Episode 2: Parters in Business – and in Life

Residential Realtors: Emily Austin and Eric Martin, Austin and Martin Broker Team

Episode 2: Partners in Business — and in Life Career Spotlight

Could you be in business with your life partner?  It has its own challenges, for sure, but it also comes with many rewards, like growing together, lending your strengths and filling each others’ skill gaps, understanding your partner’s work schedules (because it’s yours too!), and so on. Emily Austin and Eric Martin are partners in their successful real estate business and partners in their successful life! Though neither of them started out with an eye to real estate, they came to it organically and with a real understanding and appreciation of the skills they’d gathered in their professional lives to date.  It’s been an “unconventional” journey, but then, their golden retriever is in their business logo and delivers the keys to new home owners, so “unconventional” is sort of their thing.  Lifelong commitments are also sort of their thing: the commitment they share with each other and their business extends to their clients as well. As Eric says, “We’re always amazed when we hear a realtor use the term ‘former’ client.” Guest Info: Residential Realtors: Emily Austin and Eric Martin, Austin and Martin Broker Team Website: https://austinmartinre.com/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AustinandMartin Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emilybaustin/ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ79WJJJWBLGAChnpqAU54w/featured Instagram @careerspotlightpodcast Twitter @careerspotpod  We hope you find the podcast inspiring – as a thank you, download your complimentary Getting Ready Guide today: nativelightphotocom/careerspotpod.

Guest Info:

Austin and Martin Broker Team Website: https://austinmartinre.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AustinandMartin

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emilybaustin/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ79WJJJWBLGAChnpqAU54w/featured

Find your hosts on social:
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Let us guide you home

– Eric Martin

EPISODE 2 TRANSCRIPT:

00:41

HOLLI

Welcome to the Career Spotlight Podcast. I’m so excited to have Emily Austin and Eric Martin join us today for this episode of the Career Spotlight Podcast. They are partners in life and partners in business. They are real estate agents, and they have their own company called Austin and Martin Real Estate. Welcome, and would you go ahead and introduce yourselves?

01:33

ERIC

Sure. Emily, go ahead.

01:34

EMILY

I’m Emily Austin. I am part of the Austin Martin broker team. I’m from Seattle, Washington.

01:42

ERIC

And I am Eric Martin, the other part of the Austin Martin broker team, also from Seattle. We’re both originally from Ohio, but we both are in Seattle now.

01:52

HOLLI

Great. And what brought you out here to the Seattle area?

01:55

EMILY

I’ll let you go first.

01:56

ERIC

Well, you know my answer to that, right? So you’ve never been to Ohio, have you?

02:03

HOLLI

<Holli laughs>. Actually, I have. A short road trip, it was a pit stop on a road trip.

02:08

ERIC

A pit stop on a road trip, right? For me, it was literally a burning desire to get out of Ohio and get to the west coast to get to the coast anywhere, basically. And so I landed in Seattle in 1993. Those who have been in Seattle for a long time might remember the Inaugural Day storm. It was one of the biggest wind storms in the history of the Pacific Northwest. That was the day I arrived in Seattle.

02:33

HOLLI

Wow. 

02:34

EMILY

<Eric laughs>. And his furnishings didn’t arrive until two weeks later.

02:37

ERIC

Everything got stopped trying to get over the passes. I didn’t have power for the first six days. I was here, it was good times. <Eric and Emily laugh>

02:46

EMILY

Yeah, I came out for him, really. So we knew each other, we had met each other as teenagers, don’t remember each other, thankfully, was not our best of times. But we reconnected many years later, and I decided to relocate to the west coast to see what he was all about. Here I am, 10 years later.

03:08

ERIC

Almost 11 years later.

03:09

CASEY

Yeah, that’s a great story. A fun anecdote is that my family lived in central California, in the Stockton area, until 1993 when we moved up to the Kirkland area, right before the Inauguration Day storm. <Eric laughs>. So we had just moved into this brand new house, and I have clear memories of getting home one day and seeing that the little light on the doorbell was on when we got home, and everybody was so happy before we even got inside. 

