We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Edwards and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
One of the most appealing things about selling real estate is that I have a somewhat flexible schedule. Not entirely. I have to work when my clients are available and most of my clients are available outside of their normal working hours, meaning I do end up working a lot of nights and weekends. But the non-client facing parts of the job: marketing, research, planning– those things are the tasks I fit in around my family’s life. I have three kids, so when my youngest started school and I decided to re-enter the workforce, it was important to me that I still be able to do all the fun things I’d enjoyed with them when I stayed home, and I feel like I’ve done a decent job of balancing that. But then Covid happened. I remember I had a closing at the March and I said to myself, “well, I guess that’s it.” I didn’t expect the real estate market to catch fire like it did in the second half of last year. At first, there was nothing happening for me work-wise. It was sort of a mixed blessing because the kids were switching to virtual school and we didn’t know much about how we were going to do our jobs safely. But then we hit our stride, figured things out, and the market took off. Now I feel like I have to be opportunistic about when I take my downtime. If I have a chance, I grab it, because when it rains, it pours, and while it’s a good problem to have, when I get busy, it’s easy to forget to make time to relax.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m really proud of the way that I treat people and I think that it’s helped me personally and professionally. I remember reading something several years ago by Glennon Doyle about how horsehoes are better than circles. The idea is, it’s wonderful if you have a close group of friends, but if you have a circle, no one else can get in. Horseshoes leave space. Horseshoes are inclusive. I try to be inclusive. Everyone is welcome in my horseshoe. I think it’s helped me both personally and professionally. Personally, it’s allowed me to build a large network of friends, acquaintances, neighbors. That means I always have someone to call if I want company or need help, but it’s also helpful in a people business like mine. Professionally, it means that I see fellow agents as teammates and collaborators, not competition or adversaries.
How did I get to where I am today? I work really hard. I take it personally. That’s probably not ideal, and it’s definitely not always easy, but I do! I’m working with people while they make the biggest investment of their life, and there’s a ton of stress and emotion that can be tied up in that. I don’t take it lightly and I never want to lose sight of the fact that even though I do this every day, most people will only do it once or twice in their whole life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We are so lucky to live where we do. There is always something going on! I’m out in suburbs a bit, so we’d definitely have brunch at Reveille Cafe in Marietta one morning. I’d love to take them to the farmer’s market at Marietta Square on a Saturday morning and lunch at the Marietta Square Market. One day we’d definitely head into the city to catch at show at the Fox, with dinner at Mary Macs first. I’m sure we’d spend some time outside: a hike at Kennesaw Mountain would be beautiful this time of year, or maybe some beach time at Lake Lanier. Or maybe both! My absolute favorite thing would be to take them to an Atlanta United game at Mercedes Benz stadium. We are Founding Members and we get a ton of use out of our season tickets! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh my goodness, so many people! Obviously, my family. My husband and kids are so supportive. I don’t think that any of us realized initially that it’s impossible to dabble in this job, but they’ve really taken it in stride! I have some wonderful support at my office. My broker, Mary Crist, has been so encouraging, and I was lucky enough to find a mentor early on in Anne Mabry, a more experienced agent in my office who has just been the most amazing source of knowledge and and all around wonderful resource. One of the reasons I consider myself extremely lucky is that I work with so many people who are so generous with their wisdom.
Other: Clubhouse @realestate_jenn