Family bonds make a winning team at Hutton & Hutton

Maintaining boundaries between work and home life can be a challenge in a demanding environment like real estate.

For some, working with family could complicate that further but it is no problem for leading Brisbane agent Peter Hutton.

Mr Hutton has 30 years of success in the industry, and in 2017 teamed with wife Karen to found Hutton & Hutton Real Estate in the high-demand inner-city suburb of New Farm.

Mr Hutton is CEO and Mrs Hutton is the director of marketing. Joining them in the team are daughters Lucy, head of content creation, and Paris, the operations manager.

Speaking to Close-Ups, a series of video interviews with industry leaders for real estate technology company Rex, Mr Hutton said keeping boundaries is not difficult because everyone in the family has their own job to do.

“When we are at work, we are working,” Mr Hutton said.

“It wouldn’t matter if it was Karen or somebody we employed. They’ve got KPIs and job descriptions and I don’t meddle with that.”

Mr Hutton thinks of his leadership role as ‘Chief Environment Officer’ (CEO).

“My job is to create a great environment and then various people in our business create the results,” he said.

The couple have been married for 33 years and differences of opinion only happen occasionally, Mr Hutton said.  

“The trick with life in any relationship is to have either one, or both, go, ‘We need to stop this argument now and both move forward. The past is the past and now how can we resolve this?’” Mr Hutton said.

“And my wife’s really good at that.

“Now with my daughters in business, if we ever have a clash, which is very rare … the first thing to realise is, ok, this can be resolved.

“We always remind each other we’re family. Family is more important. Relationships are more important than anything else.”

The first season of Close-Ups focuses on wellbeing and a common theme in the interviews is the importance of routines outside of work to prepare for a busy day.    

Mr and Mrs Hutton like to walk the dog in the morning, stop for a coffee, have breakfast together, then Mrs Hutton prefers to do meditation while Mr Hutton enjoys reading or drawing on his iPad.

“Once I sit down I have learnt how to switch off,” Mr Hutton said.

“I’m very active mentally so I steer that to creative mental thinking and I find that very meditative.

“I won’t just draw something I’m looking at. I’ll use my imagination. I might do that for 20 minutes and that gives me pause.

“Some mornings I sit there quietly on my own and just look at interior design pictures, because I’m the son of an interior decorator. I can look at beautiful pictures like that and it is my break time.”

The family takes care not to allow work to intrude out of the office. The Huttons keep a right of veto in a conversation if one or the other doesn’t want to talk about work.

“We will send a message or an email as a reminder so we don’t lose that train of thought, so we can deal with it at a more appropriate time,” Mr Hutton said.

Mr Hutton said he loves working with his family.

“We find when we get together out of work, if we talk about work it is usually about things we did wrong,” he said.

“We laugh at each other or something I might have done or said. And then we don’t talk about work, we just talk about everything else.”

Watch Close-Ups here

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Noel Mengel

Noel Mengel is a freelance journalist and author based in Brisbane.

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