It's all about timing - Why does this inevitably happen?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249


I typically try to be on time for all of my appointments.  However, I am typically BARELY on time or perhaps five minutes late.  My wife claims that I don't know how long I take to get ready (showering, etc.), but that's not exactly true.  I simply don't allow enough time to get ready before leaving the house.  So there.

At any rate, I arrived about 15 minutes early today for my showing appointment, which is rare for me.  I know that some of you reading this will disagree with me, but I feel like I am wasting my time if I show up too early.  So, while I was waiting, the phone rang, and it was my client calling.  It turns out that they were running late. 

Of course they were.  I could have predicted that.  In fact, I was there before they even left their home to make the trip.

That happens to me almost without fail.  If I arrive early, they are running 15+ minutes behind, and I get to hang out and wait while listening to the radio or making some calls.

However, in the instances when I am more than a couple of minutes late for whatever reason (maybe 10 or more minutes), those are the days that my clients will definitely choose to arrive 45 minutes early, and "just drive around the area". 


During their perusal of the neighborhood, they will develop a list of 5-9 homes that they would like to take a look at later, depending on the price.  Of course, being the consummate professional that I am, I promise to look up these particular properties to see why they didn't make it onto our list.  Maybe they are too high in price, or too small for their needs, or missing a bedroom, or inferior in some other way.  No matter what, I can guarantee that this will prove to be a futile endeavor, because I ALREADY MADE A GOOD LIST FOR THEM. 

Secretly, when they find these "gems", they seem to assume that I am hiding some of the current inventory from their curious eyes.  Perhaps I don't really want to sell a house at all.  Maybe I am a real estate hobbyist, not a full-time real estate broker supporting my family on this income.  What have I done with the past eleven years of my life?

No, instead I will provide the details for them to see why I didn't choose to show those in the first place.


I guess the moral of this post is to arrive on time for your appointments, but I am in no position to teach this, or to judge anyone else for their habitual tardiness.  Instead, just be prepared with a good book (or your wireless notebook) if you are too early, and be aware that you may end up answering a series of questions about unsuitable homes, or drainage patterns, or unkempt adjacent subdivisions if you are a few minutes late.

Thanks for reading!


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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at  Thanks!


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Carol Lee
Dilbeck Real Estate - Oak Park, CA
Realtor - Agoura, Oak Park, Westlake CA Homes

I don't know about anyone else, but I seem to run late because I am trying to do "just one more thing" before I leave.  Or I am on google maps trying to figure out where the heck I am going!  Then I tell my clients that I would have been on time, but there were too many cops on the road, and I had to drive the speed limit.

On the rare occasion when I am early, I may try a mini-meditation session, or more likely, play a game on my treo!

With new clients, I am (almost) always on time. I dress better the first time I meet clients as well.  Hmmmm, maybe another blog post!

Apr 18, 2008 04:48 PM #33
Trey Thurmond
BCR Realtors - College Station, TX
College Station , Texas Homes

I actually know several agents who have told me they are late on purpose because they think  that act makes them appear to be important. I wanted to say to them it is better to be important ( which comes with a good reputation) than to just appear so. 

Hope you are doing well.


Apr 19, 2008 02:56 PM #34
Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK

Jason - I have the opposite problem.  I'm always early... some little 'ol lady might have to kick that walker into high gear to keep from getting a derriere full of chrome crossing the intersection, but I will be on time darnit.   

Apr 19, 2008 02:58 PM #35
Carol Lee
Dilbeck Real Estate - Oak Park, CA
Realtor - Agoura, Oak Park, Westlake CA Homes
Trey- that doesn't make them appear to be important- just rude and self centered.  I have partnered in the past with someone that was ALWAYS late, it made me nuts- alwasy somethin, the kids, the dog, needed to put gas in the car.
Apr 19, 2008 03:11 PM #36
Susan Walters
Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI - Ann Arbor, MI
Jason, Use my line (internalize it) - I learned it from a friend who became a physician, when she was studying psychology.  Procrastinators are highly intelligent.  They need to create artificial deadlines for themselves so that they can feel challenged when the realities of life are so mundane.  See?  Bet you feel better now!  We arrive late because we would be bored by arriving on time.  The creativity in making excuses must be what drives us.  Or something....  I'm clinging to that intelligence thing.  It's all I've got.  I also use Mapquest.  That has everyone's sympathy.
Apr 20, 2008 06:59 PM #37
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants


I have a back ground in Corporate America and I was early and still am when scheduling appointments. I find that it is a sign of respect to honor another person time. I have been in this industry long enough to know that most meetings, seminars, and other events that are attended by real estate agents and brokers are usually never started on time.

