When I ask Agent Grad School students why they decided to become a real estate agent, I often hear because they loved the idea of having more flexibility in their schedule while still having the ability to earn a great income.
Maybe the idea of having time and money freedom was a factor in your choice to become a real estate agent too? I know it was for me.
However, once licensed, many agents find themselves strapped for time and juggling both the responsibilities of work and home all the time.
When your job has no end and no beginning, and clients are reaching out at all hours of the day and night, it can be tough to find that sweet spot where you feel like you can balance it all.
In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Lauren, a very successful Agent Grad School student, who is also a mother of three young children, so she knows a thing or two about being short on time!
You’ll hear her talk honestly about her success journey, the challenges she faced, and how she found strategies that made her:
- a top agent in her marketplace;
- work smarter and more efficiently than ever before like a “nap time” warrior;
- embrace modern marketing techniques that attracts clients without having to be out of the house doing things like networking, doing pop-bys or having to be on the phone during dinner time calling expired listings;
- take control of her business to grow it in a way that matched her life with her family and within her community;
- stop comparing her real estate business to others; and
- find the perfect niche market for her (hint—other moms!).
Whether you have kids or not, today’s episode will help you work smarter and more efficiently to not only reach your real estate goals, but make sure those goals include having a great life outside your business too.
Listen in here:
Isn’t that what success in our real estate careers should be all about–not just selling more houses, but being able to create an amazing life outside our businesses? I think so. You’ve got to have both, otherwise, what’s the point of working so hard?
Many of us juggle several roles or responsibilities day in and day out, especially in this time of COVID, and hearing Lauren’s creative and flexible solutions could help you think creatively about how to balance it all beautifully.
I admire Lauren very much, and I’m so pleased to be able to share one of our conversations with you. I know you’ll learn a lot from her.
To your success,
P.S. Lauren is an Agent Grad School student and I’m so honored to have helped her create a successful real estate business. If you’d like me to help you build YOUR real estate business, become an Agent Grad School student so you can start applying the same strategies Lauren did to your business too.
On today’s episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent we’re talking about how to succeed as a real estate agent when you’re short on time. And I’m so honored to have one of our very successful Agent grad school students who is not only selling a million dollars worth of real estate per month, but she’s also juggling the demands of having three young kids at home, all at the same time. She is going to talk about the challenges she’s had to overcome to do both so successfully and the creative ways that she’s able to do it all. So whether you’re a mom or not, or you’re just short on time, for whatever reason, you’re going to get a ton out of this episode.
And I am so happy that you can listen in on this conversation on how to succeed in real estate when you just don’t have a lot of time to devote to it. Welcome to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I’m your host Jennifer Myers. Listen in as I share exactly what I did to go from not being able to sell a house for years to becoming one of the top 1% of agents in the US to even opening my own brokerage full of agents helped me serve all the clients that were coming my way. I taught those agents the same strategies I used in date to become a top producing agents. Now through this Podcast and Agent Grad School dot com. I’m sharing those same modern marketing and business strategies with you.
Most of which I learned from looking outside of the real estate industry, no fluff, no theory, no outdated sales techniques or paying for leads, just the exact steps to get you the real estate business you’ve always wanted. And the life outside of your business, you’ve always wanted to let’s make it happen and dive into today’s episode Before we dive in. So what we’re going to focus on today is the challenges of being both a real estate agent and a mom, and I think five biggest challenges and how you’ve coped with them over the years, because your real estate career that you’ve had, you went from not selling a ton of houses, to having your first child to now.
And I’m going to like; I want you to brag because you are so modest and you create such an awesome real estate business. And if you don’t brag for you, I’ll brag for you, but can you give us just a quick synopsis of like where you were a couple of years ago when your first son was born and what your business and life look like now, just so people can see what you mean, the evolution. I don’t want just to say here’s where you are now because you worked really hard to get there. So just to give us a quick snapshot of that, and then we’ll go on to the challenges. Okay. So in 2011, I have my first baby and, at the exact same time, started my own real estate business. What did that look like?