03:46

ERIC

And you know, we had come out that Thanksgiving before. I was married at the time and found a place to rent on Mercer Island, a little house on Mercer Island. And of course, I couldn’t get to Mercer Island because the bridge was closed. You know, so we’re trying to get from the airport to Mercer Island. No GPS, you know, we get to the I-90 floating bridge, which is closed because of the high winds, and we’re like, I guess we have to drive around the lake and try from the other side. And so yeah, it was crazy. 

04:18

HOLLI

What an adventure. Wow. <Eric laughs>

04:19

CASEY

Well, Mercer Island would have been very different back then. Yeah, like sleepy Mercer Island.

04:25

ERIC

Yeah. And like I said, power went out within a couple of hours, six days without power. No furniture, none of our stuff because it was all you know, supposed to arrive the next day and it was stuck in the pass.

04:37

EMILY

So I think it goes without saying the marriage didn’t last. <all laugh>

04:40

CASEY

He’s much better off now.

04:40

EMILY

Yes, it was foreshadowing of things to come. <all laugh>

04:47

HOLLI

Wow. I loved hearing that story. I would love to learn a little bit more about where you are at. But before we get ahead of ourselves, I want to learn a little bit more about your background, because I know that you are now partners not only in life, but also in business. So let’s stay back in, I guess, the 90s. And I would love to ask each of you, maybe further back than the 90s, and this is a fun question. So Eric, what was your first paycheck job?

05:16

ERIC

This may be incorrect. Like a paycheck, like an actual somebody cut me a paycheck, not babysitting or cutting the neighbor’s grass, an actual paycheck. I think it was probably washing dishes at the little, what was it called? The nice restaurant in Malvern, Ohio. There’s only one. <Casey laughs>. At any rate, the one.

05:42

CASEY

I got it. <Casey laughs>

05:45

ERIC

That little Tavern Inn in Malvern, washing dishes when I was in high school, but that wasn’t like a real job with a paycheck. I got it at the end of the week.

05:56

HOLLI

Cool, so Emily, what was your first paycheck job? 

06:00

EMILY

So my first paycheck job was at a little specialty food store. So it was called Johnny Apple Cheese. And it was sort of an offshoot from an apple orchard that was sort of out in Amish country. So we sold things like honey and trail bologna and apples and swiss cheese and things like that. <Eric laughs>. So I got that job, I believe before I even got my driver’s license, so maybe like 15, and then worked that job pretty much through high school. So I don’t know, I learned valuable skills like counting change, because you know, we didn’t have like the regular high-fancy cash registers, and what it feels like to lug a bag of corn out of the cooler and dump it on a table.

06:48

ERIC

Now that I’m thinking about it, now that you said you learned valuable lessons. My first was actually working a construction crew in the summer. Yeah, and it was brutal. And I decided right then that I didn’t know what I was gonna do when I grew up. But it was not going to be that. It was going to be something that required like dress clothes and a tie, perhaps, right? That I wasn’t going to end the day in agony and pain, and yeah, drenched in sweat. Yeah, that particular job was me hauling a lot of really heavy things from the road where they would get delivered down this very steep driveway to the house. 

07:28

CASEY

And you’re the new guy. So you get all the crappy jobs. <Eric laughs>

07:31

ERIC

Oh, yeah. I was like, I’m not doing this for a living. <Eric laughs>

07:35

EMILY

I actually did learn at my first job, though, that I was pretty crazy for seniors, to be honest, because I remember my favorite clients that came in were sort of like, I don’t know, the crusty, grouchy, grumpy ones that I felt the need to win over for some reason. And I would work at them, you know, every week when they would come in, I would try and peck away at the armor a little bit. That was another life skill. I think I learned, more of just a passion, I guess.

08:06

ERIC

Here we are now, she still likes crusty, grouchy people. <all laugh>. I wonder why we work so well together.

08:11

EMILY

Dogs and senior citizens are my thing, senior dogs and senior people.

