Prior to writing this post, a fellow realtor colleague and I were discussing the challenges a single parent has, to be financially successful as a real estate agent, in today’s extremely competitive market.
I am often amazed as I watch my single parent Realtor colleagues accomplish so much during a normal day. Although I may not have the magic formula as a parent, I have worked hard to keep up with my career, volunteering and community involvement, while still being the best father I can to my child.
I started my real estate career single in my 30’s. Back then I was more than happy to run the road night after night with unqualified buyers in the hopes that maybe, just maybe a deal would stick.
That quickly changed when I had kids. I knew that I did not want to be out almost every night, away from my home and children, so I decided to change how I operate.
Lana Morin Pearce, a Realtor in San Marin County California, explains her work / life balance.
So, here are one busy Realtor parent tips and tricks on how to balance it all as a either a dual or single parent.
1 Decide to focus on being a listing agent.
This has had a significant impact on the number hours you will spend out of the house in the evening. Still work with buyers, of course, but also spend a lot more time qualifying them and determining if we are an appropriate fit. The result is that you will spend a lot less time out in the evenings away from family running the roads.
2 Time off
Yes, you can actually have time off in real estate. Set expectation early and have set office hours. Although we all know, we are never really “off” and often need to be available to field phone calls from the beach, it is important to make time for your family and self.
- Every week try to schedule and take off either a day or half day for uninterrupted family time. It is typically a Sunday but can fluctuate depending on the requests that come in from clients. It was surprising how easy it became to make my bookings on only one day of the weekend or in just the afternoon or the morning. This allows you to take my kids on an outing or just have a lazy Sunday morning with them.
3 Get a little help from your friends!
If you’re on a team or have relatives in the business find ways to trade off with each other to cover showings, open houses etc. I’m a solo agent so have another agent I work with – a single parent that can jump in to help from time to time.
- If you are finding you have too many buyers, I will refer someone out.
- It is important to have a good working relationship with someone you can trust, who will take good care of your clients. Kids get sick and they have an impeccable ability to do so at the worst possible times. Therefore, it is important to have back-up support when you need it.
4 Set expectations.
When working with clients, it is important to work with the right “type” of clients. Identifying your “ideal” client will save you time, money and use your time wisely. Many inexperienced agents today mistakenly try to cater to everyone, so knowing who your ideal client is will help when setting expectations with your clients.
Setting expectations immediately will establish boundaries for both of you and manage your clients experience of the service that you will provide for them. Set out and agree on expectations regarding you business hours, showing hours, office hours etc., along with when and how you would be willing to deal with emergencies that may arise.
Explaining how the home buying/selling process works to your clients and communicating progress in a timely manner, will also help set realistic time frames for clients and limit panicky communications as the sale progresses.
Unfortunately, for many agents not setting expectations leads to a crazy schedule with many requests at all times of the day, which serves no one well. If you start to become worn ragged by a client(s) you will have no one to blame but yourself.
Did you know there are 10 million single moms in the workplace?
Single or not, Mom’s have this ability to juggle the work/life balance. If moms put in half of the energy that they put toward keeping the family running smoothly, success in real estate is inevitable!