Ever think about what it’d be like to work with your kids? A family business in real estate has been well publicized by famous couples like Chip and Joanna Gaines, but what’s it like for a mom to work with her children?
We interviewed three mother-child duos to find out just what it’s like to work with mom and how to keep a family business in real estate going.
What it’s like to work with mom in a family business in real estate
There are so many ways to be involved in real estate — from marketing to selling real estate products to becoming a real estate agent. We interviewed moms and their children across different categories to celebrate their working relationships
1. Meet this mother-daughter real estate agent team
Negar Souza and her mother Feri Niroomand have been working together for more than 15 years.
“I started as her assistant for three years, then I got my license and became an agent. We became a team,” said Souza.
Niroomand taught Souza the skills needed to become a top real estate agent. Their dynamic has led to much success in the Bay area with Red Oak Realty, they’ve won numerous distinctions and were the top producing team company-wide in April 2017.
Pros of working together: “We really respect each other,” said Souza. “Because we’re mother and daughter we have a bond and trust where our communication is streamlined, we understand each other well.
Some teams you see the way they conduct business is different from one other or there’s some competitiveness. It’s different as mother-daughter because we have an underlying bond and respect.”
Challenges: A family business in real estate means you spend a lot of time around, you guessed it, your family. “You spend time with each other outside of business,” said Souza, “things bleed into that. We’ve had to try hard to not allow it to bleed into our private time together as mother-daughter because everything can become business.”
Advice for other mother-child duos: Set boundaries. “Make sure you’re setting time aside so you can just enjoy a mother-daughter relationship outside of the business relationship,” said Souza.
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2. This mother-son duo draws on the strengths of mentorship
Ryan Boykin, co-founder of Denver-based Atlas Real Estate Group knew his firm needed more mentorship in the marketing department. “We had some marketing personnel we had hired on but they were less seasoned,” said Boykin.
He knew his mom, Joan Boykin, had years of experience in marketing so he decided to bring her on as a consultant at the company where she now oversees the PR, marketing strategy and website development and mentors the full-time employees.
Pros of working together: “This is one category of my business that I don’t need to micromanage,” said Ryan Boykin. “The trust that comes from someone who is a family member and looking out for your best interest — they might have different decision-making outcomes but you know that the place the decision is coming from is pure and true.”
Joan Boykin shared similar feelings, “Working with each other gives us an ironclad assurance that I have his back at all times and he has my back at all times. It not only solidifies your working bond but your familiar bond.”
Challenges: “I don’t approve of swearing,” said Joan Boykin about her son’s tendency to become passionate when he’s working hard on a project. “When I’m in operation mode and I’m in my place really needing to go out and execute and take care of things, I tend to be brief,” said Ryan Boykin.
While mom might not always like the way her son handles his passion, they’ve turned the challenge into an opportunity to provide two-way feedback. “I think when you’re the owner of a business, very few people are willing to give you feedback,” said Joan Boykin, “but I think that a parent can do it in a really constructive manner.”
Advice for other mother-child duos: “I would suggest that they keep the parent-child relationships very professional,” said Joan Boykin. “I think in certain instances Ryan might use my first name instead of ‘mom’ and that’s very appropriate.”
3. This mother-daughter business created a product for real estate agents
Lauren Rosenberg knew her mom’s interior decorating method would be valuable for real estate agents and their clients, but they didn’t know how to get the word out about her book. That’s when Rosenberg had a brainwave: create an interior decorating kit. The Elaine Ryan Home Decorating Kit was born.
“It enables the user to become their own interior designer or home decorated using my mother’s famous system,” said Rosenberg.
The two have traveled the country demonstrating the kit to shoppers at Home Depot.
Pros of working together: “As a mother-daughter duo we find we work really well together because we have the same pace,” said Rosenberg. “My mother and I are excellent business partners.”
Challenges: “The mother, daughter dynamic can be challenging,” said Rosenberg. “Sometimes she thinks she’s my mother and not my friend.”
Advice for other mother-child duos: “It is hard work to create a product and keep it going. Creating it is just one challenge, keeping it going is another and then the other challenge is all the business aspects. It costs a lot of money, from licenses to attorneys to fulfillment. It takes a lot of due diligence. Have the same goal in mind. Stick to it. Stay with it for the long haul.”