The truth behind Real Estate business ownership- In a nutshell I can tell you "it ain't all it's cracked up to be"... and then again, sometimes it is.
Today a friend told me that her husband had just gotten into Real Estate Sales in another state and that he was seeking work-life balance and she was seeking advice from little ol' me. She thought it would be good for us to chat and that her husband likely could use an accountability partner. The mention of "work-life balance" kind of put a smile on my face. As a broker who has been licensed now for closing on a decade I am still seeking work-life balance every day. It's like a teeter-totter though, ... true balance is never really achieved. You're usually at one extreme or the other.
Many outsiders to the Real Estate world look at it and they only see the smiling face of it and it's very enticing. They watch the HGTV channel and see some young guy who woke up at noon, threw some clothes on and sold a $2,000,000 property to walk away with a $80,000 commission check and they say "wow, that looks super easy... I want to do that so I can make my own schedule and make a ton of money and have a ton of fun."
Real Estate can be very lucrative financially. It can provide you with a lot of money for the time invested which therefore can free up your calendar for fun and exciting ways to spend that money. When you hit your goals it can provide you with a very rewarding feeling at the end of the day, week, month or year. And what I've noticed is that the people who are successful at it tend to display those glowing aspects of this career to the public but they rarely address the hard work and failures that had to occur in order to make those achievements.
So here's a little bit of the truth...
The Real Estate business can destroy you financially. It can suck money right out of your pocket and your accounts before you even knew it. It can suck the time right out of your calendar until you become a slave to the business. It can break your spirit when you worked your ass off and it still wasn't enough to hold the deal together and your mortgage payment is already late. But it's just like the work-life teeter-totter, if you have the persistence, the will-power and the financial means to hold it all together and focus on the end goal, the good will overpower the bad. If you're smart, you learn from the bad and you don't repeat those mistakes again.
Here's what work-life balance looks like for a Real Estate Business Owner:
... So how did that all sound to you?? Work-life balance? Or total chaos?
It doesn't have to be like this of course. My 2016 example is an extreme of what happens when you lounge around in the "Life Quadrant" for too long. If you're trying to juggle you can't ignore the ball and then expect it to be where it was a minute ago, right? Is it ironic that hanging out in the "Life Quadrant" for too long can actually have serious negative impact on the "Life Quadrant" because it screws up the "Work Quadrant"? But it's a catch 22... spend too much time in the "Work Quadrant" and your "Life Quadrant" can suffer too... which will then come back to impact your "Work Quadrant".
Everyone has his or her own tolerance for risk and I would say that most people will not put that many irons in the fire. Whether you want to multi-task or not, own 12 businesses or just one, develop a real estate team or work alone, you will still face the everyday teeter-totter of trying to find that work-life balance. It's when you realize that equilibrium is never achieved, it's just a pendulum swinging back and forth between overworked and not enough work... and when you accept that and swing in stride... that's when you actually "feel" the work-life balance.
Interested in a Career in Real Estate?
Dustin Nulf is an Associate Broker for Keller Williams Realty in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He has been in Real Estate Sales and Investing since 2008 and has had his hand in over 500 real estate transactions since then. Dustin is the CEO of The Dustin Nulf Team and acts as a coach, trainer, mentor and adviser to sometimes hundreds of agents a year.