Among the pitfalls of running a business with your spouse is the perception that the less
gabby prominent or public half of the team is any less important or vital to the success of the organization. I am sure that this is the case in some businesses where the missus or hubby help on weekends and stuff some envelopes or file widget invoices. It is not the case in mine our firm. The Broker’s Wife in our company is one of the key reasons for our success, and her business chops are stellar.
The Broker’s Wife in our little enterprise has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University. She has an MBA. She has worked for huge multinational corporations. She has collaborated on the non profit side with Nobel Prize winning projects.
The first time The Broker’s Wife hosted an open house, she sold it to the eventual buyer. When she suspected that the buyer was trying to work around their buyer agent, she virtually did forensics to confirm her suspicion. Then, instead of trying to earn both ends of the commission on the back of an unfortunate colleague at another firm, she made sure that the other agent got their well-earned credit and broker fee. Our reputation, she stated, is more important than any monetary gain.
The Broker’s Wife seethed when snooty receptionists at other firms (it is ironic to be snooty when you are working banquet waiter hours on a weekend morning, by the way) acted dismissive, disrespectful, territorial or hostile when they hadn’t heard of her husband’s firm or treated us like interlopers. She seethed, but held her tongue (mostly) and worked on making sure they knew us the next time we crossed paths.
While she still has the odd male flirt with her in grocery lines, this isn’t the Broker’s Wife’s first trip to the rodeo. As a teen, she stood between an armed robber and a shopkeeper in New York City, winning a war of nerves until the coward gave up and left. Her organizational skills notwithstanding, her backbone is awe-inspiring.
The Broker’s Wife does the books and taxes for tens of millions of dollars in transactions brokered. She is the administrative genius that sees to it that the maelstrom of 60+ listings, 30+ agents, dozens of pending transactions, and thousands of details are attended to in an efficient, businesslike and professional manner. Her ability to do the details allows me, the broker, to focus on the big picture. She does see the big picture too. She made sure that the first dishonest agent we ever had was promptly terminated, stating clearly that this time they cheated us, but what if they cheated a client?
The Broker’s Wife is the Chief Operating Officer of the company. She is the reason the company has grown, she is the secret weapon, and nothing that the broker gets all the credit for could be done without her extraordinary abilities. We won’t get into the 18 hours days, the 5 languages she speaks, her piano playing, the four children, including one with autism she cares for like a champion, and the exponential factor of foibles that she puts up with in her husband and business partner. That’s not the focus here.
This Broker’s Wife, Ann Faranda, is an executive.