08:16

HOLLI

Oh, awesome. Well, that’s really interesting that you noticed that, and how it plays a role in where you’re at today, right? So, Casey doesn’t know this, but I know this because you and I have a shared community together. So if you could explain a little bit about your real estate company today, who are the ideal clients you have that you focus on? To those of us that don’t know, the people you like to serve most.

08:43

EMILY

Yeah, I think it’s pretty easy, because there’s two of us. And we have hard and soft skills, which we can certainly explain in more detail. But I just think we really like to work with people who need a little extra attention. So it could be first-time home buyers. And it could be someone who’s been in their home for 40 years, and it needs a little extra help and patience and education. I think we pretty much work the Greater Seattle region, we do go down to Tacoma and you know, North Seattle. But I think if we had to really dial in the types of clients we like to work with, it’s just people who are collaborative, who don’t look at our skill set as a commodity, and who really, you know, like to work in a team atmosphere.

09:32

ERIC

I’d say we take away the overwhelm, right? And so when you have, particularly seniors that have maybe been in the house for, you know, raised their kids there, etc. And now it’s time to move to that next chapter. Where do you even begin, right, can be so overwhelming for that particular set of sellers, and I think we do really well in that environment because we literally just take that overwhelm away. The other side is true also, again, for people that have never been through, or are just overwhelmed with the idea of how do I buy a house? How do I go from being a renter to being a homeowner, can feel very overwhelming as well. 

10:17

EMILY

Similar emotions, really. 

10:18

ERIC

Yeah. And so just the education, the hand-holding, the guidance, and that’s why our tagline is “Let us guide you home.” That’s a lot of what we do is just remove the overwhelm.

10:27

CASEY

Yeah, that’s a great tagline. I’m curious, so how’d you get to real estate? Are you like, oh, I went from construction to washing dishes, and I went, you know, real estate looks good. Or, you know, working at Johnny Apple Cheese. That’s a phenomenal name. It’s great, yeah. It’s like, well, we’ve got apples, we’ve got cheese, what do we do? <Casey laughs>. I’m curious, especially about what your journey looks like, that’s got you where you’re at today? Has it been a straight line? Or has it been like, well, I’m gonna go over there and try that, then I’m gonna try that, and now the other.

11:10

ERIC

Emily’s is more of a straight line. I’ll let her tell hers first, because it’ll take about three seconds. <all laugh>

11:15

EMILY

I’m one of those people that have basically had two careers in my entire life. One of them, well I mean, I went to cosmetology school in high school. So when I got out of high school, I had the hours and the ability to go get my license. And I went to work at 17 years old as a hairdresser. And I worked for many, many years, including opening my own salon and had stylists that worked with me and for me. I used to teach products, for product knowledge and hair color classes for Paul Mitchell. I mean, I really honed that skill, but I was more of a community hub than anything. So I was in that town of Canton, Ohio, doing hair for the community for many years until I relocated. And so when I relocated, although I had, certainly, dreams of maybe trying something different, I just felt like I needed to do what I knew how to do to just get my roots settled. 

So in the meantime, as I got a little more networked in Seattle, West Seattle in particular, I met some people along the way that were females, entrepreneurial, community-driven, doing big things, that were realtors. And I really liked what they did and who they were and what they represented. And I decided that I just didn’t want to cut hair until I was 75 years old. As much as I loved it, and I never stopped loving it, I just knew that I needed a different path to get me to retirement. And so I was really inspired by some friends. And those friends went on to open the brokerage that I actually work at, or hang my license at now, which is Metropolist. So I use my honed people skills for what I’m doing now, my relationship building, my people skills, and communication skills for what I’m doing now. And that’s really the long and the short of it for me.

13:12

HOLLI

So I’m gonna pause here and ask into that a little bit more. Now, did you start in real estate, and then Eric joined you? How did that work? And, you know, we’re gonna jump forward and backwards, I think, in this interview a bit, but I’d love to know, did you start on your own and then Eric? And then of course, I want to go back and ask Eric about his journey. So yeah. <Holli laughs>

13:35

EMILY

So you have children, right?

13:36

HOLLI

Yes. 

