Is Real Estate Career A Good Choice For Moms?
Updated: May 27
Many moms with young children dream of working from home so they can work and look after their kids at the same time.
Many moms with older kids would like to enter the workforce again. Some find it hard to do so after a lengthy period out.
Many moms, after working for many years as a salaried worker, would now like to work for themselves, at their own pace.
Many of my friends love the idea of a Real Estate Career. During this circuit breaker period, a few of them messaged me to ask about Real Estate as a career. They asked me to share my experience with them.
Is Real Estate Career a good choice for Moms? In this article, I will share my honest opinions on how I feel, as well as the joy and struggles of a Real Estate Mom.
What I Love About Real Estate As A Career
(1) Flexible Working Hours
The obvious benefit of a Real Estate Career is of course the flexible working hours.
Real Estate is not a 9-to-5 job. The timing is flexible so you can plan your work according to your schedule. Evenings and weekends are busier if you are doing residential sales. If you prefer to keep your weekends free, you could consider working on the commercial segment. Either way, you definitely have more control of your time as compared to working in a 9-to-5 job.
I have 2 boys, one of them in Primary 4 and the other in Secondary 1. Both of them are active footballers who represent their clubs to play in football leagues. For the past 6 years (and counting!) that they played the sports, I am able to accompany them to their trainings and watched most of their games which took place almost every Sunday. It is really down to the flexible working hours of our job, coupled with proper time management and identifying the priorities to make this work.
I love to travel. Traveling opens my mind to new experiences. During my earlier days in Real Estate, I will follow my husband on his working trip whenever he goes to a country I want to visit. Las Vegas is a place I have visited thrice. I love the energy and vibrancy there. San Francisco is another place I fell in love with, for reasons I cannot describe. Nearer to home, I love Taiwan and this is a country I can go to many times, just to chill and be absorbed in the people-friendly culture!
With the kids in tow now, traveling means exploring places which appeals to them too. Apart from our yearly holidays, their overseas football adventures often give me the opportunity to travel to different countries!
I will always remember my son's participation in The Gothia Cup in 2018. This football tournament is akin to World Cup for the Youths. It takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden. Gothia Cup is really an eye-opener for me. During this week-long tournament, the city comes to live with promising youth footballers gathering there from all over the world. Be it on the street, in the tram or in the food joints, you will see and hear them. Dreams are so real there.
It would be quite impossible for me to do as much traveling if my working hours is not as flexible. And for that, I am really thankful.
(2) Working From Home Or Anywhere
As real estate agents, we can work from home or simply anywhere. For people unfamiliar with real estate work, they might think our job is simply to do viewings. In actual fact, we are doing much more behind the scene.
Marketing has evolved over the years. As compared to the traditional ways like flyers, telemarketing, door to door marketing etc, we are doing a lot more digital marketing now. These include Personal Website, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube marketing etc.
Also, gone are the days when Real Estate Agents only provide the buy, sell and rent services. Consumers are more educated and have access to real estate information readily. Instead of pure transactional duty, we need to be very updated on the real estate market trends, policies and prices etc so as to give good and timely advice to clients. As the saying go : Be updated or outdated. This really applies to us.
So all these are work that we do behind the scene. Apart from the occasional travel to office for face to face trainings, we can do most of our work from anywhere.
(3) We Call The Shots
We are our own boss. We decide what time to go to work, what to do everyday, which customers to work with etc. We do not report to anyone, except ourselves.
One of the thing I like most about being a real estate agent is I am able to decide who I want to work with. I remembered having a client whom I helped to rent out her property. She was a successful businesswoman who works 24/7 and demanded a lot from the people around her. Though we had a cordial relationship, I decided not to continue with her business as I do not like the stress. This would not be possible if I was a salaried worker.
(4) We Decide Our Income
Like what many said : The sky is the limit when it comes to how much you can earn as a Real Estate Agent.
I agree with what they said. The income is lucrative if you follow the right direction and put in your heart and soul to work. I have seen many millionaire agents created over the past years in this industry.
What I like also is the ability to adjust my pace when I want to slow down. As we move on with the different stages in our lives, the amount of time we would like to spent on work changes too. Real Estate Career is able to give me that flexibility.
(5) True Satisfaction
To be doing the same work 18 years and counting. I think it speaks a lot about the passion I have for my work.
