Michelle Quinn

Her High School Summer Job Led Her to Real Estate!

Never underestimate the importance of your first job. It might just be the door to your destiny. Instead of flipping burgers or working retail in the ‘80s, Michelle Quinn found herself on Topsail Island working for a small real estate company helping with marketing and property management.
“That was my first ‘real’ summer job after high school graduation,” she reflects. She admits that she “got hooked” on real estate back in 1985, the same decade as big hair bands and leg warmers. Back in the ‘80s, she thumbed through big bulky phone books from the DC and Ohio area codes to make cold calls, inviting people to visit Topsail Island to explore real estate opportunities.
Real estate left a lasting impression upon this teenager. 
Blazing Her Own Trail
With her love of real estate, Michelle decided to pursue it professionally in 1989, obtaining her real estate license after graduating from Meredith College and pursuing her M.B.A while working at a local commercial real estate firm in Raleigh.
Although she took a break from the commercial side of the industry, Michelle always kept her license current and continued to take her C.E. for over 20 years until she returned to the field of residential real estate in 2020.
“I always knew I would be back!” exclaims Michelle.  “I had been contemplating it since 2017 when our son graduated high school, but something always seemed to come up each fall that I ‘planned’ to start.”
A woman of many hats, Michelle has taught business, communication and technology courses on the college level. Not to mention teaching kindergarten through fifth grade technology, working in sales and marketing in the cell phone/communication industry, as well as in the animal health industry with her husband.
When the country was shutting down during the pandemic, Michelle was gearing up for a new career. She jokes, “Most people got an air fryer or a puppy during COVID. I came out of ‘retirement’ and got a new job!”
Now she works for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolina Premier Properties and loves it.
Doubting Her Doubts
Michelle has had to overcome self-doubt in her career and personal life to get to where she is now. After her first job in real estate on Topsail Island, Michelle returned to work there for three summers during college.
Ironically, listings in the same community of Queens Grant were some of her first when she started back in 2020. Michelle’s mind was flooded with concerns. She asked herself, “What would others think? Would I be taken seriously?” Michelle’s husband was completing the final phases of a family project in that community. She wondered, “Could I prove that I am capable of earning my husband’s business?”
With her drive and determination, Michelle beat the odds. Others began to notice her success and watched as she gained traction in the real estate industry.
Michelle comments, “My most recent validation came last week when a builder said to me, ‘Michelle, Congrats on all of your sales and accomplishments. I’ve been keeping up with those posts. And I just want to tell you that you honestly did surprise me. You were serious about your work; you never stopped until you got what you wanted and you have proven that you are in this business for real’.”
Helping Others
What makes Michelle stand out above other real estate agents is her heart to help others, a quality that goes back to her days as a teacher.
“My passion has always been helping others,” she reflects. “It has just taken on different forms throughout my career paths. Whether it was helping an elementary student navigate a new skill and see the ‘ah hah’ moment in their eyes or having a college student come back to me to say, ‘Mrs. Quinn, I went on to get my master’s degree because you made me believe that I could accomplish anything that I set out to do.’ That is what it has always been about for me.”
Moving that passion over to real estate was an easy transition. Michelle is still passionate to help others with one of the biggest decisions they will make in their lives.
“Seeing the first-time homebuyer’s eyes light up when we find the perfect home is rewarding and even more so on closing day. Watching a family find their dream beach home as the kids ‘discuss’ which bedroom will be theirs and knowing the memories that will be made there makes my day,” shares Michelle.
Family Focused
When she isn’t working, it’s all about family time for Michelle. She and her husband, Kim Quinn, just celebrated their 30th anniversary this past March. Their relationship dates back to the ‘80s.  Friends in high school, they started dating in 1987 during Michelle’s junior year at Meredith. The rest is history!
This happy couple has one son, Holden Quinn, who now lives in Wilmington after graduating from High Point University. Holden and Kim own and operate Wilmington Awning, Shutter and Shade.
“Everything we do seems to be family-centric. Kim and Holden are very supportive of my business on so many levels,” says Michelle. Kim will answer the phone with “Michelle Quinn’s assistant, how may I help you?”
As for Holden, he has installed signs and they both have delivered paperwork across four counties. Since Holden was a toddler, this tight-knit family has always attended home shows, open houses, and maybe even a construction site or three together.
“It seems poetic that the three of us have ended up in businesses helping people with their home needs in different ways while also helping each other,” smiles Michelle.
Sun + Sunsets + Sailing
To relax, Michelle savors sunsets and time near the water. Her happy place is on a boat or on a beach with family and friends. “I love to entertain and watch people enjoy themselves and have fun. Make the most of every moment!” says Michelle.
Fascinatingly, although Michelle travels by air and by sea, she has a fear of flying and being on a boat. This fear doesn’t hold her back. “I even have my own little boat that I take out alone—although not very far,” she smiles. “I refuse to let my sometimes irrational fears stand in the way of exploring the world and making lifelong memories!”
Final Thoughts
Michelle is living proof that with enough drive and determination, anything is possible. Returning to her roots in real estate proved to be beneficial to this Rising Star. She lives by the words of her father, “Plan your work and work your plan!” This hard-working real estate agent loves what she does, helping clients here in the local area and beyond. Her door to her destiny was discovered when she was a teenager; now she is living her dreams in real estate. She wouldn’t have it any other way.