"Make your own hours".....and other lies we tell new Realtors

Real Estate Agent with Samsel & Associates 0790808

When we first became Realtors, we read lots of books, articles, training manuals, and blogs that raved about how fantastic is was that being a Realtor allowed you to "MAKE YOUR OWN HOURS!" They said we could attend our son's little league games, be home with the kids when they were sick, and take days off when we needed to. They implied long lazy pillow filled mornings, leisurely lunches with friends, checks in our mailboxes every day. 

Yeah, right.

You only get paid when you work.

One of the most important and life-altering aspects of being a Realtor is that you can determine how many hours a day you work. And that's great. But what we've learned is that the number of hours we work is directly proportional to how much money we make. Who determines your salary? You do. And tha'ts both liberating and intimidating.

Bad month? You know who to blame. 

Clients don't care that you're at your son's baseball game.

The other thing the don't tell you is that you can decide to take a few hours off but your clients don't care. If they need you while you're building sandcastles at the Jersey Shore, then they'll call you. And if you don't answer, there's at least a chance that they will call someone else. 

We spend a lot of time building client loyalty. Most of our clients appreciate our normally excellent communication and are comfortable when we take a little down time.



How do you manage the "Make Your Own Hours" myth?

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~ Wayne & Jean 

Union County, NJ - a great place to live and work!

If you're looking to buy or sell a property in Union County, call us at 908-917-4189 or email TeamZuhl@gmail.com.


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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I still went to all my daughter's hockey games but you are absolutely right  about the money earned is in direct correlation to the time spent!

Sep 16, 2015 08:35 PM #1
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

The best way to generate deals and new listings is to plan on a vacation. Everything will come to a head the day you are planning on leaving.

Sep 16, 2015 08:48 PM #2
Tom Harkins

Anyone who believes that they can make a lot of money at ANYTHING without working hard is nieve. I worked over 20 years in the corporate world and my RE hours are about the same. But when you take out the commuting time and add in the ability to be home to make dinner every night my life feels much more "livable".What was I doing until 9 pm last night after dinner was made and kitchen cleaned? An LOI for a commercial lease. It's not a fairy tail but it can be more fulfilling.

Sep 16, 2015 08:54 PM #3
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

As to how I manage the "make your own hours" myth - it really isn't a myth...it is true. I am not punching any time clock. Unless I am on the floor time schedule, I can choose to go in to the office, or I can choose to stay home, or I can choose to head to town and go shopping.  I can talk with clients on the road, in the store, from my front porch, or from my vacation in the Smoky Mountains.  

Of course there are occasional conflicts.  I have a network of friends in my office and we try to help one another out with each other's clients when we can - oh, you're out of town today and your buyer needs to see this ONE HOUSE because THIS IS IT? Sure, I'll show it to them - I had nothing planned today so we're good.   And I know that if the situation becomes reversed, my friends will help me if they can, and most clients also understand if there is a conflict....if they are going to ditch me because of a prior commitment and are unwilling to meet me at a different time...then so be it.

But we absolutely have control over our own schedule.  We have choices.  Nowhere are we told we can be lazy sleep-in-till-noon bums or be off playing all the time and make money...but since we don't have a clock to punch, we do have an amazing amount of flexibility.  

Sep 16, 2015 08:54 PM #4
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl I really can't add too much more to what Karen Rice just stated....and stated very well....

Sep 16, 2015 09:13 PM #5
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

Well, all I can say is...We work "all the time"!

Sep 16, 2015 09:17 PM #6
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, I think owning your own business takes a lot of work. While there is some flexibility, you need to remember that it's about customer service and being flexible to their hours.  

Sep 16, 2015 09:28 PM #7
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Wayne and Jean -  there are many advantages and freedom is one but there is responsiblility and consequences for every choice.  The customer is king.

Sep 16, 2015 11:33 PM #8
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Jean Marie and Wayne -- the concept of "making your own hours" is part myth and part time-management.   If you "schedule" certain personal activities as an appointment, you can work around those times for clients --- definitely not perfect but workable.  It's that balance thing -- one more time.

Sep 16, 2015 11:39 PM #9
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

This lie, along with "you can succeed working part-time!" What a crock! As I say to people "what part of 24/7 do you not want to work?" However, I will say this, there is an advantage in being able to take an hour or two of personal time at one's convenience and make up that time later in the day or week, which we really couldn't do in a typical 9-5 job.

Sep 16, 2015 11:43 PM #10
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

The first few years I worked 24/7 and the clients I dealt with in off hours were a "NO SALE".  I now make it known I do not pick up the phone after 7 p.m.. If I want time off to do something else, "I'm booked up"". When else can we schedule for?

Sep 16, 2015 11:48 PM #11
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl. Even when it is explained to someone new in the mortgage or real estate business, they often don't get it until they are in the game and then things change.

Sep 17, 2015 12:27 AM #12
Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

communication is the key for earning a client's trust in this world so you can take vacation days like we all deserve

Sep 17, 2015 01:46 AM #13
Mike Rock
Complete Design - Granite Bay, CA
Granite Bay Luxury New Construction...For Less

yes...make your own hours, take time to yourself... as long as its prior to 630 am and after ten pm. those hours are alllllll yours

Sep 18, 2015 06:46 AM #14
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