Don't Be A Dufus, Be A Professional
I had a voice mail last night from an agent wanting to show a house I've got listed. The house has been on the market for what seems like forever. Don't get me wrong... I've had this listing long enough to know that I should be trying to bend over backwards to get anything moving on it. It's just that I have it in the listing requesting a 24-hour notice before showing. The family renting the home have small children, and with both parents working out of the home, it is extremely difficult for them to keep the house in "ready to show" condition. This agent has shown the house a couple of times before, and knew the situation of the renters very well.
At 10:00 last night she leaves me a frantic voice mail saying that she needs to show the house first thing in the morning. She has out of town clients who will only be here for a short amount of time, and they asked specifically to see our house.
First of all, please don't call me at 10:00... ever. It's rude and inconsiderate. Unless there's a fire or a murder or one of my close family members is in trouble, don't call me at 10:00. Your out of town client wanting to see my house is not an emergency.
Second of all, lady, you need to plan ahead or get control of your clients. If you've known since Friday that your clients wanted to see my house on Monday, then call me Friday. If you knew at 4:00pm the day before, then call me at 4:00pm. 10:00 is too late. Don't call me then... I won't call you back.
You see, the thing that I have learned is that if you are a professional, then run your business professionally. Professionals don't take or make calls at 10:00 at night. You'd never call your accountant or your attorney at 10:00 at night, and you'd never expect them to even be available at those hours. You'd wait until their office opened, and then call during business hours. Your clients understand this concept... everywhere around the world businesses have set hours and set days when they are open and when they are closed. If you're really a professional, shouldn't you be the same way?
Personally, I don't work Sundays. I chose long ago that I needed Sunday off. My religious convictions don't let me. I don't show houses or answer phone calls on Sunday. I tell my clients this up front. I also tell them when I am available, which is from 7:00 in the morning to maybe around 7:00 at night. There are a few occasions when I make exceptions, and will work at different hours, but these are exceptions.
If you let your clients push you around, then you'll be stressed out and on edge your entire career. If don't you clearly and politely let your clients know when you're available and when you aren't, then you'll be taken advantage of every time. If that's the way you want to be, then that's fine, but your lack of planning and control on your part doesn't necessitate an emergency on my part.