With the number of people that have moved to the Tampa Bay area, it is remarkable that any of them have found a place to live given the demand.
Yet, this is the life of a realtor today: creating opportunities, uncovering possibilities, and dare we even suggest…take care of a family too.
The dance can be comparable to parenting in so many ways, which is probably why Jaime Brown of Tampa Homestyles was so well-poised to meet the mayhem head-on to successfully serve her customers, the community and her two sons most of all.
TBPM: How have the last few years in this real estate market affected the juggle between professional and personal demands on you as a mother?
Jaime Brown: Saying that the market has been “chaotic” for the past 2 1/2 years is an understatement. We sold just under $80 million in real estate during that time frame, which has certainly impacted our home and professional lives.
There has been an influx of people moving to Tampa, historically low inventory and backlogged demand. Flexibility for our family has been the key to staying on top of everything, and with former ways of pre-planning and scheduling out the window, our two boys have had to make adjustments as well.
They do not like when Mommy leaves for showings, but they also understand that it’s needed to accomplish our collective goals as a family. They also attend showings or closings with me when it makes sense, so they’re very involved in what we do on a daily basis.
My husband Chris is also a real estate broker, so he understands the rigorous and often immediate requirements. Without his partnership and our collective buy-in on flexibility, the professional success we experienced during this timeframe would not have been possible.
TBPM: From owning a successful business to community involvement with local nonprofits and being an active and present parent at your boys’ school, many mom friends will wonder how you do it all. How do you prioritize your time?
Jaime Brown: “Doing it all” is not something that can be achieved by one person. I do not believe it is healthy or even necessary to subscribe to the current societal pressures of being a mother; it is already hard enough.
Pretty Instagram photos are great, but the real beauty is in the messiness, and even in the internal acceptance of that messiness. Our real estate brokerage, Tampa Homestyles, was created to provide our customers the highest possible service level while still having meaningful family time.
Those two goals are the foundation of the business, and because of this, we can prioritize our family time and still ensure our customers get 100% of the service needed. We do not have assistants or transaction managers, so we personally manage every aspect of each sale from start to finish.
We show up for our customers, and we will always show up for our boys. Those priorities are unwavering. What we accomplish outside of those two things has everything to do with the people and institutions we surround ourselves with. Our village includes incredible friends, family and the boy’s school.
They support us relentlessly, and we couldn’t do it without them.
TBPM: Philanthropic give-back has always been a big part of who you are. From Charity Polo to TRIBE Seminole Heights, you have helped impact children in need. Tell us about what you’re doing now with your sons to share this passion for service with them?
Jaime Brown: That is very kind, thank you. We have an “awareness with action” mentality that permeates our parenting style. Although our boys are the center of our universe, they need to understand they are not the center of THE universe.
Three years ago (at ages 4 and 6), they started a small clothing drive for Clothes to Kids (CTK). Every year, Bronson and Brock ask their friends and family members for donations, collect and organize the items, and then drop them off at the CTK store.
They have also donated pet food and toys to local animal shelters for several birthdays instead of receiving presents—which is a big deal at their ages. This small but mighty sacrifice makes my Mommy-heart immensely proud.
Doing for others at such a young age gives them a sense of selfless accomplishment and joy that we expect will make service a passion and a regular part of their lives as they grow.
TBPM: As a mom of boys, life can be very busy and always fun. But it hasn’t always been easy. Can you share your youngest son, Brock’s story and how you navigated the local medical system to get him the needed therapy?
Jaime Brown: Brock was diagnosed with speech aphasia and apraxia at the age of 2. His speech and vocabulary started regressing around 15 months; it was a very difficult time for our family. Providers that accepted insurance were scarce.
When we found them, appointments were 10-12 months out, and the number of sessions covered by the policy was insufficient to treat the condition. We had to become our own healthcare advocates for ourselves and our children, and waiting was not an option.
We did a ton of research and found Speechworks, an amazing local speech-language pathologist and business owner, who had extensive knowledge of the conditions, offered reasonable out-of-pocket pricing that happened to be better than the insurance-covered options, and was incredibly accommodating.
Brock gave his all in speech and occupational therapy from the ages of 2-6. Now at 7, the speech and gross motor inconsistencies are barely noticeable. His determination and ability to work hard and overcome these challenges were awe-inspiring; we are so proud of him.
In addition, Brock’s inability to verbally express himself at such a young age provided him with additional receptive communication capabilities, including being well attuned to the emotions of others.
With the help of his therapists and sometimes his older brother, Brock has turned this diagnosis into a superpower. A superpower that his school and teachers noticed immediately and continue to foster. It’s one of the many reasons we know we are in the right school.
TBPM: You have found the most perfect school for your kids. Where do they go, and what makes it a special place for early education?
JB: We are eternally grateful that our boys attend Corbett Preparatory School of IDS in Carrollwood. The school has a strong academic foundation but is unique, in part, because of the Yale-based approach to social and emotional wellness.
The Pre-K through 8th-grade program helps develop intelligent, confident, happy, and mentally healthy students who do wonderful things and are also wonderful people.
They are not mass-producing tiny robots who simply follow directions. At Corbett, our kids are challenged to think and solve problems in many ways, which has positively impacted their confidence and independence.
The school has one of the highest teacher-to-student ratios we have seen locally, providing each child with individualized attention. Another huge differentiator for Corbett is its diversity which, from our experience, is unparalleled.
The teachers are extraordinarily welcoming, encouraging, loving, and happy, all while creating a fun yet challenging environment for the kids. The administrative team is compassionate, approachable, and highly qualified.
As a working Mom, Corbett gives me peace of mind that our boys are well taken care of and treated appropriately. We ADORE Corbett Prep!
TBPM: What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay with your family?
Jaime Brown: We take the boys to any and all sporting events, but their absolute favorite team is the Lighting – they love to dance and be silly during the games. We also frequently hang around at our local parks, or you will find us on the water in the Bay or Gulf.
Our family loves fantastic food, so we regularly venture out to try new places. Other activities we enjoy include the Zoo and Aquarium, Ziplining, the Lagoons, and biking on the Pinellas Trail.