Chuck Paustian is a former REALTOR® Magazine senior editor.
Family Matters: Like Father, Like Son
November 1, 2005
Spending vacations and other quality time with family creates wonderful memories that enable familial relationships to flower in new ways. Case in point: Mark and Grant Fritschle, a father and a son who are now business colleagues. Grant is a salesperson with his father’s 16-person team, The Mark Fritschle Group, at RE/MAX Premier Properties in Ocean City, Md.
Grant has always fondly remembered family vacations with his parents and three younger siblings. But after working with Mark, CRB, CRS®, and seeing firsthand how easy it would have been for his father to put the trips off, Grant now views them in a whole new light. “Those were times for all of us to be together without interruptions and without anybody else around,” he says. “Since I’ve been in the industry, my eyes have been opened to how important it was and what it all meant.”
A demanding job is the very reason it’s important to set aside family time whenever possible, Mark believes. “There are no weekends in the resort real estate business,” he says, noting that most buyers are out-of-towners, so he has to be available when they are. As a result, he found other ways to spend time with his children when they were younger, such as by coaching soccer for all four.
The Fritschle Group works the residential, commercial, and new construction markets in Ocean City, a seaside resort town with a population of 9,000 year-round residents that swells to 350,000 in the summer. The market has been red-hot, keeping the team extremely busy. The group did $132 million in sales on 256 transactions in 2004. Through August 2005, business was up 30 percent from the previous year’s pace.
Both Mark and Grant seem at ease with their blended work-family relationship and share a mutual respect and admiration. Grant says he’s learned a lot about the real estate business from his father. “My dad’s known to be a good businessman. I would have been crazy not to work for him,” he says. Mark, in turn, credits Grant with boosting the group’s Internet presence, which now accounts for 60 percent of the group’s business. “He’s taken pride of ownership in what we’re doing,” says Mark.
“With the chemistry we have, we’ve never had a problem working together,” Grant says. “Likewise, [collaborating] has improved our relationship and both of our careers.”
It’s that sentiment that makes all the twists and turns in life’s journey worthwhile.
NAR is promoting work-life balance through the “Family Time” 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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