Real Estate Is My Business. Not my life.

Published on November 9, 2011

Because the NAR (National Association of Realtors) ad campaign telling people “We are Realtors. Real estate is our life” bugs the crap out of me,  I decided to do a little journaling in my online journal in hopes that it will make me feel a little better.Friends vs Job

It did in fact help (as my journaling usually does) and then I wondered if maybe my thoughts could somehow contribute to others and decided to share it in my blog. It’s probably rough around the edges as a result, so ignore the grammar and read for content please.

Dear NAR Public Relations/Ad Department,

Thank you so much for creating the ad campaign telling consumers that because I am a Realtor, real estate is my life. I really appreciate your contribution to the consumer’s already distorted expectation that my life be totally about them. Hard to believe my membership dollars paid for that.

As a 20 year real estate veteran, I want to make you aware that I disagree 100% with the notion that real estate is my life or the lives of my colleagues for that matter.

Real estate sales IS an absolute excellent vehicle for achieving a number of personal goals that contribute to an amazing overall life and I have certainly enjoyed a lifestyle resulting from my success in the world of real estate.

Here are just a few of the gifts in my life that stem from choosing to be a Realtor in 1991:

  • Fulfilled a personal value of mine of helping others achieve their goals and dreams.
  • The ability to use my natural gifts and talents to connect with people during a difficult decision and/or transition in their lives and somehow make it easier.
  • A way to put my education and work ethic to good use to create an income which funded my family’s vacations, home, toys, daily necessities, etc.
  • The ability to define my schedule so that I am able to participate in the lives of my children and friends more deeply.
  • Creation of a large circle of friends whom I consider family.
  • Expansion of my knowledge base in a multitude of areas.
  • Opportunities to serve in positions of leadership across the country.
  • The ability to earn at a high level so I can give charitably at a high level.
  • Learned to become a good business person when times were hard.
  • Mastery of my communication and negotiation skills affecting all areas of my life.

As I reflect on these gifts I realize that THEY are my life. By being a Realtor, I have created an amazing life. This is totally contrary to real estate BEING my life.

Most Realtors will tell you that they got into the real estate sales business to have more freedom, flexibility, and finances. Unfortunately, many get the freedom and that’s it! Real estate DOES become their lives.

Here is the question I get most often from my coaching clients:

“Is it possible to be successful [profitable] in real estate without working evenings and weekends?”

My answer: “Yes. Absolutely it is.”

And here’s how.

  • Decide to live in abundance vs scarcity. There are plenty of sales to go around.
  • Create boundaries, standards, and disciplines that align with your vision for your life and abide by them. Don’t let others dictate your life.
  • Become so valuable you are sought after and be able to effectively articulate that value.

From 1995-2000, Chris and I served our clients with what we considered outstanding customer service:  24 hours a day, 7 days a week, always available.  We were proud of our “always at your service” attitude and were walking billboards for the NAR Campaign I now so despise.  Behind the scenes, we were exhausted, disconnected, and losing our joy, but we were 100% available to our clients and real estate WAS our life!
Fortunately for us, we realized that it didn’t have to be that way and we made changes. Those changes allowed us to continue to be successful in the real estate industry in sales, leadership, and coaching and the lessons we learned applied in all roles. Our business actually increased when we stopped being at everyone's beck and call!
I would love to see a NEW and improved NAR ad campaign that doesn’t throw us under the bus. Real estate is NOT my life. I love helping people. That is my life. When I do that at a high level, everything else falls into place.
I am a Realtor. Real estate is my job. Serving, inspiring, and empowering people is my life.


Nikki and Chris are recognized international real estate coaches, trainers, and speakers. Their specialty is guiding real estate agents and brokers toward creating highly profitable businesses and amazingly successful lives.  Clients who hire Nikki and Chris are seeking assistance in increasing their profitability without sacrificing their health, relationships, and core values. To learn more or see additional blogs go to

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