Thank you to our generous sponsor of this months Meet a Mom series Kristin Krieger of Coldwell Banker, Frewen Reality
This weeks Meet a Mom is a very special one to East Lansing Area Moms. We have personally known Kristin for many, many years and are so excited to share her story! She has the heart of gold, forever loyal to her family & friends and now a successful real estate business. Kristin also is kind enough to share her very personal journey about IVF and adoption that many of our followers may be able to relate to as well. Her IVF struggles turned to celebration—adopting a beautiful little boy, Weston! His smile is absolutely contagious and their family is now complete ♥ Welcome, Kristin!
Hi Kristin! Please introduce yourself- Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
Hi everyone! My name is Kristin Krieger. I am originally from Perry. I went to Central Michigan University, then lived in the Metro Detroit area before moving back to the East Lansing Area about 10 yrs ago. I owned a home in Haslett when I met my husband Brian. When we got married I moved to Portland, which is where we live now.
You’re a mom! How many kids do you have and what are their ages? What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
Four. Weston will be 2 on March 30th, and then thanks to Brian, I am a step parent to Keagan 13, Adriana 17 and Bryson 19. I don’t know how to choose just one favorite thing. I love snuggle time with Weston and hearing him say mommy, even if it’s 100 times a day and sometimes at 3 am! I also look forward to seeing what new words or skills he will learn each day. With the older three, my favorite part has been watching their personalities develop and seeing them grow into such cool teens/young adults. They have each given us so many proud parent moments over the years.
You have adopted the most beautiful little boy! Do you have any words of wisdom for our followers who might be thinking about adoption?
Thank you, I think he’s pretty adorable too 🙂 Oh gosh, I could talk about this forever. If you have ever considered adoption look into it! Do research, ask questions and meet with an agency. I have friends whose children were adopted, so it was on our radar, but it was not our first attempt at parenting. After being physically, emotionally and financially drained from IVF, we decided to go to an informational meeting and were so glad we did.
We worked with Adoption Associates and had an awesome experience. It can be a long process, but don’t get discouraged. When you are matched it can happen very quickly. Weston was born exactly 40 weeks after I posted that we were hoping to adopt, but we did not find out about him until 2 weeks before his due date. Talk about a crazy couple of weeks! Also, be transparent and honest in your profile. I was really worried that we would not be chosen, because of our ages and the fact that our kids were older. These ended up being two of the things that drew Weston’s birth mother to us. You never know what someone elses adoption plan looks like!
The process can vary, but it starts with a lot of education, paperwork, and a homestudy. As we went through this stage, we were able to determine what factors were important to us and what type of situation would be the best fit for our family. We chose an open, domestic adoption in which we were asked to create a profile, much like you would use for online dating. When an expectant mother decides to create an adoption plan she is able to go through profiles that fit her needs/wants and choose a family. That is called a match. Then the chosen profile gets to decide if it is a good fit for them as well. We met Weston’s birth mother twice. The first time was to make that decision, we clicked instantly and talked for almost 3 hours. The second was for the labor and delivery. We were there when he was born and he has been with us ever since!
What are your go-to restaurants and shops in the Greater Lansing area?
Eating out is one of my favorite things to do. During the shutdown we tried to order out at least once a week! I am so happy that is over, and can not wait to get back to some of our favorite spots. Ukai is our go-to for birthdays and anniversaries, The Watershed in Haslett for their food and patio, Confluxcity Brewing in Portland for their atmosphere, and Horrocks for a casual date night.
You’re a real estate agent, how did you get started in this business?
I have always been interested in real estate, so when I happened to run into a family friend who had just started a career in it, I had a lot of questions! We met for coffee to chat, she was so encouraging and helpful. I was licensed and working for Coldwell Banker Frewen Realty in Portland less than a year later.
What’s your advice to moms in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis to make life a little easier? How has your job changed during COVID-19?
First of all, Give yourself Grace. Parenting isn’t easy during normal times, this is unprecedented so just do what you can to get through the day! Going on walks and getting outside has helped to keep me sane, even if it’s just for a little while. I have also been keeping a gratitude journal, which has helped me to focus on the good and simplicity of life instead of all the negative.
COVID-19 has changed a lot of how we do business. Not only are all my office, association meetings and continuing education classes now on Zoom, but I have been doing Buyer Consultations and even some Listing Appointments that way as well. Another change is that Brian is working from home so I can schedule face to face appointments or go to my office during Weston’s nap time, instead of worrying about getting a sitter for him or scheduling everything in the evenings or on weekends.
How do you juggle work with being a mom?
