Associate Broker
Coldwell Banker Wallace
Knoxville, Tenn.

Individual volume: $10.5 million
Individual sides: 35

Shaping Her Community

Kendra Greene Ellis, 29, has owned more than 40 homes in the last 11 years. She purchased her first investment property at age 18, then got into flipping houses and building spec homes with her husband.

"I enjoy finding off-market or not-so-nice properties to renovate as a flip or customized for a particular client," she says.

As the couple went about their work, they realized they could make a difference in their community, too. They started their own nonprofit, A Step Towards Home, to provide affordable transitional housing. They partner with other nonprofits to provide affordable housing solutions and resources that help residents work toward homeownership. "Just like we have renovated and built houses specifically to sell to clients within their budget, it would be my dream to help guide these men and women through this process to eventually become homeowners one day."

Ellis recently started working in commercial real estate. In order to make a bigger impact on housing inventory, particularly affordable housing, she says, she has to work with larger investors and developers who are in the commercial space. "The average commercial agent in Knoxville is a 58-year-old white man.

I’m still asked, ‘Are you excited to get into real estate?’ But I’ve had my real estate license for 10 years now, and I’m up for this challenge."