How 10 years as a Realtor made me a better COACH

What 10 years in Real Estate taught me about life, health and Happiness

(and ultimately made me a better Coach and Business Woman (Mom and Wife too):

"You? ........A Realtor?"


Those who know me know a few things about my personality,  likes and dislikes - and from these had the above question when they heard in the early 2000’s that I was entering the world of Real Estate. You don’t know what you don’t know…..and boy did this ideology come in handy when I decided this career path.


Lessons learned ranged from confidence to boundaries; confrontation-busting to problem-solving; gaining courage and ignoring fear - and knowing the UTTER importance of dealing with stressful situations (and thus health).


Heres’ why:

Personality: my personality is all about love, peace and harmony. Bringing people together and creating all that is happy.  And ….. if I’m honest sometimes that means I was a tad soft and here and there couldn’t really say “no” to people for fear of thinking I’d upset them.


Here I was entering into a career which would push me to my limits on these and more; force me out of my comfort zone where I’d have to say the dreaded “no” sometimes and knowing home buying and selling didn’t always go in your client’s favour.


Likes: I LOVED and still do love - and need my downtime.  It’s important for recharging; for family life; for health and self….and so I decided to dive right on in……

Pfft! Downtime as a Realtor? Yeah….. right….. (it “can” be done however - keep reading).



C-O-N-F-R-O-N-T-A-T-I-O-N: Need I say more? 
Never had really perfected the art of having any kind of confrontation without my knees knocking, sweat trickling and shaking from the inside out….


And yet somehow I figured getting into real estate was the thing to do.  A career that sometimes would call upon a bit of a confrontation (or…..standing up for client’s best interest) and me putting my big-girl-panties on.


Some people may have previously considered me a “wet noodle” but I have this theory.  Since I’ve been through some health stuff and they taught me in life a LONG time ago what is important and what isn’t. Where my energy should go and not. And honestly….if someone irks me; does something annoying or is trying to be difficult - I literally (and quickly) go through a checklist in my head:

Is this important?  Is this worth pushing back on? Will this be important to me in 10 years, 1 year, 1 month.  And if it’s a no to any - I will not pursue.  I’m not putting my energy there.  So it also saves me from some confrontations that could make my knees knock lol.
However……if I am pushed; as in really have to (ie, for the benefit of my child…watch out; Bear Mom appears), then I’ll do it. Only then.


Yet here’s the thing: I wouldn’t change this experience for anything had I known more. Actually…”NOT” knowing more was the best thing that happened here.

I remember the day as a young Mom that my Hubby called down the stairs: “Hey Honey…. wanna go into real estate together?”. Me…. sitting on our front step outside in the sun; enjoying the rays, not a care in the world shouted back up without batting an eyelid “sure!”.

I had decided that when our Son was going to school full-time that I’d work outside the home; my Husband had finished his MBA (I always say thank GOODNESS our son got my sport & fitness ability and my husband’s math brain lol….he’d be screwed the other way around 🙂

So we were both looking for something we could do together.  And together we did. From the months of education and taking courses together to working as a Team. A successful team at that.

(Side note: we often had people asking us in genuine incredulity: “You guys WORK together? How is your marriage?!).


Um; we do; we enjoy doing so AND not only do we still LOVE each other but we still LIKE each other 🙂  It can be done….


So, here we were….working in real estate.  And the life lessons began.  Did I honestly,  deep-down “enjoy” this career? Nope. 


Did I wake up daily thinking how lucky I was to be a realtor and that I’d always wanted this since a young girl?

Nope. Nurse was where it was at until I had my tonsils out at 9…. damn tonsils.)

Had I thought this out?

Nope.  Not at all as can be seen by a few paragraphs above.

Would I change the experience? NO.  Not at all.

And here’s why: This career strengthened me. In ways that I hadn’t known it would. Ways that today make me still a better human being for them.