I love my career, but being a Realtor is only one part of who I am. I find that making my family a priority is what keeps me going. People laugh, but I still write down all my appointments in an old school paper planner. Of course this includes work related appointments, but you will also find date nights, the kids tennis matches, band concerts, my book club, etc. You have to have balance!
Best advice for someone looking to buy a home with the housing market being so crazy right now!
First of all, start working with an experienced Realtor. We are in one of the most competitive markets ever and you want someone working for you who knows how to navigate through it! Read reviews, ask for referrals and find someone you can trust. The market is so fast paced, appropriately priced homes are receiving multiple offers within days of being listed. A good Realtor will listen and know what is important to you so they can notify you of homes as soon as they hit the market, or sometimes even before. Second, start working with a local reputable lender and get preapproved before you start your search.
Again, the pace of the market is crazy, being fully prepared with your funding is more of a requirement than a suggestion. Lastly, expect to pay at or above asking price. Your Realtor may even recommend using an escalation clause, which basically states you will pay a certain amount above any other higher offers, up to a set amount. Keep in mind though that price is not the only deciding factor for a Seller, ask your Realtor what other terms can help set your offer apart from any others.
What would you recommend to someone who is looking to sell their house right now? A few helpful tips:
If you have ever even thought about selling your home, vacant land or an income property you own, now is the time! There is a lack of inventory, and due to low interest rates, a lot of Buyers. Just like with buying, I suggest finding a trusted, experienced Realtor and ask them to prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for your property. This is a service that myself, and most Realtors will provide for free. It will give you a price range so you can decide if selling is in your best interest. Sellers that I am doing this for in the current market are usually pleasantly surprised with the value of their property. With this service, I often often make suggestions as to what you can do in order to maximize your profit. The most common are usually decluttering, applying a fresh coat of paint and deep cleaning. My goal is always to get as many buyers through your home in the shortest amount of time, so that you hopefully have several offers to choose from. It is not unlikely in this market to receive 5-10 or maybe ever more offers on a property if it is priced right.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I grew up very close to my maternal grandparents and spent a lot of time with my cousins, aunts and uncles at their home in Shaftsburg. We were there every holiday and had “Sunday Suppers” weekly. Unfortunately, they have both passed away. It has been about 20 yrs for each of them, but with the exception of 2020, this side of the family still gets together every Thanksgiving day and Christmas. So often you hear of families growing apart after grandparents are gone, I love that they instilled such strong family values that this has not happened. There are so many of us that gather, over 20 just in the next generation! It is chaotic, but some of my favorite memories happen in that chaos!
Now some fun ones!
Current binge shows –
Depends on who I am watching with! Brian and I are finally watching Ozark. With the kids it’s Big Bang Theory, The Neighborhood or SNL clips on YouTube. With Weston it’s Coco or Hotdog, aka, Cocomelon or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Can’t live without beauty or makeup product –
Mascara for everyday. If I am leaving the house or have to have my camera on for a call then I throw a layer of L’oreal Voluminous Primer under it, and add some sara happ The Lip Slip. It is my favorite gloss ever!
Last book you read –
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Favorite places to visit in Michigan –
So many places! I love Northern Michigan and the Lake Michigan shoreline. We camp a lot and spend at least a week every summer at Pioneer Park in Muskegon. It is right on Lake Michigan and there are so many activities for the kids. I also love the UP, especially Grand Marais and Marquette. Bryson plans to go to Northern Michigan in the Fall, so we are looking forward to an excuse to spend more time up there 🙂
Best advice for someone starting out as a real estate agent?
Real Estate is a relationship based business, to be successful it is important to be able to positively work with everyone involved in a transaction. This means not only clients, but also lenders, other agents, and inspectors. It can sometimes take a little while to get your business running. During this time, I would suggest networking and attempting to build these relationships. Make sure all your contacts know you are a Realtor. Reach out to local lenders, introduce yourself, educate yourself about programs they offer and how they can help your clients. Contact some inspectors to find out what services they offer and how much they charge. Meet with other agents to ask questions and get ideas for marketing and growing your business. Align yourself with others ahead others and build a strong network during this slow time, so once you are busy you are prepared.
Last question – who is your mentor in this business?
My Broker, Terry Frewen has been an incredible mentor. He is supportive, encouraging and I have learned so much from him. He taught me right away that Real Estate is an industry where you want your competition to be successful. I need other agents to list houses so my buyers have homes to look at, and similarly I need other agents to have buyers to show and potentially buy my listings. Due to this, I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of experienced agents through different transactions and have learned a lot from each of them.
Is there an amazing local Mom you would like featured? Please share by emailing, [email protected]