Tips for Transitioning From Stay-at-Home Mom to Working Mom
byBeverly BirdMar 01, 2015
If you're thinking that keeping the sometimes frantic pace of a super mom might be a great stepping stone toward tackling a career in real estate, you may be right. "Something that super moms bring to the table is superb time management," says Maria Sacco Handle, RSPS, SFR, a sales associate with Berkshire Hathaway and Luxury Shore House in Brigantine, New Jersey. "We get things done quickly and more efficiently because we know how precious our time is to begin with."
Real estate agents don't have regular hours -- their work schedules are notoriously all over the board. Yet Business News Daily names a career as an agent as one of the top 10 best jobs for moms.
Many of your work hours are set by appointment, and you get to make the appointments. Your kids always need you, but you can strive to schedule clients at times when they need you maybe a little bit less. They may be in school or practicing to become the next soccer legend. The hours for practices and school are pretty set, so you can schedule showings and meetings with clients during these times.
The flip side is that your clients may want to search for properties when they have free time -- in the evenings and on weekends. But the scheduling trick can work in reverse as well. You can plan a few activities for your children during these times if business calls and still be there for them after school.
Consider Buddying Up
The National Association of Realtors suggests that some real estate moms manage the balancing act by buddying up with associates who work for other agencies. It may sound blasphemous because other agencies are your competitors, but this may not be the case if you specialize in areas on opposite sides of the county or different types of properties.
There's something in it for both of you -- with your brokers' agreement, you can split the commissions. You can juggle showings and tie up contractual details for each other at times when you really can't be available because your children need you.
"We have a team of three moms who work together and cover each other," says Handle. "If one has free day, she can watch the kids while the others go to settlement or deal with business. Sometimes we bring all the kids to one house and work from there. The older kids help out with the younger ones and they all have fun."
You know your schedule is hectic and you're pulled in two different directions, often at the same time, so brace yourself for it in advance. When your kids are in bed for the night, take a little time to prepare for the next day. Answer emails. Return a few phone calls, if it's not too late. Do things that will help you hit the ground running in the morning.
"I learned quickly that although I can dovetail meetings and sports with a little help from my friends, I can also get a lot done in the evenings," Handle says. "Technology has helped immensely. I can create an email campaign at 1 a.m. and schedule it to go out at peak times during the week, even if I'm busy being a mom at those times."
The tasks don't always have to be work-related, either. Lay out what you'll need for the kids' lunches in the morning or organize their book bags and wardrobe selections so there's no scrambling when you're trying to get out the door. The reward is twofold: It can help you transition from real estate mogul to mom at the end of the day so you can wind down. And it can help you transition back from mom to mogul more seamlessly in the morning.
Don't Beat Yourself Up
Try as you might, you can't add more than 24 hours to your days. If you try to stretch those hours in too many directions, you may occasionally drop a ball -- but that's not usually the end of the world.
Sure, you promised your kids that you'd take them to the water park on Sunday but then your cell rings and it's a prospective client you've been trying to reach for days. That's OK, because you're super mom. You can talk and keep your eyes on your children at the same time. The earth won't whirl out of orbit if you don't have time to put the dinner plates in the dishwasher until the next day. It may be a balancing act, but it's one you've been training for since your first child was born.