The ten things I learned about life from this career:

  1. Say yes, think about it later.
    • Had I (we) known what went into being a Realtor I can honestly say I never would have touched the career (and hence missed out on the lessons).
      1. What I thought the work of a realtor was: grab a coffee, sit in someone else’s home for a few hours wearing oh-so-awesome clothes and get paid TONS of money for doing what I loved; talking to people.
      2. WHAT IT WAS (is) and more: Working l-o-n-g days (typically could have done 24-hour sprints but this I felt was too much; I wasn’t a neuroscientist for crying out loud); phone work, showings, offers at midnight, some crying (I tell ya some clients could be frustratingly selfish); negotiating, holding client hands, paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, project management (literally); paying LOTS of the money earned to others, keeping little of it (people think real estate is an easy job for lots of money - even I did before the career; if you knew half of what a realtor has to do daily AND pay out to others from each offer, you’d re-consider trying to get them down on commission. Seriously), open houses, driving people around and this is just the start of the list…..
      3. Got a back-bone.
      • That “Confrontation” thing? Came up. A lot. And I don’t mean negatively; but real estate is all about asking, confronting, getting what you need for your clients. So I had to get my brave on. And this was one of the best things I could’ve learnt about life.
      • Shut my eyes; sit on my hands, maybe even hold my breath a bit…. and just SAY IT.  I found a new-found strength.
  1. Learned the art of negotiation; knowledge of PERSONALITIES is key!  THIS WAS THE BIGGEST THING I learnt in Real Estate and THE REASON WHY I was meant to do this for a career for a while…
    • I mean….doesn’t every potential Mom, parent, woman need to learn how to negotiate?
    • And it truly is an art. An honest, sometimes-diplomatic, careful and empowered art.
    • Before real estate I could have a conversation with someone and if they seemed a bit “off”, not into the conversation or something else my mine went a million miles a minute wondering what *I* had done to piss them off? I questioned everything about me and worried endlessly about this.
  • ENTER MOMENT of ENLIGHTENMENT: It wasn’t me.  Well it sort of was but not in a way I thought. I hadn’t pissed them off per se but I am a certain personality (remember above? I LOVE LOVE LOVE everyone and everyone to be happy. Peace and harmony….that? That’s my personality.
  • But what I learned was everyone has a different one and not everyone has mine. Take my Hubby for instance, he’s analytical. Loves and wants to know numbers, statistics, ROI on stuff and research, research, research……
  • So imagine me….. talking with someone about a home and telling them all the things they’d “love” about it; all the beautiful memories they could make there; how pretty this room and that yard are…..
  • But all my analytical client wants to know is friggin’ room size, how much investment return they’ll get and what the best furnace is to put in?

See my point? I was talking to everyone as if they were all like me when in fact I had to figure out what personality they were (and …. turns out I’m pretty good at that #thanksdad)…..

and speak to them in THAT language.



  Learned the art of networking:  

      • I have always had no problem talking with people. Love being around them and am fuelled (on “my time” when I have the energy I’m all social; when I need my quiet, I need my quiet).
      • Networking is talking in a genuine, other-person-centred, non-salesy way; it’s creating what I call a “heart-centred” community around you and as a result succeeding in business, creating fabulous relationships in business (that I still have to this day) and supporting those around you. It’s also fostering such trust - that you end up not having to ask for business.


Created boundaries/ said no:  

    • HUGE. FULL-TRANSPARENCY HERE: still a work-in-progress but definitely getting there.  I am definitely good at my boundaries “most” of the time however I’ve also noticed when I let them get the better of me (see next point) so have my plan for that. 
    • Learning about boundaries however was huge since you could have people literally phone you at 2 in the morning if they felt like it (happened but luckily I was heeding my “boundary” advice and NEVER took my phone into our bedroom).

  Understood Stress: get it under control.  

