern Athena. I am thankful and excited about all the special talents of this team and for your support so that we can have an even greater impact on the built environment through our service together.

Thank you for Reading such a long summary! I look forward to getting in touch so we can make YOUR goals and dreams come true through Real Estate investing.

Fun Facts About Liz

  • Born and Raised Nashville Native – “Represent”
  • But Strangely Not Musically Inclined
  • Married 1st love from Middle School – Aww Shucks <3
  • Terrified of Evangelists
  • Goofy and Sometimes Awkward Sense of Humor
  • Can’t Spell or Remember Details
  • Loves All Things Water Related (Saving Up for a Boat)
  • Obsessed with Scary Things and Anything Halloween
  • Joined a Sorority After College – Sigma Kappa
  • Has two Doberman – Snoop and Dre
  • Cookie Baking Master

Free Home Evaluation

Just fill out the form with your name, email, and property address! I will contact you within 24 hours with a report that shows the value of your current property.

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Wow, this is an important testimonial, so many delights here!

Katrina Craft