Combining work with home life for the real-estate mom is a never-ending battle between business and family obligations. One of the ways to balance this ongoing issue is for the real-estate mom to create a home office. Here, she can have a place to focus on her business while being close to her kids. The key to optimizing this strategy is organization.
Organization comes in many forms. To begin with, as a real estate professional, you need to have the proper tools at your disposal. While this probably sounds simple, lack of organization can be a death knell to your business. It doesn’t have to be, with the proper planning and execution; your home office can exceed your expectations!
To help you get started, here are four tips to organize your real-estate home office:
1. Organize your real estate desk with the proper equipment. You need some basics including a dedicated desk area for just you that won’t be used by other family members. You will also need room for your laptop or your own dedicated desk top computer separate from the one the kids use. To organize that area get some of the basic necessities, without letting your area become too crowed: a good filing system, a garbage can, and basic office supplies such as pens, highlighters, paperclips, a stapler, and paper. Get rid of the clutter and leave plenty of room to spread out your files and work.
2. Different in-baskets for personal and business. You’re a mom as well as a real estate professional, so be sure to have a place your kids can drop permission slips and other school related material in for your review. Sound impersonal? It isn’t – and in one quick glance, you’ll know what school items need your attention. The other, of course, is for your real estate business, so you have a spot to put essential paperwork until you have a chance to file it.
3. Set up a planning tool, such as Top Producer. This is so essential, I cannot stress it enough. You absolutely need this so you can easily view both personal and business functions. From the meeting with your child’s teacher to the meeting with that new client, all in one place, easy for you to see. Not only helpful, but vital, this will completely erase the chance of you double scheduling yourself. Nothing is worse than having to choose between your children and an important business meeting.
4. Setting Limitations. Your kids are important. Part of the reason you’re at home is so you are accessible to them. That being said, however, they also need to understand you’re working. Set limitations with them so they know how to approach you in non-emergency circumstances. If you’re in the middle of a conference call in which you cannot be interrupted,let them know this. You can even designate a signal – it can be as simple as a closed door, or a bandanna on the doorknob – that lets them know Mommy can’t be interrupted unless it is an emergency. Explain to them what an emergency entails to you, because remember – to a child, if they want your attention, it’s always an emergency!
These tips are just the beginning of the steps you can take to get your real estate home office organized and running smoothly. As you spend more time working from home, you’ll discover what is successful for you and what isn’t. A home office can truly bridge the gap between career and family – if done properly, with the correct expectations in place. It will allow you to remain the force in your family you need to be, as well as continuing to get your career where you want it to be.
Real Estate and Life Coach Cheri Alguire has partnered with hundreds of Real Estate Professionals to help them become more successful in business and in life. Coach Cheri offers Group Coaching for Moms, Working Mothers and Pregnant Women in Real Estate, on how to balance careers with family responsibility. Learn more at http://www.realestatemoms.com, and visit Coach Cheri’s Real Estate Moms blog atReal Estate Moms.