      • Know a career that could be full of stress if you let it? Real estate.  Knowing and understanding both *what* stress really is (hint: it’s NOT the situation) and *how* to manage it (ie, YOU, your thoughts, your actions) is key.
      • This one I learnt in a big way. HAD to learn in a big way.
      • Having been a Realtor and now a Health and Life Coach? I could help any Realtor create a lifestyle that helps them be in control of it instead of the other way around.


Email me below and let’s talk... or more: let's excitedly chatter and toss around ideas that will help you feel better the moment you hang up the phone (I'm giving away my age, aren't I?!).

  Shut. the. door: many realtors work from home.   

      • Learning to shut the door then; having my “workspace” as a designated area was key.
      • If you keep your workspace at your island in the kitchen - you will ALWAYS connect the island with it and feel like you are constantly working.
      • When you designate another area; and keep it separate from fun, family, quiet, de-stressing time for you…. then “that” space and that alone will be where you work and you can help yourself switch off everywhere else.


FRIENDS: this above point is CRUCIAL.

Keeping things in perspective for others.  

      • We can think we can or can’t and are right. We can also think something is awful or hopeful - and be right.  Sometimes clients were selling because of their situation; not because of a wish to. It was keeping these clients looking forward and toward hope than what wasn’t happening for them.
      • DURING the CURRENT TIMES we are in - this knack has been essential.
      • Learning to focus on what we CAN control instead of what we can’t.

    Didn’t give up.Kept asking til happy.  

      • The old “other” me who didn’t like confrontation? Would have previously perhaps stopped at the first answer from someone - even if it didn’t sit well for fear of upsetting the apple cart in asking more.
      • My days in real estate; my clients were like my children: their well-being, happiness and success in the time they worked with me - was UP to me in part.  So asking only once wasn’t an option if I smelled a rat (and let me tell ya; I often smelled a rat.  I learned to keep on asking until I was happy I had “the” answer. Often others (typically the ones who had something to hide) got a bit exasperated by this, but ya know what?
      • EVERY single time I asked, asked and asked again….. *those* were the properties that when my clients moved in - it was great that I had.  So listen to that gut of yours friends.



 Sometimes the best advice comes from small conversations in parking lots - as well as the lesson that competition is good:  

Often, we would be walking into the office and bump into another Realtor; what we found was often the "top producers" would have a great conversation and share their knowledge; not worrying about keeping it close to their chest for fear of losing business. When you are good at what you do; confident in yourself and services - you don't need to worry about others in the biz (and this too relates to what I do today; lots of coaches yet we all offer something slightly different).  The ones willing to share their wisdom in those quick conversations were so appreciated - and they too taught me much about business, mentorship, leadership and having confidence in what we do.

There's lots of business to go around 🙂

So as you can see - the 10 years I had in real estate were life-teaching and life-changing.  My Husband and I were successful; known for our honesty and won awards but at the end of the day as much as I liked doing what I did to help others - I didn’t want it to be with homes.


After 10 years I literally sat down and just “thought”.  Let things bubble up; was I happy? Was this for me?


What would I really like to do when I grew up?


And without a doubt I knew it was taking all I’d learned about life, people, business, self-development and pair it with my ABSOLUTE love of helping others and wellness. And here I am more than 12 years later in this role. #lovewhatIdo


If you are looking for help in any of the areas mentioned above; if you want lifestyle-focussed coaching (ie, productivity, goalsetting, planning, mindset, inner leader skills, communication and more - CONTACT ME BELOW.

If you are looking for healthy-lifestyle-focussed Coaching I do that too as a Certified Health Coach - we can plan a wellness strategy from beginning to end or focus on just one aspect.


If you want to pair these? I will adapt my program “Live, Sweat, Sparkle” to YOU and your needs.


Email me and let’s do a quick sparkle session; talking where you are now and where you want to go.


After all, the sky’s the limit my friend. I can't wait to help you see this.




    How did you hear about Coach Carolyn?