Cell Phones, Agents, Clients, Etiquette, and Priorities. What's King in Your World?

Real Estate Agent with ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite 148333

An interesting conversation seems to have taken over the featured posts the past couple of days and I, like many of you, have chimed in on both sides of the topic, but there’s a particular piece of this discussion that really has me wondering about our priorities as agents.

The posts I’m referring to, of course, are YOU ARE A REALTOR WHO HAS A CELL PHONE, BUT WON'T GIVE OUT YOUR NUMBER TO ANOTHER REALTOR??????, I am a Professional REALTOR® and I Don't Give Out My Cell Number, and My Cell Number? I Could Tell You, But I'd Have to Kill You

The main point of the discussion has really been centered around whether or not it’s OK for agents (specifically listing agents) to not publish their cell phone number and be available 24/7. I’ve weighed in with my opinion, but that’s not what this post is about.

Instead, this post is centered around a by-product of that discussion. I noticed several commenters through the discussion that made it very clear that they NEVER answer a call or reply to an email/text while with a client. The general consensus seems to be that it’s rude to do so and that the client you’re with deserves one-on-one attention, and to feel like your top priority.

While I do agree with the general feeling behind that statement, most of the agents who made those comments are the same agents who made it clear that they’re “24/7 agents.”

So, here’s my question for those self-proclaimed 24/7 agents:

Do you give your spouse and your children the same top-priority treatment?

If you’re a 24/7 agent, when is your down time? When do your loved ones get to feel like they’re your top priority? Or do they, instead, always know that if the phone rings, they’ll have to wait?

I saw only a handful of commenters even mention their family, and even fewer said anything about their family being more important than their clients.

If there are no limits or boundaries on your availability to your clients, then is it even possible to put your family first?

We can all talk a good game and tell our clients or our family that they’re our top priority, but the fact is that they can’t both be our #1 priority. One of them has to come second.
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John Saari
Worcester, MA
"The Mortgage Buddy"

I tell my clients they can reach me 7days a week, but something else has to give, you are absolutely right. Either your job, your family or your social life. That's why they make voicemail anyways. Nice post.

Jan 30, 2011 09:16 AM #1
Yolanda Hoversten
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties - O'Fallon, IL
Broker - O Fallon, IL Real Estate

Hi, Ryan. 

I read all three blogs and they're very interesting and well thought out. 

I wish I could say never, but I never. lol

It's family for me first, the rest is just gravy. 

Jan 30, 2011 09:45 AM #2
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Having a good life means for me to have balance. There are times I turn off my phone (movies, dinner out) and there are times I know I have to at least check for voicemails right after. It's the nature of the business......then again...I won't walk down the street or drive while texting. There's a time and place for everything...but as always....balance is key to succes in personal and business relationships.

Jan 30, 2011 09:50 AM #3
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

We have never billed ourselves as being available 24/7/365. Not gonna happen. To those who do, let me call you at 3 AM with an "emergency" and let's see how long it takes you to retract that 24/7/365 claim..."All work and no play makes Jack/Jill a dull boy/girl". Know your limitations. Set boundaries and expectations. Control your business, don't let it control you.

Jan 30, 2011 10:52 AM #4
Roy Johnson
Resident Realty - Denver, CO
Resident Realty

I give out my cell number as often as I can and try to answer it whenever practical. I do know I decide when I can and can't answer- I'm the boss of the phone, not the other way around. But whenever I can't, I return calls promptly. Call me old fashion, or just old.

Roy (303 875 1986 he he)

Jan 30, 2011 10:53 AM #5
Debbe Perry
Real Living Carolina Property - Morganton, NC
828.439.3084 Morganton/Lake James NC

I don't think anybody has said this in the three blogs you mentioned or this one: ALL REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL! Not only that, each broker/brokerage is individual.

So I say, do what you need to do for yourself and your clients and your production goals in your market.

My story, and I'm stickin' to it!

Jan 30, 2011 12:42 PM #6
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Family first!  Family first!  Family first!  Why else are we working?

Mike in Tucson

Jan 30, 2011 12:53 PM #7
Matt Grohe
RE/MAX Concepts - Des Moines, IA
Serving the metro since 2003

Ryan: Funny back and forth and comments on both sides. I find it really curious how some agents potificate about how intelligent and requisite all these boundaries are far as clients and business is concerned, yet answer back on their member only blogs at all hours on nights and weekends. Personally, I prefer more competing agents make themselves harder to get a hold of.

Jan 30, 2011 03:15 PM #8
Tom Branch
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs - Plano, TX
Broker, CDPE, SFR, ACRE, Plano TX Ambassador


Finding balance in this business is difficult - even more so when your spouse is also your business partner. We actually schedule time off together on our Exchange calendars. This insures that the time for each other is blocked out and our third staff member knows we are not available.

It seems odd to many people but it works for us.


Jan 30, 2011 03:34 PM #9
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Ryan -

Great point and I noticed the same thing.  The only clear hands off time was with clients in many comments - but I'm sure folks were just focused on describing their work day, not their home life.  But yes, my family does shut up when my phone rings - LOL.  So I probably need some adjustment.  I do like to work.  If I can't though - I can't.  And I don't answer the phone on vacation.  You have to relax sometime.

What an interesting post that it spawned so much commentary!


Jan 31, 2011 06:25 PM #10
Nyssa Smith
Keller Williams Advantage Realty - State College, PA
REALTOR, State College Area Real Estate

Nice Ryan!  I totally agree with your post.  It's important to set boundaries.  My goal is to put my God first, my family second and running my business third.  Am I always perfect at that?  No.  I sometimes fall out of balance.  But it's always a work in progress.  (Btw, love the red pill/blue pill Matrix reference)

Feb 03, 2011 12:01 AM #11
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Ryan Hukill - Edmond Was just re-reading Tom Branch's post and found this due to your comment.  My reblog for today!

Oct 25, 2015 12:49 AM #12
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Ryan Hukill - Edmond I agree with one of the commenters above that you need to control your business and not let it control you.

Bill Roberts

P.S. I'm here because of Tony and Suzanne Marriott re-blog.

Oct 25, 2015 02:03 AM #13
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Ryan, isn't part of being a great listing agent knowing how to get other agents to want to sell your listings?  And how does one get a reputation for doing that if s/he is a pain in the derrier to reach? By not monitoring your phone, texts and eamils, your client could miss out on a great offer.

Oct 25, 2015 05:05 AM #14
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