So that was me working out of the house. I had no childcare at the time, so I would just work. I would work when he was sleeping. I mean, newborn babies sleep a lot. And then, like the first year of his life, he was sleeping, taking two, like decent naps a day. And so, as soon as he went to sleep, I was just on my computer working on making phone calls. So I should have pulled the numbers cause I did it before we got on this call. I think I remember, I think I had a little two houses that year or maybe, but I certainly did not make a lot of money, but back then, I think for me it was like, I remember thinking a lot about offsetting, what I was gonna have to pay in childcare. So I knew that, like, that was part of my, what I considered in that, that year of decision making, making a small, like a small amount of money.
It was sort of what I expected that year. So yeah, no childcare, not a lot of money in my little condo, but I also look to act on that. I look back on that time fondly like it was kind of a sweet time of life. So fast forward to now we like, we moved out to a way to the suburbs. So we have a bigger house. We’ve had two markets. So now we have three kids, eight, seven, and one, we have the life in a pair, which has been life-altering in a good way. Right. I never knew what I was missing. And I think I’m going to do some Are North of like 12 million this year And that a team single-handedly by myself.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s a pretty amazing evolution. So that, it’s hard. I’m going to say it’s taken me. I have to try harder not to compare myself to you know, the people who have gotten to where I am in like three years or something, but people without kids or men who I don’t think, for the most part, I’d have to worry about the things that mothers have to worry about. So I try hard not to compare as I got here, and it took a lot longer than I think it takes, has taken some other people, but like the things that I’ve done along the way, I feel very proud of it. Yeah, you should. It’s amazing. So we’re going to talk here in a minute about the challenges. So what would you say are the things that like got you from here to there?
Like if you think about real estate agents who are moms sitting at home, if you could talk to you in that apartment with, with one baby in selling two houses, what would you say were like the three biggest things that you did that got you from that moment to this moment and leaving out the challenges part because we’ll get into that. But what are the things that you feel are most responsible for that level of growth and getting there? Because a lot of people, you know, it’s just honest, there’s a lot of people that won’t necessarily go from two houses to 12, you know, a million a month, single-handed. So like what would you tell those people to do to get where you’re at? I think The first thing that I did was I got streamline efficient because, yeah.
Going from, you know, previously I’d worked in real estate, but I had a, essentially a nine to five job. So I think going from that to then having these a couple of hours, you know, a few times a day to work, I just had, I had to know exactly what I had to get done and get it done fast. And that has stuck with me through my career. I still use that strategy every day. I mean, I don’t want to be sitting at my computer all day long from nine to five, even though I have the support now that I could. So I try to stay really focused on like usually I come up with my top three things I have to get down that day, and I put them into my calendar the night before. And then, if I can get through those three things, I feel like I have; I know that I’ve knocked out the big things that I need to do.
And if for some reason I can’t finish one of those things, like I move it to the next day and then add my next, like two things that I need to do. And that’s how I continue to like to move forward and move through my to-do list. So I think that was the most important thing upfront is just making the most of that little, that small amount of time that you have. I always brag about you. And I think, I always say to people, you’re like a nap time warrior. You like to get more done, and you can get more done in two hours. I’m like, I get that. Like sometimes, when it takes me all day to do something, I literally think to myself, Lauren could have done this in two hours during nap time. So that’s a gift. Okay.
Because you have to, I was talking to some moms that I know who work in real estate, and they are saying that the best thing that happened to their real estate career was having kids just have to, like, you can not procrastinate. You have this time, and you got to use it or lose it. Yeah. Okay. What else? Give me two other things that like really move the needle forward from that moment where you were like, and I’m pregnant, I’m starting real estate business. I am not going to do a nine to five. Having a mentor and someone to look up to. So I knew I could always like check in with you, Jen. And you gave me so many amazing strategies to use to grow my business. And I didn’t, I guess, because I had to be super-efficient. I didn’t spend a lot of time wondering if this the right path?
You knew that you have been so successful, and you were kind enough to give me some guidance back then. And one of the things that, that I do really think started to move the needle forward was finally getting my website and my newsletter set up because time, I guess it all goes back to the fact that time becomes so precious when you have kids. And I felt that each moment I’m doing this like I’m not with them. So sending out that newsletter was critical. I know it was something that I could do quickly. I didn’t have to put a whole lot of thought into it, and I could reach a lot of people Because you just took the content. You didn’t really change much of it at all.
