How late is too late to call?

Managing Real Estate Broker with Windermere Peninsula Properties

I do not call my clients before 9am or after 7pm. But that does not seem to be everybodies cut off time. I have even had agents phone me after 9 at night. Does this seem unusual to you, or am I a little rigid.After hours I let my cell phone go to voice mail, but I can not help but look to see who's number it is and wonder what they might want. How do you deal?

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Mike Wong
Keller Williams Realty Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest

I leave my phone on 24/7 but always on silent now. When Im working and dressed professionally its on me and I can answer. When Im home it gets tossed on the desk, if I happen to see it go off I answer. Mind you I work until 2am at my desk.

I learned to keep it on silent, from embarassing moments of a phone going off in a lecture hall, to a client calling me at 4am to tell me he's going on vacation.

Aug 31, 2008 05:34 PM #4
Mary Warren
Las Vegas, NV

IF I'm expecting an offer or working with an awesome (read that motivated) buyer I will answer my phone.  I usually know their # or have it programed into my phone (a buyers)....but I will not normally answer my phone for unknowns after 8pm.

Aug 31, 2008 05:37 PM #5
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

I do not call people after 8pm. Morning I use about 8:30 or 9, except when I know I am dealing with early risers.

Aug 31, 2008 05:38 PM #6
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

My rule is 9-9 receiving or making on the weekdays.  On weekends, 10-9. I think it is rude to call late, even if it is the cell phone.  Many people have their phone charging near their will wake them up, even on silent.  There is nothing that can be done at 2AM, so why not wait until the morning?

Aug 31, 2008 05:38 PM #7
Pam Pugmire
Silvercreek Realty Group - Meridian, ID
Meridian Idaho Real Estate

Sometimes I call a little later because I figure if they don't want to answer they will just let it go to voice mail.  I operate much like Mike above.

Aug 31, 2008 05:39 PM #8
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

I too go with the 9-9 thing. I don't call anyone after 7 pm.  However, I executed a contract last Friday night at 10:30 pm.  It was someone here for a few weeks from Europe who is a friend, so did I mind that I spent the night convincing him that he was doing the right thing? no, did his wife, yes.

She wanted to go out and he wanted to buy a home. Oh well. All is good.

Now, my children are grown, I live alone and I'm a work-a-holic. Sundays, I don't call or answer my phone prior to noon,


Aug 31, 2008 05:44 PM #9
Ron Sosa
REaction Realty Executives - Redlands, CA

This is a good question on etiquette. I usually text message or email my clients before 8am and after 7pm, it seems to get the job done.

Aug 31, 2008 05:52 PM #10
Deborah Fisher
Fisher & Company, P.A., Marketing & Creative Strategists - Fort Worth, TX

Dinah, As a professional, you have to create boundaries for yourself.  That's the best advice I can give you. You decide when the cut off is.  You can also have people email you and respond only if it is something that needs your immediate attention.

I do not call people on their mobile phones or land lines after nine o'clock at night unless they are a close, personal friend or family.   It's just a courtesy with me. Many of us have tossed our landlines and my mobile is on 24/7; I believe that others are doing the same thing, so I do not call to leave a message after nine for fear that I will disturb someone who, like me, uses their mobile phone as their primary phone and keeps it on 24/7.

I will call business people as early as eight o'clock in the morning on weekdays, and on weekends, I don't start making phone calls to clients prior to ten o'clock but I will call agents as early as eight on a Saturday and usually not before twelve noon on a Sunday. In fact, you can't get a hold of me prior to noon on a Sunday. 


Aug 31, 2008 05:59 PM #11
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

I answer calls from 9 AM to 7PM.  I make an exception if I am in the middle of a contract negotiation and I know someone is expecting me to call.

Aug 31, 2008 06:02 PM #12
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

I'll usually answer my phone anytime... as long as I'm available to talk.  I've been on the phone with a client at 11:30pm before, and up to 1:30pm on instant messenger.


Aug 31, 2008 06:02 PM #13
Lorena McMullen
3DX Real Estate - Novi, MI
Serving SE Michigan

I never answer the phone when I am with a client unless I am waiting for a call regarding that client.  I have access to email, which I check periodically on my phone.  The office staff know how to reach me just in case it can't wait. 

I will call as late as necessary to get a deal done, otherwise, I quit calling at 10 pm.

Aug 31, 2008 06:08 PM #14
Andy Laughlin - Bellingham, WA

I would have to agree with everyone elses comments. 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. at the latest. (except in offer situations)

Aug 31, 2008 06:12 PM #15
Michelle Roethle
Windermere Peninsula Properties - Belfair, WA
Your NorthWest "Real Estate Solution"

I agree. We need to set limits, but if I am making a deal all bets are off!

Aug 31, 2008 06:25 PM #16
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Though might work later, don't want anyone calling after 7pm (unless they are a close friend or family.) And we don't call clients later either. As for early 9am is early enough.  As professionals we have to set some boundaries and have some time for whatever else we have to have it for -- you don't see doctors or attorneys being available at a moment's notice. Our 2 cents.

Aug 31, 2008 06:32 PM #17
Rebecca Anne Cole
PNC Mortgage - Timonium, MD

I will almost always answer my cell phone unless I am in a situation where I cannot talk, such as an appointment with a client.  I will not call before 9:00 or after 7:00, unless the client has specifically requested an after hours call. 

Aug 31, 2008 11:45 PM #18
Hi Dinah, I know it's a decision. I have found, if I am in the middle of a transaction, it may be very important to take or make a call. I try to keep it between 9am to 9pm, proper protocal wise.
Sep 01, 2008 05:51 AM #19
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I will email late, but I do not like to call people late, and it's unusual for me to take a late phone call.

Sep 01, 2008 05:25 PM #20
Michelle Roethle
Windermere Peninsula Properties - Belfair, WA
Your NorthWest "Real Estate Solution"

I have a bad habit of answering the phone everytime it rings. Good or bad I don't know, but I just seem to jump at every opportunity that could come my way!!!!!

Sep 03, 2008 03:16 PM #21
Sal Poliandro - NJ Bergen County Realtor
RE/MAX Properties - Ridgewood, NJ
Short Sale Specialist - CDPE, SRES, SFR, IRES

I think it depends on the client.  By meeting them you can usually get a feel of what they are like and if they would be open to early morning/late night phone calls.  If you're not sure...just ask!

Sep 07, 2008 03:55 AM #22
Rick Payne
REeBroker Group - San Diego, CA
Downtown San Diego Condo Expert
I find that most people don't like being bothered about anything having to do with real estate, unless they are in contract, after about 8:30pm. As far as my availability, I will always answer calls, texts or emails if I am not preoccuppied. Call me a workaholic, but it gets the job done and I have built a solid reputation based off of extraordinary communication between my clients and I either day or night.
May 09, 2013 02:48 PM #23
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Dinah Lee Griffey

Managing Broker Windermere Peninsula Properties
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