Welcome, Carey Blem, the first Ninja Mom interview of 2010! I have gotten a bit behind in interviewing other moms, but I must say that this is one of my favorite parts of writing the blog. Getting to know other great women and hearing how they make it work, and even what they struggle with reminds me constantly that we are not alone and there are some other people out there with some really great ideas.
Carey is a real estate agent in Lake Oswego, Oregon just outside of Portland. She is a mom with 2 children ages 4 and 6 and has been selling real estate since 2005. The moment you meet Carey you can tell how much she loves real estate and is great at connecting with people. It’s no wonder that she has been so successful these last few years even with as crazy as the market has been. Here are some of the insights that Carey was kind enough to share:
How did you make the decision to get into real estate:
I was a medical technician in a lab working about 30 hours a week when my husband and I sold an investment property. I started thinking about the idea of selling real estate thinking that it would be fun and interesting and great for our family life. At the time we had a one year old and I was pregnant with our second.
How do your work your business with the kids:
The kids are in preschool Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so those are my main focus days for work. Mondays and Fridays I just figure it out. I really try to not take appointments on those days and I’ll usually turn my phone off for a couple hours at a time so that I can focus on having fun with the kids. (Carey, you are my hero. I must admit that I still can’t get myself to turn my phone off!) It also helps that my husband really is my biggest fan and happy to support me in any way that he can. He is a pharmacist so he’s fairly busy during the week, but always willing to jump in and be super dad if I need to work on the weekends.
Where does your business come from:
Really, almost all of my business is from referral. We are a very active family. I play soccer, my husband plays softball and we are very active in our neighborhood and at the kids pre school. My biggest thing is that I just really like connecting with people so will pretty much always strike up a conversation whenever I am out and about. (You can really get a sense of this when you talk to Carey. She truly connects with you and is interested about who you are and what you are about.) I really focus on the FORD questions and finding out about people. Weather it leads to real estate or not, I just like meeting people. I always love meeting someone that can make me laugh or really think about something.
What are your best practices:
~ Coaching by far is my number one tool. I coach with Garrett Frey and he is fantastic. For me coaching equals a plan which equals business.
~ Also focusing on abundance. It is easier for me to manage my time when I am focused on an abundant universe and business. I find that this helps me keep better boundaries between work and taking time for my family.
~ I have a very supportive family. My husband really is my biggest fan and that means the world to me.
~ I do mail to my clients on a regular basis. Windermere, the company that I work for, has some great newsletters that I send out and then I supplement with other things such as lottery tickets at St. Patrick’s day and reusable grocery bags.
What are your challenges:
~ Time and balance are always up there on the list. It is a constant re evaluating of how things are going and what tweaks need to be made. I am always looking for ways to be more efficient.
~ My goal each day is to tie up all of the loose ends before picking up the kids so that I can be totally focused on them when we are together. Some days that goes better than others.
~ I also find that I sometimes struggle with a bit of focus. It is like my subconscious is working against me for success. There are times when I have the time to sit down and work on a project and yet I find myself procrastinating. Frustrating to say the least, but I am working on it and having a coach helps make sure that I don’t get too far off track.
~ The other thing that can be frustrating is when the kids are sick or something needs to be taken care of it is always assumed that I am the one that will rearrange my schedule to take care of it. My husband’s job requires that he is there certain hours so it’s really up to me to figure it out. On the one had it can be frustrating, but a quick reality check always reminds me that this is actually part of what makes real estate so great. I do have that flexibility and can be there for the kids. Yes, it might goof up my day, but in the end I wouldn’t have it any other way.
How do you make time for yourself:
I play soccer and stay connected to my friends that way. I also have the luxury of grabbing lunch with a friend or meeting them for a pedicure or something fun like that during the day too so it all works out.
Any other thoughts you would like to add:
Before real estate I worked as a lab tech in oncology. So there were some pretty dire cases with people that had advanced cancers and very limited time left to live. No body dies in real estate ~ the world goes on so take a step back and relax the next time things start to get a little crazy.
Thank you so much Carey for sharing your insights with us. You are a true Ninja Mom! If you have more questions for Carey or better yet, to send her a referral you can reach her at 503-320-9316 503-320-9316 or firstname.lastname@example.org.