13:37

EMILY

And you know, when you have children and they’re lacking in certain skills, it takes everything you have to not just jump in and do things for them, or come to their rescue, or try to help them figure things out. Well, there were a lot of skills that I needed that I didn’t have, that he had. And so he found himself thinking, wow, like, these are things I could practically do with one arm tied behind my back.

14:02

ERIC

So the answer, Emily started first. 

14:05

EMILY

Yes. If that wasn’t clear. 

14:07

ERIC

And then I was helping her more and more, just computer stuff, and I would go to an open house with her but I wasn’t allowed to talk, which is really hard for me. Because I wasn’t an agent, right? And she’d be kicking me under the table every time I try to say something. So yeah, so I got my license after Emily.

14:31

EMILY

And I think to be really clear, when I moved out here, I knew we were compatible pretty quickly. And I always thought it would be fun to work together or to have a business together. But, you know, his career at the time and my career at the time didn’t really mesh very well. So I think it was in the back of our heads that it might be something interesting to do together, but we’d never really put thought into it until I decided I wanted to try something different.

15:00

HOLLI

We’re gonna take a brief pause to hear from this episode’s sponsor.

15:04

CASEY

The Career Spotlight Podcast is sponsored by Native Light Photography, Holli’s business. She helps career professionals shine through headshot portraits, creates story branding photographs for small businesses to show the world what they do, and also teaches others how to take better photographs of themselves. As a thank you for listening, Native Light Photography is offering a complimentary guide for how to prepare for your next photo session. Visit nativelightphoto.com/careerspotpod (https://www.nativelightphoto.com/careerspotpod) to download your guide today.

15:44

HOLLI

Let’s dive right back into our episode.

15:50

ERIC

So Emily got her license in August of 2016. And I got my license in March of 2017. So it wasn’t long.

16:00

EMILY

He was behind the scenes for a while, but he did a lot.

16:04

ERIC

And so my path is quite a bit more circuitous. I was in sales out of college, initially, in the mid 80s. I sold home improvements, I sold fraternity sportswear. <Eric laughs>. Right, traveling around the country, replacement windows, siding, and then got into investment sales with Metropolitan Life. And that allowed me to transfer with MetLife when I came to Seattle, so I could just basically come to another MetLife office out here. 

And what I realized really quickly once I arrived in ‘93, was there was this computer thing happening in Seattle. It wasn’t even so much the Internet at that time, although that was starting to be a thing, but it was Microsoft was, you know, doing its thing. And there was a software company, literally in the building across the parking lot from where the MetLife office was, called 4Gen. And so I got a job there in business development, and then did several years from ‘93 until 2001. Doing the whole “.com to .gone”. I did a stint in there, one of the smaller startups I was with got purchased by Intel, the chip company. 

So I did some time with them, was with stamps.com, was with a company called Giga. Just kind of riding that .com wave, and then .com went .gone, and I went okay, let’s do something completely different. And so about the most different thing I could possibly do, is I then went to Bastyr University, and spent many years and many dollars getting two degrees. Got a bachelor’s in herbal science and a master’s in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. And then opened a clinic in downtown Seattle in 2008. 

So six years of schooling, a couple years of residency with Bastyr, and then ran my acupuncture clinic right up until COVID. So I was doing that when I started with Emily until 2020 when COVID shut us down. And so I had to close the practice for a while. And at that point, I realized how much more, not that I didn’t like acupuncture, but I really loved selling houses and working full time with Emily. So when I was forced to basically just wear one hat, instead of getting up every day and trying to do both, I just loved it. So I found a way to basically transfer ownership of my practice to one of my employees. So the practice lives on in downtown Seattle, and she’s doing great. And I have been now 100% into real estate, just about a year that I’ve been completely out of the acupuncture world and 100% as a broker, so.

19:01

HOLLI

Wow, what a journey.

19:04

ERIC

Yeah, they say you can do a U-turn on the road of life. And what I’ve learned is that if you do it too often it feels like you’re going in circles. <all laugh>

19:13

EMILY

If you don’t do it enough, then you’re afraid to do it. It’s really interesting how different our lives were. 

