I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Michelle Froedge since RIGHT before I made the official transition from employee to full-time entrepreneur back in mid-2011. A mutual friend introduced us and she is one of those people that you can’t help but fall in love with upon meeting. Truly, she has a heart of gold, a dynamite personality, a rockin’ real estate business and an outrageously talented alter ego! 😉
Michelle has been incredibly supportive of my endeavors and is someone I highly respect in terms of drive and commitment to success. I’m sure you’ll see why as we unpack her interview. So let’s get to it!
Let’s start with the key facts. Michelle started her career in real estate in 2004 and grew to a team in 2012. She and her team help buyers and sellers of residential property – from investment property to estates. Her target client is a motivated buyer or seller who wants the help of a seasoned professional. Now, let’s face it…there are many realtors out there to work with, but what sets Michelle apart from others is that her relationship with clients goes far beyond the closing table. She has clients who call her years later and ask for a plumber referral – and she expects that. Also, she networks constantly, especially with other agents. This helps keep her informed of properties for her buyers before they hit the market and helps her sell houses for her sellers without having to go through the listing process. You can connect with Michelle and her team online via…
Now, let’s jump in a little deeper. Michelle, tell us what led you to real estate as your career.
The short answer is…a friend told me she was taking classes and that I should do it too!
What led you to make the decision to go from employee to entrepreneur?
I had been offered a record deal from an independent label and was waiting for that to be finalized when the partners split and the label ended up folding. I knew at that moment that I had to do something where I was in control of my own destiny. I knew real estate was a career that I could work as much or as little as I wanted, and that would determine my success.
Did you encounter criticism from friends or family when you started your business? If so, how did you respond?
I didn’t necessarily encounter criticism when I started my business, but I did get “warned” that the real estate business is hard and that I shouldn’t set my goals and expectations too high. I don’t get the same kind of reaction any longer…
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Good question – HA! It’s not constantly possible, but unless I am in the middle of negotiating a deal, my phone gets turned off at 7:00 PM and I try to take Sundays off to go to church and spend time with my family.
What is the most challenging part of owning your own business? How do you handle that?
The most challenging thing about owning my own business is not working 24-7. Being responsible for putting food on an employee’s table adds a little more stress if referrals aren’t coming in or the economy takes a dive.
Tell us about a personal goal that most people would be surprised to hear.
I am passionate about animals. I would love to own a mobile spay/neuter truck and service low income neighborhoods for free. If we control the population, less animals would be euthanized each year.
I know you have an alternate personality as a singer! 🙂 Tell us about the bands you’re with and fill us in on your singing career!
My singing career did not end with the folding of the record label. I have sung in bands for years. The two bands I currently sing with are Band X and The Big Thrill. Band X is a pop/rock cover band based in Atlanta. We perform for corporate events, weddings, and big parties. I get to travel across the country and sing with some rock stars along the way. The Big Thrill is a Nashville-based cover band and we perform more locally at corporate events and weddings. I can’t believe they still pay me to do it, but I’ll keep singing as long as they keep asking!
Why do you think people are afraid of starting a business or pursuing their passion (like you have in real estate + your music career)?
The main reason people have trouble taking the step to start a business or pursue a passion is fear. Fear of failure. You have to take a leap of faith. You have to be vulnerable. People are watching. They watch you succeed and they watch you fail. The problem is more people talk when you fail than when you succeed. We should change that. You will make mistakes, but you have to get back up and keep going. You are not the first and you won’t be the last so get over yourself and just do it!
So, how do you do real estate AND music?
If it comes down to one or the other, real estate takes precedence. The fact of the matter is, though, that unless I need to personally show a house, I can do it from anywhere. I take calls in airports, write offers in buses, and negotiate contracts in hotel rooms. I have a full-time assistant in the office, Monday through Friday and a buyer’s agent that is available to show houses if/when I am not. If I am on stage, it is typically between the hours of 8:00PM and 1:00AM and there’s not a lot of real estate emergencies during those hours 😉 Bottom line is, I can do both and do both very well, so no one need worry that I’m going to stop selling real estate and become a rock star (I’m too old for that!)…unless Aerosmith calls…
Wow! See what I mean? Michelle is one rockin’ realtor! 🙂 Her energy and drive inspire me. She is a shining example of how we can truly accomplish anything we desire – we simply must be patient, persistent and priority-focused.
What “golden nugget” did you pull from today’s interview? I discovered several, but I’d love to know what resonated most with you. Please share and let’s dialogue in the comments!