Family Matters: Daddy's Dividend

September 1, 2005

Jason McMahon, a selling broker at Coldwell Banker Culbertson Realty in Hooksett, N.H., had been a full-time practitioner for three-and-a-half years, booking an average of about $4 million in annual sales, when his wife Pamela, a kindergarten teacher, told him she was expecting their first child.

"When I was growing up, my mother stayed at home; that was something I wanted for my children. Pamela shared the idea,” says McMahon. “Although I was somewhat happy with my sales volume, it definitely wasn’t enough to support the three of us.” Still, when their son Connor was born April 2, 2004, the McMahons decided to make the move to a single income and to assess, each month, how things were going. “The hope was that with Pamela concentrating on home life and with me focusing on my career, we would thrive as a team,” McMahon says.

The plan has paid off. McMahon, who’s always emphasized networking and building repeat and referral business, says his networking efforts are getting a boost from his family. He estimates a half-dozen deals have come out of the play groups and other social activities that Pamela and Connor attend. “She wanted to meet people and have some adult interaction,” he says. “Without being pushy, she’s been able to let people know what I do.”

McMahon more than doubled his business in 2004, finishing the year with $10.75 million in sales on 46 sides. Although he’s off to a bit of a slow start in 2005—$4.5 million in sales from 20 transactions through June—he’s confident he’ll finish strong and post numbers similar to last year’s totals.

Thus far, he’s avoided hiring an assistant, preferring to give each of his deals his personal attention. “I’d be more inclined to hire an assistant if I were working every weekend or not getting home until 8 o’clock each night,” he says, noting he typically is home by 5 p.m.

“I usually can manage to get the weekend off, too. We have some newer salespeople in the office who don’t mind working open houses,” he adds.

The best part of his business model, McMahon says, is that Pamela’s ability to generate leads has given him the freedom to spend time with his family that he’d normally allocate to prospecting.

"I value my time off and my time with my family, and I’m very happy with the amount of business I’m doing,” he says. “I don’t want to turn a 40-hour work week into a 70- or 80-hour work week. That’s just not a priority for me.”

NAR is promoting work-life balance through the “FamilyTime” program it produced with Million Dollar Round Table, an insurance industry group. Pricing for the DVD begins at $5.

For more information, call 800/874-6500 or visit

Chuck Paustian is a former REALTOR® Magazine senior editor.

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