Couples In Business: RealWay Property Consultants Redcliffe

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Couples In Business: RealWay Property Consultants Redcliffe

Andrew and Jacinta Reibelt met when they were eighteen and have been together ever since. The pair run a successful real estate office on the Redcliffe Peninsula, just north of Brisbane. They split their duties across sales and property management, and ahead of Valentine's Day, we ask them how they keep both a happy business and a happy home.

How did you two meet?
We met at the age of 18 at the Redcliffe Leagues Club in 1995 and have been basically together for 17 years. We married on the beach in Fiji in 2006.

What did you really admire about each other in the early days?
Andrew: Jacinta tells me that my stunning good looks and long flowing hair were her main attractions and I must admit I was fairly smitten with her as well
She was a down to earth girl who was easy to talk to and was not afraid of some hard work.
Jacinta: He was a country boy who made me laugh and was fun to be around and looked like good husband material!

And, what new things do you admire about each other now?
Andrew: I admire Jacinta’s ability to juggle being a Mum to a 6 year old and 8 year old who are beautiful kids but are like dynamite (they can drive you crackers) as well as running a highly successful and profitable property management division. She makes me lunch everyday and still does little things that we used to do when we were child free and not running a business. Although it would be stressful it is not too often that she goes bananas!

Jacinta: I admire Andrew continuing to have a great name in the area despite selling over 1200 homes in the last 13 years or so, we are not perfect but we always try to do the right thing by everyone we come into contact with. Also finding the time to being a good dad to our kids and making the effort to still surprise me on a regular occasion (flowers still come my way after all these years).

What were you both thinking when you launched this business?
We knew that there was a better way to run a real estate office than what the public had generally been submitted to and we believed that the rewards would be there for us if we got it right. This has turned out to be the case.
We always thought we could work together (just not too closely!) and have certain abilities that compliment each other, and also identified that we need to keep our own time both on a professional and social level.
Our current office premises which we purchased a few years ago has 2 separate buildings on site, an ideal way to keep our distance!

Speaking about each other – what are your partner’s personal strengths that have helped you in this business?
Andrew: Jacinta is organised, tenacious and driven by perfection an ideal foil for a property management division. She does not take fools lightly and is not afraid to stand up for herself, her friends, her family and her company. She is also open to learning new things and happy to grow with the times.
Jacinta: Andrew is persistent, consistent and well drilled in everything he has done. He also realises his own strengths and weaknesses and understands the power of delegating tasks that are not best suited for him to do. He seems to have a high tolerance for pressure situations as well.

When has your work – your business – became almost all consuming?
Unfortunately this is something we are always conscious of! During the last few years with the changing of the market etc, the necessity to take stock and make sure we are focused on all levels of our lives means we have made adjustments. Little things such as adding a few extra days for cleaner to help out at home to help Jacinta not stress out about the cleanliness of the house when she gets home, and also taking regular breaks as a family, as a couple and as individuals is a priority.

What have you learned about balancing personal and work lives since then? 
We enjoyed a cruise for a week as a family in 2011 as well as our first overseas trip without the kids as a couple to the U.S for 2 weeks and we have many regular mini breaks as well.
Some other tips we would suggest include: 

  • Trying to be as patient as we can for each others needs and identifying when the pressure cooker is nearing the “red zone”!
  • Taking time out on whatever level you see as a personal retreat (for Andrew that is his MMA (mixed martial arts) training twice a week), for Jacinta it is time with her girlfriends to talk about anything else but work as well as regular visits to the gym to keep in tip-top shape!
  • Plan time off and take it!
  • Systemise, systemise, systemise-if things can work without you thinking about it the stress levels decrease.
  • Employ the right staff.
  • Keep your overheads as low as possible without impacting on your delivery of quality service to the public.
  • Enjoy your job, enjoy your family life and love them all, be good to yourself, keep fit, live long enough to fit it all in!
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