A Journey of Professional and Personal Success

The woman behind a one-stop brokerage, a top-rated television show, and a loving family

With its premier in February, 24 Hour Flip is already one of the best rated shows on A&E, and it films right here in New Jersey. Michelle Pais, owner of Signature Realty NJ and the Michelle Pais Group, and her business partner and real estate investor, Jonathan Steingraber, lead a team of professionals to totally renovate a house in 24 hours. The following day, an open house is held to get the home sold.

“I've learned that anything is possible and that it's a matter of man hours, so you don't have to sit through a six to eight month renovation,” says Michelle. “You just have to be very organized, plan ahead and make sure that the materials are in stock.”

She is not only the real estate broker on the show, but also assists with the design and staging of the home. Michelle says she loves being able to walk into a home and see its full potential, but her favorite part is seeing the incredible transformation that takes place in such a short time frame.

The first episode featured a flip in South Bound Brook and the second episode featured a flip in South Amboy. They’ve also renovated homes on the show in Union County, Morris County, Bergen County and others.

As a business owner, author, wife, mother to 2-year-old Madison Rose, and now a television personality, Michelle has had to learn how to balance all of her roles, and do it successfully. “I'm not going to lie to you - it's very hard,” she says. “You can’t be all things to all people, so it's about prioritizing and leveraging your team and trusting them to get the job done. You can't do it all on your own.”

She adds, “I'm very focused on the things that make me happy and the things that I'm really good at and for everything else, I rely on my team.”

Part of that team includes the two project managers on 24 Hour Flip, Danny Mariano and Jonathan Borges, who were already working with her husband. “There is a scope of work and everyone has their roles,” says Michelle. “It's sequenced and our project managers have to make sure that everything is on pace and on time.”

Her journey to success took some interesting turns. Growing up, she watched her parents, Portuguese immigrants, work hard and believes that rubbed off on her. “My parents have a very strong work ethic,” she says. “They worked multiple jobs and extremely long hours, and they've owned businesses too. That work ethic, drive and ambition was instilled in me from a very young age and I'm so grateful for that.” Michelle was also fortunate to have been able to spend her adolescence in Portugal, attending school there and learning more about her culture.

As a young woman, Michelle wanted to be a lawyer, but that changed when she started working for a real estate office while attending college. “I decided to get my real estate license as a backup plan just in case law didn't work out.  But, after my first sale, I was just euphoric and knew that this was what I was destined to do. I'm obsessed with negotiating and with marketing. I enjoy working with people, helping people, and it never gets old. I'm always privileged and humbled when people choose to work with me.”

She believes we're constantly changing, evolving and growing, and it’s important to be open to new things and new paths. “I always say, ‘Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.’”

Signature Realty NJ and the Michelle Pais Group, which has already been ranked one of the most successful independently-owned real estate brokerages in the state (Michelle was one of the youngest, if not the youngest, broker that had achieved this level of success), is growing. Filming the show and having all these resources on hand have inspired her to expand the services she offers.

“We are no longer just a brokerage,” she says. “We're utilizing all of our resources to be able to provide them to homeowners. We are now offering interior design, staging, styling, construction concierge, and moving services - anything that has to do with real estate or the moving process is now under our one roof.”

This one-stop shop concept, she says, is going to save people a lot of time and energy of having to figure out who to hire for different needs.

To watch 24 Hour Flip and see Michelle, Jonathan and their team in action, tune in to A&E every Saturday at 12:00 pm. To learn more about Signature Realty NJ and the Michelle Pais Group, go to and to   

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