National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals

August 26, 2016

Reach Down and Uplift Others

A NAGLREP Social Spotlight by Darla Michelsen

Michael Pino is a realtor in St Pete Beach, Florida and has always had a fascination with property and land. Growing up in Long Island, NY and surrounded by beautiful properties, as a child he would spend hours drawing pictures of islands filled with mansions and yachts.  He was also an avid reader of the New York Times real estate section and often drove by advertised properties. Michael says that was the beginning of his real estate career.

Michael ended up getting his Real Estate license, but not without first taking a detour. He followed a strong conviction to help others and became a registered nurse in a growing AIDS epidemic.

In 1996 Michael moved from New York City to Fort Lauderdale and continued his AIDS nursing practice until retiring in 2006. Soon after he moved to St Pete Beach to pursue his passion of real estate. Making the transition from nursing to Real Estate felt seamless for Michael. He feels that he’s still in the service of others which he says is therapeutic. He has a gift for helping others.

Michael recently made a move to Keller Williams Realty Suncoast, working with Joe Snyder on the beaches of Saint Petersburg. We had the pleasure of catching up with one another for an interview.

Darla Michelsen: In your Real Estate business do you feel you have a niche or expertise?

Michael Pino: My focus is on waterfront properties in St. Pete Beach and the surrounding towns. Our team sells every type of property and are kind of lucky because we literally have every market and price point and every style of residence. My office is on the beach because it's where my clients want to be. Most of my marketing comes from referrals and past clients who enjoy this type of living and the service I offer.

DM: If you were to give advice to anyone thinking about getting into Real Estate, what would you tell them?

MP: First I would ask them why they selected the career path, and if they chose real estate for themselves or to help others. A move is often the most important transition in someones life and real estate professionals should first be thinking about the client. If you can do this, then everything else will follow and you can build a career. It’s not an easy career choice and one must be well prepared for the ups and downs of the marketplace and sales cycles.

DM: Why do you think it’s important to align yourself with NAGLREP?

MP: Members of NAGLREP have a great impact on educating the public in regards to housing discrimination towards the gay community. Being a part of NAGLREP empowers us to be successful in the market, and to be proud of who we are in our service to others. I love reaching out to NAGLREP members with referrals as I know they understand and are willing to offer the best assistance to my clients.

DM: What did you enjoy most about attending the 2015 NAGLREP conference?

MP: I loved the camaraderie and being in a room filled with a group of likeminded people who are there just to teach and have fun in our career and lives. The Education component is amazing and Fort Lauderdale has a special place in my heart. Weeks before last years event I was not well due to a diagnosis of cancer and was coming out of radiation and I really pushed myself to make it there. I really turned the corner there and got a renewed energy and zest again for life. Somehow the energy of the event and meeting people gave me a feeling like I was given a new life right there.

DM: What are three things most people wouldn’t know about you?

MP: A lot of people didn’t know I was a registered nurse and a licensed massage therapist. Most wouldn’t know that I’m writing a book about my role in the AIDS epidemic. My goal is to reach out to the younger generation who never knew of or are forgetting what the LGBT community experienced during this time. The theme of the book focuses on discrimination and loss. Finally many may not know I’m an avid reader. I most enjoy books about spiritual subjects and am currently reading “This Thing called You” written in the 1940’s by Ernest Holmes.

DM: You’ve had some challenges and I understand your deep spiritual beliefs must carry you and help lift you up, true?

MP: Yes, during my radiation treatment there was a time where I couldn’t go on anymore and I thought I was just going to die. I told myself “I can’t do this”; it was too painful. But during a treatment I had a profound personal experience drawing from my deepest beliefs and it relieved the pain and suffering.

DM: Michael, you have such a big heart and I’m sure there are some things you could share with others to help them to overcome challenges and suffering in their own lives. Could you share?

MP: The first thing I would suggest is meditation. It doesn’t have to be a formal practice. Get into nature with beautiful surroundings and listen to your inner voice. Center yourself and be still and quiet your mind… listening to your inner voice.

DM: How does that benefit you?

MP: It allows you to follow your path and to be drawn to what fulfills you.

DM: There is so much to be gained from it, in fact many people in the Real Estate business would benefit from this practice.

DM: Michael and I had the opportunity to talk last year at the NAGLREP conference and share some of our common beliefs with the others attending. It’s always a pleasure to have a conversation with you, and I am honored to be able to speak with you before the NAGLREP conference coming around this October 10-12 in Fort Lauderdale.

MP: I am so excited to see you and all of our NAGLREP family and friends. Happy, Healthy and Whole... Financially, mentally and spiritually.

Tags: Gay St Pete Beach, LGBT Real Estate

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