Expert Advice with Kate Forbes 03/10/2018
You might be surprised to learn that wrangling a couple of little monsters and working in real estate have an awful lot in common.
With their unique set of experience and skills, it’s no wonder real estate agents make fantastic parents!
And it’s not just because they’ll be able to help their kids get into the property market one day.
There is a raft of other reasons why…
1. They can keep track of a gazillion documents
If your kids are only small, you might not have experienced the avalanche of forms, permission slips, newsletters and the like that it involves.
It starts with registering the birth, then enrolling into daycare, and fully explodes once school starts.
Keeping track of lunch orders, gold coin donations for fancy dress days and excursion notices is practically a full-time job in itself.
Real estate agents are accustomed to juggling inspection reports, contracts and leases, so handling the family paperwork isn’t a big stretch.
2. They’ve had excellent practice at taxi driving
It starts with swimming… then football… then gymnastics… and before you know it, you are spending literally your entire waking life ferrying your kids around to various sports and activities!
For the uninitiated, this can be a big adjustment, but real estate agent parents just take it all in their stride.
They’re used to racing between open for inspections and meetings, know all the local shortcuts like the back of their hand, and can reverse-park outside an imposing apartment tower like a pro.
3. They’re FBI-level negotiators
If you’ve ever tried to convince a toddler to put their shoes and socks on, you’ll know that parenting is often 90 per cent tense negotiations, and 10 per cent looking at them lovingly while they sleep.
Many parents fall at the first hurdle when it comes to negotiations, and end up held hostage by a pre-schooler who will not be brushing his teeth until he’s had two chocolate frogs and an hour on the iPad.
A real estate agent, however, will never back down on these vital confrontations.
They may be the only people on the planet who can out-negotiate a stubborn four-year-old and walk away with their dignity (and their chocolate stash!) intact.
4. They’re not afraid to liaise with authority figures
Even if you’re very lucky, and have the world’s best-behaved child, chances are at some point you’ll be called up to face an imposing authority figure – be it a school principal, coach or teacher.
For many parents, the feeling of dread that surrounds such meetings takes them straight back to their own school days, but not so for real estate agents. They’ve faced off with local councils and belligerent buyers, taken down troublesome tenants and endured tribunal hearings aplenty.
A teacher with a bee in her bonnet isn’t going to scare them.
5. They’re experts at dumbing things down
Ever tried explaining where babies come from to a four-year-old? Or had first-hand experience of the Spanish Inquisition when your six-year-old demands to know how water gets from the clouds in the sky to the kitchen tap?
Real estate agents translate complex concepts and technical documents into layman’s terms every single day, to make all the jargon accessible to their clients.
They’re adept at making the most boring, wordy information easier to understand, having worked with buyers and sellers from all walks of life, and with varying English comprehension.
6. They’ve got the whole school catchment thing down to an art form
As agents, they know that being in the zone for a great school can add thousands to the value of a property.
As parents, they know the ins and outs of all the local educational institutions – which has a better sport or drama program, where do the most successful Year 12 leavers hail from, what public transport options are available – before their child is even born.
This is the kind of stuff that overwhelms even the most organised parent, but for real estate agents, it’s all part of the job.
7. They handle pressure like it’s no big deal
Seasoned parents will tell you there‘s nothing more rewarding or more stressful than having children, but real estate agents already have their stress-o-metre set higher than most.
Whether it’s from weeks of tense negotiations, local government giving them headaches, or a rat scurrying across the floor of a luxury property in the middle of an inspection, they have been there, stressed out about it, and got the t-shirt to prove it.
This experience will come in handy when little Freddy develops a mysterious rash, or wanders off in the middle of the shopping centre.
You’ll never see a real estate agent parent flailing around in a fit of anxiety when an emergency hits – they’ll be the cool, calm and collected one getting it quietly sorted out with a minimum of fuss.
Kate Forbes is a National Director at Metropole Property Strategists. She has 15 years of investment experience in financial markets in two continents, is qualified in multiple disciplines and is also a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
She is a regular commentator for Michael Yardney’s Property Update
Read more Expert Advice from Kate here!
Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.