19:22

ERIC

Yeah. And so, you know, the whole acupuncture thing was an interesting journey into the wilderness for me, but I feel like I’m back on that more original trajectory of sales and just in service in that way. 

19:36

EMILY

And I’m not saying this because he’s my partner, but he’s really good at this job. Like it’s like he’s been meant to do this particular career his entire life. It’s really been fun to watch. Where it’s been much more of a learning curve for me, it’s like he’s going to a party every day. I don’t know how to explain it, like he really loves it. 

19:59

ERIC

Yeah, I get up in the morning and I dig in. And I do it right until I go to bed.

20:05 

HOLLI

That’s such a beautiful story. I would love to know, okay, so you’ve had, like you said, very different pathways to coming together as a couple and then business owners together. What are some of the things that you love most about your job? And I feel like you’ve hinted at it. But I’d love to hear a little bit more about what lights you up, like you said, Eric, you love getting up and going to work, and you work until you go to bed. What is it that you love about it?

20:30

ERIC

First and foremost, it’s helping people, again, through that overwhelm. And so figuring out, and particularly in a market like the one we’re in right now, it takes a certain amount of creativity and tenacity and just perseverance to be able to get buyers in particular into houses right now. And then again, helping with the overwhelm. 

But I’m very much into the mechanics, if you will, of buying and selling a house. So like the contracts, understanding the contracts, the negotiation, the systems that are in play, that are required to run a successful real estate practice. Even in a practice or a business of two people. So all of the software and the systems and the database management and the contract management systems, etc. I love all of that. 

And then Emily, you know, she hinted at the hard and soft skills. Emily is more, not that I don’t like people, but Emily really thrives on relationships, right? Emily is more of the face of the business, if you will, and the one that’s out meeting people and building those relationships. Emily is an amazing networker and relationship person. When I first met Emily, well not first met Emily because we first met in high school, which we talked about. But when I first went back to Ohio, when we started dating, we did long distance dating for a couple of years. And I would go back and visit her in Ohio, which was easy, I still had family there. And we would walk, you know, through Canton, and every sixth person it seemed like knew Emily, and would just love her, come up and hug her and be like, oh my God, how are you doing? We need to get together. And so, you know, she had relationships in the hair industry that lasted generations, where she had started with somebody, you know, that she went to high school with. And by the time I met her, she’s doing the grandkids’ hair, you know.

22:23

EMILY

I don’t intentionally do it, but I like to collect friends. <Holli laughs>. So you know, for me, it’s an opportunity to meet new people, whether I’m touring homes and I’m getting to interface or interact, I should say, with the listing brokers, calling brokers and finding out more information about houses that our clients like. 

It’s sort of odd things that I really enjoy in terms of just building those relationships and doing the consultations, making sure that people have a glass of water to drink and a snack, and then getting in the car and going and seeing three or four homes. Just sort of navigating the process, but from the point of people’s comfortability. And I like that I can sort of hand off some of the other things to him, because I really do enjoy the networking aspect. And we say this all the time, and we mean it. We’re relationship oriented brokers, we’re not transactional oriented brokers. Which means we don’t want to do just one transaction with you, and then you don’t hear from us again, we generally say we make clients for life.

23:31

ERIC

We’re always amazed when we hear a realtor use the term former client. So what is that?

23:36

CASEY

Interesting.

23:37

EMILY

Really, the biggest thing for me is when I ask someone who their broker was when they bought a house, and they don’t remember the broker’s name, that’s a little bit like a nightmare to me. I’m thinking, I want you to remember my name when someone says, who helped you buy your house? So that’s kind of the gold standard, I think for me, is just making sure that they’ve had a good experience, they’ve been able to communicate with us, they know how to reach us after. 

24:05

ERIC

And we continue to provide value after, right? So after the transaction is closed, we’re reaching out, how’s the house? Gee, we ran into this issue, oh, let me take care of that for you. I can have a contractor come out and meet with you, whatever it happens to be. And this goes on for years, you know, and it can be completely unrelated. One of the things that Emily is so amazing at, is just knowing who people need introductions to. Like in the course of a conversation, she’ll be like, oh my gosh, I need to introduce you to so and so, right? And that then becomes this value added to that person. 

