Alex and Andrea Salazar Make Their Clients’ Dreams Come True!
Written by Heather Pluard
Photos by Kelly Klemmensen Photography
After a lifetime of taking strategic risks and winning, Alex and Andrea Salazar decided to launch SA Carolinas Realty together in March of 2020. Self-described ‘hunters,’ the power couple built a brokerage that offers a favorable split, top-notch training, and the support agents need to grow. Today, SA Carolinas Realty has tripled in size and has closed more than $14-million in sales.
“We are a hard-working, diverse brokerage founded on integrity, transparency, and respect,” Alex says. “We don’t just drive clients to houses. Instead, we educate them about the process, giving them all the information they need to make an informed decision about a property. That’s how we’ve built a 30% referral base in less than two years. Our reputation is already speaking for itself in the Charlotte community.”
A New Jersey native, Alex grew up bilingual and was the first in his family to earn a college degree. His parents were immigrants from Columbia who taught him the value of honest work and encouraged him to use that as his starting point for success. So after graduating with a business management degree from William Patterson University, Alex went straight to work in Corporate America as an account manager for a billion-dollar company.
Andrea was born in Columbia and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. She also believes in the power of hard work and new beginnings. The couple met on a job in New Jersey. After getting married, they decided to move to Charlotte in 2007, even though that meant they would have quit their respective careers and start all over in North Carolina.
“With great risk comes great reward,” Alex says, quoting Thomas Jefferson. “Especially if you are strategic. Andrea and I knew what we wanted and what we were up against when we moved. But we also knew we were highly employable: being bilingual, educated, and extremely motivated.”
Alex took a sales position with a company that cleaned Class-A office space, and he discovered the many career avenues in real estate. “I went to all of these property management meetings, owners’ meetings, and community meetings where Charlotte’s growth numbers looked outrageously good and were projected to last. That’s when I first thought about becoming a REALTOR®.”
In 2016, Alex obtained his license and sold real estate at night after putting in a full day at the office. Then, after a year of being a part-time agent, he left his salary and benefits behind to pursue real estate full-time. “Living off of commission was rough, but Andrea encouraged me to have faith,” he smiles. “I started at Keller Williams, and from the moment I signed my first contract, I could see how the numbers were not going to line up in my favor. So I moved to a boutique brokerage and had an excellent mentor who let me shadow him to learn the ins and outs of real estate. As a result, I closed more than 300 transactions in the last five years.”
Always ones to think bigger, Alex and Andrea started planning to open a brokerage together. She left her job in marketing at a Hispanic newspaper to join him in real estate, first as an assistant and then as his client liaison and business manager. Together, while serving clients from many different backgrounds, they carved out a niche within the Hispanic community and were “killing it.” But when the pandemic hit, they viewed it as an opportunity to follow their dreams.
“We were so busy making money that it was hard to find the time to focus on the things that would make us grow,” Alex says. “COVID was a chance to give ourselves dedicated time to put our plans into action. We opened SA Carolinas Realty in 2020 with just the two of us, then added four more professional agents last year. I love training agents on how to be more efficient, manage high volume, and continue to grow in whatever capacity they choose, whether that’s working with us forever or opening their brokerage someday. Real estate is always about the relationships agents build. It’s not about the agency. Our agents want unlimited income, are happy to work for it, and enjoy keeping more of it in their pockets.”
Outside of work, Alex and Andrea enjoy family time with their sons, Mateo (13) and Gianmarco (8), who both love to play soccer. “Real estate gives me the flexibility to attend their games and set my schedule,” Alex says. “My mom died when I was 15, so I understand the value of time and how it doesn’t stop for anyone. Period. You can either let it pass by or grab it by the horns. I know both my parents would be proud of what Andrea and I have accomplished. And we look forward to helping as many people as possible see their dreams come true, too!”