The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Member Spotlight feature allows members of the community to get to know each other before working with each other in a transaction. Each member answers a series of questions to reveal more about themselves as people. It is FAAR’s hope that learning about an individual may spark connections that blossom via email, phone conversations or in-person meetings at events and classes.
Stafford, VA. I moved from Miami, FL when I was in middle school and was part of the 1st graduating class from Colonial Forge High.
I attended UVA and lived for a brief time in Arlington & NW Washington DC but settled quickly in Stafford.
Team Leader with the Gillies Team at RE/MAX Real Estate Connections
Number of Years in the Industry
14 years. I have been licensed as an agent for 11 years. After graduating from UVA and before getting my real estate license I worked for a wholesale mortgage bank for 3 years.
Why do you love working in real estate?
Our Industry is all about growth and opportunity – not just for those of us fortunate enough to call real estate a career, but for the clients we serve and vendors that support our transactions. When a client buys or sells a home it’s often prompted by a new job, growing family, retirement, or simply doing life in a new location. We have the ability to take part in these pivotal moments and walk through them for a time with our clients as they seize their next opportunity. As agents we play a role in helping clients create personal wealth and make purposeful life decisions relating to their family’s future.
Favorite Work Story
From happy tears at closing to making decade-long friends from a chance phone call on a listing there are hundreds of stories to tell. It’s no surprise that the ones that stick with you are because of the people. I went on a listing appointment at a beautiful home a little while back – one of those homes where not a thing was out of place and you could tell the owners were very proud of what they had done with the house. I told them a little bit about our team and presented our listing services as I typically do. With that done we had an in-depth conversation about their plans, goals and current position. After about 45 minutes of diving into their situation and needs I advised that listing their home probably wasn’t the best decision for them and we came up with a game plan that would help them achieve their goals. I felt great about the appointment and planned to follow up down the road. The next afternoon this amazing couple came into my office with about 12 dozen of the most amazing homemade cookies. They told me that going into our meeting they were headed toward a decision that scared them and that they ultimately would have regretted. He said that in my presentation he noticed that the word integrity wasn’t written anywhere. I told him I intentionally left it out – it’s a word that has become cliché and doesn’t carry a lot of water if you have to tell someone you have it. He grinned at me and said “Michael, I’m old school and believe that trust is something you earn, not something you can expect because you ask for it.” There may be a right time for them to sell – in the meantime he gave me a referral before he left my office. 🙂
What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m very excited about our growth. Not just the growth itself, but the intentional manner in which we’re growing that focuses on serving our clients by supporting our agents and team members. As agents we’re forced to wear a great many hats. Marketer, processor…stager, scheduler…negotiator, pricing analyst…counselor, friend. All are entirely necessary but can pull us in a thousand different directions and ultimately may affect our ability to provide the core service our clients need and expect from us. Our philosophy is to create specialties within our organization that allow people to focus not only on what they are good at, but on what they love to do. If each critical part of the client experience is given intense focus by someone that is an expert and loves to do that work, we can provide a very high level of knowledge, service and support. Real estate done differently for the benefit of the client. A byproduct of this structure that I’m increasing proud of is the opportunity our team is able to shift from lead agent to team agents. Seeing incredibly talented agents grab hold of the opportunity for leads, staff support for listing, marketing and contract to close coordination, technology tools, training and collaboration (without the financial risk that comes with doing all of this on your own) is something I’m very proud of. Growing this opportunity will be my greatest focus going forward.
Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time?
I have the great privilege of serving as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Fredericksburg. This amazing non-profit organization and its professional staff understand that there is incredible potential in every child, regardless of circumstance. Volunteer mentors, with the support of match advocates and support staff, defend that potential and empower children in our community. Our signature fundraiser, Bowl for Kids’ Sake, is right around the corner and fundraising efforts are in full swing. The event is held on the weekend of March 2nd and 3rd this year. It’s a great team-building event and the impact on the organization and our ability to serve children in our community is massive. Also, I chair the Big Brothers Big Sisters Golf Tournament at Fawn Lake Country Club. This year the event will be held on May 30th. We are actively seeking sponsors and teams – it’s a wonderful opportunity to play one of the finest private courses in our area. I also enjoy teaching elementary-age Sunday school at Mount Ararat Baptist Church with my wife, Kristel. Kristel taught elementary students for over 10 years in Stafford county so she does the heavy lifting but I’m an enthusiastic helper.
I’m happier on the water than I am anywhere else in the world. I grew up fishing with my family in Miami, FL and in the Northern Florida Keys. The draw to the water has stayed with me and I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever shake. Around here I’m able to get my fix on the Potomac River. My wife, Kristel, and our kids Britton and Clara get out as much as we can (considering sports, dance classes and the scheduling fun that comes along with real estate). Now and then we make it back to The Keys for a family reunion/fishing trip. That’s when I’m in my ultimate happy place. So if you call me on a weekend and hear kids squealing and water splashing in the background, just know that I’m trying to treat that bug that bit me as a kid in South Florida. It’s not the ocean, but it’s a boat on the water and that’s a happy place too.