12 years ago, Kristy Janota, then a chartered accountant, was trying to figure out how to make work fit with raising her young family. So, she did as many of us would: she asked her mom for advice. Her mom, Linda Turner, explained that when she had been in the same situation, a few decades before, working in sales seemed to be the only good option. The solution to Kristy's problem was clear - she would join her mom's thriving real-estate business.
It's worked out better than either could have imagined. "We learn from each other all the time," says Turner. "She's very detail-orientated and technology orientated, so she helped bring our business online, and she's our corporate accountant too. She's also a holistic healer, and her whole approach is based around helping people keep their stress levels down and making their real estate experience positive and stress-free."
Meanwhile, Turner, a successful stained-glass artist, looks at things from a creative point of view. "I'm good at marketing, staging, photography, figuring out what advertising we need to do and how we're going to sell something. I have decades of sales experience to draw from" she says.
Turner believes that working in sales can teach you a lot about money management and planning, and that's something she and her daughter like to communicate to clients.
"Working in sales can be tough because it's 100 percent commission-based, so you really do have to be realistic and careful in your financial planning," she says.
"That is why we always ensure our buyers understand the costs that they're committing to: Do you really have enough money to buy this house and still be able to do the things you like to do? If your mortgage payment is such that you can't afford a pizza once in a while, that's not going to be a good thing. We are not just trying to get people a house - we want to make sure they're able to have a happy home and comfortable future."
Janota's husband, Paul, also helps out in the business, looking after IT and many miscellaneous tasks that are necessary to keep things running smoothly, and the grandchildren also like to help out at open houses and events.
What's the key to making a family business work? "We all get along very well, and we respect each other's strengths," says Turner. "We're constantly learning from each other, and we really are very happy to all be working on something together."