It just took the swipe file or a contact. Yeah, it was great is that you could be home doing it. Like are your kids could be home sleeping and you’re not out networking or not, you know, cold calling when it’s dinner time or any of that stuff that you could fit it in those two-hour nap time because it didn’t really matter when you did it. I think a lot of, kind of the old school methods of marketing just for not feasible for me. So I know you, and I have talked about this in the past, but yeah. One of the recommendations from my old brokerage was to stay late in the office for like six to nine in cold call people, which one you’re feeling all on its own. It’s literally impossible, literally a screaming child and all that.
And then yeah, even, you know, going out to a coffee became, Yeah. They’re just Time stocks. I mean, the thing that we talked about when you were saying, you know, I was like, what, what are you doing to get clients? And you were like, I’m being told to do pot buys, call people at night. I’m like, no, like you’re literally eight months pregnant, and I’m like, that’s not going to work. And so, you know, just being able to do marketing, modern marketing, that gets you clients, the exact clients you want without having to leave the house, not only works for the moms, but it works better for every real estate agent.
So yeah, it’s funny, Lauren, because I always say I give the same strategies and advice to every single real estate agent that I come in contact with. And you are one of those people who I am in, and it sounds like because you put in a question that you didn’t have time to question it. You just, you just like did it, and you didn’t like waver at all. And I, and I hate like, I hate thing that like, but it’s like if you do it, it like works. You know? And there are so many real estate agents that like I have given literally at the same exact content, the same exact strategies, everything, and they don’t do it. And then the results suffer. So the fact that you were just like, I don’t really like, I’m putting my blinders on, and I don’t really like doing it.
I think it speaks volumes for you or for every single real estate agent, but just do it, and it works. And if you can’t give yourself the time and mental energy to question it, sometimes that’s even better. It was helpful. I think because, you know, I knew you personally, so I was able to see first-hand that you were incredibly successful and had this amazing life, and I trusted you. And I didn’t think you’re going to, like, you’re going to steer me wrong. So I felt like if she is going to be kind enough to share this wealth of information with me, I’m not going to ask questions. I’m just going to do it. I’m just going to get to work. So yeah, it worked out. I’ll never question. I think there’s been like two times maybe in my career where I’ve been like, Jen, are you sure?
And then, like, you’re always right. Well, I hope that continues for you to the challenges. But I do think there’s a unique challenge when you have when you were a mom, and you tell me, if I shouldn’t say this, the bread-winner of your family. Right. And I’m trying to juggle being a real estate agent in a month. So let’s talk about your biggest challenges and how you worked through them along the way. So what would you say were your biggest roadblocks or challenges? You don’t think this is it? I don’t think this is the biggest one. Yeah, but the first one that I have done was on maternity leave.
Yeah, it was. So I have my first child, I didn’t have maternity leave, and just news flash, if you didn’t know this, if you don’t have a regular job and benefits and all of that stuff, there is no maternity leave. There is enough that does not exist. So if you want maternity leave, you have to create, create it for Yourself. How did you do that? So well, when I had Stellan, I just didn’t really have one. I didn’t have as much going on business-wise, which I think it was kind of a blessing because I didn’t really know. I didn’t have a plan at all. And I was like, I’m going to have this baby, whereas my first child, I didn’t know what I was going to be like. And I remember maybe having about like ten days when I really, I wasn’t working much.
Gosh. But then I did get back to work, and I think it was a combination of, I mean, I didn’t know any different. I was anxious about earning an income again. And so I felt like, I felt like getting back to work, ease some of that anxiety. Like I’m going to try to make something happen here. So I don’t, I don’t know if I, like, I would necessarily recommend that to someone, but that was, you know, that was kind of what happened and it, you know, I would work when he was sleeping, and it was a slow build. I do remember, I didn’t actually go back and to show anyone a house in person till he was like two months old, but I was most definitely working at home. And I think there’s probably a lot of, you know, moms selling real estate who will find themselves in that position.
