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Fellow mom brokers: Let’s get some work-life balance


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“Mom guilt” is alive and well, and it’s standard operating procedure in my daily routine. I’ve been a broker for a little less than three years, and not trying to brag, but I seem to be killing it in real estate.

My success, however, comes with a hefty price tag.

I work like a madwoman. My phone is always ringing and buzzing, and my computer is always in the same room as me. When my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m., the first thing I reach for is my phone.

Before I get out of bed, I have already checked my emails and the schedule that awaits. It’s a pretty sad existence.

Every week, I tell myself things will slow down so I can finally spend more time with my kids. But then every day, I notice how quickly they are growing and how much more independent they are becoming.

October is coming to an end, and Halloween is around the corner. Fortunately, I scored this year and found both kids’ costumes at Pottery Barn Kids (after I convinced them that a flamingo and dinosaur are the coolest costumes ever!) Bonus: They were on sale!

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I also checked off “buy a pumpkin” on my to-do list last Friday when I broke away from work early, knowing that my weekend would be filled with showing homes and hosting an open house.

October has flown by, and I’m really hoping November is the month when things start to slow down, and I can finally feel like I am present in my kids’ lives.

Any other mama brokers out there feeling me?

Yes, yes, yes

So, why do we, as women brokers, have such a hard time saying no to anyone other than our loved ones?

Great question, and one I ask myself several times a week. If a client says he wants to see a property at 9 p.m. so he can take in the city views, I don’t think twice about saying yes — even if it means I don’t get to tuck my kids in bed that night.

When we go on vacation, the first thing I pack is my laptop. I have to duck away from all the fun so I can reply to emails that can’t wait until I get back or write an offer on the hot house that will surely go pending in the next five hours.

Last Mother’s Day, my husband and kids planned a weekend getaway to the beach. My kids were so excited to get there and to build sand castles with me.

I kid you not, the minute we pulled up to the resort, my phone started ringing, as if my clients knew exactly when we’d arrive.

They attended an open house earlier that day and were finally ready to write an offer — after six months of looking and the one weekend I was out of town. So off went my family to frolic in the sand, while I stayed in our room to write that offer.

I stay up until midnight to answer emails on the daily and to do one last check for listings, just to make sure I catch any new ones before Zillow and Redfin beat me to it with their notifications.

You know exactly what I’m talking about, right mamas?

Turn back!

Which is why it’s so funny when we get that phone call from that one mom friend, asking us to lunch to talk about her brilliant new idea of becoming a real estate agent.

I always ask why real estate? And usually the first thing I hear is because she wants to go back to work but doesn’t want a 9-to-5 job; she thinks real estate is perfect because she “loves looking at houses on Zillow” and wants a job that’s more flexible.

Anyone else press mute and either laugh or scream when you get that call?

It’s a good thing there’s still no app that alerts the caller to eye rolls or face palming.

Unfortunately, most people evaluate our jobs based on the results. What they don’t see is all of the important stuff we mom brokers have to miss: the camping trips, the weekends at the beach, baking cupcakes, etc.

There’s no such thing as a set schedule because our schedule is always based on the client’s needs and availability.

So, mama brokers, what if we make a pact?

Let’s “take back” the last two months left in 2017. Let’s make a promise to ourselves and each other to slow down, to find some balance, to say yes more to ourselves and to our families and occasionally say no to the job-related demands.

I’m not saying take off the next two months or neglect your clients. Just find some time for yourself and for your loved ones.

Block out your next Friday afternoon, and go for a nice long run, schedule a massage, go to a movie with your significant other, or just take your kids to the park — and leave the phone in the car.

And hopefully, after doing it once, you’ll find it easier to do it again and again. After all, you deserve it!

Sam Dowlatdad is a broker at Sean Z Becker Real Estate in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.

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