My life-long dream of becoming a Realtor happened, and I’d say I had pretty decent success overall given some challenges along the way in my personal and work life. Statistically, 90+ percent of Real Estate brokers fail within the first three years, I was determined that wouldn’t happen to me and it definitely didn’t, I had my best year before deciding to pull back. I sold over a million dollars in real estate the month my son was due to be born, which I’m super proud of. Most importantly, I’ve loved my clients, and (I think) they’ve felt well supported through their transactions and loved me back 😉.
Then came Motherhood! I honestly thought real estate was going to be ideal for raising a family, my kid(s) could go with me, I could work from home/car essentially on my own terms, continue doing what I love with relative ease. My eyes were opened after my son was born and I promptly realized not all babies are the same. My son has hated the car from about one week old. Hearing screaming from an infant while trying to go show houses that could be up to two hours round trip (Puget Sound traffic) with him in the car while also trying to breastfeed, was so SO hard. I attribute the decline in my milk supply to showing houses when he was two months old and a couple of really stressful days driving all over the place while both of us were also sick.
As time went on, and Avi was getting older, (around six months), it became very apparent to me how much of my time was spent distracted when I was “with” my son. Constantly trying to work, be on the phone, dragging him places, being stressed out even when I was physically present. Every time we would go out of town to visit family, I was having to ask family or Daniel to help watch him so I could get work done on demand. Nights and weekends were not my own, and they didn’t even belong to my family, they belonged to my clients while trying to hang onto balancing my new life as a mother with little sleep and a child dependent on me. This was not the dream at all, becoming a mama made me care more about being present with my son, and my husband, honestly. We are a team-unit in raising Avi. Daniel shouldn’t have to suffer either because of my work and barely see me when he is home because that’s when I leave him to watch Avi so I can go work.
There are a lot of awesome full time dedicated Realtor moms out there, don’t get me wrong, it can be done. Many of them just naturally kill the game, they build teams to help support them, or hire out aspects of what they do. I never intended to build an empire, I just love Real Estate and working with people, and really want to be all-hands-on-deck to support my clients. But being a mama comes before all that for me, I’ve learned.
The option to go back to work at the hospital since I left has always been on the table for me. At the end of the summer, when Avi was about 8 months old, while visiting old co-workers, it was mentioned to me (again) that a Coordinator role was going to be posted and an old colleague kept pressing me to apply because of the growth opportunity and really, the pay scale. This role oversees the program that I was an analyst for that I’m well experienced in and is a bit of a niche specialty. By the urging of my old colleague friend, I did actually take time to consider it. I briefly mentioned it to my husband and what the pay scale might look like, how I could possibly work from home a lot, and set my own hours. He was supportive in whatever I chose to do, per usual. We don’t need me to work at all really to pay our bills which is why getting into Real Estate was even an option for me to begin with, and I know how stinking blessed we are to be in that position, but we do have big goals that aren’t going to happen if I don’t bring in income from either Real Estate or a job that would pay really well. We are SO close to paying off our house and would love to buy land and build, be able to afford private school for our kid(s), take regular vacations and travel so they can experience life outside of America, etc.
Honestly, my pride was just getting in the way of making a decision with this job. I kind of refused to give up Real Estate up entirely, so I needed flexibility at the hospital to allow me to hopefully still do some Real Estate on the side if I was going to move forward. I prayed a lot about this decision, negotiated with the hospital, talked to my pastors wife to get her council and various friends who’s opinions were important to me. Taking on this job really meant I would have to be SUPER intentional with my family when I am home on nights and weekends and when I do real estate, being selective in the transactions I choose to work with.
Long story short (if you can call this short), I took the job, and am still trying to navigate our new normal. I work 32 hours/week and the job is certainly not a passion like Real Estate is, but hopefully we will get to being a bit more regulated in our schedules soon. The first couple months have been chaotic, mainly due to stressful childcare issues which are almost entirely sorted out, praise Jesus! I recently counted and poor Avi has had eight different people watch him over the last couple months, but he is a trooper and is doing great, I think I’m really the one suffering from all the mom-guilt.
I can’t say with 100% certainty that I’ve made the right decision yet since our world feels a little turned upside down still. I’ve taken a full break from Real Estate until things settle a bit with consistent child care and we get used to our new schedule as the holidays pass. I already miss it though, ideally I’ll always have one client at a time that I’m working with once the New Year starts, so if you need a Realtor in the area, keep me in mind still 😉 and know I’m not taking on more than what is appropriate for our family at any given time and will probably turn you down if you live (or want to live) too far away but have great partners in my pocket that I would love to refer you to.
One last little update, I’ll being switching from Keller Williams to a small local brokerage before the New Year. HOWEVER, I will hands-down always suggest everyone pursuing Real Estate as a career to go to Keller Williams. Their splits are in-line with any of the big name brokerages, but they have THE best training in the industry, THE best technology, and truly THE best people to push you in your business. They have been ranked the number one place to work for by Forbes, doesn’t get much better than that. I’ve learned from the absolute best and have confidence in my abilities solely because of this company. It honestly pains me to leave, but it just doesn’t make sense for me to stay during this season when I won’t be taking advantage of all the awesome perks and systems they provide and not pursuing real estate as a career on its own. I need somewhere I can just “hang” my license for the few transactions I’ll do each year to get the most out of the deals I do financially. Something tells me I will be back though once my kid(s) are in school 🙂
If you’ve stuck with me through this lengthy post, Way To Go!
I’m hoping to share soon about my more recent hobby/side-gig as a photographer as well and the challenges that have come along with it. Mostly internal challenges, specifically with comparison which is the TRUE thief of joy, let’s be real! I think this post is long enough though, so I’ll save that topic for later.