For mommy real estate agents, there comes an awkward time when it becomes very difficult to integrate children into everyday real estate business dealings. Babies can be thrown on your hip, go with the flow and even go on appointments. School-age children provide you time during the day to work your real estate business, and at other times can be helpful with hosting open houses or handing out flyers. But for that time in between, when your children are in that toddler through preschooler phase, you may find it best to keep the children completely out of the appointment loop.
There are always exceptions to any rule, of course. And there are some exceptions here. Assuming your child has had her nap and is in a reasonably good mood, there are a few appointments you can take your small child on:
— If you know the client personally and they have previously met your child
— The client also has a child (or several) who are in the same age range and the client indicates you should bring the child over
— A quick drop-off of paperwork, flyers, etc.
If you’ve been taking your baby to appointments with real estate clients and just chugging along, it’s easy to keep working your real estate business the same as before. But it’s important to think twice before bringing your child along when she’s between the ages of 1 to 5 years old. To your real estate broker’s office, sure. To run errands for your real estate business, fine. But appointments with real estate clients, think again. You don’t want to kill the deal. And a kid could possibly do that, with any client. Even another parent…while she might be understanding and sympathetic when your child has a meltdown…can think of the whole thing as a huge turn-off and wonder about your professionalism.
You know your child’s “limitations” more than anyone. You know the signs of fussiness coming on, the look of hunger. It’s just better not to chance turning an appointment into your worst nightmare.
If you don’t have consistent daycare for your child or baby, you have options. First, set up appointments on evenings and weekends when your significant other or a family member or friend can be relied upon to watch your child.
But what about those last minute calls from your clients who just MUST see you that afternoon? Urgent requests to see properties or to sit down and sign those listing documents can happen. And they can give you less than 2 hours notice.
If you want to be a competitive agent and want to provide service to your client, you want to try and find a way to make it happen. In these cases, you need to set up some last minute “emergency” daycare ahead of time. If you have a family member or a friend who is available during the day for these last minute client demands, that is ideal. Make sure you have a plan A and a plan B (just in case plan A falls through) for last-minute child care.
Don’t worry, these awkward toddler and preschooler years won’t last forever. Before you know it, you’re child will be in school and she will be a big help to your real estate business if you want to make things a family affair.