Has anyone found out yet if it’s possible to “have it all”? Finding work that fulfills us while satisfying the needs of our family isn’t easy. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, about two-thirds of agents got into real estate because of the flexible schedule. Not all of us are made to stick to a 9-5 way of thinking- some of us are determined to do more so we can put more into our families and the world around us. Read on to find out how Kaitlyn Harvey discovered her dream job in real estate. She shares her story of building her own business while crafting work-life harmony that shows it is possible to build a successful real estate career while putting family first.
Why am I in this industry? The answer is a simple one: my mother! And no, my mother wasn’t in real estate or on HGTV (although she could have been). My mom is my main source of inspiration. She is a decorating guru and would let my sister and I explore our creative outlets by moving rooms, re-decorating, and yes, that even meant painting each wall a different form of neon and watching her decorating for the holidays as well as going all out for church events.
When I graduated high school, there was so much pressure to know what you want to do right away and I didn’t. I started dating a home builder (now my husband) and everything fell perfectly in-line. Who knew all my loves could be formed in one job and one word: houses! And when I say love for houses I mean it; from established neighborhoods (Thompson St. in Des Moines has a very special place in my heart), complete renovations, move-in ready, and new construction.
I went to Iowa State University and took business classes and found an opportunity to work for two top-producing real estate agents and they started and transformed my career. I took my pre-licensing classes and dove right in. I now design new construction homes for my husband and we just moved to a farm. We have cows and are currently renovating a 1913 farmhouse!
Starting the Dream Job Right After College
When I first started working for top agents, I saw the potential and reward in helping clients buy and sell their properties. I found it so fulfilling being able to conquer the behind-the-scenes hurdles we cross to get clients their home. I believe saying yes to a part-time job while in college definitely directed me to this career I’m in today. I did explore the retail space but said I didn’t want a job with those hours. I laugh now because real estate doesn’t have hours. Sometimes I can be helping clients as the sun comes up, but I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Luckily I started this career while in college so I didn’t have a huge transition period. I was always exploring creative outlets and I’m so happy it led me to where I am in my design with new construction homes and real estate career. I couldn’t ask for a more fulfilling career that allows me to be flexible and at home with my girls.
Balancing Motherhood and a Career
Being a real estate agent and being able to create my own hours, while being a mom to two little girls, has been a dream come true. I have gotten the opportunity to be there for them in the moments a normal 9-5 job couldn’t allow me to be. This job allows me to watch my babies grow up which gives me all the emotional feels!
Real estate is a big wave. I try to be consistent with my work and schedule, no matter if I’m working with zero clients or 100 at a time, so I always have an organized workspace. I make my daily to-do list which might include prospecting, showing houses, organizing drop-bys or sending mailers. There is always something that can be done and I find it helps to keep a very detailed to-do list so I don’t get behind with my current or past clients.
Me and my husband, Andrew, with our girls, Sawyer and Navy.
Finding Your Calling and Advice for Others
I cannot reiterate enough how exciting it is to have found “your calling.” I know it’s so cliche but God had this job for me. “If you do what you love, you’re not working a day in your life” is so true. I love helping clients buy and sell houses. From new construction to flip houses, from buyers looking for a home for their families to empty nesters, every process is beautiful.
There’s nothing more satisfying than handing over the keys to someone who’s been dreaming of a house in which to create lifetime memories. Giving back is also important to my brokerage and me. I’ve had the opportunity to work with different food banks and help rebuild homes in inner-city communities with Habitat for Humanity.
If you’re thinking about making a change in your career, don’t wait and just dip your toe in. Commit to real estate and dive in. If you need help, ask for it! There are so many people in the industry who want to see you succeed so make sure you join a company that feels that way. Make sure you look for a brokerage that wants to pour into you and help you succeed.
Ready to break free of the mundane and build your life the way you want it to be? Find out more about what it means to join the relentless team at C21®. Check out our website to learn how to build a successful real estate business.