Shirley Zeitlin: A Lifetime of Excellence in Real Estate and Community Leadership

In our 24th episode of Circle Back, we learn about Shirley Zeitlin, a distinguished figure in the world of real estate and community leadership. Her journey, marked by unwavering dedication, vision, and commitment, has left an enduring impact on Nashville and the real estate industry at large.


Ethical Roots

Shirley’s path to success began in her family’s entrepreneurial home, where her parents’ ventures instilled in her a strong work ethic and a deep sense of responsibility. Despite not possessing a formal degree, her thirst for knowledge led her to pursue education in business and real estate.

A Women Entering a Male Dominated Field

Entering the Real Estate Arena Shirley ventured into the real estate industry as a realtor at Dobson & Johnson, where she honed her skills and gained invaluable experience. Encouraged by her husband, she obtained a broker’s license, paving the way for her entrepreneurial journey. Founding Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty Breaking barriers as a woman in a male-dominated field, Shirley founded Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty. Her unwavering commitment to professionalism, integrity, and relationship-building laid the foundation for her company’s enduring success.

A Legacy of Growth and Community Engagement 

Throughout her career, Shirley emphasized professionalism, ethics, and continuous learning. She believed in training and educating her agents to represent the company with excellence. Shirley also passionately championed philanthropy and community involvement as integral to entrepreneurship.

Transition and Continued Impact 

In 2016, Shirley gracefully transitioned from the CEO role, entrusting the leadership of Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty to her niece, Jessica Averbuch, and nephew, Sam Averbuch. This shift allowed her to focus on business development and share her wealth of experience for the company’s continued prosperity.

Witnessing Nashville’s Evolution 

Shirley witnessed the remarkable transformation of Nashville, from a quiet town to a vibrant city with a thriving cultural scene. While celebrating the city’s growth, she advocated for thoughtful development and the importance of maintaining a strong public education system.

A Legacy of Mentorship

Shirley Zeitlin’s legacy extends beyond her business accomplishments. She served as a mentor to countless individuals in the real estate industry, sharing her wisdom and guiding future leaders. Shirley served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards for hospitals, academic and civic institutions. Her honors and recognitions are a testament to her legacy.

Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Entrepreneurs 

Shirley’s advice to aspiring real estate entrepreneurs includes having a clear vision, a commitment to lifelong learning, a genuine care for people, and making decisions with confidence.

Circle Back is recorded and produced in the Chase Studio, the NEC’s on-site production space made possible entirely by the Beth and Randy Chase family. This space allows creators the opportunity to craft world-class audio and visual content and share their own stories of growth, community, inspiration and perseverance.

Episodes can be found on all podcast platforms including Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, and TuneIn. Don’t miss out on these insightful discussions with Nashville’s leading entrepreneurs.

More news from EC