Feb 2, 2009

What should be my 'business hours'?

What are your 'business hours'?

Is it just me, or is everyone working 60+ hours a week?
As a full-time Realtor, I work 7 days a week. I'm advised to be accessible and available to clients when they need me and to return calls or e-mails within an hour. In today's on-demand world, if a potential client can't reach me quickly, they'll find someone else and I'll loose their business.

I want to be there for my clients. However, I don't want to work 24/7. I'd be no good to anyone if I did. But I get calls from 7:00 in the morning until 10 o'clock at night. I'm asked to meet clients on holidays, at 10:00 a.m. on a Sunday, 8:00 p.m. on a Friday, and all hours in between. While I'm grateful for the business, I wonder how many people call their accountant, attorney or financial advisor at all hours.

In today's hectic world, we all need time for ourselves and our families. However, in today's economy, we also need all the business we can get. My income is entirely based on what I sell, and if I don't sell something, I don't make anything. As I see it, there are just a few options:
  • Set 1 or 2 days a week that are my 'days off' and just ignore business on those days.
  • Turn off my phone, ignore e-mails and stop working at 6 o'clock at night.
  • Team with another agent to handle my business 2 days a week and I'll take care of their business 2 days a week (where I would squeeze in the time, I don't know).
  • Have an assistant deal with what they can on my 'days off'.

If you were my buyer client, how would you feel about your agent's accessibility?

If you had your home listed for sale with me, how would you feel if I wasn't always available to you? Would you resent being passed to an assistant or associate?

In a service industry like real estate, how available should agents be for their clients?

On one hand - maybe people are not as demanding as I think. On the other - I tell my clients to expect more and they probably do. Thoughts? Suggestions?

[where: 75230]


Jeff Duffey said...

When you figure this out PLEASE let me know!!!

Amanda Searcy said...

Agreed! Even the clients that claim to "not want to bother you" at night, on Sunday, or a Holiday - will call you if they need something. I recently had a personal "late-night record" set when I received a text followed by a phone call from a buyer client, unprovoked - at 12:45am on a Tuesday night. I will also mention that the reason for this contact was not at all an emergency or crisis of any kind. But, like you said - w/o working 24/7, you likely won't get paid (as much)....and with that quandry, it seems appropriate to mention that the late-night texter/caller closed on a house last week, resulting in my bills getting paid. :)