Editor’s Note: We spoke with Michelle Finley of the Island Team, which is associated with Paradise Exclusive Real Estate. The company has three offices located in Englewood, Boca Grande and South Gulf Cove. Visit TheIslandTeam.com; call 941-208-5353.
Michelle, what’s your
history as a realtor in our community?
We moved to Englewood in 2006 from Colorado. My husband Matt and I purchased a business when we first moved here, so I stopped selling real estate even though I had a lot of experience. We eventually sold our business, and we lived on a boat for about a year. I started to consider new opportunities. That led to an invitation by my friend Jim Benson, the owner and broker of Paradise Exclusive Real Estate, to join his company. Becoming a realtor with Jim was a great decision, and I love my work and various associations.
How will the development
of West Villages impact on our community?
On the negative side, the need for road expansion and upgrades will lead to some disruptions. On the positive side, West Villages and similar developments offer low maintenance living and the kinds of amenities that attract buyers. Realtors naturally value selling homes, but we also want to retain the small-town lifestyle that many of us value.
What do you enjoy
most about being a realtor and what are some of the challenges?
I enjoy the people side of our business the most. It’s meaningful to help an individual, couple or family find a home that fits their needs. One of the challenges is building personal relationships when everyone is spending so much time on smartphones and websites.
Where are you from
originally and what would you like to share about your family?
I grew up in a small farm town in the northeastern part of the state where farming dominates the landscape and economy. I learned the value of hard work and integrity. My husband Matt and I are about to celebrate our eighteenth anniversary. He owns Coastal Water Care. We have three children, Spencer Heldenbrand, an Englewood firefighter; McKenna, who lives in Colorado and Bodie, a student at Sky Academy. We have a comfortable home on the water with 2.5 acres of privacy and a pool and deck overlooking the water.
What are some of your passions away from work?
I enjoy family time, fun on the water, palm trees, and the flip-flop lifestyle. Matt and I enjoy simple things like driving around in our jeep and cruising Canopy Road. It’s much easier to enjoy a balanced life when you work with a great team. (Visit her website).