Exeleon Magazine

Michelle Oates-Duda: Walking the Extra Mile

Michelle Oates-Duda_Exeleon Magazine

When Michelle Oates-Duda began The Extra Mile Realtors, it wasn’t a fancy marketing ploy or brand positioning strategy.

Rather, it was an indication of the commitment that she was willing to offer; a commitment to go beyond one’s expectations.

A powerful woman in every right, Michelle has built a name and reputation in the real estate industry that echoes success. Today, she is one of North Central West Virginia’s top real estate producers.

A Powerful Woman

For Michelle, powerful women come in all shapes, sizes, and ideals. She mentions, “One’s power comes from within. It’s how you feel about yourself and your connection to the world. Powerful women possess numerous attributes that allow them to be successful leaders.”

Moreover, a powerful woman is one who is committed to never giving up and standing up for what they believe to be right. Irrespective of the obstacle, a powerful woman keeps grinding and fighting.

These beliefs and thoughts are central to Michelle’s moral compass, much of which can be attributed to her growing up years.

“I was raised in a very stable and loving home where I watched my father work hard and become a successful businessman. My mother was a wonderful stay at home mom who was always there for my brothers and me,” Michelle recalls.

From a young age, Michelle’s parents encouraged her to pursue leadership roles and find her voice to be an independent and hard-working woman.

They were both hard workers themselves and inculcated an actionable attitude within the entire household. “They taught and displayed an admirable value system which I see in myself to this day.”

Real Estate

A lifetime learner and explorer of new things, Michelle started out her career in the banking and accounting space. Following this, she spread her wings across different industries. However, with the real estate industry, she found her true calling.

“The real estate industry is ever-evolving and sparked my interest in exploring a different career,” she mentions.

Moreover, real estate gave her the opportunity to be her own boss and build relationships with people in her community and beyond.

Within the first two years of her entering the industry, Michelle generated an enormous interest and demand for her services. She realized she needed help and Zack Pell was her answer.

“Zack started with me as an assistant while attending college. He said he knew right away he wanted to get his real estate license and continue the career full time after graduation.”

Both Zack and Michelle have a similar desire of working hard and continually evolving, thus making for an effective duo that also provides support to each other. “Although there is a significant age difference between us, we have found this allows for a sharing of ideas and knowledge from different perspectives,” she further points out.

It was her constant discussion with Zack about pushing the boundaries and going the “extra mile” for their clients that established the name of their team – The Extra Mile Realtors.

Michelle Oates-Duda_Exeleon Magazine

Communication is Key

For Michelle, communication is of utmost importance to ensure optimal client satisfaction. “My goal when working with my clients is to be available to them 24/7. To provide them with excellent communication, honest discussions, and going the “extra mile” to ensure their needs are met.”

Michelle realizes that dealing with transactions related to real estate can be extremely stressful. She guides her clients through these processes in the most stress-free manner possible.

“If I need to take items off their plate to assist in making their life easier, I do it. I feel that listening to their concerns and talking them through the process helps to alleviate some stress from their lives.”

Furthermore, Michelle believes in providing first-class service to all of her clients, in every step of the way. Through all these efforts, transparency, and communication, Michelle establishes a trusting relationship with her clients, one that goes a long way in ensuring client satisfaction.

However, amidst this hustle and bustle, Michelle admits that she has some improvements to make with her work-life balance.

She asserts, “I am working on more self-care and making more time for family and friends. Since starting this new career later in life, after many years of the most important job as a stay-at-home mom, I found I was ready to devote myself to creating a successful business.”

Owing to this, Michelle is proud of the journey she has had thus far and insists that she would not change anything. She claims both the good as well as the bad parts of her journey has positioned her to be where she is today.

“I believe that in order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.”

Create Your Own Path

Similar to how she has carved her own unique journey, Michelle advises aspiring women leaders in the industry to create their own path, in their own unique manner. “Don’t follow in someone else’s footsteps or emulate their ideas but find your own way.”

She continues saying, “That was my goal when starting in a business ripe with seasoned agents. I found my own path.”

According to her, powerful women are courageous, independent, and know who they are to their core. However, it took years for Michelle to “find the core of me, personally and professionally, it’s a journey.”

She is quick to point out that the real estate business can seem a bit easy, but it’s not the case. One needs to be a self-starter and motivated individual in order to succeed at this level.

Giving Back

Working in her native hometown of Morgantown, West Virginia has given Michelle so many opportunities and benefits, hence it is befitting and essential in her eyes to give back to her community.

“I try to participate in as many fundraisers, events, and community activities that my schedule allows. I have a soft spot for our local West Virginia University Children’s Hospital as both my sons were born there and dealt with some health issues,” she mentions.

Moreover, Michelle enjoys providing community tours of her hometown to those looking to move in and sharing the best the town has got to offer.

For Michelle, any cause where she recognizes a need or benefit, she would go the “extra mile” to support that.

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