We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittany Heckenberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittany, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Is there even such things as a work life balance? Just teasing, the work life balance is something we as a team (husband and wife) are always trying to improve and grow with. I first got into the real estate industry in 2000. As you can image a lot has changed in 20 years. I would rush out to show clients homes and prepare their real estate contract on the hood of my car just . . . fast forward to today where truly technology has been my friend and my greatest source of leverage for the work life balance. Two decades ago I was dating my current husband, childless and pursuing a business degree. Today, my husband and I have been married for 16 years and now have four children. Hayden (12), Ally (10), Henry (5) and Austyn (3). Helping families buy and sell homes has always been a passion for me and now that passion has truly become a family affair! Our now five year old got sick back in 2017 and he was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. After spending 40 days in the hospital with Henry, my husband Ryan was running a very successful general contracting business and my real estate business was also thriving. We had a lot of time to reflect on that experience and realized if we wanted to master the work life balance one of our businesses was going to have to give. Both of us were working 50+ hours a week, managing four kids, one of who has a compromised immune system and has medical needs. We were in a survival mode where we found ourselves barely keeping our head above water both serving the needs of our clients and those of our family. Henry’s diagnosis was very eye opening for our family and we came to the decision that Ryan would be shifting out of his business with the focus of moving into real estate with me. It to this day, was the best decision we made as a family. Luckily for us the transition was very organic and gave each of us the opportunity to better identity our gifts, both in business and personally. We first identified that life is too short and while we are here, we wanted to make as many memories as possible for our family and we are so fortunate that real estate has provided us that opportunity. We also made it a priority that while we are serving our community in helping buy and sell homes we could do better . . . we also wanted to have an impact on our community. In 2018 we decided to host what we call the Superman Henry Blood Drive, where we have helped save more than 369 lives through our blood drive. This is a family affair and all of the kids get involved and we are happy to show our children what stewardship and abundance looks like first hand. Although we are still working similar hours, we often find ourselves doing more than work. We are building relationships within the community we serve, we are being servants to our gifts, and I believe the saying goes, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, how this applies to our family! As you can imagine staying organized and communication is the KEY to finding that balance. In everything we do we keep a digital calendar and we share one another’s calendar, Ryan is a stud at color coding, while I just put it down and call it good. We are in constant communication and every morning we recap our day, we strategize who takes the kids to school, who picks them up, who takes them to practice, who cooks for the night and who is in charge of what kids for bedtime. I can safely say 20 years ago I wasn’t time blocking reading Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs AND I wouldn’t change it either! There are days where we feel exhausted and there are days that we nailed it. Our rule is we give a lot of GRACE and we ask for forgiveness from one another, because the truth is sometimes when a stressful day hits us our little family bears that burden. We are quick to apologize and extend lots of hugs and kisses. We never miss a bed time and spend 20 minutes of one on one time with each kid so that feel they have our undivided attention. Where we have been the most blessed has been in our real estate business, the majority of our business is referral based from friends, family and past clients so we’ve been so fortunate that the dynamic of our business changed from working with the general public to really focusing and serving those families that know, like and trust us. Although, I don’t believe we’ve reached a mastery status of work, life, balance we sure leverage the use of technology and keep the lines of communication open constantly. I can tell you it’s really rare you’ll find me in a grocery store, instead you’ll see me at the pick up line or have Amazon dropping packages off several days a week. We as a family found our “spot” in San Diego and get out to the beach about four weeks a year, this is the perfect opportunity for us as a family to rest and recharge. Plus there is just something so special about sitting on the beach building sand castles watching the kids dodge the waves. I desire that everyone have a “spot” for their family to help build those memories and remind us that life is all, but too short.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My husband and I are both real estate consultants serving the Denver Metro Area. We are so excited to be a vessel for the families we serve by not only helping them provide a roof over their head, but also build wealth through real estate. I get excited when I know I have put more money in the pockets of my sellers and equally as excited when I know I have saved our buyers money as well. Real estate for us has been a pathway of cash flow and I am so passionate about teaching others about passive income and the benefits of homeownership. I started in real estate 20 years ago and it was a less saturated industry back then, but the hustle and passion always remained the same. I was very eager to build my book of business and often found myself door knocking, holding open houses, and trying to met as many people as possible so I could grow as fast as possible. I quickly learned that was the fastest form of burnout. I then began to focus on doing the BEST job possible for the clients I was currently serving and THAT was the key to our business. I stayed in front of my clients, I communicated the entire process and always went above and beyond to ensure that our clients had a wonderful real estate transaction. I showed clients pitfalls to avoid, problemed solved issues that felt helpless, genuinely care for the needs of our clients, and I make it a priority that each client receives identical service from the $50,000 buyer to the $3.0 million dollar buyer. My service never alters. I will exceed your expectations and promise you that your real estate transaction is always my top priority.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, first they are more than welcome to stay in the Casa de Heck, but with four loud kids and two hypoallergic dogs they may find more peace at the Hilton down the street!!! I have several different plans for my out of state guests, so let’s just say this is a girls weekend . . . First, we hit Recess for a nice happy hour on a great patio. We then head to my favorite restaurant Uncle for some ramen. We have a night cap at either Linger where we can see Downtown or we pop into a the Williams and Graham speakeasy if we want something more private and just to talk. The next morning we’d head up to Breckenridge to take the the beautiful mountains, do some hiking and hit the Spa at Breckenridge. We’d stay a night in Breck and hit the small downtown and have some good food and drinks. We’d head back to the city and on our way home hit the Outlets at Silverthorn for some good shopping!!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Vitalant (blood bank in Colorado) Keller Williams, they’ve provided us with tools and their mission is God, Family, Work their values shaped our family values.