24:40

EMILY

I think that was the hardest thing for me when I relocated, and some people have relocated multiple times in their life, is that I didn’t have that network anymore. You know, where people would say, do you have a painter, do you have a contractor? Who do you use for carpet? Like the things clients would ask me, I didn’t have that. And so as a hairdresser, just as a person, I was just trying to get networked in town. And so I really liked building those relationships with other service providers, so that I can provide those names and contacts for clients.

25:13

ERIC

But it goes so far beyond that. <Emily laughs>. I mean, it can be completely non-house related, but you’re like you need to meet so and so because you have this shared interest. Or if the two of you pooled your resources, you could do so much amazing stuff. And it almost always ends up working out exactly the way Emily envisioned. You know, it’s not like a matchmaker in a romantic sense. But it’s like she can see where two people have this connection, whatever it happens to be, because a lot of times I don’t see it, but it’s amazing how it works out.

25:45

HOLLI

Right. So Emily, you’re a connector, a community connector?

25:50

EMILY

I think that’s the term, it’s been used quite a few times in my lifetime.

25:55

ERIC

If she has a superpower, that’s it.

25:57

EMILY

I call it a compulsion, but I suppose it’s connecting. <all laugh>

26:01

HOLLI

Yeah, interesting. So I have a confession to make. And that is that I had actually heard your name before I ever met you, Emily, in West Seattle. So West Seattle, for those of our listeners who don’t know, I describe it as the small town in the city, right? We’re kind of just a little bit outside the city, just across the water on this little peninsula. And I feel like I had heard your name before in relation to some volunteer efforts. And people are like, oh, you don’t know Emily, you haven’t met Emily? And I’m like, who’s Emily? <Holli laughs>.That’s just such a great example of who you are.

26:40

EMILY

It was either children’s cancer, or pets, or homeless, or seniors currently. 

26:46

ERIC

Emily is very involved in the community. And again, like I said, when I first went back to Ohio, it was so clear how embedded she was in the community. And it’s taken a little while, but you know, clearly it’s working. Because you know, wait, you gotta meet Emily, right?

27:06

EMILY

I will never forget the first time we went downtown together, and I ran into somebody I knew downtown. We were like, oh hey, Emily. And he’s looking at me, like, how do you know this person? <all laugh>

27:20

CASEY

You’re like, that’s never happened to me, and you’ve been here like three months?

27:28

EMILY

You know, it is fun. And that’s why I think as a team, we work really well together.

27:32

HOLLI

What are some of the ways that you stay motivated, and it doesn’t sound like you have any trouble with motivation, but what are some of the ways that you work on, as a couple in life and then as business partners. Do you work in any capacity on your development as business partners? Do you invest in maybe some help along the way? Because I know for me, and for Casey, like, we’re having a lot of fun doing this podcast, but like being business partners just seems like a whole other ball of wax to deal with. 

28:04

EMILY

Well we won’t bore you with all the details. But it was bumpy when he joined me full time, because there were certain things that I was doing that he, you know, he will attack it, right? He’s been a driver in his business for a long time, so it’s very hard for him to sit back and not do something. But I think we just continually talked through feelings, tried really hard to figure out, like, as an organization, who was doing what. I also had to let go of, just because I had been doing something for five years doesn’t mean I still have to do it. 

You know, so there is a lot of self reflection in organizing thoughts and trying to figure out who’s better at something, who’s more efficient at something, and divide our responsibilities. And we’ve worked really hard on developing systems, because it used to be, you know, in the beginning I would sell a handful of homes, and it was easy to sort of put things where they needed to be. And you start getting busier and busier, you have to be better organized. And so we’ve worked very, very hard on the organizational part of our business so that we can handle more business. And we do work with a real estate coach.

29:24

ERIC

Yeah. And the coach that we hired is also part of a husband and wife real estate team. So she’s got a lot of the insights into the types of challenges and benefits. But we do things, you know, we have a weekly meeting, that’s on our schedule every Monday morning. We go through six pages of questions that we ask each other to make sure we’re on track and to identify where the pain points are and what we need to do to address it. So it is very, the business is run like a business. And so we work both in the business and on the business, and finding that mix I think is really important.

