Lincolnton Mayor John Gilleland recently decided to try his hand at a new role, one as a small-business owner.
With a background in real estate at Coldwell Banker Lawing Associates, he figured it was time to continue in the industry using his own name.
“(I thought) I may as well go ahead and try to do my own thing,” he told the Times-News last week.
As such, he opened Gilleland Realty in May, with three other brokers, including Joe and Beth Yarbrough and Troy Williams, in a building on South Poplar Street in Lincolnton that he has owned for several years.
The building has other tenants, but Gilleland said his staff members, who have a lot of experience in the eastern part of the county, won’t “need a whole lot of space,” as working from home is common for many real estate agents.
Gilleland has spent many years managing properties for customers and buying and fixing up houses to sell or rent.
“We are also managing property for landlords and investors who like the benefits of the rental business without the hassles,” he added.
However, he sees an opportunity, with it being a buyer’s market, to help people buy and sell more directly.
Gilleland noted that he’s seen some signs of life in the local real-estate market and that he’s been encouraged by it so far.
His new venture is also a true family business, with his son helping out with some property management and his wife handling accounting. And this is all part of the positive, friendly image Gilleland hopes it will project.
“I feel more comfortable handing out my real-estate card to people,” he said of getting to do it his own way.
Though Gilleland said there may eventually be an opportunity for growth, he is pretty content for now.
“I’m very happy with where we are,” he said. “It’s going well so far.”
As for whether he believes his position as mayor will have any effect on business, Gilleland said he hopes it will help and not hurt. But, he added, he has been in the Lincolnton area his whole life and knows a lot of people, and he believes that will have an impact