Obstacles haven’t stopped Realtor Andrade from reaching goals
Growing up in a low-income neighborhood in Reno, Michelle Andrade wanted a change.
As she always carried a positive outlook on life, she didn’t care much for perpetually gloomy attitudes of other kids in the neighborhood, even those she considered friends.
“I can remember being invited to one friend’s 10th birthday party and no parents were to be found,” Andrade said. “Drinking, smoking and dirty dancing was going on. I grabbed my Aaron Carter CD and walked home and knew at that moment I wanted to move.”
Andrade persuaded her single mother and her sister, Samantha, to move to a different neighborhood. Her mother was reluctant, but nonetheless toured around town to find that perfect home. They finally settled on a property in Donner Springs.
“On the weekends my mom would take us to open houses. I loved open houses. I would imagine my stuff in every home,” Andrade said.
Maybe the joy of looking at homes was a sign of things to come. Andrade, now an adult, enjoys a career working in residential real estate.
She worked in the casino industry in Southern California before returning to Northern Nevada to follow the calling into real estate.
She started out with another brokerage but moved on to L. Lance Gilman Real Estate Services (LLGRE) where she is a Realtor and buyer’s agent. Gilman took a chance on the relatively inexperienced agent, but was impressed with her work ethic and positive attitude. Her focus is on the residential side of real estate, but she can serve in commercial as well.
She is also establishing her own real estate brand, RealtorBossbabe, even applying for a patent on the RealtorBossbabe name.
“We all have our superhero names, right? I am a wife and mother to four children who are all very active, so I need a superhero name, so Realtorbossbabe is mine,” Andrade said. “RealtorBossbabe will be a brand in itself for women realtors. We will have apparel, open house boxes to a marketing team. I want a team of realtorbossbabes.”
She credits Nicole Merwin, an established agent, with helping her get acclimated to the industry.
“She is my transaction coordinator at LLGRE and always taking her time to train me, help me and be real with me,” Andrade said. “She doesn’t have to do half the stuff she does, but she does because she truly wants me to be successful and that means a lot to me.”
Even as a child Andrade had an entrepreneurial spirit. When she was 8, she opened the doors to her house and sold her mother’s living room furniture.
She’s been intrigued by owning a photo booth, and last year that became a reality when she and her husband, Tim, started Andrade Photo Booth. The couple has made a point to make their photo booth simple to use at affordable prices.
They are also open to just about any special event, such as weddings. The photo booth can fit up to 10 people at a time and Andrade said it is simple to use. Costumes are available for customers to wear.
Seeing people have fun with the photo booth is a rewarding experience for her.
“We couldn’t afford to have one at our own wedding, so when we started our business, I promised to work with every bride’s budget,” Andrade said. “I love when grandpa and grandma sneak in and take silly photos. Most of my brides say that my presence really makes the experience worthwhile.”
Andrade has experienced some setbacks. A while back she had some medical issues which forced her to scale back on her endeavors. While she is adamant about taking care of herself now, it won’t deter her from reaching her goals.
Her husband, she adds, has been supportive every step of the way.
“I have an amazing husband. Not only does he coach our sons to be the very best on the field or on the court, but he is always coaching me to be my best,” she said. “There are no excuses, we will get it done.”
Andrade said she is thankful for what life has given her so far and she is eager to find out where it will take her.
“I cannot wait until RealtorBossBabe launches. My photo booth business celebrated one year of business Sept. 27 and one year in real estate in January, so I still have time to make it the best first year ever!”
Jacob Warwick, CEO of Discover Podium, says the company that launched only a year ago in Reno recently surpassed $1 million in revenue and has big plans for growth in the coming months.