Maureen Francis penned a post a few days ago titled, “A Realtor’s Job From the Eyes of a Four Year Old“. As I read of her daughter Katya’s wide-eyed fascination with Mom and Dad’s job as real estate agents, it made me hearken back to the days when my 13 and 15 year old “kids” were that age, so full of innocence. Now they are frighteningly street savvy; innocent — not so much.
Unlike Katya, my kids were exposed to my “normal job” in corporate America for a significant portion of their youth. But their teenage years have been filled with real estate. Of course as any parent of 13 and 15 year olds will tell you, they [think they] know everything there is to know about life, and the world in general. As parents, Francy and I are pretty much buffoons, possibly even “lame”, and certainly not cool.
Much to their dismay, I interviewed both kids to see what they thought of being a real estate agent, and if they thought it might be a career they would pursue.
Lauren (age 13, going on 25): When asked if she would consider a career in real estate, Lauren responded, “Yeah. Well, maybe….” (personally, I think she’s too sweet to just say “No”.) She said the best thing about being an agent is that “you get to help people and make them happy”. The worst thing? “You have to work with a lot of stupid people. Although come to think of it, that happens in any job”. She’s really much more inclined toward a career in music, not real estate.
James (six weeks shy of 16): When asked if he’d ever considered a real estate career, James said, “No. Who wants to be on the phone all day or driving people around looking at houses? That, and there sure is a lot of stuff that is out of your control.” The former wanna be neurologist has for the past few years aspired to become a private equity investor.
“What do you mean I have to wait until we have a close?”
Both kids remarked that the unpredictability of the real estate market and the stress of having 100% commission based income leaves a lot to be desired. There is something to be said for being able to go to a calendar, circle a date every two weeks, and know you’ll get paid that day.
The freedom that real estate provides was also noted by both kids. While they see that we work a tremendous amount of hours, they also realize that not being locked into a cubicle from 8 – 5 has its advantages.
This is a wonderful profession. It is hard work, with long hours, but it can be very rewarding in many ways. I don’t expect my teenagers to know what they want to be when they grow up. Heck, I’m 46 years old and am still not exactly sure what I want to be. All I know is that it will be something related to this industry. As for the kids I so dearly love and admire, I can only hope they find something that makes them happy and successful — in whatever way they chose to measure that.
Hat tip to Cathy Clark — Cape Cod Realtor — for the graphic idea!