I don’t think there’s a lot. I mean, maybe if you’re on a team, you would have a scenario where you can say, like here’s all my stuff I’m leaving. I’ll be back in three months. But I think for most of us, that’s not going to ever be what maternity leave looks like. When I had my daughter about a year ago, I approached it in a much different way. The number one, I did have a larger business now, and I had things happening, and I knew that there wasn’t just going to be this lull during that time. So I had to plan because I needed my clients to be taken care of. And so I also want it to make a plan for myself, you know, what were we going to do if I was not working during that period of time?
The things I was thinking about were number one, financially, do I have a cushion to get us through this period of time? And then who’s going to take care of my clients if I can. So I have like a handful of people that I talked to before I had my daughter. And if I need someone to show houses, who’s the best person to do that. If I need someone to actually like take on a client, if I get a new client, like right after I have my daughter, who do I pass them onto? How will that, what will that look like? So I did feel like I had a backup plan and my, I talked to my broker, and they were well aware of the situation so that I felt like I had a kind of a team set up to help me if you need it.
Okay. How long before your due date? It sounds like a lot of pre-planning, like how long before your due date, did you start with that? Like two months. Okay. Or maybe it was more of a, definitely like, two months before I had her. I was thinking about what I was going to do during that time and getting people on board, and making sure that there was some kind of agreement about referral fees. I’m sure. Things like that. Yeah. It is a situation where I still want it to be at the point of contact for my clients. So I went in knowing that I was still going to have to be responding to email and texts and phone calls while I was at home, but I’ve just gotten used to that. And that wasn’t a big deal to me. So I definitely had a client reach out, and I also want to; I wanted flexibility because I didn’t know how I was going to feel.
So, yeah. It was like, if I’ve got a client that I thought, you know, maybe they’re not going to start looking until January. We can kinda keep in touch until then. And I won’t really need to refer them out to somebody else. So there were a lot of situations like that. And I had helped with some showings and maybe like some home inspections, but I mean, I definitely, I even like wrote contracts during my maternity leave because I felt like I was okay doing that. Yeah. Yeah. And so you, you are not only two months ahead of time. Plans with your broker and plan with another agent, but it sounds like you’ve also had went through each one of your clients and said, okay, who do I need to talk to about what kind of thing? Like if they were going to look in January, you could say, Hey, heads up, I’m going to be on maternity leave.
I’ll call you after for the ones that are super active, or maybe you had different conversations with those clients and introduced them to somebody that was going to help you with showings and kind of step that all out. But it wasn’t just one big blanket like I’m out. It was, which I think you could do that in theory. I think it’s gonna hurt your business if you disappear for three months and then show back up again. Like by all means, it’s a precious time, and I wouldn’t tell someone not to do that, but just understand the repercussions are going to be in that it might not be quite the same time. Then you come back, and I think what also tends to happen is if you’re gone three months, and it also has an effect after that three months.
Right? So like you have fewer closings like for six months, which is again, is fine, but like make that conscious choice and understand that like one decision equals the result. Is that okay? So as the kids got older, can we talk about how you did child or care or actually, let me back up. So with your third child, how much maternity leave did you take? I know you took hopefully more than ten days, but what was your, like in your mind, did you, was it like six weeks, two months? So it was, I had for the end of September, and I wasn’t really back to full throttle until January. It was great. Yeah. The difference, what a difference. It sort of worked out perfectly that year, though, because I didn’t plan this, but I had her sort of in that quiet period in the annual real estate cycle.
So it was kind of quiet. I had a few things happen, work-wise, but I had gotten the majority of my business done before I had her. And it just kind of like happened that way for that year. Yeah. And what Lauren’s referring to is this natural cycle that happens every year. We have a podcast on that also about going with the flow of the market, but I love what you said, Lauren, is that you understood that, and then you embraced it, and you were like, okay, it’s Thanksgiving, it’s Christmas. It’s the holidays. I don’t know. I’m going to go against the grain and come back to work full throttle. The time to do that is January because that’s when things pick up back again. So just knowing that and making that decision and I think, is huge. Yeah.
