We all have families, but not all of us work with them. If your real estate business includes a family member or two, you already know what the good and the bad of it is. Learning how to increase the positives will help in creating not only a stronger platform for your business, but also in stronger ties with your family. This particular balance can be a tough one to manage; however, it is very possible.
As a real estate mom, no one has to tell you how difficult it is to combine your career with your family life. When part of that family life is also an integral key to the success of your business, complications can arise. Issues such as fair compensation, flex-time, favoritism, and familial boundaries can each lend a hand in specific problems you likely won’t face with non-family employees. The goal is to achieve a harmonious working relationship without jeopardizing those all important family ties. To do this, you need to plan ahead and take into consideration any and all possible issues.
Making it Work
Whether you’re worried about being taken advantage of or taking advantage of, some simple tips will have you headed down a much smoother path to the work environment you’re seeking. These 5 tips should get you started:
• Form Definite Boundaries. While this rule sounds simple, it can be difficult to achieve. The best way to handle it is open communication from the very beginning. Explain clearly that while on the job, it is best to keep family chit-chat to an absolute minimum, if at all. Let them know this goes both ways – that you won’t be calling them at home on the weekend to discuss work. Keep the two entities as divided as possible!
• Keep the Clients Separate. Sticky situations can sometimes arise when a family member is a social friend of a client. Business is business, and any possible work issues need to be kept confidential and not turned into fodder for gossip.
• No Hard Feelings. Real estate is a competitive environment. Realize that the monthly sales figures could cause negative emotions in whoever is on the lower end. Be supportive to each other to get through these moments of crises – and be prepared to deal with them when they occur.
• All Employees are Treated Equal. From day one. If your normal course of action is to put a job offer in writing, including compensation and benefits, don’t deviate from this with family. While the process may seem more casual, it isn’t. You need to be as effective and vigilant with family employees as you are with non-related ones.
• Communication is Vital. You already know this, but don’t forget it’s just as important when dealing with your family in your workplace as it is in other areas of your business. They deserve the respect of one-on-one business meetings to voice their concerns and to discuss their job, and your business, in general. Miscommunication is the biggest cause, by far, of poor job relations. Keep this in mind, and you’ll go a long way in keeping everyone happy. Including yourself!
All in all, the way you treat an employee should be consistent. Whether a part of your family or not, creating the correct boundaries from the beginning is imperative. However, that being said, a non-related employee probably hasn’t seen you in your PJ’s, or at family gatherings, or visited you when you had your first baby. Therefore, normal innate boundaries aren’t going to be in place with family unless you strive to put them there.
Once you do, however, you will begin to see the positives when working with a family member far more often than you will see the negatives. It is possible to combine family and career – as long as you know what you want, how you want it, and take the proper steps to communicate those wants effectively.
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.