Every day, across the country, a new husband and wife powerhouse investing team is formed. Like any other partnership they go into the union thinking they will be successful. The difference is that if things take a turn for the worse they have to face each other at home. Working with your spouse can be one of the greatest things you will ever do. There is nothing better working with someone you love while earning an income. On the flip side if things go wrong it is easy to point fingers and turn small disagreements into big arguments. Not every couple is strong enough to handle the ups and downs that come with the real estate business. Prior to committing to work with your spouse there are a few boundaries and guidelines you need to establish. Here are five tips to help effectively build a partnership with your spouse.
- Separate Work And Personal Life. As obvious as it may be you need to separate your work and personal lives. This is difficult to do when you spend so much time together but there are ways to achieve it. Establish set times of the day when you do not talk about work. If you are out to dinner or spending time with your kids eliminate all talk of business. Of course, the real estate business does not conform to set hours but you need to make a point to not carry work over into your personal time. If you do eventually you will be all business all the time which isn’t healthy for a relationship. There will be times when you have to let a deal pass for the sake of your relationship but in the end it is worth it. Enjoying the company of your family is why you work so hard in the first place. When you are working work as hard as you can but when work is over focus on your personal life.
- Departmentalize. Everyone involved in a partnership has individual strengths and weaknesses. Working with your spouse is no different. Once you decide to work together you need to define your roles. You should both focus on whatever area of the business you do best. If one side is better with technology and lead generation that should be their niche. If another side has a real estate background they may be better served working on acquisitions. Like any partnership you need to always be on the same page and feel that the other side is pulling their weight. Without clear delegation, you will both jump whenever a new deal is presented and fight to perform a certain task. On the flip side by knowing exactly what your role is you won’t hesitate when you get a deal. Not only does this make your business more efficient you don’t have to worry about stepping on each other’s toes.
- Dedicated Work Space. Even the healthiest relationships need a little space. One of the positive byproducts of departmentalizing is that you don’t spend every working hour together. You can have own set of tasks and roles without working side by side with your spouse. At the end of the day you can recap your day like a regular couple. Another way to create a little space is by setting up dedicated work zones. You may truly love your spouse but the way they work can get on your nerves. Instead of sharing work space you can spread out and create some isolation. Even if you don’t have an office you can work at the kitchen table for a few hours and your spouse can work in the office, or vice versa. Another idea is to get out of your normal work spot every so often just to switch things up. Setting up shop at the local coffee bar once a week can keep things fresh. The alternative is sitting side by side next to each other for 50 plus hours a week on top of the personal time spent together. Even the most loving couples need a little separation every now and then.
- Establish Business Goals. It is critical that you are both on the same page as far as what you want out of the business. This is what will drive you to work so hard and enjoy the rewards that come with it. Sit down and plan for the next 60 days to ten years. It is ok to have some differences of opinion early on but when you are done planning you should both be on the same page. After every closed deal you should sit down to recap what worked well and what needs to be tweaked. The longer you let seemingly minor issues fester the worse they become. You should also take a minute to see if your business is on the trajectory you desire. The more you are in tune with goals and what is needed to achieve them the stronger your business will be.
- Put Relationship First. There isn’t a deal or a situation that is worth losing your spouse over. You may not always agree with your spouse or like the way they do things but you need to respect them. All the deals you close aren’t worth it if your relationship is affected. Remember to put your relationship over everything else before you start working together.
Working with your spouse should be a positive experience instead of the alternative. Use these five tips to help effectively work with your spouse.