Brother and sister Scott and Carol Griffith partnered as Griffith Realty in 1981, but that’s not when the family first established the real estate company. “Our grandfather, L. Harold Crandall, founded the real estate company in 1924 as Crandall Realty,” Carol explains. “Our father joined his father-in-law after marrying our mother in the 1950s.” Scott adds, “While others have their branches, we have our roots.”
Both Carol and Scott received their real estate licenses at 18 years old. The siblings sold real estate during summer and holiday vacations but upon college graduation, they went separate ways with Scott aligning with corporate real estate and Carol managing investor relations with an oil and gas company. Scott reminisces, “Real estate has always been in our family and in our blood, it’s a legacy.” It was only a matter of time before the pair realized they wanted to team up to keep that legacy alive.
The Griffith family name recognition has been broadly established through their commitment to community and the real estate profession, along with their engagement and leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels. Scott says, “We operate from a mindset of gratitude.” The real estate industry is such a large part of the Griffith family history, it only makes sense that Carol’s son, James Griffith Dewling, fondly remembers hanging out at open houses on the weekends at the ripe old age of four.
“I never thought I would become a Realtor when I was in college,” James recalls with a laugh. “After college graduation, I did a short corporate stint in international risk mitigation and crisis avoidance before I was called back to real estate.” His uncle Scott proudly adds, “He won’t tell you this, but Jim was an outstanding college athlete at Michigan State University and could have easily played golf professionally.” James jokes that it wouldn’t have been a sustainable career and opted instead to join the family business. He still manages to keep his golf game alive, coaching a high school team for the past ten years and being awarded Regional Golf Coach of the Year twice in the past three years. That’s not the only award he’s won. The entire Griffith team is recognized at all levels of real estate for their commitment to our industry.
“We are involved in the local REALTOR association and everyone has served as President,” James says. “We have all received local REALTOR of the Year awards and I’m the most recent honoree, with Carol earning it four times, and Scott three times with REALTOR of the Year for the State of Michigan, also.” Scott smiles as he chimes in, “Carol is one up on me but who’s keeping track?” In fact, Harry Griffith, their father, still carries an active real estate license at the age of 92.
“We are so ingrained in the community,” Carol says humbly. “Scott and I are both Rotarians adhering to the motto, ‘Service Above Self’ - we truly believe it.” The individual family members are generous contributors to numerous nonprofits, active members on various boards of directors and Carol just retired after 13 years as an elected official - County Commissioner. “We have depth in the community in terms of service and leadership roles; a shared purpose,” Scott explains with a chuckle. “I guess you could call us serial volunteers!” He admits that when he was younger he didn’t see how giving his time and not getting anything back for it was a noble concept, but as he grew in his career and community he began to understand the true spirit of service. “We’ve all been in the chairs as directors and officers - the industry has been good to us and we want to give back,” Carol says quietly. “It’s not all about money, rather part of a foundation for generations.”
James sums up neatly, “So many people want to be a flash in the industry, but sincerely helping your clients and being involved in your community creates sustainable communities and lasting relationships.” Carol expands on that concept, saying, “We are a close family with the rich tradition of assisting wonderful buyers, sellers and investors to our community.” Scott continues in that vein, saying, “We have been able to help manage the growth of our community by helping people find their niche.” James ties it up again, “When our community does better our industry does better.