30:05

EMILY

Now we do have a secret weapon, which I will reveal here for your listeners. We have a 15 and a half year old Miniature Schnauzer that wakes us up between 4:30 and 5:00 every morning. <Holli laughs>

30:20

ERIC

Biggest productivity aid ever, is you just stay up when the dog gets you up at 5am. You just stay up.

30:26

EMILY

We’re not really sure what will happen when Frankie moves on to join her grandma dog in heaven, but it gets us up, <Emily laughs>.

30:33

ERIC

It is amazing what you can get done between the hours of 5 and 8am. 

30:39

EMILY

I’m generally two cups of coffee in by seven in the morning.

30:46

HOLLI

It’s just like having a child that never grows up and starts sleeping in. I love that. Well, thank you, I had no idea there were coaches for real estate professionals. So I mean, I guess obviously there are, but I just hadn’t thought of it. So thank you for sharing that with us. 

31:04

EMILY

Yeah. And that’s kind of key. There’s a lot of wonderful coaches. Holli, you and I know quite a few in this area. And when it really came down to investing in the business, it was really important that they be real estate specific, and that they be partners in life. Partners in life and partners in business in particular, or vice versa, because it is complicated.

31:27

HOLLI

Right, yeah. 

31:28

CASEY

You spoke about your business, you run it like a business. It’s a business, and you go great, you’ve got your Monday morning meeting and like, you’ve got your practices in place. How do you guys differentiate between we’re Emily and Eric in our business, and we’re Emily and Eric at home? Does that make sense? And especially, the physical spaces where we work have shifted so much, like I don’t go into an office anymore, right? And so, you know, the lack of differentiation between the geographic place, you know, that used to be a nice indicator of oh, now it’s family-home time, right? Like, how do you guys manage that?

32:06

EMILY

Well, this is a really good question.

32:09

ERIC

And honestly, sometimes, it’s a continual struggle.

32:13

EMILY

Yeah. So it’s a bit of a weak spot for us.

32:15

ERIC

And a couple of insights recently into this, one is there really is very little delineation, if you will, of when are we together as a couple and when are we together as business partners. That line is very, very blurry most of the time. And COVID has just made that harder, because we’re both working from home all of the time. One of the best things we did was we took our, we’ve got a three bedroom house, and we had our bedroom, we had a guest bedroom, and then we had an office. And so early on, we got rid of the guest bedroom and just made a second office. And that was huge, just to have that separation of space.

32:56

EMILY

I’m not allowed in it most of the time. Like not to be mean, but that’s his space. If he’s in that space, and he’s requesting to not be interrupted, then that’s what I try to do.

33:08

ERIC

The other thing that I noticed, recently, Emily had a chance to go back and visit one of her sisters on the east coast and had a little mini vacation. And I realized then it’s like, oh, this is nice, right? Not that she was gone, but that she was gone. <all laugh>. And so that recognition. So I think now that we’re coming out of omicron, to be able to have one of us go to the actual physical office. Now that’s a thing again, and just kind of separating a little physically, will actually enhance productivity a little bit.

33:43

EMILY

And just scheduling a date night, scheduling, you know, one maybe two nights a week, where I’d say, if I’m being honest it’s probably like twice a month, right? Where we are out, you know, going out for a cocktail and appetizer or something.

34:00

ERIC

I think a great story along this line, that one of the best things we’ve done in the past couple of years, was this last December, when we took five days, six days, went to the Oregon coast, the two of us and the dogs. We got a little cabin with great views of the storms pounding the coast, it was a stormy weekend. And we also purchased an online class through the coaching organization that we work with. There’s about four hours of videos and you would watch the videos, and then you would stop and actually work on a workbook to create a business plan for 2022. 

