Working in a Family Business
So many people ask us how we manage to all work together as a family. Managing and working in a family business alongside your siblings or children on a daily basis carries with it a unique set of benefits as well as challenges. We’ve thought a lot about what makes our unusual situation work; combining family and career requires a delicate balance on both ends.
What makes it work?
The most important thing for all of us is having a strong leader who we all respect. Team Hatvany is headed by Nina Hatvany, who has been the top residential sales agent in San Francisco from 2008-2015, and 2017-2018. It is indisputable that Nina knows best, and while the younger generation can bring great new perspectives and tools to the table, Nina’s wisdom and depth of knowledge is invaluable. Her management is what keeps the team operating like a well-oiled machine. And when it comes to negotiating, Nina’s experience and skill in this area is unmatched and a huge asset to the team overall.
Natalie, Vanessa and Paul Hatvany Kitchen have all worked in real estate for seven-plus years and in 2017 decided to formalize into Team Hatvany, which was named the top real estate team in San Francisco since the first year we formed! It was helpful that we all had significant real estate experience under our belt before coming together as a team, so that we all had a mutual respect for one another’s knowledge and experience base. In addition to being well versed in assisting buyers and sellers across all ranges in San Francisco, we have also each carved out our own ‘niche’ which allows us all to have a specific focus and specialty while all working together. While we all cover properties across San Francisco, Nina’s specialty is large homes, particularly on the North side of town. Paul has extensive knowledge surrounding multi-family and other investment properties. Natalie is our resident South side expert in single family homes and condominiums, and Vanessa specializes in North side condominiums and properties in Southern Marin. Our different professional and educational backgrounds (Law degrees from Harvard and UCLA, a Master’s in Journalism from NYU, and a Stanford PhD in Psychology) we all four bring different perspectives to the table, and Nina manages to ensure that we are each playing to our strengths and utilizing our unique skill sets.
Another benefit to the family business is being able to count on the other members to have your back and trusting they will handle a transaction or show a listing with the same level of skill and care that you do. For our clients, the best thing about Team Hatvany is that you get four agents working for you on all listings and buyers – 24/7 coverage from a team member who knows your home or your buying criteria and can seamlessly step in to assist if needed.
We do struggle with keeping a work/life balance and trying not to let work bleed over into family time. Our Thanksgiving dinners are often spent discussing the latest deal or listing, but we do make an effort for the sanity of ourselves and our spouses/children to focus on other topics during dedicated family time. It does make it difficult to take a family vacation, as we have no one to cover at the office!
However, the positives certainly outweigh the negatives in our opinion. We love being a multi-generational family business, comprised of committed SF long-time residents/natives, and property owners. It is wonderful to be able to work alongside each other every day, cheer each other on, and support one another. Our best work is done when we keep our focus on the ‘good of the team’ rather than the good of each individual – together, we can accomplish so much more!