Apr 21, 2008 02:47 AM #38
-- Casey Brischle
Columbia Bank - Spokane, WA
Spokane Home Loan Mortgage Professional
I will fix your problems.  Set your clocks 15minutes forward and you won't be late.  If you are early, make phone calls or brainstorm new marketing ideas.
Apr 21, 2008 10:07 AM #39
Doug Fritchie
DOUG FRITCHIE-Silver Legacy Properties,Inc. - Portland, OR
Hey Jason~You are right. It is best to always show up early and be waiting on the client-not the other way around.
Apr 21, 2008 11:21 AM #40
Roland Woodworth
Q Realty - Clarksville, TN
Q Realty - Power In Real Estate
Jason: I understand the timming. Have been there done that. Gotta love the ones who arrive 30-34 min early and expect you to be waiting on them. Just yesterday I was running 5 min behind and lucky the buyers were too
Apr 21, 2008 11:55 AM #41
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Jason:  I hate it when buyers think I'm holding out on listings they passed on the way into the neighborhood where we are going to meet.  I love to go back and say, "Mr. & Mrs. Buyer, that one on Maple Street is actually under contract," or "Mr. & Mrs. Buyer, that house you inquired about is listed out of your price range by about $75,000."  Why would we hide inventory?  UGH!!!!

Apr 21, 2008 11:59 AM #42
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!
Jason, And I thought it was just me:) 
Apr 21, 2008 01:15 PM #43

Glad to hear that others have been in the same boat at some point.  It drives me crazy when I'm late... but it still happens from time to time.  My husband calls me "the slow leaver."  He even has made up a theme song, which only makes me more mad! 

Apr 21, 2008 04:35 PM #44
Chad Baird
Re/Max Spirit - Dayton, OH
I try to be on time, but like you, if I am early they are always late.  If im late, they are early.  I find those books on CD are good time killers! 
Apr 22, 2008 02:39 AM #45
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate
I showed up early for an appointment last weekend, and they were 45 minutes late . . . it's ok though I had a great visit with the buyer's agent.
Apr 22, 2008 04:32 AM #46
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor
Very cute...very true......i rip out articles out of magazines that i usually don't have time to read......stick them in a file folder - and leave them in the car for when I'm 'playing the waiting game'....:-) so i read with one eye - and watch out the rear view mirror with the other  ...
Apr 22, 2008 09:07 AM #47
Darleen McCullen
Raleigh, NC
Broker - Raleigh, NC Real Estate
Jason ~ Great points you make. Why anyone would assume that we would "hide" homes from them? But I guess it goes to the survey conducted by Gallup, I believe, that says that the Public has about as much trust of real estate agents as they do for used car salesmen. Sad, but true!
Apr 22, 2008 03:31 PM #48
Rosemary Brooks
BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706 - Stockton, CA
The Mother & Daughter Realty Team

Do the best you can, don't shoot yourself in the foot.  No one is perfect, play it off and keep moving.  Move forward.  It .... happens.  Life goes on.  Not the end of the world.  Be pleasant and make up for lost time. lol

good post

Apr 23, 2008 05:27 AM #49
Sandra Carlisle (Ayers)
Berkshire Hathaway California Properties - Newport Beach, CA
Real Estate Marketing & Sales
That always happens to me to.  They must have some sort of ESP about whether their agents are running late or not.
Apr 23, 2008 07:22 AM #50
Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS
I am always 3 minutes late, my husband is always 15 minutes early.  We rarely go to the movies anymore.
Apr 23, 2008 06:55 PM #52
Tony Fantis
Fantis Group Real Estate - Salt Lake City, UT
Realtor,Principal Broker - Salt Lake City

Ahhh...the never-ending timeliness scenario.  You're early.  They're late.  Or vice versa.

I just started something new, and it is going well.  We always meet at my office, and go shopping together in my car.  We get to know each other better, and there's no waiting in the car for either party.  If anyone has to wait, its me....but I can carry on my work until they arrive. 

Apr 25, 2008 02:47 PM #53
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Jason Crouch

Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
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