Family Matters: Blocking Off Time

March 1, 2005

Whether she’s working with a client to find the perfect home or cheering her seventh-grade daughters’ basketball team, Ruth S. Adams, CRS®, e-PRO®, stays focused on the task at hand.

“You don’t have to handle everything at once,” says the 46-year-old Adams, a salesperson with Coldwell Banker RaderGroup, REALTORS®, in Tulsa, Okla. “That’s a hurdle real estate practitioners have a hard time overcoming.”

Not Adams, who has excelled both personally and professionally. While attending to the needs of her family—paying private school tuition, shuttling her children to their activities, arranging family dinners at least two nights a week—she’s also increased her business in each of the eight years she’s been in real estate. In 2004 she closed an estimated 42 transactions for about $6.4 million in volume.

“Each part of my life has a respective weight at different times,” Adams says. “I’ve always been able to balance priorities. I can tell because I have three happy, well-adjusted kids.”

She’s also active in her local association, the Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS®, and has served on several association committees, including those for strategic planning, public relations, and education, a topic of particular importance to her.

“Education helps us to do our jobs more thoroughly,” says Adams, who served as Education Committee chair last year. “That makes our jobs easier, freeing up time that can be spent with family.”

Another priority for Adams is giving back to her community. She’s been involved with the local parents association; helped organize and run extracurricular activities at her children’s school; taught Junior Achievement classes; and volunteered at the Philbrook Museum of Art as a docent.

Sometimes, the pieces of Adams’ world overlap, such as when she and her three kids—Michael, 18, and Kendall (No. 30 above) and Katherine, both 13—worked with Tulsa REALTORS® to build a Habit for Humanity home last year. “The different areas of your life—family, profession, community, and friends—all have to work together because each feeds on the others,” she says.

Her kids help out in other ways, too, whether it’s mowing the lawn of a listing or working on a spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation. “And they all have responsibilities at home,” she adds. Adams’ husband of 25 years, Randy, gets involved in her career, too, supplying marketing ideas and serving as technology consultant.

Although she might shift her attention from one part of her life to another, family always remains her top priority. “I love my work,” Adams says, “but I don’t put it ahead of my family.”

NAR is promoting work-life balance through a new “Family Time” program it produced with Million Dollar Roundtable, an insurance industry group. Pricing for the DVD begins at $5.

Chuck Paustian is a former REALTOR® Magazine senior editor.

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