I vow to never be too busy for my family

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson

The other day I overheard a conversation about a teen who is on drugs and out of controll.  I heard how you would never guess
that by looking at his rather successful mother.  The conversation went on about how much the boy's mother worked and it was
the price she paid for her great success.  As I listened I discovered that the conversation was about a local Realtor's son.
A Realtor that is at the top of the list for annual sales.

This made me think...Wow, is my child going to suffer if I become an A-lister?  Am I going to be there when my daughter
needs me the most?  Currently, she is 8 and she plans to follow my foot steps and become a Realtor.  She already assists
me from time to time by helping me prepare for open houses, and by sitting at my desk playing computer games while I meet
with clients. Last week, she  got all dressed up on open house day and came to hand out fliers to all the people
who came to view the property.

What is going to happen when she gets a little older and decides it's lame being mom's "assistant".

Currently, it is pretty easy for me to make family time since I am NOT an A-lister, but there are times where I get pretty
busy.  My family never seems to suffer too badly. Here are a few rules I am going to always  try to stick by:

                                      I always make it for dinner with my family. Dinner may not always be at the same time every evening, but we have it together.  If I don't cook it, we go out to eat. Sometimes we have to take separate cars, but we get there.  And lucky for me, I have a husband that knows how to cook.  Studies show that families that have dinner together regularly have less problems in the long run. 

                                      There is a certain point when  I have to turn my phone off!!  You all know there are people that call several times a day and need you more than others.  I love being able to be there for my clients, but there is a line that needs to be drawn.  You cannot truly focus on your family if your phone is hanging out of your ear so if it is important to be 100% focused on your family, turn it off.  Turn it back on in an hour--guess what!!  There is such a thing as voice mail.  This does not just apply to family but for your own sanity as well.  I tease my partner for taking her cell in the gym with her.  It's only an hour-leave it in the car, and return any missed calls when you finish.  Your client will wait--believe me, they will!!  I also turn my phone off at bedtime, and turn it back on when I am awake and ready for the day...If you can't turn it off any other time, at least turn it off at bedtime..you deserve it.

                          Remember who writes your schedule.  I spent 20 years in the grocery business with someone else writing my schedule.  It is so nice to be able to attend every school function, or to accompany my husband to something that is important to him.  Take advantage of it!!  I write down all special events in my day planner and treat it like any other appointment.  I have not lost a single potential client by doing so.  You are a professional, expect to be treated like a professional.  You don't tell your dentist when you are coming in, they tell you when to come in.

                            Most important(to me)  I involve my family.  As I mentioned at the beginning, my daughter enjoys being my assistant.  She loves to come to the office.  She gets jobs like shredding papers, or putting together folders for me.  If I need to pick up or place signs, she loves to come and help put them in the ground.  Stuffing envelopes is another favorite job.  I go and knock on doors quite often..she likes to come with me if it is to just go for the ride, and play video games in the car..If she wants to sit in the car..so be it..I'll take her as long as she wants to.  Some day she may be too busy for me.

I haven't quite managed keeping the house work in check..I'm teaching my daughter to do some tasks that I think she would be good at..(it's like pulling teeth)  But If she would kick in a little, I'll have even more time for her...


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Eli Allen
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Boise, ID
i think it is very important to do this, you have to make time for yourself and your family. I make it a point to schedule all my family activities into my calender way ahead of time and I dont break those appointments. There is plenty of time in a day for clients and its so important for your family to feel the benefits of your job, which the most important thing is that being a Realtor you schedule your time.
Feb 26, 2007 12:29 AM #10
George Tallabas
RE/MAX Advantage - Nampa, ID
Idaho Real Estate
And you told me you had run out of things to blog about....were you teasing me??? :-)  Great post Shari and very, very well thought out.  Something that hit home with me as well about 4 years ago.
Feb 26, 2007 12:38 AM #11
Heather Saul
Weichert Realtors Hoey Group - Wildwood, NJ


Great post.  I wrote a post last Monday on feeling torn between work and home.  This weekend was spent with my family and I came into the office early this morning feeling completely refreshed. 

Feb 26, 2007 01:02 AM #12
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate
I love your post!  At some point you have to step back and decide what your true priorities are. 
Feb 26, 2007 01:56 AM #13
David A. Podgursky PA
THE PODGURSKY GROUP @ Re/Max Direct - Boynton Beach, FL
THE PODGURSKY GROUP - Make the Right Move!

I always give my 1yr old son his bath... ALWAYS... and I alwayas wake up with him and feed him his breakfast and give my wife an extra hour or hour and a half sleep.


Feb 26, 2007 02:12 AM #14
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Family is most important.....I enjoy being with my 12 yr old daughter at the end of a school day and get a kick out of her stories for the day.  Without family, I don't have anything!


