Not many dads make a practice of planting a garden with their kids. Yet each spring, Chris Walker of Hilton Head Homes takes time out of his busy job heading up his real estate sales, vacation rentals and property management companies to teach his kids how to work the earth.
It’s just one way he connects with his son and daughter, both school-aged. Around the home, Walker is the chef, chauffeur and occasional lunchtime companion—once a month, he drops by to visit the kids at school and eat lunch with them.
It isn’t by chance that Walker is able to find such sweet moments to build memories with his children. Having a busy schedule as a real estate professional has forced him to identify his priorities, which sometimes means saying no to business in favor of family.
We asked Walker just how he makes it all come together. Here are his words of advice to all the parents in real estate trying to find their own work-life balance.
Yazir Phelps: How do you balance being a dad and a busy professional?
Chris Walker: Real estate is 24/7 and kids are 24/7, so it’s a real juggling act between it all. You put the most important thing first, which is typically family, but business has got to take a place too sometimes.
YP: What do you do when there aren’t enough hours in a day for everything?
CW: There’s plenty of those times when you have more work than there is time in the day, but you’ve got to keep your moral compass. It always comes down to family being a priority.
Coming from the hospitality industry, I’m a night owl person. A typical day is, I drop my kids off at school at 7:30 a.m., come into the office, work until 5:00 p.m., then I’m with my family until 9:00 p.m. and after that I’ll work until midnight.
YP: What advice do you have for new real estate professionals or new working parents?
CW: Work with a very supportive group of people around you. Don’t try to do everything by yourself. You’ve got to find people that are as success-minded as you are and put yourself in that circle and work together to get things accomplished. There are young business groups that you can get involved with, which helps you with your networking in the real estate market. You can volunteer. There are all sorts of professional groups.
Bottom Line: Progress, Not Perfection
Even though people like Walker make it seem easy, you’re not alone if you find it difficult to achieve that work-life balance with your time. You’re not going to hit the mark every week, but if you keep putting your best foot forward as a parent and real estate professional, eventually you’ll become the person you want to be.
Yazir Phelps is the chief marketing officer at Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Phelps has over 18 years of experience in marketing, fueling growth at Fortune 500 organizations, and over five years of experience working directly with real estate professionals. Her extensive background in generating demand for products and services encompasses crucial strategies for a successful career in the field. To learn more, please visit www.RealEstateExpress.com.