It was around 5:00 and I was talking on the phone to another real estate agent. She had some questions about one of my listings. She said she might call me back later if she thought of anything else. I said “I’ll talk to you in the morning. I turn my cell phone off at 5:30.”
“What!?” she replied, “How can you do that? I leave my phone on all night! I’ve had buyers call me at 11:30 p.m. I wish I could turn my phone off!”
I told her, “You teach others how to treat you. If you jump at 9:00 p.m., your customer will always expect you will be available then. If you return the call in the morning, then they will understand you work during business hours.”
Lately, there has been quite a fuss about always answering phone calls no matter what time. Forget about your privacy. Forget that you have a life and are a human being. You are supposed to be an automaton if you sell real estate. Definition of automaton:
automaton [ɔːˈtɒməˌtɒn -tən]n pl -tons, -ta [-tə]1. a mechanical device operating under its own hidden power; robot
2. a person who acts mechanically or leads a routine monotonous life
[from Latin, from Greek, from automatos spontaneous, self-moving]
You know what? I am not an automaton. I am not a robot. I went on to tell this agent, “I would not be effective if I worked 24 hours a day.” You see, I have peak hours of operation, being a living human being. My personal peak email hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. My peak talking hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. My peak meeting hours are 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You might be different. If I represented my seller or buyer off-peak, I would be doing them a disservice.
In twenty years of selling real estate, I have not once had a seller or buyer complain that I did not take their call at 8:30 p.m. Bottom line, I think people respect you more if you respect yourself and your own time. They won’t even question it.
Give it a try. It won’t hurt. Maybe you will become more effective. Maybe you will even gain part of your life back.
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.
www.ShortSaleSuperstars.com for agents
Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: [email protected]