On a Journey to Top Realtor in the USBy Jane Whitttington on December 15th, 2015 /
Merely good is never good enough for Diane Griffin. She has risen to the top ranks of realtors, not only in Michigan but in the United States, by a commitment to excellence, education and entrepreneurial achievement.
After Griffin graduated from the University of Evansville with a degree in public relations and corporate communications, her mother, who had started working in real estate a few years previously, talked to her daughter about pursuing that career. But, as Griffin says now, “We joke that when your mom tells you something, you do the opposite. I owned and operated a coffee shop and worked in an art gallery, until finally, I decided to give real estate a try. Three months later, my career had taken off.”
Griffin started in the business in 2005. Even though the economy was starting to falter and the real estate business was facing economic challenges, Griffin found that her particular set of skills, her work ethic and keen eye for opportunity led to success. Of course, long hours of very hard work figured into the equation as well.
Griffin joined the Keller Williams family of companies because, as she says, “They are known for continuing education and training for their agents, and education has always been a passion of mine. Also, they have a great reputation in West Michigan, and I wanted to be part of that.”
She continues, “I branded myself as Griffin Properties sometime in that first year. I believe that realtors need to think of themselves first as a business owner. I wanted a ‘build the business’ mentality. Hiring the best employees is key. We now have 20 people on our team at Griffin Properties, and we’ve been the number one team in the city of Grand Rapids for the past six years. My idea was to figure out what I’m good at and then partner with people who are better than I am at the things I’m not as good at. We now have a company with people on board who have specific and invaluable skills.”
Griffin says, “We have big goals and dreams, and we find the best people who can help us realize our vision. For us, the most important thing is drive—drive for success and for customer satisfaction.”
Griffin’s goal in creating Griffin Properties was two-fold: create more opportunity for other people and more opportunity for herself in what she loves the most—the education piece of the business.
A COO/Marketing Officer and Sales Manager take care of the day-to-day functioning of the enterprise, and Griffin has become increasingly involved in education and training, not only for her own staff, but for realtors throughout the United States and even internationally. She is now a respected top realtor in the US.
Just over a year ago, Griffin purchased the Keller Williams Agency in Rockford, a suburb of Grand Rapids. It had been a failing market center, but, within two months, it was profitable.
Within the last year, Griffin has invested in one of the market center in Leeds, England and has traveled there to train the staff and lead the business. That center now has 22 agents. With another agency in Naples, Florida and the newest in Belize, Griffin and her team are growing exponentially and thriving in new markets.
Lest you think that Griffin spends all of her time with her nose to the grindstone, think again. Last summer, Griffin competed in eight triathlons, and she regularly plays soccer and works with a personal trainer.
She currently serves on the boards of the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Progressive Women’s Alliance of West Michigan, St. Mary’s Hospital, Fulton Street Farmers’ Market and Uptown Business Improvement District.
Most important of all, she is raising two beautiful daughters who are both now in middle school. Griffin has done all this in just under 11 years. Who knows what she can accomplish in the next ten!