Working with Family!

I’ve been asked more than once, twice, three or 109 times how Greg and I can work together. Top that with how Greg and I can work with our son and his wife and now add in their adult daughter to the mix and you’ve got a lot of family dynamics, fireworks, and compromise charged with respect. According to the Family Business Center family firms comprise 80 to 90 percent of all business enterprises in North America. WOW!

Greg and I have been married for 25 years May 23rd, 2017. We’ve been in exotic places, frozen northern places and now here in Florida where we own real estate companies and a fully functioning real estate sales team. Having a husband and wife working together in real estate is not unusual. We’ve got many such teams in our companies and throughout the industry. Keller Williams loves this “group” so much that they give us some real perks.  It often happens, like it did with us, that one spouse enters the field and then is followed by the other. I was licensed in 2003 and Greg in the fall of 2005. Neither of us were Realtors prior to that time. I do think it gives the spouse who is not in our industry a real shock when they come on board. Real Estate sales is not for the feint of heart.

So, how do we manage? We have officed in a 10×9 room with one other partner. We’ve had separate offices far from each other and now we’re back to having offices in the same building. But, we rarely see each other throughout the day. Greg is busy as Operating Partner and Broker for the 2 Market Centers, heading up our Team’s REO Division and has numerous volunteer positions. I’m with the team daily coaching, consulting, marketing and also pursuing other business opportunities, book editing and volunteering so, we’re often not seeing each other until day’s end. We do touch base throughout the day as we have to schedule doggie duty and other personal errands plus we bounce things off of each other business-wise all of the time. Two heads are usually better than one.

  1. We accept that each other often has to take calls during our “off-time” but we have coached ourselves to be excited that there are calls because that means business is happening. We are committed to supporting our agent partners.
  2. We spend time in the morning and in the evening with each other listening to music, chasing our dogs and having a meal together. Greg makes breakfast and I am responsible for dinner. It works well. Plus we like to sit on the deck and have a cocktail and unwind while watching the water.
  3. We have moved away from watching TV programs that make us nuts – me especially.
  4. We have schedule “no phone time.”
  5. We ride our bikes and take the dogs with us.
  6. We attend important meetings together so that we have two sets of ears. We have learned to play off of each other well.
  7. We laugh a lot about silly things.
  8. We travel together whenever possible. We love to take our motor coach so we can take our furry friends along for the ride.
  9. We do a lot of projects together from changing out light fixtures, hooking up electronics, changing locks on properties and we’ve renovated 4 homes together. We really work well as a team.
  10. We’ve launched multiple businesses and all the while we never take ourselves too seriously. We do know each other strengths!

When it comes to our granddaughter Lane working in our real estate division, her position is responsible to our Right Arm – Claire. Lane is not directly reporting to us  and that helps us all. Plus she’s young and so is Claire – it’s a good fit. We’re thrilled that we can offer her a position that allows her to work from home in Canada with enough flexibility to be a great mom to Hudson and partner to Matt.

Our son Chris, our daughter in law Natalie and granddaughter Rayvelynn live in Playa del Carmen Mexico. It’s where we have a boat charter business consisting of 3 boats. TeamWorks Adventures has been in operation almost 3 years and it has been a real challenge for a variety of reasons. I give them so much credit. They left their home, jobs, friends and family in Canada to relocate to Mexico, run a business they’ve never been in before and raise a daughter, who by the way is doing terrifically well!

  1. We have weekly reports in writing so we can see the activity plus we use Quickbooks so we can see what’s happening financially at a glance.
  2. We travel there as often as we can to inspect what we expect and to support them, plus we love the area.
  3. We What’s app daily just to check in, however, I work on keeping the business business and the personal personal which is tough. I do always end it with I love you even when it’s business – I do admit to that. Greg and I do that also.
  4. Claire and I cover the majority of the reporting and liaising with Chris and Nat and share info with Greg when necessary. He is, by our choice, the majority owner there and Natalie is the Managing Partner. I was Operating Principal with the Brokerages when we started this biz but now with Greg in that role, it’s only fair that we take the oversight… over…
  5. Roles and responsibilities are clear for Chris and Natalie. Chris runs the boats and the crew, Natalie the sales and marketing side. We work very hard to speak to them separately about their positions rather than asking one about the other.
  6. We love boats and love the area so even when we are supposed to be having dinner, etc. we usually talk business. But we all seem okay with it, even Rayvelynn.
  7. We have learned to be patient with each other because the culture there is different and it is tough to get things done in the time frame we are all used to.
  8. We show great respect to those who work with us, that is also a part of the culture.
  9. We explore new revenue opportunities together, bouncing crazy ideas around with no judgment.
  10. We know our strengths and play to them.

We certainly have our bumps, our ups, our downs and we have moments of utter chaos. In all of our businesses. But as business partners we are determined to make an amazing difference in our customers lives. We all know it is not about us. It is about them, helping them move on or finding them a great adventure. We love to help our clients make memories.

And that is what unites us.

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