Consultant- MBA Candidate- Business Traveler-Teleworking from SSI
Our team first met Michael Herman because we hit his radar as a good partner to know in the community. Michael is an energy management consultant for commercial real estate firms, primarily working with the healthcare industry. We soon learned from our first conversation that Michael is a part of the growing number of young professionals that are choosing to B.Y.O.Job to the Golden Isles.
Michael grew up in the rust belt cities of Ohio and Michigan but his career post-college provided him the experience of frequent business travel. Part of the allure of the traveling lifestyle included the opportunity to live anywhere. After three years of calling Connecticut home-base, Michael was ready to dip his toes back into warmer Atlantic waters.
How did you first come to discover the Golden Isles?
I discovered the Golden Isles with my family in 2013 on a family vacation to Sea Island. We thought the area was unique compared to places in the Gulf Coast where many of our midwestern friends went on vacation. I came back in 2014 for a College Spring Break trip with my sports team and explored greater Glynn county visiting restaurants, beaches, and neighborhoods.
What was the a-ha moment for you to make the Golden Isles your permanent residence?
As a traveling consultant, my goal was to relocate to an area with excellent weather, closer to my family, and a lower cost of living. With the arrival of COVID-19, what I thought would be an escape from the Northeast for a few weeks turned out to be a strategic business decision to be closer to my clients and establish a regional network outside of the Northeast for my firm.
What are some of the most welcome differences you have noticed from other places you lived and visited?
I enjoy being close to the beautiful nature of the Golden Isles, Kayaking, Skimboarding, and being outside year-round is a significant plus. Also, the cost of living is much lower than in New England in terms of rent and purchasing a home.
Your clients can have a presence anywhere- how do you manage networking and maintaining those critical relationships when you are here?
I am spending plenty of time on Zoom and conference calls, something I was already doing before COVID with my national clients. It is essential to check in with folks, especially now. Turns out when you do not have to do all the superfluous things with work, people have some more time on their hands. I am also attending virtual conferences and doing site visits when it is safe to do so.
You shared with us previously that you have a great deal of potential for projects in the Southeast. Has moving here made it easier to connect with those prospects?
Yes, it has. My company primarily works with Senior housing. The Southeast is one of the largest markets in the country and also has tremendous energy savings available. I can serve a broader swath of clients across the country with my relocation and connect with my cohort members at the University of Florida.
Are there any groups or organizations that you participate in locally to help you with your professional goals?
I am getting involved with the Georgia Economic Development Association (GEDA) and connecting with my cohort that is located across the Southeast.
When you are not working, where can we find you locally?
When I am not working, I am either Skimboarding at East Beach, playing golf at one of the area courses, and grilling on my deck!
Do you have any advice or tips for other young professionals considering relocating to a coastal community?
Connecting with your neighbors is very important. I find that people are much more friendly than I could ever imagine. Picking up a hobby either centered around the beach or the golf course also brings value in the area, so many people are oriented towards these activities it allows you to spend time outside of the business. Consider short-term rentals in a variety of neighborhoods. It will help you understand each area’s feel without committing to a new home or a long-term rental!
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