When I started in real estate as an administrator, I didn’t have a mortgage, I didn’t own property and I definitely didn’t have any kids. I was nineteen, had a 9-5 job and was ready to take on the world.
Fast forward seven years and I had bought my first condo, gotten married (and subsequently divorced) and had a baby. Around that time, I decided that working ‘in the business’ and owning the business were two different things – and I wanted to run the business – which I soon learned, came with a number of challenges.
The first memory I have of being a working mom is the day that I decided to go door-to-door in a snow storm. This was right around the time that my toddler was learning to take his first steps and I remember thinking that we were both taking a big leap of faith – as he was learning to walk, I was practising my door knocking skills:
“Hi there, my name is Ayn. I was in the neighbourhood today, and wanted to see if you would be interested in knowing what your home was worth?”
It was like I was trying to learn how to walk and talk, just like my son was – knees a little shaky, hands a little clammy and not quite sure I could really do it.
I remember nights of making handmade seed packages on the dining room table and then having to pack it all up to make a dinner that would usually end up on flung on the floor and then doing it all again the next day.
Then came my first listing
My first listing came through a girlfriend of mine that I had met through play dates. Our kids were around the same age, and for some reason they felt I could get the job done. A few days after the listing went on the market, we had an offer. It was irrevocable until 11:59pm that night and it came in at 10pm. I had to make a quick decision, let the deal die, or get my sleeping son in the car seat and get over to the house to get signatures. Luckily my son was young enough that he fell right back asleep in his car seat and the deal was eventually signed on the front porch.
Now almost two years later, I’ve learned a few things about work/life balance:
- I tell my clients up front that I’m a mom, and sometimes I have to wear two hats at one time… and yes that means showing houses with my three year-old
- I set all my irrevocable times for 7pm. If the rush is on, make the rush happen at 6pm, not 11:59pm
- I’ve learned to keep a generous amount snacks and toys in the emergency road side kit – they always come in handy
- I have five babysitters on speed dial. They understand my schedule and a lockbox has been placed on my house
- I now book quality time with my son. It sounds crazy, but I actually schedule time to PLAY with him. I tell my clients I have a very important client meeting, and that I have to go
- The biggest learning curve of all was figuring out how to juggle and manage my schedule. This has taught me to say, “Sorry, I just can’t make it across town and through traffic in 5 minutes”
Now I know that when it comes to selling real estate and being a mom, life happens. I work hard for my clients night and day but sometimes being a mom is paramount. Every day gets a little easier to manage and I hope as my son grows up, he realizes that I help people and families, like ours.
I’m lucky that I love what I do, and I’m lucky to have the flexibility and support from my family and friends to help me be a great real estate salesperson and more importantly, a great mom.
– Ayn (REALTOR®, YPN Committee Member & Guest Author on the OREA Blog)