So, what do you think was the big difference? Why your first child, is it ten days and third child, I guess nine years later, eight years later, there’s such a big difference there. I mean, one, I guess I knew I had more information about what it was going to be like to have a newborn and how much, how hard it is. I mean, my pregnancy was even harder just being older or being pregnant and having other kids to have to worry about. I just wanted to be able to take care of myself and a better way and have time with my baby. And then, I mean, the planning part, I knew just because my business had become so successful, I knew that I had had enough going on that I couldn’t just wing it.
I really needed to have a plan in place. So Yeah. So as the kids got older, I’m not sure that the challenge of childcare, and as you add more children to that dynamic, how did you handle the challenge of childcare and especially because, in real estate, we’re working when other people aren’t working weekends, like how did you handle that challenge? Yeah. So I think I finally, finally, three kids in have arrived at a really good childcare solution that has been a long road to get here. I can remember many of the conversations we had about nannies and, and over the year, it’s been, it’s been well, you know, you never did really shocking for me the first time.
I don’t know that I really thought about childcare a whole lot until I was like really needed it. And then I was like, this is so unbelievably expensive. It’s almost not worth it for me to go to work. Like, you know, if you’re, if you’re only going to be making like $8 an hour or once you get your paycheck, and then paying for childcare, it’s like that kind of scenario, it started to make less and less sense to me. I’ve never really been, I’m not knocking anyone who takes kids to daycare, but that just wasn’t for me. I would want it to be at home with them, and I have to, you know, sort of create a situation where I could have that happen.
So I knew I didn’t want to do daycare. And I also didn’t like, like with the ups and downs that you can experience and in selling real estate, especially when you’re just getting started, I didn’t want to be fully committed to this large expense. I have to pay every month. I want it to set myself up in a way where if I didn’t have a whole lot going on, I could be with my son, not paying for someone else to take care of him. Like during the holidays, like we were just talking about it, that natural ebb and flow. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That makes total sense. And things were busier, and you know then I would have someone available. So it was very tricky and I, you know, I’ve used a combination of many things. It started out with having; I did, I waited to the point where I felt like I have enough happening where I can support and I can justify having childcare at my house.
So we had to be, we actually have like, my in-laws coming. If there was free childcare out there, like I took advantage of that, where to find it. So that definitely started with family. Just having my family come over a couple of days a week to watch my son. So I could have some uninterrupted work time. And then I would try if I could to book my showings during that time. So like, if a client is flexible and I know I have childcare Wednesday, I’m like, well, if you can do Tuesday or Wednesday, then it was Wednesday. Okay. And then after that, we ended up getting like a nanny that we would have come twice a week. Then when I was always on the lookout for the inexpensive part-time childcare option. So we did like the cooperative playgroup.
That was the less expensive we did. I joined a gym where they had, Right. So you can get two hours of childcare a day. And so I would go and like work out for a little bit, like 20 minutes. I was there to take a shower, and I would go up in the lounge and work. Yeah. Brilliant. I love that. I love the creativity. I’ve got to find two hours to work playing with my, with my other moms, friends. I mean, my friends were, I didn’t, I certainly wasn’t taking advantage of anyone, but if, if I was in a bind, I would call one of my friends.
Like, can you take my kids this afternoon? And you know, usually, they were willing to help. I’m trying to think of what else I did. Yeah. I did a playgroup. I mean, ultimately, they ended up in preschool, and then I would have a part-time nanny come in the afternoon. So I was kinda, at that point, I was starting to like piece together, full-time childcare. And then my boys went to public school finally. Yeah. That gives you a good six hours. Probably It did. But what I found was people always called me during, I would need to start getting ready to get them at three. And then my husband would get home from work at seven. And no matter what, like that’s when everyone called was between three and seven.
So that kind of remember that you have a really stressful time. And so then, when we were, we knew we were going to have a third. We were talking about what the, what our options were. So we talked about hiring a nanny. And I was telling my husband that, you know, the hardest part of the day for me is that window. And I was like, even if we get a nanny, they’re going to go home, and I’m still going to be stuck now with a newborn and them and all my clients calling at that time. Like, that’s the time I need someone to help me. So after talking about it a lot and running a lot of numbers, we figured out that the most affordable option was to have an au pair come live with us.
