CHARLOTTE – Realtor Andy Griesinger has a closet filled with pinstripe suits. He only wears them on clients’ closing days, but not before posting it on his Instagram story for his more than 12,000 followers to see.
Building a brand and following is part of what makes Griesinger unique in his profession. He said he decided to utilize social media about three years ago when he started working as a Realtor.
“When I worked in commercial [brokerage], a guy I worked with said you have to have TLC: You have to have trustability, likability and credibility, and if you’re missing any one of those, people are not going to want to work with you,” Griesinger said. “So I was thinking, I have the likability, people want to trust me, but I don’t have the credibility yet. So I took to social media and literally showed people what I was doing all the time so they could see that to build the credibility piece and it’s worked.”
Griesinger said his follower count has increased exponentially since April of last year. He found out he would be featured in a realtor magazine later that year, so he decided to make more of an effort to gain followers. He looked at accounts of local businesses and followed the people on those accounts, who followed him back after seeing his posts.
Posting consistently on social media has led Griesinger to some of his biggest listings. He said it is usually less intimidating to reach out to people on Instagram direct messages than it is to pick up the phone and call a Realtor.
Recently, a potential client reached out to him through Instagram.
“I messaged him when he first followed me in August and he was just kind of like, ‘OK, cool, whatever,’” Griesinger said. “On Wednesday, he asked for my phone number, we met on Thursday and then on Friday, he signed a listing agreement with me. He saw my social media and he said, ‘I like the people that you’re around, I like that you’re going to events, I like that you post that you’re selling a lot.’”
Griesinger said he has a fairly even balance of clients who come from referrals, social media and networking. In addition to a social media following, he has also developed a network of good friends, many of whom are his clients.
When he first got into the profession, he said laughed at those who went into real estate to help people and make friends. Today, helping people and making friends is his favorite part of the job. He tries to make the experience as casual and friendly as possible, meeting clients for drinks or coffee instead of having formal meetings.
“I can tell someone, ‘Oh, you want to buy a house? Come to my office at three o’clock and I’ll go over this presentation that I’ve prepared for you,’ or I can just say, ‘Let’s go grab some beers and talk about buying this house,’” Griesinger said. “I’ve built up a great network of friends and I treat them right. And people who refer me business, I take care of them.”
Though Griesinger enjoys his job, he said there are challenges that come with it.
“You deal with getting lied to, or getting clients who really want a place and you get blown out of the water with crazy offers or when things are slow,” Griesinger said. “The biggest thing is not getting in your head because it’s really easy to do that in 100% commission sales.”
Despite the challenges, Griesinger has enjoyed a lot of success. He was recently named one of Elevate Lifestyle’s “30 Under 30 Future Leaders of Charlotte.”
Griesinger said the key to his success has been strong networking. He said it is essential for young professionals in Charlotte to get their names out there and have as many people as possible recognize them.
“People always say it’s about who you know. But who I know doesn’t matter, it’s about who knows me,” Griesinger said. “I know Cam Newton, but he doesn’t know who I am, so that’s not going to do me any good. Meet as many people as possible.”
To find networking opportunities, Griesinger said the first place to look is social media. He also said some people network by going to bars and restaurants and talking to bartenders, servers and the people around them.
When it comes to social media, Griesinger said it is not for everyone, but it made sense for his profession. He said it is important for professionals to differentiate themselves on social media platforms, like he has done by “blowing up” his Instagram with pinstripes for every closing.
“You have to stand out and post things like when clients send you bourbon and give you a thank you letter,” Griesinger said. “That kind of stuff builds credibility.”
Moving forward, Griesinger plans to stay in the Queen City and continue selling homes in Charlotte, Matthews, Union County and surrounding areas as he grows his business.
“The next thing will probably be building up a team and bringing an agent or two under me and then to help continue the brand, whether that’s just my name or starting to shift it into a company name,” Griesinger said. “I’m not really sure just yet. But the next thing will be bringing agents under me because then I can train them and sell at a higher level and we can all grow together.”