Have you thought of joining your spouse in their already established real estate career?


In turning to real estate, a seemingly easy choice as a second career, you opted for a profession with incredible highs and lows. This is even more the case when you and your spouse opt to work together – especially if one of you has been licensed for years and the other is newly licensed.

There will be moments! From exasperated rolling eyes to glimmering eyes of triumph – you’ll encounter them all. This career step may mean you have to go a little, or a lot, outside of your comfort zone. So it’s important to ask yourself: Can you do this? Are you up for it? Do you have the required skills? What are your expectations?

It’s natural to believe the life of real estate is easily learned through osmosis. But the reality of the situation is, personalities can often get in the way. So a helpful first step would be for the two of you to figure out your personalities.

There are lots of personality tests available on the internet. There are some good tests both online and as hardcopy books. We used Strength 2.0 by Tom Rath – it came with a unique access code to the website and online assessment. It was really quite interesting to see our results, they were almost bang on.

You will also need to discuss the business fundamentals: How will your partner’s/spouse’s business change? Whose philosophies have to change to accommodate the new arrangement? Most importantly, what direction do you want your business to go? How will you grow this changed business?

There are many recognized ways to examine the framework of your business. In fact it’s pretty much all available on the internet. Once you’ve done this it’ll be easier to set your goals, roles and boundaries. Here are some pointers to get you started:

  • D.E.C.I.D.E . (define problem/establish criteria/consider alternatives/identify best alternatives/develop plans of action/evaluate the solution
  • S.W.O.T. (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats) – we developed our business plan using SWOT with the help of our business coach
  • DEVELOP A PLAN OF ACTION – we use the SMART mnemonics (patteron of letters reminding us of the sequence – Specific/Measurable/Attainable/Relevant/Trackable KEEPING IN MIND YOUR BEST FIT
  • IMPLEMENT ACTION PLAN – we have found working with a real estate coaching company that our systems are easier to implement and if changes are needed, their advice has been invaluable.

Many real estate couples live a real estate life 24.7! “Morning hon, you want a coffee?” “Did you book that showing?” “Does that mean yes you’d like a coffee”? Then…..“goodnight dear!” “Did you remember to call…”

The most testing part of your new partnership is separating your work life from home life. In order to keep a realistic balance, you may wish to consider the following:

  • What things are most important to you? Family life? Health? Happiness?
  • In your ideal typical day, will you be at the office, in your home, or a little of both?

A little note on making mistakes: you’ll make more than your real estate counterparts because your opportunities to engage with buyers, sellers, etc. are greater in an established business. So don’t be upset, your learning curve is straight up and theirs is a wider gentler curve.

Finally, enjoy your new life, be successful and try to be up when the other is down. Remember to take some time off, both separate and together. These are just a few of the things we’ve learned that can make your new partnership easier than it may otherwise be.

This article contribution is from OREA YPN Member Marianne Bournes. Marianne is a full-time realtor in Ottawa with her partner and husband David.


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