Marina Moroz has spent plenty of time helping new companies find firm footing, but the native of Spartanburg never thought that one of those ventures would be her own.
The young entrepreneur has founded Up Realty, a cloud-based residential real estate company based in downtown Spartanburg.
Moroz said that the “cloud-based” model means the office will have a physical location, but all business will be conducted online. That will give her agents the freedom to work from outside the office, but still have access to all of the support functions of a traditional brick-and-mortar office.
“I’m pretty much a typical Millennial,” Moroz said. “I’m always looking for better ways to do things — to make things easier and simpler. I guess you could say I’m tech savvy… This is a very new concept. To the best of my knowledge, there’s nothing like this anywhere.”
Moroz graduated from Broome High School in 2009.
In 2013, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the University of South Carolina Upstate’s George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics.
Moroz went on to study international business in 2014 at Hochschule Landshut, a university of applied sciences in Landshut, Germany. She took part in an apprenticeship with BMW Group and worked in the German automaker’s finance and logistics departments.
After returning to the U.S. later that year, Moroz became the program coordinator at USC Upstate’s GreenHouse business incubator on the third floor of the school’s campus in downtown Spartanburg. She was exposed to a wide range of startups and helped cultivate entrepreneurial ideas.
About a year ago, Moroz said she began looking at her career options. She applied for several jobs and was ready to accept a position, when a conversation with her dad inspired her to choose a different path.
“He said, ‘Marina, do you want to work for someone, or work for yourself?’” she said. “My answer was, ‘I want to work for myself.’ But that’s a whole new ball game.”
Moroz said she grew up working in different administrative roles for her mother and father, who are both realtors in Spartanburg. She was already familiar with the terrain.
She decided to test the waters by helping her dad “digitalize” his office.
“For example, we had an out-of-state investor who we were able to take on a FaceTime walkthrough of a property,” Moroz said. “I started thinking about how can we accommodate the needs of the office with technology.”
Moroz said she began working with a team of programmers to develop a platform that would integrate a traditional multiple listing service (MLS), but enable her office and agents to work more efficiently and better serve the needs of the client.
“It’s surreal,” she said. “I helped people start their own businesses, but now that it’s my turn, it’s a little hard to believe.”
Moroz has leased a 2,000-square-foot space at 169 E. Main St. in downtown Spartanburg beside The Local Hiker.
The space will serve as Up Realty’s headquarters, although the five agents she has hired will be linked to the company’s cloud-based platform so they can be free to do their work from outside the office. She has hired three administrative employees who will work in the office.
Moroz said she is currently focusing on Spartanburg County but has MLS access in Greenville and Spartanburg. She hopes to continue to grow the company and open offices in other high growth markets.
She said Up Realty plans to be very active on pretty much all of the most popular social media platforms.
The sweet spot for the company right now, Moroz said, is first-time homebuyers and people relocating to Spartanburg for work.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “I had no idea how many people are moving here … This is a time of tremendous growth for Spartanburg, and I think we are coming along at just the right time to be able to establish a good foundation in this market.”
For more information, visit www.uprealtyhomes.com.