How to Create Work-Life Balance in Your Real Estate Career
It’s not easy being a parent under any circumstances. If you are trying to establish a successful real estate career, however, things can be especially difficult. Here are five tips for balancing your career aspirations with your parenting goals.
Test the waters. The real estate business comes with unpredictable, long hours, especially in the beginning. Before you jump in head first, you can get an idea of what to expect by getting your license and then finding a job as an assistant to an established real estate agent. This will allow you to work a predetermined number of hours per day or week while you learn the business and decide if it’s really something you want to do.
Get a mentor. You can cut the learning curve by finding a mentor or experienced agent who is willing to take you under his or her wing. This will allow you to avoid wasted time and fruitless action. An experienced professional can also help you learn how to streamline your day-to-day, so you don’t have to needlessly sacrifice family time.
Choose your broker carefully. Before accepting a job to work for just any real estate company, make sure they offer a supportive office culture. Find an environment where you can ask questions and get answers from a reputable agency who will invest in you as a person and not just an agent. It’s also helpful to work with fellow agents who may have the same experiences as you.
Focus on buyers. If you’re just starting out or juggling a busy family life, you should consider working mainly as a buyer’s agent. This will allow you to make consistent income without having to make as many personal sacrifices. You can also take the time to learn about lead generation and marketing for business.
Set aside one uninterrupted day. To accommodate their clients’ schedules, real estate agents tend to make themselves available on the days and hours that other people have off work. Try to schedule your home viewings and open houses for either Saturday or Sunday (but not both) if at all possible. This will give you at least one uninterrupted day a week when you can decompress and spend time with your family.
Create an effective workspace. To successfully balance parenting with work, you need to be as efficient as possible. Having a dedicated home office space can improve focus and efficiency. Unfortunately, working from home can be problematic if you have a lot of distractions. Try to keep your office separate from your family life. Don’t let your children bring toys into the room and make sure everyone knows to leave you alone while you are working unless there is an emergency. Improve focus and productivity using these tips for creating a home office for your real estate career.
Reframe your perspective. If you feel the need for a structured, predetermined schedule to be a successful real estate agent, it’s you are likely going to struggle to balance your work and home life. To balance your parenting duties with your career, you will need to be agile and flexible. Try to manage your work demands and schedule appointments during times when you know your children will be occupied. Understand that things don’t always have to be perfect or predictable for you to be a good parent and effective real estate agent.
Ask for help. In almost every instance, it’s a bad idea to bring your children along for any type of real estate meeting or transaction. This means you will need someone who can watch your children when timely opportunities or unexpected work emergencies arise. If you have a partner, see if they are willing and able to supervise the kids when necessary or identify relatives or friends you can lean on from time to time. You can also leverage online babysitting services which provide vetted, qualified sitters at a moment’s notice. Whatever you do, don’t ask your clients to work around your schedule, since most buyers and sellers get frustrated when an agent demonstrates even the slightest inflexibility.
Be realistic. It’s not easy to balance parenting and work responsibilities regardless of your business. Unfortunately, finding a healthy balance can be especially tricky for real estate agents because their schedules can be unpredictable. Even if you approach the situation with a positive outlook and a flawless plan, you are likely to run into more than a few hiccups. If you want to be a good parent, you will have to make sacrifices within your career. This doesn’t mean you can’t make it big; it just means you may have to pass up certain opportunities if they don’t fit within your lifestyle. You may also have to work odd hours and evenings to meet the needs of clients and make sure you are available to your kids.
Embrace your abilities. To create an effective work-life balance, you will need to lean on your natural talents. Maybe you are a real estate mom who is a master at multitasking. Perhaps you’re a dad who can efficiently adapt with the changing tides. Whatever your individual gifts, you have the ability to be a successful real estate agent and parent. Try to identify how you work best and look for ways to play to your strengths. Prioritize the things that are most important to you and your family and make choices that put these things above all else.
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