Ask any Real Estate Agent and they will tell you that this business can take over your life. Ask any mom and they will tell you that raising children, especially children under school age is a full time job and then some. So what happens when a full time mom of two decides to sell her dog grooming business and become a part-time ( stop laughing ) real estate agent? Some laughter, some tears, and a whole lot of reality.
I got my license 2 short months before having my 2nd child, my first being a precocious 5 year old, thankfully soon to start school. My broker was great, allowing me to bring the baby into work, and I would drop my daughter off at preschool a couple of mornings a week.
My first order of business was to put the house we were living in on the market, my parent's 2nd home. New agent + new baby + living in the house you are selling = the poo hitting the proverbial fan. Ever try to keep a staged house in 24/7 showing condition (I did weekly open houses) with a newborn? Few out there can appreciate the monument of this task.
I'll never forget being called for a showing (what do you mean in 15 minutes?!) and frantically trying to make sure there was nothing awkward laying around. But nothing is buyer proof, and if you have something stashed in a closet, Murphy's Law demands that they will open it. Sure enough, even though I willed the door to stick or the hinges to break, they went directly to the cupboard where I stashed my nursing paraphernalia. Short of throwing myself in front of the door, there was little I could do. Let's just say that the packaging of these items was never intended to be discreet enough for public display. The husband opens the door, I try to melt into the floor as I hear "Huh, I wonder what those are for?" ( pump) Then a brief pause as he puts things together, his wife snickers, and he closes the door. I thought the other agent was going to have a stroke, she was trying so hard not to laugh. Needless to say, he did not feel the urge to open any more cupboards that day, and in future I made sure to put interesting things in obviously private places.
I think my biggest fear was that peers and clients/customers would ascribe a certain amount of unprofessionalism to a working mom; especially if I brought my new baby with me to appointments. It is exceptionally hard to feel confident and dignified whilst lugging a bulky 25 pound carrier containing a squirmy 10+ pound baby through a narrow doorway, up uneven steps and over rolling terrain. Factor in feeding, spit-up, the inevitable diaper bomb, and I was a nervous wreck. Some mornings I could barely remember my own name, much less the details of the property I was showing. But I was determined (stubborn) to make this work, after all, I had started a dog grooming business with a 4 month old and succeeded quite nicely, thank you very much, and I was not going to let little things like sleep, time, and physics get in my way. Newton and a crashing market be damned, I was going to make it through my first year with flying colors and multiple sales. (My first full year was 2007.)
And while I managed not to embarrass myself too terribly (I went to a showing in slippers - thank goodness I kept spare shoes in the car) I was pleasantly surprised at how well received we were, especially by clients and customers. (It helps that my kids are the cutest, sweetest, most adorable kids on the planet earth ;-)) Now with my son starting at daycare, I wonder how I will survive on my own, without him to steal the show and take the spotlight off my own deficiencies. My liberation is not without its costs: my shoes must match, if I spill something on my shirt I can't blame it on the baby, and naptime will no longer get me out of dealing with the windbag who just won't stop talking. Wish me luck....