How to Juggle Home Work Balance as an Estate Agent

Christopher Watkin is a renowned property journalist who guides, supports, mentors, consults, counsels, and partners with hundreds of UK Letting & Estate Agents in their quest to grow their lettings and estate agencies businesses. He invited our MD Rachel Ritson to his studio in Grantham for a series of video interviews all about the property industry.  This is the first in our video series:

How Rachel balanced home, children & building a business

Rachel and Chris talk about juggling home, work, kids and winning.

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(Chris): Hi it’s Chris Watkin here and I am joined by the wonderful Rachel Ritson who is an estate agent from Cumbria and has been described by Property Academy’s Peter Knight as one of the best estate agents in the UK.

So…. Rachel, tell us how you juggled your family & career and came out on top?

(Rachel): Maybe a bit of perception of failure but the fact that I was impacting on people’s lives in a negative way and that was a really hard thing to to shoulder. But I was tougher than I thought I was, and when one door closed another always opened. So within the following year I became a single mum of three children under five, which was challenging and I could have moved back down to Leeds, but I didn’t; my eldest son had settled in school so I decided to stay and tough it out on my own. 

(Chris): Hold on a second.. You divorced your husband, had three kids under the age of five, and you went self-employed? 

(Rachel): Yes, I can remember at the time it was so daunting, what now seems so easy – just filling in a few forms – at that time it was a massive thing! I actually think having children and the compromise that you have to make and the negotiation that you have to do, and you don’t always get your own way, can totally be applied in the work situation. So I think I just had to stop trying to be perfect, it wasn’t going to happen! You know, if you have to chuck something quickly on the table for tea and it’s not absolutely what you would have wanted to cook, just go with it I. I think if I look back, sometimes I spent too much time trying to keep the house tidy, keeping on top of the washing, getting that last report finished. If I could have just chilled out a bit more, lowered my own standards I might have been able to spend a bit more time with the kids instead of trying to be everything to everybody. You just can’t keep up and it’s a bit scary, a bit daunting, a bit ‘what have I done?’ but actually, I had such determination, a fire in my belly to just make it blooming work! 

(Chris): During the recent COVID lockdown, you said that you felt a bit like a movie star each morning? 

(Rachel): Well I kind of laughed at myself because, we had two children at home at that time, both were working from home, Neil, my husband wasn’t working, so they were all at home, so in a way I’m kind of glad that I chose to work from the office and so I just head off in the morning. I’d leave them and I’d be off with my rucksack and my packed lunch in my bag like Katniss Everdeen from ‘The Hunger Games’ saying “I’m going out to work, I’m sorting this out”. It was kind of a little bit scary and a little bit empowering, but I’d have my three mile walk across the fields to work. If you’ve got a desire to do it, if you’ve got the commitment and you’ve got the focus, you can cope with the rough times. Give it a bloomin’ go!