There are lines drawn in the sand on this subject and perhaps you and I are not on the same side, but none the less, you won't be moving me from my side.
Do I have a "life" outside of real estate? Of course I do. I spend time with friends, family and occasionally (twice this month) my husband and I have "date" nights. I raised kids and I always went to the ball games, the practices, the awards banquets, the teacher conferences. In fact my daughter was in a gifted class that had spring field trips that took us to places like Washington D.C., Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and even to Huntsville Alabama to the Space Center there. And all but one trip I was there for the entire week and got to see my daughter learn, grow and experience some very unique things in our country's history.
My career in real estate afforded me that valuable time with my daughter. So when I give up my evenings and weekends for a client I feel like I'm paying back into the karma bank for life I have been given my family and my choices. Also having owned this company since 1995 (when my Abigail was but a wee 6 year old) I also had the ability to have her at work with me when no other option was available. Many days she rode the school bus to my office. She even sometimes when with me to show a house when it was necessary. She was always good, quiet and never complained about it.
So when I get that call of someone wanting to see a house on a day I'd planned to take off and put my bedroom back together from the recent water heater gone bad... I'm going to be there. Am I willing to answer the call when my cell rings while I'm eating dinner at home? Yes Will I give up a weekend at home watching lifetime movies or curled up witha good book to show property? You bet. Will I cancel lunch with a friend if a client has that one same afternoon available to see the house one more time before they write the offer? I have and I would again.
After all... customer service is what I offer. I don't "sell houses". I help other people sell their homes. And I help other people find the home they want to buy. And I spend many hours at home working on blogs, updating my website and reading up on topics that will benefit my client base (short sales, loan modifications, new loan programs) I even "study" the MLS. I always go through the "hot sheet" a couple of times a day and see what has been reduced and what's new in the market. Of course I also have a program on my website that will send people those listings, but I when I call them and say... "that one house that you kinda liked that was a bit above your budget has now be reduced and should work perfectly for your needs, when shall I make us an appointment?", it means more than a canned looking email. And if I were looking at the web site and emailed an agent at 9 p.m. and got a response back in 15 mintues I'd be happy with that.
I am by no means saying that my business model is the one that all agents should follow. We all have to set up a model that works for us. But my kids are all grown and flown the nest and my husband certainly understands this business and the supports my decisions to make myself available to clients at most times. So it works for me and my family. I wrote this post and am discussing this topic after a recent conversation among friends about MY TIME vs. returning a phone call from a potenial lead. I usually answer the phone, but if not I return the call within a very reasonable amount of time. I'm not telling anyone else what I think they should do, just stating what I do. And when my direct competition stops promptly at 5 p.m. daily and only works Monday through Friday, that suits me fine too... Those potential buyers who don't get an answer at one firm... will go back to the Internet to look for the next one on the list. So thanks for not answering if my client called you first.
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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner
Broker License # 169695 Lane Realty License # H-11420
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