So we did a little reconfiguring in our house and created a space to have an au pair come, and it’s been just life-altering. It is to have someone kind of like on-call here. She can step in like at any point to help me. And so, yeah, it’s like it has alleviated a lot of pressure and a lot of stress, but to get here was a long road. So I don’t know what my childcare advice is. I guess, like recognize that there are a lot of different options. And if you’re just getting started and money is a concern, I think there are a lot of free options. I did a babysitting co-op where you would get cards that were worth points in.
You would trade them In for babysitting hours. So I think things like that, like the gym babysitting co-op, do a swap with another mom friend. You have a lot of ways to make it work. Since it sounds are so efficient, we need a couple of hours, and you can be like, you can get so much done. And when I’m also hearing about that as your business, as your business changed, and as your family changed you, your, your childcare, it changed. So as you became more successful, you got more help because you could afford it and you need it. And as your family grows, you’ve got different kinds of help. But I think what’s also amazing is recognizing, I think, what happens so often is like the fact that you were just like willing to look at reality and be like the three to seven-period is when I need help.
It’s not typical, so try not to shove, what is it? Square peg in a round hole, right? It’s like, I don’t care. What else is happening in the world? This is what my life looks like. My life looks like I need help from three to seven. Yeah. Being able to change as it evolves as your business and life evolved and being willing to look at the reality of life is not normal hours, business hours and getting home. So what else helped? This is the time when I think it’s a good time to talk about how you did two other things that I think were really helpful for you. One was that you reduce the workload at home and you also became super focused on the kind of business that you want so that you could become efficient.
And you could do the work that you need to do in the time period that you have a daycare. So can you talk about those two things and how you kind of got to those and, and what you did? Because a lot of it really was okay. Here’s the reality of my life. I have two hours. I don’t want to be driving all over town, and I want to create a business that is efficient because I have to. You talk about those two things. Yeah. And I know you and I have conversations about some of these things over the years, but when I first started selling real estate, I sold a lot of real estate in Washington, DC. And, you know, as I got older, more of my clientele was out in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. And although it took me, I find things like this take me a little while to work through, but then eventually I have clarity about the situation, but I was still driving into DC to show houses from time to time.
And what I ultimately realized was that because I had kids and I couldn’t be away from them for hours upon hours. And I had to like scoot out during preschool to show a house. And then I had to be back for pick up and things like that, that I had to, I had to create boundaries around what was realistic, as far as how far I could go, how far away it can go from my house. I mean, you were really helpful in helping me figure this out, but it just didn’t make sense for me to go to DC anymore. And I have the option to her for that business, to someone who lived in DC and is in DC all the time and knows it better and is probably gonna sell a house faster than I could when I’m trying to pop in, you know, every six months and also narrowing the distance I’m willing to drive.
You can sell real estate in Northern Virginia and drive an hour away and still be in what is considered Northern Virginia. So I’ve tried to focus my business on Arlington and Alexandria, and I do a little bit and like work in Springfield, but I really can’t go beyond that. Like I can’t drive an hour to show houses. And so I think focusing, I think what you might normally think is like, Oh, you’re giving up a business. You’re going to get less business because you’re not doing DC, and we’re not going all the way out to Ashburn. But in reality, it gave me back that time when I would have been in the car or trying to figure out a neighborhood that I didn’t know, and really like double down on what I’m doing here.
So now I’m like an expert in these certain areas where I live, and it’s easy when I go out and show a property. Cause I know everything about it and I don’t have to drive an hour. I’m driving like 10 minutes down the street. So it ended up being a really, it not only works with my life, and it’s family-friendly. I could still make it to the soccer game cause I’m still in my community, but it enabled me to be more successful in my business. Okay. So I really want it, like if anybody’s listening to this is like, multi-tasking, please come back to this moment because here’s what I want you to hear. But what I want everybody to hear, and this goes mom or not efficiency or not, is that just because you can sell houses in certain areas doesn’t mean you have to, know that we all became real estate agents.
