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  • Dave Norris

It’s A Balancing Act!

As a REALTOR®, I enjoy meeting with my peers from various real estate and affiliate companies, both socially and professionally. At times, we share our own little stories, bad and good, about the business and challenges of issues we’ve been able to overcome in transactions. We laugh together sometimes cry together, and always have great things to share.

Some of the best aspects to reminisce on come from our clients’ demands placed upon us from time to time. When polled, most agents say they got into the business to be self-employed and to “make their own hours.” Oh my……I try not to dash their hopes of enjoying a 20-hour work week while making six figure incomes!

So, let’s see. I’ve personally had calls while riding my horse in a parade. I admit it, I answered it. I just was so tickled that my horse was doing well I couldn’t help but share the elation with my client and then proclaimed I’d call them back! I’ve had calls while on my boat (I left that one go to voice mail), while swimming in my pond (alas, my phone isn’t water proof so please leave a message), while on a motorcycle (sorry, I didn’t hear it for all the noise), while at the hospital waiting for my granddaughter to be born (I took it, we had plenty of time), during church services (it can wait) and even after eleven at night.

Needless to say, there are those who just HAVE to see that house right now, today, no matter what! And at times, if we have other appointments or meetings or commitments, they call a different agent, even AFTER their agent has spent weeks and evening hours showing them homes and taking calls while getting ready for bed. The FIRST question we are supposed to ask is simply, “Are you working with an agent?” Sometimes, the answer is “Yes, but she’s not available to show us the house today!” When/if that happens, I politely refer them to their “regular” agent, as I know the hours spent with this buyer, the knowledge of their needs and the rapport established is valuable in helping them make good decisions for the right home purchase. And unfortunately, if I show them the home, their “regular” agent will most likely not be involved in the transaction or get paid for the work he/she has already performed.

Perhaps their “regular” agent has prior commitments, is in a meeting or is showing another client homes. Many of us keep a very tight schedule, live by our calendars and date books, and are meticulous in keeping appointments. And a happy, well-balanced agent also pencils in family time, fun time, doctor appointments, school meetings, play dates, and community or church functions.

The majority of agents do not work 9:00 to 5:00. They spend many evening hours showing homes or writing offers and normal business hours following up, scheduling, arranging inspections, etc. We are self-employed and able to be flexible, but we certainly don’t “make our own hours.” We go with the flow, take it one day at a time, try to be “Johnny on the spot,” and do our best to be accessible as much as possible to accommodate our client’s needs. By all means, call! But if you hear laughter, splashing water, dogs barking or crowds cheering in the background, do not be surprised! Thank goodness your agent has a life!

And remember…ALL real estate is local! Make sure your REALTOR® is a member of the Stark County Association of REALTORS®!

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