What separates the Rookies From the Pros?
There are many things that separate the rookie agents from the pros. One of the things I notice is how they each manage their time on the job. If someone calls a rookie and asks to see a listing, they drop what they are doing, change their schedule if necessary and go do it, even when the listing is not their own. That doesn’t sound bad on the surface but if you look at the big picture it is a bad habit to get into. I have never lost a dime or an opportunity by telling a prospect that I don’t have any openings today. If they really want to work with me they will wait, and I am worth the wait.
We sometimes get into thinking that customer service is about giving up an afternoon off because someone wants something. As the rookie agents business grows he or she is in danger of burning out as the demands keep coming and he or she keeps responding. The more clients we work with the more demands and eventually we can’t do it all. We end up being able to serve fewer clients and ultimately make less money because of it. We do need to have some flexibility but we also have tasks that need to be completed everyday if we want to keep our business’s humming and growing. Being a great Realtor takes more than just being available.
The Pros, schedule vacations and days off. They are there for their spouses and children. They know that their business is not about the potential of making a quick buck on a holiday because some stranger happens to be in town and wants to see a property now. They are in the business for the long haul. Being available just isn’t enough anyway. There doesn’t seem to be an exact correlation between how many hours worked and how much income is earned. There are always more demands and always something to do, and we can work smarter instead of harder.
What is an emergency anyway? Is it an emergency when someone calls and says they have been thinking about selling and they want you to come over and look at the place today? Will you lose the contract if you are booked and it will have to wait a couple of days? I honestly think my clients have more respect for me because they know that I am busy and not just sitting by the phone waiting for them to call to go house hunting. When they have respect for me my job is far more enjoyable, and easier too.
I have been known to juggle a bit or squeeze someone in but it is usually because I have a day coming up with no appointments and I want to keep it that way. People who pick up the phone and call random agents when they want to see a home often do not make very good clients. They are the same people who hop from realtor to realtor and pick the agent of convince who is in the right place at the right time. I am not the right agent for them. They will make me work hard and will only be loyal as long as I can accommodate their every whim, which isn’t very long because I have other clients.
More than availability
Most experienced agents have much more to offer than availability, most rookies have little more to offer than availability. There is always that story about the agent who got a million dollar deal because they answered the phone on thanksgiving. It does happen but not often enough so that it is worth sacrificing every thanksgiving just in case. Rookies are taught that they need to be responsive. We all need to be responsive but working with out a plan and jumping from one emergency to another is not the way to grow a business. The behavior will limit business growth, and make what can be a great job a living hell.
Some of the rookies have been in business for many years. They will never move beyond the rookie stage until they learn to take charge of their schedules and their lives. They also jeopardize their relationships with their spouses and families, while limiting the growth of their businesses. They can’t keep promises or honor commitments because when business calls they just leave other responsibilities. Who wants to be married to someone who puts work before family? Who wants to work with a spouse who never stops and does not put any value on personal time or relationships? Does a good parent miss a little league game because a client suddenly decideds they need to see a home now?
Just say when
It is easy to take charge. Just tell the caller when you will be available. If the potential client moves on, trust me you would have not wanted them for a client or have been able to serve them anyway. It is OK to say no to potential clients who are too demanding. It is in your own best interests to do so. One bad client can ruin a day, or even a week and make it much harder to run a business or serve other clients. While you run out to show that one prospect you may never see again, someone else’s listing, consider what you could have been doing with that time. Often what you could have been doing, or should have been doing was a better way to generate revenue. Unfortunately this only sinks in after you showed the home and the client moves on.
Plan ahead, be strategic, have a schedule. Get your work done, have fun and schedule time off. Be there in the here and now for the people who need you. Reward yourself for working hard and take a day or even an afternoon off for the heck of it. Being available is not what it takes to be a professional Realtor, it is how rookies get started because they have plenty of time but no business. Don’t limit your job and your life by being always and forever available. Being available won’t make you richer, it will just make you tired.