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Desiree Tomanelli-Allin: Planning for business when a baby is on the way

How do you handle a multi-million dollar real estate business and have a life too? If you’re Desiree Tomanelli-Allin, you plan ahead.

In the last few years, Tomanelli-Allin of Allin Real Estate Group, part of Royal LePage Your Community Realty in Richmond Hill, Ont. says she has put together a team and has seen “incredible growth” for her business.

She’s pregnant with her first baby and like all self-employed professionals, is embarking on the trip without maternity leave. She says the thought of making the transition was “scary at first” but she’s been planning for 2.5 years so she’s ready.

“What I’ve done is change my business model,” says the soon-to-be mom, who is often approached by other women who want to know how she handles the life/work balance and how she’s preparing to be a mother.  “I’m getting ready to balance life when the baby comes.”

She has created guidelines and checklists to set parameters for herself so she’s not on call 24/7. She’s being more efficient with her time – for example if a client is looking for four bedrooms, “we won’t look at three-bedroom homes.”

She is planning five years out, determining the goal then moving backwards to figure out how to reach it. The secret, she says, is to break the big task into chunks and making sure everyone on her team achieves their goal. She will help her team on the backend, for example, to leverage social media and come up with organized plans for advertising.

She has also been coaching working moms and plans to take her own advice – sleep whenever you can, she says, and “lean on people if they offer (help), even if you have to pay them.”

In the next couple of months, she and her husband will be moving into the home they’re building. To make life easier, she hired a decorator because she says her husband doesn’t have the same taste as she does. And she will hire a caregiver or a cleaning lady.

Tomanelli-Allin is also talking to clients and setting expectations. For other soon-to-be moms, she says, “Tell your clients you may not be as available for the first couple of months. Most people are okay with that.” However, she cautions against promising you’ll be back then not returning when planned.

She will be allocating business to her team. “It will be a financial loss, but I will gain more time. And it will mean more experience and business for the team so they can build businesses that are sustainable.”

She says her team will continue to be there for their clients during this uncertain world we’re living in. She says people were panicking and thinking their house wasn’t worth anything, or that they might lose their job. Providing timely information ensured the team’s clients were not left in the dark about the real estate market.

Another of Tomanelli-Allin’s goals is to expand the team. The goal: six or seven new members by the end of 2021.