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The importance of "ME" time.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with AGORA Realty #271029

I've always been a busy agent...always on the cusp of needing help but then I always end up feeling like what needs to be done is so engrained in me that teaching someone else what to do would just take more time.  I make myself available to my clients when they need me.  I work nights, weekends.  I answer late night emails if I'm not busy doing something else.  I don't want to be the "Weakest Link".  Not Ever.

Last summer we went on a vacation with the now-step-daughter.  I was 2 days into a negotiation when we left and I had an unbudging buyer.  The seller wanted to sell.  The negotiations went on for another 3 days into the vacation.  My fiance (at the time) was fed up.  I had to wait for responses from both ends so I had to check email/phone/texts on the hour.  I missed the parasailing trip.  I was scowled at and growled at. My girlfriend status was threatened.  In the end the buyer picked the excellent home apart at the inspection and I got her out of her contract.  Then I threw her back into the sea because I had other fish to fry who were worth the time so all of this working on my vacation and arguing was for naught. 

We were married a few weeks ago and, as self employeds (he's a contractor), we, collectively, decided that we were not going to opt for the internet on our (4 whole day because we couldn't be gone from work long) honeymoon cruise.  I was all for it.  He's the one who had to come to his senses. I referred all new business out starting a couple of weeks before we left so I wouldn't be in the middle of anything while preparing for the wedding and left another agent with my email password, put an auto responder in my email with helpful numbers and had my voice message refer to email.  It was the best thing I ever did for my relationship and emotional well-being.  There were no arguments, we didn't have to be anywhere at any time and there were no calls to take our heads out of the fantasy and back to reality until we drove that grueling 14 hour drive home and checked our messages/returned calls/got to work (but that's another story).  

We've decided now to have one technology free day a month (I'll let you know how that works out) and we don't keep our phones on the table at dinner.  The norm is that we are both on call at all times.  I concluded that if someone can't wait an hour for a return call they're not worth dealing with.

For those of you who are diehard agents like I am, I highly recommend trying a tech free day as long as you cover your business (and that's yet another story).



Lori Johnson

This is great information for anyone who is a soloprenuer. The urge is always to be available at all times to keep the relationship with the client running smoothly. However, the most important relationships are those in which we have the most invested. We work with a client for a certain amount of hours then they ate essentially gone till the next time. Our spouse, children, and others who play an important part in our life deserve our best.

May 14, 2015 02:27 AM
Rob Marken
Bend River Realty - Bend, OR
25+ years experience in Bend

Life balance is so important and so difficult. Over a year ago I hired an Operations/Marketing Manager to help me and it was a great decision. It has freed up some time for me to spend with my family and go on vacation knowing everything will be handled. Keep up trying to find your balance! 

May 14, 2015 06:00 AM
Kelly Ramos
Village Real Estate - Nashville, TN
Realtor specializing in Nashville's Urban Core

I can relate!  After 11 years as a Realtor, my family has become used to my version of vacation which includes working just a little each day.  Our last family trip was a cruise where, like you, I skipped the interenet package and all I can say is wow!  I felt a little lost the first day but quickly adjusted and was present for every moment of our family vacation.  Now, my husband always suggests cruising for our vacations because it is the only place I will truly disconnect.

Jun 09, 2015 02:23 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Alyse, first congratulations on the marriage, and you are so right.  We do deserve time away, and sometimes our clients have a hard time with that.  I now have a fellow REALTOR that watches my biz and I watch hers, and we truly can turn it off while away.  

Jul 19, 2015 12:47 AM
Alyse "Aly" Sands
AGORA Realty - Nashville, TN
It's Good To Be Home

I appreciate the support!  I get frustrated with agents who do not have their business covered while they are taking time off.  That's so important.

I'm following up to say that we have not yet taken a whole day off without our phones although we bought a boat and have been out on the lake every weekend that it hasn't rained in the past month.  I'm still working from my lake island rock floor paradise or while bobbling on the high lake wakes but at least I'm looking at water while responding to emails.  Work must be done; especially when you're in the midst of negotiating. <sigh>  

Jul 19, 2015 01:32 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I was looking for your current blogs. I hope all is going well for you.

Oct 08, 2015 07:52 AM
Alyse "Aly" Sands

Hi Roy, had some ideas, started writing and then was sidetracked.  Soon! Thanks!

Oct 08, 2015 08:49 AM