How Can Your Wife Stand Being with You That Much? Spousal Realtor Teams.

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax



Well...she likes me. AND we have fairly defined jobs to minimize duplication of effort AND we are not with each other all day every day AND her office is downstairs and mine is in the loft.

Having a happy marriage can obviously be a challenge under any circumstances.

Being in business with your spouse adds another level of potential conflict. We minimize conflict by employing the methods in the opening sentence.

Without sounding too syrupy, the main reason WE do well together is that we really respect the other's abilities. My wife is the first person that I would hire for any business...she feels the same way about me.



We were both corporate people who traveled the country for 12 years back when we were younger. Jan was a business phone installation manager for GTE and I was a computer services sales guy for Control Data. Jan installed Robert Redford's phone in his New York office, road the elevator with Al Pacino and taught (or tried to teach) Brazilian soccer star Pele, how to use his multi line phone. (He was then with the New York Cosmos) 



Therefore when we came to real estate we were already were well trained in much of the business aspects of it. We were comfortable analyzing bad situations, diffusing tension, speaking in public, and determining what clients wanted. This helped tremendously. I KNEW IN ADVANCE what Jan could do... conflict and uncertainty really never arose.

I firmly believe that my wife could go into any business anywhere and help them be better AND they would really like being improved.

EVERYBODY likes her. Here is a tip that we can all learn from her: She never thinks about herself. She thinks about what the client wants and tries to deliver it in a manner that would make them happy. They sense that and love to refer her.








 I am the more public face of our team.  Although both Jan and I CAN do all aspects of the business, we break it up based on each other's strengths and preferences.

Real estate is our full time business and our total family would be extremely difficult to maintain the volume we need operating alone.

An individual  agent operating alone who lives totally off her real estate sales is an amazing person.

That person is rare and unique in our business and should be greatly admired.






I do most of the open houses and "outside" grunt work of real estate...pre-views, signs and lock boxes, etc. I am responsible for most prospect communication, blogging and finding new stuff we should be doing.

We both show property together the first time we go out with a buyer client then I take over for most of the rest of the showings. We both go on listing appts. together.

Once a contract is ratified, Jan does the majority of the transaction management from beginning to end and beyond. We back check each other's schedules and proof each other's work without being annoying about it. It is hard for most husbands and wives to work together closely but it is almost natural for us. We are fortunate...we like our arrangement and what we do.



We have also had the same assistant for 15 years...she is an optimistic, happy, detail oriented person who is like family.

We pretty much let her come and go when she wants, she keeps track of her own hours and she knows just what to do and when.

Each morning Jan and I meet and decide what has to be done and who is going to do it. Today is a good example of how we operate. I start work around 7:30.

I check emails, clean up the in box of all the junk and figure out which one of us is better to respond to whatever request is in there. Jan starts at 8:30. We talk about the plan for the day and split up the emails and start responding.



Today, I am going to check on seller repairs on property one of our buyers has under contract; going to nearby communities that I have not blogged about yet and shoot photos for future posts; working on a website and video for a new listing and I have a lock box to change out, keys to make, and some listing photos to take and others to fix.

Jan is going to the office to print box flyers and brochures which she will then deliver, writing an offer and finishing up a listing agreement. All during the day we will call or text each other to see what's up and what crises have arisen.





If she gets an email or call that she thinks is better for me to handle she will call me and vice versa.

Instead of being in each other's armpit for ten hours, which would NOT BE GOOD FOR ANY MARRIAGE we usually are in the same room doing business for 30 minutes.

If she gets really burdened with admin stuff, then I will stop what I am doing and help. We prioritize tasks in the morning and revise on the fly as problems occur. 

One good thing about about being teamed with your spouse is that we are never at odds over money and the need to seriously work hard to make it.. Non related team members have separate families to provide for which causes most of the friction and team break ups. Who gets leads, who is not carrying their share of the load, who is serious about the business and who is not etc. etc.


Sold by Jan and Steve Bachman






The bad part of a being a spousal team is that if your whole income is in the real estate basket, well then buddy you better not fail or the whole family ship is going down with you.

We find this fact to be an excellent motivator :-)






Sold! By Jan and Steve.


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Why pay more and get less when selling your home? Jan and Steve Bachman of RE/MAX Gateway still create full color brochures, an individual property website for your listing that goes out to 40+ public real estate search sites including, Trulia, Zillow etc.


We also create a custom photo tour that is sent to other agents and prospective buyers.



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Jan and Steve Bachman are full time Realtors® with RE/MAX, specializing in Homes for Sale in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington Counties.


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Jan and Steve Bachman

Northern Virginia Realtors

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Herndon Real Estate

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Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

From the title of this post, I can only surmise that you get this question A LOT! You did the most wonderful job of explaining how you work as a team and it's obvious how much you two respect each other which, essentially, is the only thing that counts in a marriage.

