Chuck Paustian is a former REALTOR® Magazine senior editor.
Family Matters: Help Wanted
October 1, 2005
When Carol Greco, CRS®, GRI, began selling real estate 25 years ago, she knew two things: She didn’t want her young family to suffer because of her career, and she was going to need help to make it all work together.
“When I started in the business, my daughter had just been born and my son was 4 years old. I don’t believe a person can do it all by herself without cracking,” says Greco, now a selling broker with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. in Annandale, Va.
So, to keep the household running smoothly, Greco and her husband Philip hired a woman, Nadja Nedimyer, to come in for four hours a day, Mondays through Fridays, to run errands, prepare dinner, and watch the children. This took some of the pressure off Greco, allowing her to concentrate on her career by day and her family at night.
As the demands of her real estate business increased, Greco realized she would need help at work, too, if she wanted to maintain her work and family balance. About 12 years ago she formed The Carol Greco Group, which today comprises five buyer agents and one licensed assistant. Together they work the hot residential market in Annandale, located in northern Virginia near Washington, D.C.
“It’s the only way to give great service,” says Greco, adding that the extra sets of eyes allow the team to stay on top of new listings and closed deals. “The market is so fast, it would be very difficult to be a sole practitioner right now.”
Greco is grateful for the help she’s received, knowing it has allowed her to have both a happy family and a successful career. She and Philip, a psychiatrist, have been married for 33 years, and their children are building their own lives—Eric, 30, is an options trader in Philadelphia, and Bonnie, 26, works in leasing services in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Greco has handled $20 million in sales through the first five months of 2005 after doing $57 million in sales last year.
Nedimyer retired and moved to Florida about 10 years ago, but she and Greco still keep in touch. “Nadja is like a member of my family,” she says. Greco and the members of her team have formed personal bonds as well. “You have to have fun with your team. We play and have good times together,” she says. “I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
Looking back, Greco knows she made the right choice by bringing in help. “Now I work with the children of some of my first-time buyers from 25 years ago,” she says. “That’s when you know you did things right.”
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 REALTOR.org.
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