Some real estate agents approach their jobs with enthusiasm, others know it’s what they were born to do—it’s a calling. Elliman Insider sat down with Colorado agent Michelle Ferguson to learn everything from her mentor taught her all there is to know in the business to how she embraces her real estate career as being a 24/7 lifestyle—and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Elliman Insider: When did you know that real estate was your calling?
Michelle Ferguson: 1989. Upon High School graduation in ’90, I had every intention to attend law school to become a real estate attorney. In the midst of my internship with a real estate law firm, my Senior Partner chose to pursue land development in Aspen and surrounding areas. I became his right-hand and learned many facets of real estate in my 8-year tenure with the firm. Legal, development, single family luxury, golf courses to name a few. I have since spent my entire 27-year career in real estate and am so very grateful for his mentorship. My eldest son, Blayne, was born during my internship and my mentor welcomed a crib in my office at my request so I could work into the wee hours of the night. Sadly, my mentor passed away last year but I’m thankful we communicated a few days prior to his passing. I pulled out many boxes from storage to see what we accomplished in years past. Truly inspiring.
EI: What’s your biggest challenge as an agent?
MF: The biggest challenge at this time would be the COVID-19 restrictions. As an independent broker for over 20 years, relocating my family from the front range to Aspen and joining a brokerage just a few months ago, the opportunity to network and build my brand in a traditional manner has been challenging to say the least. That said, I am an out-of-the-box thinker/survivor and I have embraced alternatives to network and brand within my community. Present day, I now find myself as a mediator to facilitate one of the most controversial developments to come to the Aspen Valley. A “Yellowstone Series” similarity comes to mind, minus the bloodshed.
EI: Why did you choose Elliman?
MF: We chose one another. Upon a complex, yet very successful transaction in Aspen (Starwood) with Joshua Saslove (I represented buyer, he the seller), I knew I had met a like-minded professional that will challenge me. Every single day is an opportunity to learn. I choose to embrace it and be challenged. Although I’m new to Douglas Elliman in one of the most prestigious markets, the support thus far has been above and beyond to set me up for success.
EI: Do you live by a personal mantra or favorite saying?
MF: The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little “extra.”
EI: How has Elliman upped your real estate game?
MF: Training and support. My managing broker, Ed Foran, has championed my skill set and diverse real estate experience. A person who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected.
EI: Any advice for new agents?
MF: Create a business plan first and foremost. Be accountable. Kick a– every single day! This industry is not for the weak. And no, it’s not a part-time gig unless you’re looking to be a little fish in a big pond. Swim the extra mile. Trust me.
EI: Where can we find you when you’re not working?
MF: Always working. That is the true definition of our industry. Whether it is volunteering, a family hike, a quick stop at the local bodega, opportunity is endless if you embrace your passion that happens to provide food on the table. I am grateful and humbled to be an advocate for Goldie Hawn. Her MindUp program fosters children’s well-being through educational programs based in neuroscience and mindful practice. In these challenging times (and non-challenging times), the knowledge our children need to regulate stress and emotion is of the utmost importance. I further volunteer time to The Love Rocks Foundation where we gift musical instruments and music lessons to children that may not have the ability to pay Aspen prices. I am also a life-long motorcycle and equestrian enthusiast. Our family enjoys everything Colorado has to offer!