By CASEY KELLOGG
Q&A with Michael Wimberly
of Insight Group Real Estate
MCL: Did you start off wanting to do real estate?
Michael Wimberly: No, I started off with a painting company about 16 years ago. And then we started painting apartments and houses and then got into property management. We started buying and selling, and then I got my real estate license. I never imagined any of that happening when we were painting. I would have never guessed I’d be here.
MCL: What’s your favorite part of real estate?
MW: I’d say my favorite part is that every day there’s something new. There’s a new challenge, there’s a new customer or client. There’s always another deal.
MCL: What is the Insight Group? What do y’all specialize in?
MW: We specialize in commercial property management and investment brokerage, whether that be residential income, commercial (or) industrial.
We currently manage 14 shops for different owners and we handle everything from leasing and repairs to paying their bills, paying their mortgage, etc.
But then we also offer the brokerage services, so we help our clients buy income-producing properties, whether that’s a shopping center or an apartment complex or even a family house that someone wants to use as a rental house.
MCL: Where are most of your properties — and do you have any out of state?
MW: They’re mostly in the Jackson metro area. We have some in south Mississippi and north Mississippi but the majority is in the metro area.
I think we’ll stay in Mississippi. I was born and raised in Mississippi, so we’ll stick to what we know.
MCL: You and your wife both work and you’ve got four kids. What does work/life balance look like for you right now?
MW: When I started real estate, I made a promise to my wife that I was not going to work weekends, even though every other real estate agent in the world works on Saturdays and Sundays. I made a vow that I wasn’t going to do that and that I would just trust God to bring me sufficient clients, enough to survive in the business. And so the nights and the weekends are family time.
Another thing we always do is, every night we always eat dinner at the dinner table, we have a no-phone zone, and it’s just a time for us to reflect on our day.
MCL: Who have been your biggest business mentors or spiritual mentors?
MW: It would have to be my dad and a man named Roy Ward. They’re both exceptional business people. Their communication skills are second to none. Good communication is the cornerstone of business — and those guys, they’ve perfected it over the 40 years of their business careers.
They’ve especially impacted the Insight Group because they put faith first, put family first and have a strong work ethic. I think their faith in God is extraordinary and it’s evident in their life. I strive to be like them.
MCL: What’s the hardest part of being a Christian businessman, and how do you overcome that?
MW: I really don’t know if there is a hard part about being a Christian businessman because that’s the fun part about being in business: It’s influencing other people with my walk with Christ through honesty and integrity in all of my business dealings, whether it’s dealing with a client or closing a deal. We do what we say we’re going to do and just try to be a positive influence through example. So I really don’t think it’s hard to be a Christian businessman.
MCL: Why should buyers and sellers choose the Insight Group over other companies?
MW: I think if I gave an example of why they should choose us over another, that would be, in a way, saying we’re better than other companies. I don’t think we’re better than others.
I think I’d rather tell people that if they do deal with us, they would have 100 percent of our loyalty, our respect and our honesty in all dealings. And so I don’t know if I’d give them a reason to do business with us over another, but I will tell them what they can get and what they can expect if they do deal with us.