I’ve always heard people telling me not to do business with family. Obviously if something goes wrong or they just aren’t performing the way you’d like, it’s hard to fire them and move on. Even if you did, it would create harsh feelings, right?

I work with my husband very closely. My real estate work and his contractor’s work are very much intertwined. Think about it…they go hand in hand, here are some examples. You need to sell your house but you want to spruce it up a bit before you put it on the market? Well, here comes Eric to the rescue with great prices and we have a guy for every job you’ll need. Are you buying a house  at a great price but you’re scared of the way it looks and the repairs it needs after you close? Here comes Eric and his team to help you create your dream home. Renting a property and there’s a flood and now the entire place, ceiling to floor and everything in between, needs to be redone? Here comes Eric and his team of guys from CPR (Coastal Property Renovations) to bring life back to your investment! It’s difficult at times, especially when communication is so important in our business. But we figure it out and the end result is always amazing!

This theory can also ring true for being your sister/brother/parent’s Realtor and/or Contractor.  Things could really go bad here, right? Wrong, it doesn’t have to. It all has to do with the professionalism you bring into the transaction. If you let your emotions get the better of you, then yes, things will get sour fast. But as a professional, we must keep our emotions in check, keep a level head and keep our eye on the final outcome. We cannot be emotionally involved and be able to do a good job simultaneously. At times, it can be difficult learning when to switch from their Realtor to their daughter, sister, etc. Sometimes we need to flat out ask, 'are you talking to me as your Realtor or sister/daughter right now?'

I also feel like some of the people we do business with become our extended family. When we work with buyers, we drive them around for hours, showing them several houses, and ultimately learn everything possible about them through our conversations in the car. You learn what these people like, hate, what makes them tick and even cry with them at the closing table. It’s always the end result that makes it all worth it. The process of buying or selling can be compared to a giant elephant that’s been sitting on your chest for the past 30-45 days (or longer sometimes). When it finally gets off of you at closing, the emotions sometimes take over and everyone deals with those emotions differently. But usually, if there was any kind of animosity during the process, it lifts after those papers are signed. That’s when you go out for a drink and laugh it all off.

In the end, family always comes first in my life. My husband and I have probably threatened to divorce more than 20 times in the past 5 years! But through communication and hard work, we’ve gotten through it and are actually doing better now than we were 5 years ago. My parents have bought a condo through us and my sister has sold and bought homes through us. We still have family dinners, go out shopping together, our kids go to the same school…we’ve had drama, yes, but in the end, your family will always come first and whatever happened in the past is just that…in the past. Life is too short to hold grudges and take things personally. I would/will do it all over again too!