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Ode to the Realtor Mom

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Freedom – Right?

As we approach Mother’s Day,  I’ve been thinking of how fast my kids are growing up.   Everyone tells you how quickly it’s going to go but when you have a colicky, crying infant you think, ‘One can only hope.’

You should know, my father was the instigator; he was the one that kept suggesting I get my real estate license by saying, “What if you did a deal every now and then?”

At that time, I had two boys – a two year old and a newborn and I was President of my local MOMS Club.  I had been a stay-at-home mom for two years and I thought, “What if I did a deal every now and then? Real Estate allows you so much freedom, right?”

A little over a year later, I had my real estate license and it quickly became more than ‘a deal every now and then’ – and I loved it.   My friends were growing families and an immediate source of wonderful business.

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In theory the job is flexible – but in practice – it can be demanding in ways that can be intrusive with a family.  Yet, I gave birth to my third child, my daughter, and I nursed her, and cared for her from my home, and I was able to continue working.  The year of my pregnancy and her birth was my best year in production up to that point.

The Elusive Search for Balance

As a working mother, I think many of us struggle with the elusiveness of ‘balance’.  In a real estate market where only the strong survive, finding that balance is a daily effort.  As a mother, I have often felt torn;  I think many women do.

As a once stay-at-home mother, I know that the often expressed sentiment is that to be a full-time, at home mother is superior.  I know that full-time working women feel that there is something to be said for the empowerment gained in a career that is particularly important for a women.  I could argue both sides of this debate with confidence.

Artwork and Frozen Pizzas

There are challenges with being a working mother in the real estate industry. Sometimes my days are chaotic and unpredictable.  Sometimes I forget the flower for Teacher Appreciation week.  Sometimes I forget to bake for the fundraiser.  Sometimes a bed goes unmade.  Sometimes we have a frozen pizza for dinner.

But there are gifts this business has afforded me that I never take for granted.  I drop my kids off to school everyday and I’m here everyday when my kids come  home.  I have helped in each of my their classrooms.  I attend every play, every conference, and every award ceremony.  I can take a day in the middle of the summer and go to the beach (even if I do sneak in a few work related calls).   I’m here to break up the fights, soothe the fever, admire their artwork, and laugh at their jokes.  I try to be present.  Phone calls don’t interrupt picking up or dropping off at school, and they don’t interrupt meals.

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I suspect that they will have memories of the times my work has ‘intruded’ on their moments with me.  But, more importantly, I believe they will also have memories of me being around.  I know that they will see the sense of self reliance this career has given me, and yet the true partnership I have with their dad.

Real estate has been the career that has afforded me the ability to be the kind of woman, the kind of mother I really wanted to become.  I still love the business and I’m filled with such a sense of gratitude for all that it has given to me.

To all my fellow Realtor Moms – Happy Mother’s Day!

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Written By

Linsey Planeta is the Broker Owner of Belterra Fine Homes in Orange County, California. Linsey rants regularly on her blog, OC Real Estate Voice. She also provides sellers with tips on how to get their home sold on Why Didn't My Home Sell? She has been an active Real Estate Coach and Instructor and loves working with agents so that they may look at their business with fresh eyes, renewed purpose, and defined systems. Linsey can be found in her office or you can also find her on Twitter@Linsey.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Joe@Augusta GA Homes

    May 6, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Since joining my wife in real estate upon my retirement from the Navy in 2003, it has been amazing to me to see the balance this has provided in our lives – and the flexibility it requires. Although I long for the days of 30-days paid leave a year, I still love the trade.

    Like you, Linsey, this job has afforded us the ability to miss very few school and extra-curricular events with the kids – from church functions to football, basketball, track, and cheer events. My wife has been able to make every school lunch, see the kids to the door, and see them come back in again. Rare is the day that we cannot balance our schedules enough to ensure she does not miss an important moment. Happy Mothers Day back at ya Linsey!

  2. Ken Brand

    May 6, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Nice. Bless all moms – amen. Happy Mothers Day:-)

  3. Louise Scoggins

    May 6, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Hi, Linsey! I too am a mom and busy Realtor. I have a 2-year old son and have had my 3 busiest years ever since becoming pregnant. I actually negoitated a contract during labor and while I was at the hospital (I know, I know…). It’s definitely a challenge to find the right balance to being a successful businesswoman and a great mom — both are full time, hands on jobs. I really enjoyed reading your post b/c it’s nice to know there are other moms who struggle with the same things I do.

