We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary Smylie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mary, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance is my #1 priority!!! I wake up each and every day with a million and ten things to do and I know I only have 24 hours in the day. I’m a notorious list maker and have several lists going on concurrently . . . constantly re-shuffling priorities . . . always working to take care of what’s most important. Sometimes its work, other times it’s the kids, my friends and family and more often than not, it’s myself.
That wasn’t always the case. I spent my twenties working ridiculous numbers of hours at a corporate job. But I didn’t mind it. I was young and eager to learn and I loved what I did. It was fun, it was exciting!!!! Granted my priorities were different then . . . I didn’t really workout that much and my free time was centered on my social life and happy hours.
ALL that changed in 2010 when I became a mom. It was something I’ve wanted to be my whole life and it was such a beautiful moment to finally have my own little one to love and cherish. But wait what? I have to learn how to be a mom and work full time?!!! Oh wow!! That changed everything!!
I reluctantly went back to work and sadly put my sweet baby into a wonderful childcare facility with a bunch of lovely women who took really good care of him and loved him for me while I went back to work. The struggle was real and I did this for years.
I worked hard, worked as much as I could in the 40 hours to get ALL the work done. It was relentless and disheartening to be honest. So much work and effort put into a corporate job that tracked each and every minute you were in the office, that demanded more and more and more. Never quite satisfied with the work that was accomplished. And at the same time feeling like you were a shitty mom. Not spending enough time with your kids, running around all weekend long trying to tackle the endless list of to do’s and not getting the chance to spend quality time with the kids. Ughh!! TORMENT!!!
Fast forward 10 years later and things have changed a lot!!!!
My perspective of work life balance has changed 1000% and I’m thankful for all the highs and lows that have gotten me to where I am today. I now have 3 beautiful and amazing children and am now divorced (that’s another story in itself) but have managed to create a really amazing co-parenting relationship with my ex (that took a lot of work and lots and lots of help).
And despite the divorce I chose to follow my dreams and pursue my passion in real estate. I could have stayed in a secure job, with the endless hours of work and reliable paychecks. But honestly, it wasn’t a life I wanted to live.
For me, I needed to follow my dreams . . . to take the risk . . . to start from scratch . . . to spend time with my children and to pursue a career that I love and am passionate about. Truly helping my clients achieve their real estate goals so that they too can live their best lives means everything to me.
So my work life balance starts with me. I am working on taking the best care of myself so that I can take care of my kids, my clients, my friends and my family. My priority is to be the best version of myself each and every day (some days it’s awesome and other days not so much, but that’s OK and I accept that).
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My passion is everything about the HOME. It truly is and always has been. I started out in corporate retail in my early twenties, and dedicated over a decade working as a buyer and inventory buyer for Macys, Williams-Sonoma and Cost Plus World Market. All the businesses I managed were all HOME centric. All the marketing, advertising, sales and analysis was focused on the HOME.
I love entertaining and making memories with family and friends. I love decorating and making spaces warm and inviting. I love transforming spaces to make it into a personal oasis.
Throughout my retail career I knew I wanted to make the transition to Real Estate, it was just a matter of time when I was going to make the move. I had no idea that my divorce would be the catalyst for so many changes in my life. It was a hard and devastating experience yet it also brought some amazing opportunities and starting a BRAND NEW CAREER in Real Estate was one of them. Not gonna lie . . . it was exciting and scary at the same time. Here I am pursuing my passion in a highly competitive and commission only industry and learning to be a single mom of 3. So many challenges and sweet successes. What a rollercoaster ride it’s been and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My background in managing multi-million dollar businesses has contributed to a unique and very analytical approach to real estate. I love numbers and I love analysis and I’m constantly analyzing the Real Estate market. There is so much information and a story to be told in the numbers and that translates into a buying and selling strategy . . . depending on your goals.
If you are looking to sell your home. You need an agent to not only accurately help you calculate the worth of your home, but to provide a selling strategy to get you the highest price. With a focused approach, I create customized marketing plans unique to each home to find the ideal buyer. The buyer of the $350K condo is not the same as the buyer of a $6m mansion and throwing it into the MLS and crossing your fingers is NOT a strategy I use . . . ever. No matter how hot the market is.
There are numerous other factors that go into the home selling process that need to be accounted for as well, such as understanding the client’s motivation to sell and their ideal selling scenario. Creating a customized experience along with open and clear communication is vital between client and real estate agent and you can count on me for reliable communication to ensure smooth, efficient and speedy transactions.
If you are looking to buy a home. I can help you find the ideal home that meets your lifestyle and your long term financial goals. Your home is a place where you will make memories and it is also a major investment that you should be leveraging to help you build wealth over time. San Diego is a real estate hot spot, the location, weather and lifestyle contribute to a highly competitive and fast paced market with increasing home prices and very low levels of inventory. You need an agent who can analyze and understand the driving forces of the ever changing real estate market, provide expert guidance to get your offer accepted and get you the house of your dreams.
If you are a homeowner not thinking about buying or selling. Monitoring your investments regularly is the smart thing to do. By the time the average American reaches 65 years of age, 83% of their retirement will come from their home equity. A unique service I offer that is totally FREE is something I call a Financial Dashboard. I want to provide value to my clients and potential future clients by helping them manage and track one of their largest investments they will ever make in their lifetime. Their HOME.
I accurately assess your home’s current market value. Have you verify and confirm the current mortgage information should you have any. Evaluate your current mortgage options and make recommendations on how to save money over the life of your loan. Explore your options on how to best leverage the equity you have built in your home to achieve other financial goals. The goals can be real estate related such as purchasing a new home, renting your home and buying another, buying an investment property, selling the money and pocketing the cash. Or you can use the equity you have in your home to create an emergency fund, make home improvements, add more livable space, pay down student loans, eliminate credit card debt, add solar panels, splurge on a European vacation and explore new investment opportunities.
I would love to help each and every homeowner be the empowered homeowner who is effectively managing one of their largest financial asset. We are lucky to be living in San Diego, it’s a hot real estate market and a lot of homeowners have built substantial wealth through their home ownership.
My passion is helping people achieve their goals so that they live the life they love. I’m here to help not just when buying and selling a home, but throughout the home ownership. In an ever changing world, I totally understand that life happens and your goals and objectives will change. I am your real estate resource and advisor and would love to help you best leverage the equity in your property in difficult and prosperous times.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Encinitas and love everything about it. There are so many amazing local spots to check out . . . definitely daily trips to the beach be it Moonlight, Beacons or Swamis. Yummy food at some of my favorite places . . . Union Kitchen & Tap, Chiko, Fish 101 and shopping at my all-time favorite store Soul Scape.
But to be honest there are so many places to go and things to do in San Diego. I’ve highlighted several awesome communities on my website . . . check them out to get a feel for the local lifestyle each one of them offers, the homes available for sale, what it’s like to live there and some of the local favorite spots to check out. https://agentsmylie.com/
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate this to my 3 beautiful kids, they drive me each and every day to do my best and set the example. I’m constantly thinking about what they need from me and what I can do to be the best version of myself. I’m totally the mom that I never had and needed and I show up for myself too.
Other: Zillow: https://www.zillow.com/profile/marysmylie/
Angela Garzon @createwithgusto