A month ago I listed a property on one day and then left town for a 4 day vacation the next day.  Boy, did I hear it from my client when I returned!  I guess they felt like I had taken the job to baby sit their listing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without coming up for air.  They obviously also did not understand that I have a very capable assistant who covers for me while I’m away.  This incident motivates me to comment about the real estate profession and our availability.  

     Some years ago the National Association of Realtors® ran TV advertisements that ended with the tag line, “Real Estate, it’s our life”.   I wanted to tell the authors of that ad to “Get a life!”  They stopped running the ad shortly thereafter which made me happy because I felt that verbiage was inaccurate.  I love my job, but real estate is not my life.  My family is my life.  The only reason I go to work each day is to provide for their needs.  I won’t sacrifice my time with them to make more money or because a client thinks I should.

     One reason that some get the impression that a Realtor® should work around the clock for them is because there are so many in our profession who do just that and let the tail wag the dog, or in other words they work whenever their client thinks they should without concern for boundaries or balance.  The competition is so fierce among Realtors® that the more unattached or unseasoned ones usually succumb to the temptation to make their availability the exclusive value they provide, while others choose to impart value in more substantive ways, instead of just being a chauffeur or key provider in evenings and on weekends.    Please don’t misunderstand, most of us work way more than an average 40 hour week and sometimes it is appropriate to accommodate tough schedules, but not at the sacrifice of everything else that is important in life. 

    If you choose a Realtor® based solely on the fact that they can make their schedule match yours, you may be disappointed when your transaction gets complicated.  My experience has been that true professionals have the ability to skillfully prioritize and handle the important things in a transaction because they have developed that skill set from real life.