Cristina Grossu, one of Charlotte’s top brokers & real estate agents shares her journey of how she became a successful real estate specialist.
As many real estate agents, Cristina started off her career with a 9 to 5 job after graduating from University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Forensics & Criminality. Sooner than later, she realized that switching to a career in real estate would enable her to make her own work schedule and would give her all the freedom she wanted! Today, Cristina is an accomplished broker and real estate agent, affiliated with Savvy + Co Real Estate in Charlotte. Learn more about Cristina’s success story by checking out her interview with PropertySpark below!
When did you start your career in real estate?
I started my career in Real Estate in the summer of 2012. This upcoming summer, I will have been in the business for 6 years—amazing how quickly time has flown by. I guess it’s true, time does fly when you’re having fun!
What inspired you to start in real estate and how did you motivate yourself to keep going?
After briefly working a typical 9-5 work schedule after college, I realized this work style wasn’t for me! A career in real estate gives me the freedom to make my own schedule, earn as much as I can, and still travel whenever I want (a huge passion of mine!). Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself when you don’t HAVE to be at an office or have someone there to push you everyday. However, I made new friends who were also realtors or lenders with similar work schedules and these relationships were the backbone for my success when I was first got started.
Comparing your business from back then to now, what has been the main thing that allowed you to expand your business?
It’s important to remember that while we focus a lot on our internet presence, it’s the organic relationships that help make a realtor successful. Going out to dinners, meeting new people daily, attending charity events—all ways to gain name recognition and expand your business. With social media, it’s made doing business a lot easier; however many people have an unrealistic opinion of real estate brokers work schedules. Real estate is not easy and it often requires us to work 24/7. Maintaining friendships and paying attention to people I’ve met in the past has been key in expanding my business.
What’s the most profitable aspect of your business, why do you think this is and how can others apply this to what they are doing?
I think the most profitable aspect of my real estate business is to represent all sellers and buyers that I can, regardless of home sales price. I’ve seen many times realtors who will turn down a $60k buyer or listing because they think it’ll be too much work. Sometimes it is—and sometimes it’s not. Assuming you use the same charisma and personality selling that $60k property as you would a million dollar home, your client may refer you to one or twenty of their friends. The possibility of a referral is the most profitable thing to happen—even if it happens from a deal you weren’t expecting to do.
How do you work? (Do you wake up early, work late, communicate, what jobs do you do yourself, who do you talk to, etc.)
I used to be a late riser, however this past year, I’ve been waking up much earlier and I absolutely love it! I enjoy having a cup of coffee while sitting at the kitchen counter and reviewing emails that I’ve received overnight. Since our job never realistically ends at 5pm, I receive a lot of emails while I sleep, so it’s nice to decompress in the morning and start my workday early. I usually communicate with my clients by text message. Texting allows me to get the point across quickly to my clients, I have a record of our conversations, and it helps me remember important details! I’ve been lucky to have my mom, Cathy, to come onto my team as my assistant! It’s amazing to have a working relationship with someone who knows me best and understands my feelings. She helps me when I travel also, which makes my job a a lot easier!
When did you realize you were successful/made it and how did you feel/celebrate?
I always laugh at this question—as I’ve told the story many times. My mom gave me one of her Hermes’ bracelets a few years ago, from when she was younger and had started her career. She had bought this bracelet on her own once she felt she had ‘made it’. I love that bracelet and wear it all the time. When I sold my 1st, 3rd or 5th house (I forget!), I took a trip to Tiffany’s and bought myself a necklace and a pair of earrings I’ve always wanted. It’s so cliche and basic, but for me, it was something my mom had also done and wanted to continue the tradition. Maybe one day I’ll be able to gift those down to my own daughter (or son!) as encouragement for her to follow her dreams and ‘make it’ on her own.
Looking back, what could you of done sooner to of got to that point quicker?
My success ramped up, I feel like, right on schedule. I learned a lot the first year in the business. I made mistakes (we all do!) and learned from those mistakes. Once I started having repeat clients, I knew that my business was sustainable and I could succeed in my career.
What should other real estate entrepreneurs reading this be focusing on to expand their own business?
I think it’s important to remain true to yourself. Entrepreneurship is hard and it requires a lot of work. Sometimes people think I’m not working since a lot of our business is behind the scenes. Sitting at a coffee shop for several hours with another realtor, following up on leads, or just sitting at home and browsing the MLS—are all beneficial ways to expand your business. You must stay true to yourself on social media also. Not all of my friends want to see how many houses I’ve sold or who I’ve sold them to. However, they enjoy seeing photos of my travels, my puppies, and my home improvement projects. I mix these in with my real estate posts, which helps someone get to know me and maybe relate to me as well.
What do you consider the main differences between those people who have been successful in your industry and those who have failed?
After attending the Inman Conference in both NYC and SF, I realized how successful real estate agents can really be once they create a name for themselves! The New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco market is completely different than the Charlotte market. When we see these reality shows of agents who close a deal in 14 days or have a $20 million dollar cash buyer who doesn’t ask for any repairs—this isn’t realistic in our market. I think success is determined by what makes you feel successful, meaning if you want to sell 5 houses in a year, and you do that—then you are successful. I think a lot of realtors set unrealistic expectations for themselves, and when those expectations aren’t met, they lose hope and essentially ‘give up.’ It’s important to stay busy, get involved, and follow up with your current and past clients.
How has social media and online marketing affected your real estate business? How much more success have you had now after implementing social media and online marketing efforts?
Social media has evolved our industry. We are able to instantly share our new listings to thousands of people in a single click. We are able to meet new people and clients by just accepting their friend request. Social media is one of the best ways of marketing yourself—and it’s free! I feel that I have had more clients through Instagram and Facebook once I started posting daily and sharing my travels, my passions, and my success with my followers.
We hope you’ve learnt a great deal about becoming a successful real estate agent. Make sure to reach out to Cristina Grossu for a phenomenal and a one of a kind experience in buying or selling a real estate!