I recently heard another realtor remark that she was almost hopeful she didn’t get any more referrals or listings for a couple of weeks. WHAT? Who says that? Slackers? Well, before you jump to those conclusions let me add that this person is someone I consider a true professional dedicated to a high level of customer service and genuinely invested in her career. Hmmm. Now what? Well, my initial instinct was to be almost repulsed by such a statement and to take a quick step away lest the powers of bad karma should rub off on anyone within hearing. But then she clarified and I processed her position beyond its shock value and understood exactly what she meant. There are certain times in the Real Estate Profession that it feels like business is either feast or famine. Once I understood that it was her dedication to superior customer service and personalized client care that prompted such a radical statement, I couldn’t get it off of my mind. Where is the point of diminishing returns for Realtors? I don’t have great answers but I’m going to share a few of my thoughts.
First, what is the point at which your quality of representation for your clients is diminished? If you simply can’t be with three clients at once, all of whom wanted to view specific homes (in different areas of course…) on a certain day of the week, how does that affect each of them? Does someone have to reschedule work? Does someone miss making an offer on a dream home snatched up on its first day on the market? Does someone feel dissatisfied with my commitment to working for his or her interests? I know, more business is a GREAT thing and we typically manage multiple people, showings, listings, meetings, etc. quite well, BUT is there a tipping point? Giving sellers the hand holding they need through the beginning of the process can be pretty consuming but it deserves our attention. These people are parting with their biggest assets. We should be available to lend our experience and give advice to help with staging or double check the presentation before marketing pictures are taken or the first open house is held. If we’re extremely busy, do we attend to these things as closely and personally as we should or normally would? Pause for deep thoughts… So let’s presume that we all have measures in place to make certain that our clients don’t suffer any losses of attention due to our being overbooked. Does the domino effect of limited time and resources change something else?
Most of us aren’t one man/woman islands of efficiency. We have help. Either teams or services which we secure to help us accomplish everything we must do. This said, (and I for one have an amazing team of people with whom I collaborate and on whom I rely for our overall success) how does this spreading out of resources affect the individual? Have you done a cost analysis of what you are paying out to take on more work versus the return on that investment? Does it validate the expenditure? Are the people representing you and your name operating at the same level of dedication and with the same ethic you would conduct business yourself? In most cases the answer here is yes. I know we can even go into the psychology of marketing your name recognition and the residual or long term effects of signing more people, but the exercise of simply thinking about it can really be a positive one.
The final area that can be most affected by this “all or nothing part of the business cycle” is our personal relationships. It takes special and understanding partners to endure the late nights and weekends of us tied up with work. The inability to schedule certain things like attending a children’s event or meeting at lunch or dinner with friends due to showings or closings or …. all of the rest, can be difficult. It takes a great deal of creative scheduling and extra effort. In our down time, what little of it we have at certain times, we need to make certain we are giving all of ourselves to those who mean the most to us.
Realistically, we are all excited with and love to be seriously busy. The stimulation of having so many opportunities to help people connect with the right property or move from one phase of living to their next is a privilege. I guess, I just wanted to focus a minute on making sure we continue to see each client we contract with when we are busy with the same focus that we see the clients we have during slower times. In my opinion, being aware of these concerns during those times of “feast” will remind us to focus and be really PRESENT in each moment, both personal and professional, and not be mentally skipping to the next thing and rushing through the processes.