Who have control over our lives, and one way or another, whether it’s time or money or our schedule. And I want every single real estate agent who is listening to this to hear that when I first met Lauren, for example, she was selling houses in DC, Maryland, Virginia. She had licenses in all three. She was driving around the beltway. You could drive an hour and a half literally to show one house, then drive an hour and a half back. Okay. She put him down that she, and I know her business, she does, but what she wanted to do was she said, what business do I want to grow? What business do I want to concentrate on? And then she literally cut off everything else.
So you no longer, correct me if I’m wrong, have a DC license; you no longer have a Maryland license. And you refer that business out joyfully. And you just meet your goals by creating the business that you want. Right. And also a part of that is having, like, I have established relationships with people who do sell in those areas who I really liked. Like I spend, I don’t spend a lot of time on it, but I have spent time over the years kind of nurturing those relationships so that I feel like I have a partnership with people and I can send my clients to someone who really great. And so that, I think that’s an important piece. If you’re going to do that, if you’re going to like focus on your niche area, you know, have people that you can refer business out to.
Cause that’s still a way to earn an income as well. But yeah, you only have a limited amount of time; whether you’re a mom or not, there is only a certain amount of time to read and get the results that you want. And so I think one thing that you are really good at, Lauren, is being very clear about what those are, what you want and you know, sometimes going off, but then quickly coming back and be like, no, that’s not right. Why do I keep showing houses in DC? And then I’m like, stop just literally to stop your license or just stop it and don’t be licensed. So you don’t get like, so you don’t even question it, just like you literally cannot. And so then grow the business like you want. So I think you especially have been really good at choosing a niche, focusing on it, and growing that business.
Can you just quickly tell us how you did that specifically? I’m thinking about Fairlington and that kind of how you embraced who you were to then kind of dominate a neighborhood that was dominated by somebody else before that. Yeah. Yeah. So I did realize early on in my career, and especially it was like starting my career and became a mom sort of all at the same time. And I needed mom companionship. That was one of the first things I was really seeking. And it was through joining my local moms’ club that I found it, and I found this like a group of women, and we help each other. And it was really cool. It was like we would send meals for someone who just had a baby. That was how we were. I found the babysitting co-op we would share all kinds of tips and information.
And so those are the people that I knew, and I was surrounded by, and it didn’t take me long to also realize that the moms are making most of the time the moms are the ones that are like in the house more or no thinking about what kind of, you know, what school district they want to be in and our making those big, those big decisions. So I was like, not only am I surrounded by moms, I’m surrounded by the decision-makers. So through my local moms’ group, they had an opportunity for businesses to advertise once a month to the group. So that was a group of, I think at that time it was 300 households. And so that was like, that was the beginning of everything for me was marketing to my moms’ group.
So like once a month, I send an E-newsletter to my moms’ group. And then through that, you know, I try to get them to sign up for my swipe file weekly newsletter so that then I’m in touch with them more often. And it’s just like that, that is the Bates still. I don’t live in that specific neighborhood anymore, but that is still like the bread and butter of my business. And I’ve tried to replicate that in my new neighborhood, some very involved in, on the sponsor of our elementary school. So my logo was on everything at the school, and it’s just, life is so much easier when people know you have some kind of connection with you, and then you layer your marketing on top of that.
It’s just the opposite of a cold call. Yeah. You were doing so gracefully to, I think a lot of times, what I hear from real estate agents is they kind of feel icky about marketing to people that they know. And I think one reason is that most of the marketing that real estate agents are being told to do is icky. Right. So how did you find a way to market yourself? It felt authentic and bringing business in a group of people that you wanted to also be known as like a person. How did you balance the business and the personal stuff? I think that’s really hard for real estate agents to kind of nail without feeling like, Oh, there’s that real estate agent. I don’t want to talk to. You know what I mean? I mean, I think I genuinely want to help people. And so I’ve tried to come from that place at all times.
