Are you willing to do it after 5:00?

Real Estate Agent with Mountain House Real Estate

I maintain 2 blogs, sometimes what I write pertains to my Mountain House customers and NOT just my Tracy buyers.

I like to have control of my time.  I will give my buyer's and seller's every second I can.  However, there are times  when my family needs me too.

Original content by Susan Goulding 01490605


Are you willing to do it after 5:00?  I'm asking about answering the phone

My new referred clients told me "The agent who referred us told us  "Don't call Susan after five, she doesn't answer her phone."   She is very responsive via email or text but she doesn't usually answer her phone after 5:00.  (Setting expectations - BTW this a great Active Rain Referral!) susan goulding tight rope walking

At first I wasn't sure if I was offended or grateful.  The more I considered this the more I was certain it was a good thing.  WHY?  

Last year, I was so consumed by my real estate business in Tracy CA,  when I was home I was constantly on the phone.  My friends, family and kids started to complain that "I was always on the phone."  When your friends say, "we didn't know if you'd want to come with us, as you're always on the phone."  When your kids say, "You never listen to us, you're always on the phone."  You don't even want to know what my husband said.   OUCH OUCH   I had to reevaluate my life and decided I need to take back SOME control.

Real Estate in Tracy, CA had consumed me, and it will you too if you are not careful.  I got lost in my own ego... "I'm so needed by my clients, they can't live without talking to me, if I don't answer the phone I might miss a lead...."  I had no balance.   

I decided to set expectations for those who call me, clients, other agents, etc.  I did this by doing ONE SIMPLE LITTLE THIN

 I changed the voice mail message on my phone. call susan goulding for real estate help in tracy ca

I change my message daily, and set return call expectations.  For instance, today I had a doctor's appointment I knew I'd be out of the office until 12:30.  My voice mail message stated "Hello, you've reached Susan with Crown Key Realty, it's a Marvelous Monday, January 10, and it's an unbelievable time to be in Real Estate.  I have a meeting this morning and will be returning phone calls after 1:00.  If you have called after 5:00 I will return the phone call tomorrow morning.  If you need immediate assistance please text me at this number or email me at, I'm frequently able to respond to texts and emails when I'm unable to talk on the phone."

I explain to all my buyers and sellers that I am always there for them.  Typically if I see one of my client's phone number come up on my phone I will answer and they will never hear my message. If I am unavailable to talk on the phone I will call them back ASAP or when my message says I will.

The referral clients I met with in Tracy, CA yesterday said, "Wow, that is amazing that you have BUSINESS HOURS, I don't want calls from work after I get home.  We completely respect your ability to protect your time."

These are people I want to work with.  They recognize this is a business.  When was the last time you called your auto mechanic, doctor, dentist, house cleaner, etc after 5:00 and had them answer?

I'm no longer worried about "losing a sale".  WHY?

First if I'm able to answer the phone I do, thus the person on the other end never hears the message.  

Second, I'm setting expectations, and the person calling is not getting angry 20 minutes later waiting for me to call them back. (I'll call you back at my earliest convenience, to the client that means NOW, to you it may mean 3 hours from now.)

 Third, if it's a person who does not respect my time, they MAY NOT be someone I want to work with.

Do you respect the time you spend with your family, friends and clients or do you let business consume you?
  How do you find balance in your world?

If you are buyer or seller in Tracy or Mountain House CA and you'd like to work with an agents who values her family as well as yours call me, I'd be honored to help you.

Cell: 209-914-5573 | Direct: 925-679-5573 | Fax 925-226-4645
email:| website:
Tracy & Mountain House, CA  | License Number 01490605 | Keller Williams Realty

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About the Author...This article  was provided by Susan Goulding, a Nationally recognized Realtor and Certified Short Sale & REO Specialist.  Susan can be reached via e-mail at by cell phone or text message at 209-914-5573. Susan has helped hundreds of people buy and sell their home.  For Northern California real estate and homes see   If you need to Short Sale your Tracy or Mountain House, Northern California home please contact me for more information or visit

Specializing in the following Northern California Communities: Tracy, Mountain House, Livermore, Brentwood, Oakley, Pleasanton, Danville, Patterson, Lathrop, Manteca and Ripon.  Keller Williams|Tracy|Mountain HouseTracy, CA |Homes for Sale Tracy CA |Short Sale Tracy CA |Foreclosure Tracy CA |Tracy Real Estate | Mountain House Real Estate | NorCal Real Estate

Comments (7)

Don Reinhard
Itegrity Arizona real estate sales - Lake Havasu City, AZ

Ah yes, the overall balance of work and family... nice choice for a re-blog I will check out the original!


Jan 11, 2011 09:12 AM
Bob of Bev & Bob Meaux - NJ Buyers Agents
Towne Realty Group - West Orange, NJ

The balance between work and family life is crucial. Money can buy many things but it will never buy you additional time. The unfortunate part about Real Estate is that you need to work when others are not. Which can take weekends and nights away from the people who need you the most. Thank you for the reminder.

Jan 11, 2011 09:27 AM
Troy L Landrum Gilbert, Arizona CDPE, SFR
Canterbury Realty Group - Gilbert, AZ

Susan, thank you.  I'm working to make this a practice for my business.  I have a daughter that makes similar comments that indicate that I'm always answering my phone, anytime, anyplace. 

Jan 11, 2011 01:27 PM
Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton
The Nines Team At Keller Williams - Stockton, CA
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton

Susan I get the commitment to your family ... but in purple?  You didn't strike me as a Ravens fan!

Balance in our lives is what helps us stay connected to the real world.  In fact if I remember correctly, we actually talk about non-real estate things at lunch ... the weather, the menu, .... the, the, the ...

Jan 11, 2011 02:16 PM
Susan Goulding
Mountain House Real Estate - Mountain House, CA
Short Sales, Mountain House Homes for Sale

Don- balance, it's so easy to get off balance

Bob - money can buy you lots, even happiness, but it can't buy time.  Yep, and it's easy to work every weekend and every night

Troy - kids make a difference.  If I was single, no kids, different story


Jack - of course in purple, company colors!  Yellow is too hard to read.   Having lunch only be real estate would be so boring... then again.. when was the last time we had lunch?  SOON>>>>>

Jan 11, 2011 04:56 PM
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

Susan, I may need to follow your example, but not when it comes to the phone, but to the computer> God knows there are only so many hours in the day...

Jan 18, 2011 01:21 PM
Susan Goulding
Crown Key Realty, Inc; Tracy & Mountain House Sales and Property Management - Tracy, CA
Northern CA - Tracy & Mountain House Real Estate

William you should try it with the phone too.  You'll be amazed how liberating it is.  Remember you CAN always ANSWER the caller will never hear the message.

Jan 18, 2011 05:13 PM