You could say that every day is Mother’s Day for Jacqueline Fletcher, who gets to work with her daughter Jules Driedger.
While the mom-daughter relationship is sometimes depicted as a thorny one, Driedger and Fletcher have been working co-operatively as Red Deer real estate agents since January — and so far, so no battle lines have been drawn in the sand.
In fact, quite the contrary.
Driedger said she feels “so blessed. My mom is my best mentor.”
“To work every day with my daughter has made me so proud,” said Fletcher.
The Red Deer mom — who got into real estate sales at age 50, when she no longer had the patience or stamina to continue as a school music teacher — learned the ropes from her dad, the late realtor Jack Macauley.
Having her daughter now step into the “family business” at Royal LePage Real Estate and extend it to a third generation “is amazing,” said Fletcher. “We are a close-knit family so I love that she’s working alongside me.”
Generational mother/father/children teams are not uncommon within local real estate companies because the business is conducive to ongoing relationships. Fletcher believes being able to refer clients to another family member who has much the same approach is a real boon.
Penny Kander, of Team Kander Realty Executives Alberta Elite, has been working with her son Bryce for the past 13 years and she credits him for teaching her new ways to grow their business.
At age 32, Bryce is more tech-savy, admitted Penny, so she welcomes her son’s innovations, which have hugely expanded their clientele.
“You’ve got to listen to (your kids), and allow them to bring you into the next century and not fight it,” said Penny, who will appreciate passing her business to her son one day.
Bryce credits his mom for showing the kind of life-long support and guidance that helped him invest his inheritance into a revenue property when he was just 13 years old.
“She carried me for seven years (after he started working as a realtor at age 18) and never put pressure on me,” he recalled, describing Penny’s support and mentorship as “invaluable.”
Fletcher particularly likes passing on to Driedger lessons her father taught her — “how to stand belly-to-belly with people, helping them and negotiating…”
When Driedger was a teenager and Fletcher was her music teacher, the women had a more challenging relationship. “Kids grow up thinking their parents don’t know enough,” admitted Driedger.
But they become adults “and begin understand you are pretty smart,” Fletcher added, with a chuckle.
While the two women admit they can occasionally still be short with each other on stressful days, this is always followed by an apology and unconditional forgiveness.
Since 29-year-old Driedger began working with her mom, she feels it’s been interesting to see a whole new side of Fletcher.
Just witnessing “how she does business has given me a whole new level of respect for what she does…You see how people look up to her and you see she is an example,” said Driedger.
Fletcher believes the key to working — or just getting along — with older children is respecting their boundaries while also being their biggest fan.
“The world already beats you up so you have to be in their corner,” she said. “You’ve got to be their cheering section.”
On Mother’s Day, the two women plan to spend the day together. There will be a family barbeque, said Driedger, and since the ice is now off Sylvan Lake, there could also be a boat ride.
Mother and son Kander will also be sharing a meal on Sunday: “I’m going to take my mom out for lunch and buy her cupcakes,” said Bryce.