Not I want to sell you something, That’s that, that’s it right there. And it has that. Yeah. I want to be like a lifelong advisor to them verses like this one-off like could make a sale kind of thing And build real relationships. Yeah. And I think all of my marketing, and I keep that in mind with all of my marketing, like my, the newsletters that I send are all about. I spent a lot of time thinking about, like, what is something that would be helpful to them? What are they thinking about right now? And giving them that information and letting them know that I’m here. Like, even if you didn’t work with me before and you have a question about refinancing, you know like you can add, you can call me and ask me and I’ll look at that with you.
I’m so busy, like making myself more of a resource. And so, I do have people checking in and calling me about any kind of real estate-related question they might have. And that’s exactly, that’s exactly what you want to build. You want people calling you when they’re not even close to buying or selling a house and mark your marketing needs to present that. Yeah. It’s very easy to do that, but you have to generally come from a place of, like, I genuinely wanna help people. And it might not be time to buy yourself a house, but I can still provide value. Right. Exactly. And that’s the same, the same thing that I’ve done down here, you know, I give a fair amount of money to the, to the Fort hunt PTA here.
But it’s, you know if it helps provide a lot of things for the school like we do these care and share our meals where kids who are food insecure can pick up like a pack, a pack of food for the weekend and things like that. So yeah. I’m just coming from a place of helping, even though that feels better to me and is more natural. If you are looking at it from a business standpoint and just looking at dollars and cents like I think it also makes you the most money. Right? It’s like a, I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s like a universal law. Like if you help people, people will use you and help you grow your business. It just, you can’t come from like I’m secretly doing it because I want to grow my business. It’s like you have to like legitimately come from a helpful place that doesn’t even think about buying and selling right now.
Only then does this work. Yeah. I know we’ve had a long time. Are there any other things that you want to, any other challenges that you want to talk about? Maybe that you’re still having, even though you’ve kind of built the business in life that you want, there are still challenges, right. That you’re constantly grappling with, so anything you’re like at the top of that, but it’s not like unicorns and rainbows, right? So there’s a pandemic, and there is a pandemic, and everyone is in your house. 24/7. Yeah. I mean, I have six people living in my house. I think the thing is the challenge that I’ll never outgrow or outrun or whatever is the gist, the back and forth have, you know, my kids are out somewhere right now that they’re going to be back in a minute and we have the au pair, but they don’t care.
They want to come up and talk to me when they get back, you know, weaving in and out like from mom to a realtor constantly moment by moment all day, I take a lot of notes. Like if I think of something in the moment, I must write it down immediately. I have a lot of checklists and I use my calendar religiously because it’s very easy to get distracted. Yeah. Well, you’re doing such an amazing job. You have built an amazing family and amazing business and amazing life, and you just, I don’t know, you’re one of those people that like whatever challenges in your way, you’re just like, you’re like, I’m going to figure it out, like the five other roads around it. So I’m just, yeah. It’s like an honor to watch you.
It’s an honor to be your friend. It’s an honor to be your mentor. I feel the same. Thank you so much. And you inspire me. I’m like, I want to be like Lauren one day. And I think the three little kids at home and a successful business and being able to juggle it all in a really beautiful way. So with that, thank you for helping me get here. Thank you. And do you know if people want it to check out like maybe you on Instagram or following you on Instagram, which I think is like, so you do have such a wonderful job at doing exactly everything. We just talked about balancing life and work on Instagram too. Is that a good place? People can connect with you. Yeah.
So I’m at Lauren Kolazas, K O L A Z A S. And you can follow me follow along as I real estate and parenting. And I show some of like the home renovations that we do on their homes, which I think it speaks to both, you know, your life and real estate and how perfect. Well, thank you for being here, Lauren. And I think a lot of moms doing real estate and hopefully just real estate agents, in general, will learn a lot from this. So thank you for your time. I really appreciate it. I know it’s eliminated. Thank you for having me. Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. Remember, change happens when you take action.
So apply what you learned today to your own real estate business. If this episode has helped you subscribe, leave a review and share it with all your real estate agent friends, and as always, if you want even more great resources to create the real estate business you’ve always wanted and have the life you want outside of your business to head over to AgentGradSchool.com and sign up for the free weekly trainings, you’ll get free classes, discounts, and other goodies that only go out to real estate agents on that email list. See you next week right here on Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent The Agent Grad School Podcast.