A Balancing Act: Heather and Learka Rise to the Occasion

Like so many of us, Heather T. Roy and Learka Bosnak have learned quite a few things as they’ve had to adjust to working from home. But most of their lessons have been about rediscovering their appreciation for each other and embracing a sense of balance and gratitude for the little things. Elliman Insider sat down with Heather and Learka to find out everything from what it’s like to be physically apart, to how they’re coordinating their time between business and taking care of family.

Elliman Insider: What are some things you’ve rediscovered about yourself by being forced to change your routine (in both your business and personal life)?

Heather and Learka: We have rediscovered how much we care about each other, how in sync our world views are, how interconnected we are and how well we work together. We never forget how lucky we are to have each other personally and professionally, but in crisis it becomes clear in a whole new way. Our friends, family and clients keep asking us what it’s like to be physically apart—the answer is we really, really (really, really, really) miss being together but are grateful to be zooming and working together remotely every day. The other thing we’ve rediscovered: one of us is an introvert and the other is an extrovert. Everyone assumes we are exactly the same, but one of us could self-isolate for an extra year and the other is already planning a giant party for the day social contact comes back in to fashion.

EI: What are some personal challenges this pandemic has presented to you that you have been able to overcome?

H&L: Balance. Our instincts in an upheaval do not naturally move towards balance. Maxine (Learka’s daughter and Heather’s goddaughter) has to have school at home, every day. Wow, teachers deserve $1M a year. We are making sure that we provide a sense of structure because Max is a priority. Her dance recitals were always on the work calendar, and often team outings, so home school is definitely getting done. Learka becoming a teacher is just the tip of the balancing iceberg. We have to lean on Zoom and Facetime to stay connected to our families and to socialize. We are on an exercise and healthy eating accountability-text chain with our friends called ‘Prison Bod’ to help us not slip up too much on that front. And let’s just say cooking and cleaning experts also deserve $1M. Like everyone says on all the morning calls: “The Juggle is Real!”

EI: How do you think overcoming these challenges will affect the way you do business?

H&L: We’ve had to pivot and retool personally and professionally; flexing those muscles is great for running a business. We will never take being face-to-face for granted ever again. Like never. And in the future once we go back to business as usual, we will attempt to do things remotely when it benefits our clients.

EI: How are you getting creative when it comes to promoting your business during this time?

H&L: It doesn’t really feel like a time to promote ourselves, for us it is a time to be good members of our communities. We do have to promote our listings though and that has been an adventure. It seems like we are learning something new to try every few days. The silver lining is that everyone is trying new things at the same time. That is a gift. In business it can often feel like you are a toddler trying to run in an Olympic track event. Right now we are all just babies in a playpen trying to figure out what works.

EI: What are some business strategy changes you plan to implement once we return to normal?

H&L: We work in real estate, was there ever a normal? Seriously, we don’t think things will just go back to how they were the day before the offices and schools closed. We are just going to keep adapting and at some point it will feel more normal than it feels today. One thing we will do is double down on everything we have done to keep our business organized—our accountant, our business plan, our team communication systems, our schedule, our financial planning. Knowing where we were with everything made it much easier to deal with an abrupt change. These are things we all tend to put off because they aren’t the areas where a lot of us shine, but we were so glad we were on top of all that so we could grab the checkbook and the computers (and the office fish Chokey) and start working from our individual houses when the stay-at-home order came through.

EI: Sometimes we develop a new appreciation for the little—or big— things during major life changes. What are some things that you’ve been most grateful for during this time?

H&L: Health, having enough food, having people we love and homes we love. We have so much gratitude for all the people who are leaving their homes to take care of us all and to keep things running. And we have a new deep love for Wifi and fast internet. We are also very sincerely grateful for our Douglas Elliman family. That Douglas Elliman support has made jumping into the unknown so much easier. Seeing everyone’s faces in the morning, and everyone’s cute kids and adorable dogs who burst into the Zoom frames, it all feels so real and connected. So yeah, we have a lot to be grateful for.

Contact Heather and Learka for all your real estate needs today.

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ELLIMAN INSIDER is published by Douglas Elliman Real Estate
© 2020 all rights reserved
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