Feb 26, 2007 02:18 AM #15
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Thanks for sharing some valuable advice, Shari. While there are no guarantees that doing all this will prevent a son or daughter from getting in trouble. I think we know pretty well that NOT doing these things will lead to problems. I've seen it many times myself, more so when in the corporate world when your life is the company's. Finding time for yourself and you family was critical, whenever you could. And there were times when it simply was impossible to do everything you wanted or needed to do. Having dinner together,making it to your kid's events (even if only one parent), etc. means so much...and years later you find out from your grown kids how much this all really did mean to them, and how they now understand (since they are working full-time, etc)  what you went through.

Thanks again for writing this - it is something we all need to keep in mind about balancing work and personal life, whether we have children, are married, or not.


Feb 26, 2007 02:29 AM #16
John Cilladi
Keller Williams Real Estate - Exton, PA
REALTOR, EcoBroker, e-PRO
You rock! Keep your balance. If you are consistent and loving, your children will be a blessing to you and all others. When the day comes that you are able to be there because of an "emergency", you will be remembered for your good points.
Feb 26, 2007 03:12 AM #17
Irene Potter
ZipRealty Residential Brokerage - Maple Valley, WA
Creating moving experiences in real estate
Quality of life is so important and that includes balance of priorities. Thanks for a great post.
Feb 26, 2007 03:56 AM #18
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead
Shari, it's so great to see that you've made your family a priority. That's really all it takes. Many people never have time for their family because they're "too busy." Fact is, it's just not a big enough priority to schedule everything else around it. I personally schedule my family events, functions, time etc, just like I would schedule a business appointment. If a client calls and wants to meet with me Tuesday @ 7 and I already have time blocked out on my schedule for my family, I just have to schedule a different time with the client. After all, the whole reason I'm in business is for my family and if it weren't for my family, I wouldn't be able to do what I do. They're a tremendous support system, so shouldn't they be my top priority? Way to go. Keep taking care of that daughter of yours and you most likely won't have to worry about the problems you mentioned at the beginning of the post.
Feb 26, 2007 05:07 AM #19
Luke Constantino
Brooklyn/Manhattan Real Estate - Brooklyn, NY
Residential/Commercial Real Estate Brooklyn NY
Heath and family first. I've always been a strong believer of this rule because without either one what are you working for and how are you going to enjoy it?
Feb 26, 2007 05:09 AM #20
Kelli Fronabarger
Bend River Realty Inc. - Bend, OR
Realtor - Bend Oregon

Hi Shari,

It's refreshing to hear a post of someone who truly does have her priorities straight! Being a mom with three daughters is not always an easy job for me. It is however, the most rewarding one. My family knows that they ALWAYS come first! You lead by example.

Feb 26, 2007 05:28 AM #21
Debi Braulik
www.roundrealestate.com - Maple Valley, WA
Selling Maple Valley to Fife WA Homes For Sale
Shari- It's all about priorities. My extended family is a priority for me too. There has to be a balance between work and family otherwise both will suffer. My friend told me a quote before I got into this business - I work to live... not live to work! And I too schedule events into my calendar. (my nephews soccer games- there, their school pagents- there, family dinner every Thursday night at 5pm- there!) Keep your balance. Your life will be far richer for it. Great post!
Feb 26, 2007 07:13 AM #22
Bob Sloop, Consultant, Indianapolis, IN
RS Mortgage Consulting - Indianapolis, IN
Shari, have you ever read a blog and felt like you were right there with that person who wrote it?  Well you hit this one right on the head.  Great post. Thank you for sharing with us.  Will be watching for more.
Feb 26, 2007 09:12 AM #23
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
You are on the right track.  I don't think at the end of one's day - the regret would be that the house wasn't as clean as it could have been -- however, one may regret losing the time with their children and family (so long as the family is not one like in "little miss sunshine"!)
Feb 26, 2007 10:05 AM #24
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Shari - this is one of the main reasons I like you so much, your devotion and commitment to your family! Nice job well done!
Feb 26, 2007 11:03 AM #25
Shari George
Coldwell Banker Tomlinson - Lewiston, ID
Wow!!  Thank you all for the positive support!!  I thought of you all as I was eating with my family tonight!! 
Feb 26, 2007 01:29 PM #26
Debi Braulik
www.roundrealestate.com - Maple Valley, WA
Selling Maple Valley to Fife WA Homes For Sale
LOL. Good for you Shari!
Feb 27, 2007 10:36 AM #27
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Wonderful post! Your family is fortunate to have a mom with priorities in order! You follow my "win" principle:  WIN= What's Important Now

Sounds like you have a good balance; and are enjoying it all. Much continued success to you, your family and your career.


Feb 28, 2007 11:39 PM #28
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!
Great post, thanks for sharing.  Family is everything.
May 28, 2007 11:20 AM #29
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