I think that sometimes it is assumed that as a Real Estate Agent you are required to always be available. I have read numerous blogs by other Realtors stating that you should always answer your phone, and that you need to be on duty 24/7 to be successful, or even to be considered responsible. I can’t say that I agree with that. In today’s technology dominant world, it is sometimes hard to disconnect. There’s always that late night phone call from a possible tenant, or that text at 10 pm, that is not an emergency and just reminds you that you are never really “off duty.”
As a property manager, I even will occasionally receive phone calls from vendors that choose to work during the day and do their invoicing and or proposals in the evenings and think nothing of calling at 10:30 pm to ask a question. Five years ago, I would have walked into the office, and listened to messages and received that message the next morning. Today it comes through at 10:30 pm and interrupts my much needed time to re-group, rejuvenate, relax and get myself ready for the next day when I am expected to be on and solve problems and do my job to the best of my ability.
In my chosen profession, I really can’t expect to be able to just punch in at nine am and punch out at five, but I can expect to have some expectation of a schedule. I choose to stop working a certain time everyday, depending on the day and to respond to “emergencies” only. So that text that comes across after 8 pm may be read but it will not be responded to until the next day, the message from a vendor that has a question before they can complete their invoice, will have to wait until what I consider to be reasonable working hours to get a response. I think there are a lot of people that choose to work all of the day, but those people shouldn’t expect the rest of us to have the same mindset. I used to feel guilty for not taking that call, but I don’t anymore.
If I don’t have that time of being just me, not Realtor me, or property manager me, but just Cathy, then I won’t be able to do my job as Realtor me or property manager me. So for me the answer has to be that yes, it is Ok to set boundaries, it’s more then just ok in my case, it’s necessary for my sanity and my success.