Real estate is in the veins of Mike Altobelli. A third-generation REALTOR®, Mike was exposed to the business at a young age. His father and grandfather both sold real estate and his uncle and father owned a small construction company — MGA Builders, in Montgomery County.
Mike built homes with MGA Builders as a teenager and went on to work for Woodland Custom Homes. He then attended the University of Maryland, where he majored in business administration and minored in finance.
“For as long as I was in college, I should have been a doctor,” Mike jokes. “Not knowing what I wanted to do held me back from moving forward, in some cases unnecessarily. I think it’s important to try different things and not worry about figuring everything out so early on.”
In addition to construction, Mike worked at a restaurant as a food runner and sold wine at a retailer. However, his natural inclination towards entrepreneurship couldn’t be ignored. He was still finishing his degree and working at the wine store when he decided to get his real estate license.
“Even though I stayed busy at work, I felt like I was just putting in time, punching a clock, and I knew that if I spent the same working hours working for myself, I could accomplish much more,” he says. “I figured that I knew enough about building houses that I might as well try selling them and see how it goes.”
Mike reached out to his father, a REALTOR® now for 42 years, and asked if he could join him. “He seemed surprised that I was interested,” says Mike. “But he really helped me get my start.”
Mike started his career in 2003 at the age of 22, while still in school, and went full-time in 2008, as the market was falling — a calculated risk that paid off. His background in construction and home building continues to be a huge asset to his clients and business. Mike also owns a property management company, which has broadened his experience and expertise in the industry — another boon to his clients.
“I can count on one hand the number of times a buyer I’ve worked with has backed out due to the home inspection simply because, more often than not, I’m able to point out the potential issues prior to even writing the offer, and if a house seems to have too many issues, I’ll make a strong recommendation to move on,” says Mike.
Currently, Mike is passionate about growing his team, The Altobelli Group at RE/MAX Realty Services, in a way that benefits his clients and team members. Mike’s focus on caring and looking out for his clients has allowed him to build his business almost entirely on referrals. He worked with his very first client from 16 years ago again just the other week, and it was the client’s third sale.
“I’ve always made it a priority to treat my clients like they are my only ones, staying in touch and providing as much value as I can before, during, and after each transaction. This approach has served my clients well and that’s why they have continued to refer me and why we often become friends by the end of the sale. I’m building bonds with my clients while helping them build their future.”
“I really appreciate the relationships I’ve built with clients and other agents over the years. It’s those relationships, plus my family and personal goals that keep me going. Real estate offers enough potential and enough avenues to give you a lifetime worth of opportunities. And that keeps me interested and intrigued. It’s a lot like playing a game that you can always improve at.”
As Mike continues to give his all to the people in his life, he will continue to seize the opportunities that will naturally arise as a result, while having fun, spending as much time with his family as possible, and enjoying the fruits of his labor along the way.