I love the fact that my work allows me to know a person in depth. My relationship with my clients typically starts off as a business relationship. For some clients, it stays that way. But for many others, we become friends. I especially treasure clients who appreciate the work that I put in, often above and beyond my duty.
On the last day of 2019, I sent messages to my clients wishing them a happy new year. A simple reply from one of my clients touched me deeply.
Real estate is the product which connects me and my clients. The income that was generated put food on the table, improves our lives and allows me to pursue my interest. But what I truly love about my work is the relationship that was built, and the lives that were improved through my work. To me, that is the most meaningful and what kept me going for so long.
What To Take Note About Real Estate As A Career
For every benefit that comes with a real estate career, there is always a flipped side if we abuse it. Throughout my years as a real estate agent, I have seen many who came into the industry but left after awhile. I have also witnessed many who are still going strong after many years in the industry.
(1) Control Over Our Working Hours
As mentioned above, one of the benefits of a real estate career is the flexibility in working hours. However, flexible working hours can also mean no control over our time.
I remembered during the earlier days in my Real Estate Career, I often meet clients in the late evenings after their dinner. Our discussions will sometimes last till past midnight. I also had clients who called me at 10pm on Sunday evenings and we spent 2 hours discussing on their moving plans. On top of that, I have calls coming in throughout the day enquiring about the properties I am marketing.
After years of leading such hectic and unbalanced life, I decided it is time to draw a line between work and my personal life. Now I prioritise what I need to do according to their urgency and importance. Ultimately it is all about time management and what is important to you at that point of time.
Lack of discipline is really one of the top reasons why real estate agent could not succeed in this industry.
We are our own boss. We do not have fixed working hours. Neither do we have a fixed working place to report to everyday. It is easy to spend our days drifting from task to task, seemingly busy but actually achieving nothing.
It is important to plan. What are the goals we want to achieve this year? With a clearly defined goal, we can break it down into micro goals to be achieved within a shorter time frame. A clearly defined goal follow by a good plan plus discipline is almost the key to succeed as a Real Estate Agent.
(3) No Basic Pay
Real Estate Agents do not have a basic pay. This is a common obstacle for many who wants to make real estate their career.
I totally understand the fear of leaving a salaried job to make real estate a full time career. This fear magnified as you grow older and have a family to feed.
I have been asked many times how I conquer the fear of having to survive without a pay check for an unknown period of time when I first joined the industry. For me, it was not a difficult decision to make then as I had no children. Financial commitments were low. It will take much more consideration if I were to make the decision now as compared to before.
For a start, it will be good if you have savings to last you for at least 6 months. As real estate agents, we get paid only after we sold or rent a property. The lead time to receive our commission for sales transaction takes longer than rental transactions as the paperwork to complete sales transaction takes around 3 months.
"But what if I cannot close a sale? What if my savings run out?"
There are always risks to every decision we make. But isn't life about taking risk?
If you do not have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will never cross the ocean.
Take the leap of faith. If others can do it, why can't you?
And yes, I will still make the decision to join the real estate industry if I were to make the decision now.
I hope what I have shared is helpful to you. If you find it useful, please feel free to share my article with your friends. Do subscribe to my website to receive more real estate career tips.
As real estate moms, it is especially important to be in a team with like-minded individuals. Being in a team encourage learning and improvement, it also provides support and camaraderie.
In short, TEAM simply means Together Everyone Achieves More.
If you are thinking to take the leap, let's have a non-obligated discussion on how myself, together with OrangeTee & Tie and NAVIS, can help you achieve what you hope to achieve in this career.
Contact me and see you soon!
About The Author
Vivian is a highly experienced real estate agent who is also a mother of 2.
She joined the real estate industry in 2002. From a single woman to a mother of 2, Vivian knows what being a real estate mom entails.
There are the obvious benefits - time flexibility so we can work our schedules around our kids, working from home so we can take care of our children, earning good income so as to provide for our family etc. These make real estate career so enticing to women.
There are also many challenges - financial insecurity as we do not have a basic pay, time management as we juggle work, children, family all at one time. Only those who have walked the same journey will understand.
Vivian would now like to pay it forward by mentoring women to build a real estate career.
It is her vision to help women not only to achieve success in their real estate career, but also striking a balance between marriage, children and having a fulfilling life.
Call Vivian at 985-777-14 to embark on this journey.