Family Matters: A Tactical Move

December 1, 2005

Greg Bauman, CRS®, GRI, vice president and director of operations for the Realty Executives Midwest region and broker of realty executives twin cities in St. Paul, Minn., knows too well the stress a blossoming real estate career can put on family and the importance of keeping that pressure in check.

When Bauman started out as a salesperson at a St. Paul real estate company in the early ’90s, he was working a minimum of 60 to 70 hours per week trying to build his book of business. “When you’re working three, four, five nights a week, your kids and your wife start to forget who you are,” he says, referring to Cathy, his wife of 18 years, and their two children, Matthew, 17, and Jessica, 12.

He was able to increase his face time with his family when he started working with Joe Lamanna, GRI, who at the time, 10 years ago, was the broker at a competing office. “That was a tactical move on my part. Being a [salesperson] wasn’t working; it was creating a lot of strain on my marriage,” says Bauman, who was recruited as Lamanna’s office manager. Lamanna, who’s been married for more than 23 years and has five children of his own, “helped me understand the importance of a balanced lifestyle,” Bauman adds.

Lamanna sold his business in 1997. In October 1998 Bauman and Lamanna partnered and purchased the franchise rights for Minneapolis-St. Paul from Realty Executives International and opened their first office. In 2000 they acquired rights for the rest of Minnesota; they added north Dakota and South Dakota and the western and northern parts of Wisconsin in 2004. The two now oversee 300 executives in 35 locations. They sold their St. Paul book of business in 2001 so that they could focus on adding more franchises within their region.

Although his regional responsibilities require him to travel an average of twice a month for two to three days at a time, Bauman says he’s been able to maintain 40- to 50-hour work weeks. It helps to have a partner like Lamanna. “When one of us needs to take some time for our family, we can.”

Because of the partners’ mutual respect for their home lives, Bauman can not only participate in routine family events, such as dinners and soccer games, but also make time for special occasions, such as an annual fishing trip with his son and his daughter’s dance competitions.

“There are stressful days, but I’m truly blessed to have a job that allows me to spend time with my family,” says Bauman. “Family time is fleeting—you have to appreciate every step of the way.”

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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