Oct 27, 2011 12:51 AM #3
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Looks like a great working model.. as long as the right people are involved such in your case. .

Oct 27, 2011 12:58 AM #4
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Sounds like you two have a great system and divide and conquer your business responsibilities very well. Trust and respect are the key ingredients for a successful have those, so run with it!

Oct 27, 2011 01:00 AM #5
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good morning, Steve....that was a great presentation of your members should never do the same work....and you have that down to a science.....great job....

Oct 27, 2011 01:04 AM #6
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

It sounds to me like you two have figured out the recipe for success as a married team. Congratulations to you both. This post gets the "Feel Good Award" of the day!

Oct 27, 2011 01:06 AM #7
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida - Panama City Beach, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Good Morning Steve, sounds like you and Jan have got it going on!  Congratulations on your success and team work together.

Oct 27, 2011 01:21 AM #8
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

Hmmm...I think we have been married 33 years. I fell in love when she baited her own hook when we went fishing. She also thinks I am incredibly funny...hard not to like a woman like that.

Oct 27, 2011 01:29 AM #9
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

This also brings to mind that I need a new real estate photo to show off my luxuious gray hair.

Oct 27, 2011 01:31 AM #10
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Steve, we tried this, it lasted 3 months.  My wife could not stand the stress and thought she should be involved in every detail

Glad to see you make it work out.

Oct 27, 2011 02:18 AM #11
Scott Jones
Coldwell Banker - South Lake Tahoe, CA
Lake Tahoe RE Specialist

This post hits home with us.  My wife Kim & I are a real estate team and married couple too.  And the description of the roles each of you play is as if you are describing our roles.  If you lived closer I'd say let's go to dinner!

Oct 27, 2011 02:27 AM #12
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

You've convinced me. I think know I need a good wife Jan. This sounds wonderful Steve. True Yin and Yang. Good for you.

Oct 27, 2011 04:23 AM #13
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Steve you two have your business and relationship humming along perfectly.  Sounds like a perfect combination to me.  Very good business plan as to how it works - and works well for a couple. Actually I don't think I've read one like this at all on Active Rain.


Featured in BananaTude

Oct 27, 2011 04:59 AM #14
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

I AGREE Ginny...who wouldn't want us????

Congrats to you Bud and Beth, it can be fun!

Jill. other than"how's the market?"..."how do you stand working with each other?".. is the most frquent question we get :-)

Fernando, quite a number of folks in our office have tried it....most go down in flames...although we have 3 other spousal teams going strong.

Charlie, we are almost identical in how we think about things. We never worry about what the other person is saying or doing.

Barbara, I don't have to pay Jan either...actually I work for her. All team credit goes to her account.

Craig, I will accept the feel good award for today. However..the night is still young and there is time to fight.

Bill, your experience is the is hard to work it out.If your wife has a real job...that could be WAY better :-)

Oct 27, 2011 12:14 PM #15
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

Thanks Wayne, raindrops and roses..that's us ...all the time...

Scoot you could send me a gift certificate and we promise to think of you while we eat :-)

Oct 27, 2011 12:35 PM #16
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

Debb, that's us ...yin and yang. Of course our children probably have their own views of our smooth relationship but then... they are still young and foolish.

Anna I want a banana suit! Are you sure banana only has two Ns in it?

Oct 27, 2011 12:38 PM #17
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Steve -- I loved your story and how you and Jan work together and complement each other. You two are definitely a winning combination.  P.S. I'll bait my own hook as long as it's not live bait. ha ha

Oct 27, 2011 01:07 PM #18
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX Solutions - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

That's great teamwork.  One doesn't let another down on this team.  I can say, after having a large team, the ones I've let go wanted handouts, where the family seemed to know how to work together.

Oct 27, 2011 02:25 PM #19
Peter Pfann @ Fair Realty Victoria, BC, Canada. Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
Fair Realty, Victoria BC - Victoria, BC
Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

Hi Steve and Jan,

Congratulations, on a great story and excellent description of how couples and real close teamwork is a great way to serve not only our clients but also live a pfanntastic life

Oct 27, 2011 03:50 PM #20
Reno, NV

Steve... what a great compliment to your business partner/lifepartner/wife! Keywords: respect, teamwork, compromise, gratitude. You've got it all and together you have built a successful partnership. 

Oct 27, 2011 06:40 PM #21
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty


Sounds like you two are a lot like Amanda and I.  We have been doing this full time for three years and love it.  We also focus on our different strengths and weaknesses and thankfully they aren't the same.  Congrats to your success!  

Oct 30, 2011 02:31 AM #22
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