And so that was just a phenomenal five days where you know, we would work on this thing for a few hours, and kind of dig deep into our business plan and have some really meaty discussions about what we needed to be doing differently. And then the sun would come out and we’d quickly, you know, take the dogs and go for a nice long walk on the beach, or go to the little wine bar in Manzanita, etc. You know, finding a way to kind of blend those two can be difficult. 

35:06

EMILY

I will say, we are workers, obviously, I’ve been working since I was, you know, before my driver’s license. We are both business owners and have been business owners. We don’t have kids. We’re really, we’re worker bees. So you know, if you’re a couple who’s trying to, you know, take two different dynamics that are too different, it might be challenging. But I think our life allows us to do this, as we’re doing right now.

35:37

ERIC

And in many ways, if one of us worked a 9-to-5, I think it would be harder. But because whoever is working the 9-to-5 would be like, can you just step away from the computer, close the thing? And let’s call it a night. But because we’re both doing it, we both enjoy it, the fact that we both work right up until it’s time to,

35:57

EMILY

I will say, real estate is a busy job. You know, it’s not 9-to-5, there’s a lot of running and rest. You run as long as you need to run, and then you rest when you need to rest. And so we’re figuring that rhythm out. But fortunately, we both do this. So nobody’s feeling left out.

36:14

HOLLI

I like that, yeah. Where do you like to have fun in your lives that’s not related to your career?

36:19

EMILY

I’m a runner, so long as I get to put my running shoes on and run. That is, I know that doesn’t sound fun to a lot of people. But it’s fun to me. <Eric and Emily laugh>. And that’s the thing. We operate at two different speeds internally. And I started a running club here in Burien, and so I’ve met quite a few new people. So we do Friday morning runs and Saturday morning runs and then we have coffee afterwards and things like that.

36:46

ERIC

She gets to connect. Yeah. 

36:49

HOLLI

I was gonna say, there’s your connector side showing. <Holli laughs>

36:53

ERIC

I’m more of an outdoors, snowboarder, skateboarder. I ride an electric skateboard, get up to the mountains when I can. And we have dogs that take up a lot of our time as well. So a lot of our recreation is just spent, you can probably hear the collar jingling in the background right now, that’s Violet, our golden retriever. 

37:11

EMILY

She’s pacing, she’s quite certain we forgot it’s lunchtime. <Holli laughs>

37:16

ERIC

They’re good at that.

37:18

HOLLI

Do you have any wrap up questions or anything that you’d like to share with us?

37:23

EMILY

No, just you know, we appreciate the opportunity to be on the podcast. We enjoy learning about new businesses, yours included. I’m assuming this is a type of business, maybe it’s a hobby for now. But we appreciate the opportunity, it’s nice to meet Casey, haven’t met him yet.

37:41

CASEY

Nice to meet you as well. What’s the name of your business? Like if people wanted to learn more about you guys or they’re looking to buy or sell a home, where do they go?

37:50

EMILY

So we hang our license at a local boutique firm called Metropolist, which has a West Seattle location now and a SODO (south of Downtown) location, but the name of our business within Metropolist is Austin and Martin.

38:03

ERIC

We’re the Austin and Martin broker team. Our website is austinmartinre.com. You’ll see our golden retriever as part of our logo.

38:17

EMILY

She’s our key deliverer. 

38:19

ERIC

Yes, she delivers keys to our home buyers. 

38:20

HOLLI

Oh, and I’ve seen photos. Just a beautiful, beautiful part of your family.

38:26

EMILY

She’s a beautiful, beautiful dog. Yeah, we’re dog folks. That’s the other thing, we love to work with people who love dogs, all animals, but we are dog folks. 

38:36

HOLLI

Well, thank you. This has been delightful.

38:39

EMILY

You’re welcome. Thank you for bringing the microphone and the treats.

38:44

ERIC

Thank you very much. It’s been a blast.

38:49

HOLLI

Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Career Spotlight Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform so you’ll never miss an episode. We would love it if you left us a review and shared the podcast with someone it might help.

39:05

CASEY

You can find us online at careerspotlightpodcast.com, Twitter @careerspotpod, and Instagram @careerspotlightpodcast.

39:17

HOLLI

Until next time, take care

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