I think one of my biggest challenges as a real estate agent and a mom to young kids (8 and 10) is trying to find a semblance of a work-life balance.
Real estate requires that you are essentially available to your clients 24/7. Studies show that if you don’t respond to a client text within 10 minutes they get upset/annoyed. People expect a return phone call within 1 hour. So while real estate appears to be a flexible job (LOL), what it really is, in my opinion, is a 24/7 variable hours job.
There are some AMAZING benefits – I can usually help out on my kiddos field trips, and most days I am able to get them off the school bus. I can take a decent amount of holidays (and I do! It is crucial for my mental health to step away sometimes). I get to be my own boss, and I am largely in control of my day and my time.
The other huge benefit is that i get to meet and work with so many amazing people, many who become friends. I get to be involved in the community in so many organizations. I have done this job long enough that I am starting to sell houses that I helped clients buy 5-10 years ago, or the kids that I met are now buying THEIR first home (not going to lie, I feel old when this happens).
What is difficult is creating appropriate boundaries with clients that still allows you to be an effective agent. My children see me on my phone 80% of the day, which I don’t think is healthy. However, given the demands and requirements of the job, it Is important to be readily accessible at all times. I am often “that mom” who is paying attention to their phone at their kids soccer games – it is often when homes are being shown, offers are coming in, or clients are looking at new listings I have sent them and have questions. One of my biggest worries as a mom is that my kids will feel like my job is more important to me than they are.
I don’t think this is a struggle unique to real estate. Anyone who has their own business has to juggle the demands of accessibility and protecting family time. I think (hope?) that as our society adapts to the wonders of technology, we will all find a way to be available to clients yet ALSO be able to turn our phones off for an hour or two without the risk of losing a deal or clients.
What do you think? Do you struggle to find a healthy work-life balance? Suggestions? Tips! I would love to hear what you have to think!