How transparent do you want your Realtor to be? Or do you prefer games, smoke and mirrors?

Transparency yes or noPeople sometimes forget that amid the open houses, prospecting for new business, getting offers signed and accepted, real estate agents have a personal life too.  Often, since many Realtors work at least some evenings and weekends, that “having a life” goes into normal business days at times. We can’t work Monday through Friday, 8 to 6, plus evenings, plus weekends and never take any personal time.

And yet, that’s how some consumers – buyers and sellers – sometimes see us.

Inspectors, appraisers, title companies, lenders and many others expect us to be available during regular business hours.  Buyers and sellers often expect us to be available on weekends, holidays and evenings.

One client and friend of mine joked recently, “Mary, I want you to take time off – but not when I need you!”

That’s the tricky part.

To be perfectly honest with you, in order for most real estate professionals to have any semblance of a life, we sometimes take our time off in snippets rather than in whole days.  Got a kid?  Maybe the Realtor needs to go watch a basket ball or volley ball game late some Tuesday afternoon. Got an older parent or grandparent?  Perhaps it’s important to visit for a couple of hours a week. These things can’t always wait until Saturday or Sunday (and even if they did, buyers and sellers would need us then!).

In my case, I’m often responding to emails by 7am each day.  It is not super common for me to get an entire day off, though sometimes it happens, let alone a whole weekend.  Things need to get done, many of them small, and they may need to happen during the work day. That’s true for sanity breaks too.  Instead of a “coffee break”, I may take an hour here or there to run a personal errand.  Or 20 minutes to walk my dog. (more…)