– Guest blogger: Alicia Eisenbise, Social Media Specialist
With the real estate market gaining traction, agents are busier than ever which made me wonder…how do they balance it all? It takes a special person to become successful real estate agent and a successful partner, parent and friend. So I decided to seek out one of our sales associates who’s balancing it all and ask them for a couple pointers.
That’s when I met Maria Del Boccio. She’s not only one of the top agents in our Northwest office, but she also has a husband and four young daughters (8, 5, 4 and 2 years old!) So what are her secrets?
- Strong work ethic. Maria is a first generation American and she learned by example that “you can’t make a bottle of olive oil from just one olive.” It takes work. Her parents worked 24/7 and instilled in her that strong work ethic. It is also extremely important to Maria to set an example for her girls.
- Schedule with a purpose. If one of her daughters has a concert or event, she always carves out that time in her schedule even though she may still have her phone on. If it’s an important event, she changes her voicemail to say, “I’ll be available after 2 pm,” in order to manage her clients’ expectations.
- Strong support system. Maria couldn’t stress enough that she couldn’t do it without the love and support of her husband who is an Arlington Heights Police Officer. He works the opposite of her schedule and often is able to take the kids to events or the park when she has a showing or closing. She said his support is the reason she is able to have both a career and a family.
- Set your own goals. Maria said that one of the reasons she was attracted to real estate was that “no one tells you what your maximum potential is. If you want to sell 1 house a year, sell 1 house a year. If you want to sell 100, then sell 100. ” You are your own boss and control your own schedule, so it’s important to set those goals.
- Focus on one thing at a time. Another golden rule is — focus. She said she’ll focus on dinner and bedtime, then go to the office after the kids are in bed. Make the time and create the separation.
- Business imitates life. Life imitates business. Being a real estate agent means you have the opportunity to integrate work into your normal life. The relationships you build at church, the store, baseball league or a volunteer organizations can translates to a listing or a sale. In Maria’s case, she’s built a business around her children’s school. She said it’s important to go to the school in her work clothes instead of flip flops and yoga pants. In your work attire, they see you as a mom and as a professional. Over the years, she’s nurtured those relationships and said she probably receives “a deal a week” from those school connections. Administrators even send referrals to her when they know a family is looking to move into the area!
Maria assured me that it does take struggle, hard work and energy, but that achieving that balance is possible. So focus on one thing at a time and create your own path to a happy work/life balance.