Husbandwife Real Estate Or How Much Togetherness Can You Take

Real estate presents an ideal opportunity to work together with your spouse, if that is what you both want. There are several possible arrangements and a few important cautions.

In what may be the most common situation, both husband and wife work as licensed agents in the same office, but function independently. There are all sorts of variations possible. At one very successful local company, the principal broker is a woman whose husband works there full-time as an associate broker. If both partners are successful, there is the potential for a very healthy family income. Another advantage is that each spouse can take pride in individual accomplishments.

The arrangement my wife and I had illustrates another possibility. We were both licensed agents in the same company and functioned as a team. I worked at it full-time while my wife was part-time. She developed some specialized prospecting programs and administered them, whereas I did most of the actual listing and selling. She was also the company's relocation coordinator and on occasion listed property. As a matter of fact, she listed the most expensive piece of property (a large farm) that I ever sold, resulting in a very impressive family payday (yes, she does remind me of that on occasion). It was an arrangement with which we were both comfortable and which utilized our individual strengths.

There are some predictable problem areas. First, we are talking about a whole lot of togetherness, and, unless the relationship is exceptionally strong to begin with, a bad case of overexposure can develop. Second, each individual ego must be delicately preserved. It is entirely possible that the woman might emerge as the more successful agent, so if you are a man with any male chauvinistic hang-ups, you are in big trouble. In the same light, duties at home need to be shared, which could come as a shock to some men. If you can handle these matters maturely, I can assure you that you will come to regard this phase of your married life as among your most cherished. Two of my former students are a husband-and-wife team. She is by far the more successful. He has absolutely no problem with that. "We have a joint banking account," he said with a satisfied smile the last time I talked to him.

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