    But all in all, my career affords me great flexibility to be with my son, go on vacation when I want to, all of the above mentioned items. I wouldn’t change a thing! For me, the trick is working harder and smarter in a shorter amount of time so that when it’s time to be Mommy, nothing has to take away from my precious little boy 🙂

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  4. Missy Caulk

    May 6, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Linsey, I was a stay at home mom until my now 19 year old entered kindergarten.

    It’s funny how our kids perceive us. The older ones remember me being at home, cooking, cleaning, car pooling, and Allyssa remembers me being a working mom.

  5. Karen Highland

    May 6, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    I was a stay-at-home mom for many years and just joined my husband in the real estate business 2 years ago. I loved this post Linsey, because its true, real estate is flexible, even if it can be demanding. Being flexible still lets us put our family first. Thanks for a nice post, happy mother’s day to you!

  6. Nicole Boynton

    May 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    What a great a timely story. Here’s a toast to working moms everywhere and especially the ones daring enough to juggle real estate and kids! Happy Mother’s Day to us all!

  7. Paula Henry

    May 6, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Linsey – As I reflect on the days my children were young, it is a wonderful time of bliss. No – it wasn’t perfect, but it is definitely the little things they always remember, like showing up at school, field trips, being home when they get home from school. I’m not sure I could have worked in real estate with 4 children, but I always wish I gotten my license sooner.

    Truly, the years pass so quickly and everyday, I feel blessed to be a MOM.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  8. Lisa Sanderson

    May 7, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I got my license the same year I became a mom. My oldest is now 16. It’s been quite the ride! Happy Mother’s Day, Real Estate Moms & Otherwise!!

  9. Elizabeth

    January 22, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    How did you get clients when you first started out as a stay at home mom? Did you bring your children with you on appointments or was there a sitter? I am seriously considering this as I have been a stay at home mother of 2 for a few years but we really could use the extra income.

  10. Linsey

    January 23, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Elizabeth,
    Much of my business initially included young mothers like myself so there was some built in understanding but I definitely think that today’s market requires a tremendous amount of commitment. Many of my initial clients came from the things I was naturally doing with other new moms.

    I think this is a tremendous career for a mother – but you and your client’s may best be served by working in a team environment with another experienced agent guiding you initially. It’s a highly complex time in the real estate industry. It’s still a wonderful, and potentially flexible career for a woman. But I do think it requires a passion for the industry and a deep commitment to the profession.

  11. Ruth

    February 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Hi moms, I need your help before kicking off my realtor mom plan. I really want to have a flexible work after my new baby was born 4 months ago with some brain damage. Currently I work for a big company with very good health insurance and my husband does not have income. I really like to know as realtors, which health insurance options you could have. I would love to be at home with my baby and also welcome my 5 years old when she is back from the school. But having a good/fair health insurance is very important for my family especially with my daughter’s sickness. Thank you very much!

  12. Melissa

    February 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Linsey, thank you for your post. It’s really inspiring to me. Becoming a realtor is something I’ve thought about for a long time. I am a stay at home mom as well. Can you work for an established agency and do it all from home? Are real estate agencies less inclined to hire you if you want to work from home? Thanks!

  13. Eric Hempler

    April 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I came across this post today while looking for ideas to balance my role of Stay at Home Dad and Realtor. I started back in July and for me it seems the only thing I can really work on is the Social Media/Internet related items. I’ve been able to do a few open houses for other agents, but haven’t had any luck with those yet. I write a blog and have figured out how to drive traffic to my site with a few different tools, but have yet to expand my sphere group. I’ve tried going to a few kids things with my son, but it doesn’t always pan out because he needs to nap at the same time as those events. Right now I feel a little stuck as to what I could be doing to meet more people.

  14. Candace Breen

    March 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Real Estate is my second career. I began my teaching career at age 22 and stayed in it for 11 years until I was married and had my first child. I became a stay-at-home mom and depressed. My husband encouraged me to pursue my interests and I did even though I was a new mom. I went to school online to get my MA, opened a business and now, am in real estate. My children are ages 3 and 1 but my schedule is very flexible. I get my license soon. I’ve heard a lot of negative comments about me possibly not going to be a good mom due to my new career path. I have a lot of support, mentors etc. and I have learned how to schedule and plan. I may take calls during the day on my cell when I am with my kids but that is no different than my husband or one of my mom friends calling. I thank you for your post. It is very inspiring.

  15. Brittany Ford

    December 16, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    This article is a breath of relief. I am going for my real estate license and all everyone can tell me is that I can’t be a mother and a realtor. It’s just not worth it. I will lose time with my family and be working 60 hours a week.. blah blah blah. It was discouraging. However, after reading this, I feel like I can do it. It’s tough work but it can be done.

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