ADVANTAGE BUILDER: MICHELLE BIEDERMANN
Back in middle school, a young Michelle Biedermann received the computer game SimCity for Christmas. She spent hours planning and developing entire cities from scratch. The game requires players to create and maintain services and amenities that keep virtual residents happy, balance the budget, and navigate everything from power outages to natural disasters.
Which isn’t that far off from Biedermann’s job today as a Real Estate Manager in Asset Services with CBRE and President of the local BOMA chapter in St. Louis, MO.
“There’s never dull moment,” she said. “I love the relationships I get to build with my tenants, my team and my clients while helping resolve day-to-day challenges. I really enjoy identifying and making improvements that add value for our clients and seeing a project from the idea stage to the end result.”
“I love the relationships I get to build with my tenants, my team and my clients while helping resolve day-to-day challenges.”
Michelle grew up in a close-knit family in a suburb of St Louis. She recalled helping her dad, a residential real estate broker, stuff mailers, preview properties and take photos. “I’ve always loved architecture—my sister Jennifer and I would run through the houses and point out the things we liked,” she said. Her fondest memories include family vacations—road trips to the beach and mountains—and weekends at her grandparents’ farm, riding horses, pond fishing and hiking.
Biedermann credits her parents for her creativity, resourcefulness and strong sense of ethics. “My parents are the strongest and most admirable two people I know,” she said. “If something needed to be fixed—the car, the plumbing, etc.—they would teach themselves how and just do it. They’ve been together since they were teenagers, are the best of friends and are my foundation.”
Biedermann excelled in school and worked part-time in retail and the restaurant industry. After completing her associate’s degree, she got a scholarship to Maryville University of St. Louis, where she received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with a focus in graphic design. Biedermann began freelancing and continued to work on the side at a restaurant. Eventually, one of her regular customers recruited her to join his real estate development firm as an executive assistant, where she earned her real estate license.
But Biedermann wasn’t quite finished with the art world. She left real estate in 2008 to work for a small studio that created designs using printing presses from the 1800s. After two years, Biedermann was again recruited for a real estate position—this time in Asset Services at CBRE.
“I had only worked for small boutique firms, and I loved the idea of working for a global corporation, where I could go anywhere,” Biedermann said. “When I went through the training and learned about CBRE’s RISE values—respect, integrity, service and excellence—that really resonated with me. Those values are so important in any relationship. I knew if I worked hard I could be part of something great.”
“When I went through the training and learned about CBRE’s RISE values—respect, integrity, service and excellence—that really resonated with me.”
In 2010, Biedermann started her career in commercial real estate as a Real Estate Services Coordinator but was quickly promoted to Assistant Real Estate Manager at Pierre Laclede Center, a pair of premier office towers, in the City of Clayton, Missouri. Her strong performance, positive attitude and propensity to go the extra mile for her team and clients earned her recognition in 2010 and 2013 as Team Player of the Year for CBRE Asset Services.
WORK. LIFE. BALANCED.
Biedermann is the acting President of BOMA St. Louis (the Building Owners and Managers Association). She advocates for the industry and is on the front lines of dealing with relevant issues and important events that affect commercial real estate. She also represents the St. Louis market as the Field Delegate for the CBRE Women’s Network. “I love tapping into the brainpower of the experienced women within the network, as well as the enrichment and empowerment I gain from the group,” she said.
Outside of work, Biedermann spends time with her husband, Rob, and one-year-old daughter, Eleanora, hiking, gardening, cooking and attending community art and music festivals.
“I didn’t start out thinking I would be a property manager, but honestly, I think my experiences were great building blocks for customer service, event planning, having patience and being able to multitask and juggle on a tight time schedule,” she said.
In fact, there are days when her commercial real estate career feels a lot like that computer game she played in middle school. “I tell my parents ‘this is my real-life SimCity,’” Biedermann laughed.