In June we held a contest asking you to nominate the best dads in real estate you know. Out of the many entries, Chris Walker of Hilton Head Homes walked away with the top prize. Here’s how he manages fatherhood and having a successful real estate career.
Not many dads make a practice of planting a garden with their kids. Yet each spring, Chris Walker 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. They go shopping for vegetable seeds together and prepare the ground before planting and caretaking their plot together.
It’s just one way he finds to connect with his son and daughter, both school aged. Around home Walker is the chef, the chauffeur and even the 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 balance.
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Q: How do you balance being a dad and a busy professional?
A: Real estate’s 24/7 and kids are 24/7 so it’s a real juggling act between it all. You put the most important things first, which is typically family. But business has got to take a place too sometimes.
Q: What do you do when there aren’t enough hours in a day for everything?
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, come into the office, work until 5:00, then I’m with my family until 9:00 and after that I’ll work until midnight.
Q: What advice do you have for new real estate professionals or new working parents?
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 together.
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.
How to find inspiration for your own family and work balance
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. Here’s some inspiration to get you motivated to buckle down on your goals to make more time for the things you love this year.
- Cathy Maxfield talks about being a mom in real estate with six kids.
- These trailblazing real estate moms who carve their own path.
- These dads are time management experts, and even have a few tips on how to automate your processes to share.
- How Amanda Todd became a multi-million dollar real estate maven while single parenting.
Don’t be discouraged
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.