No.  It’s the hardest word for new agents to say when starting their business.  Rarely will a new agent mutter the words “no”, “that doesn’t fit my schedule” or “is there another option that might work?”.  On one hand, new agents shouldn’t be using these phrases.  Opportunities are few and far between and this new career in real estate should take precedent over pretty much everything else in their life.

But as time goes on, it’s easy to go from working Saturdays to the entire weekend.  And from working 2 nights a week to 4.  If you’ve been in the business for a few years or more, you can likely recall when your work life became your entire life (or currently your entire life).


In order to be a successful agent, you have to be a servant to people so there is a natural inclination to want to satisfy the wants and needs of your clients.  But at some point, for the sake of your physical and mental health, you need to regain balance in your life.


Here are 9 Tips you can implement to help you gain control of your real estate clients and get your life back.


1. Don’t communicate after 6pm with clients unless you’re up against a contract deadline – If you demonstrate to your clients that you work after hours by calling or texting them after 6pm, then they will assume it’s perfectly acceptable to reach out at any time throughout the night.  Obviously there are certain occasions where after hour calls are necessary, but do your best to limit those occassions.

2.  Set the expectations up front with your clients – Just like a store publishes their “open hours” on the front door, you need to also have a discussion early on about when you are available and how much notice is needed for showings.  I typically tell clients that if they call or text me after hours, that I will get back to them first thing in the morning unless it’s urgent.  When you set the expectations up front, there is rarely an issue with communication.
3.  Refer to everything you do as an appointment – Part of turning down a client’s request is to do it in a way that doesn’t seem selfish.  Whether it’s a dinner with friends, a kids soccer tournament or you want to go to the opening night of Star Wars, refer to these events as “appointments”.  It makes you appear busy, important and prevents clients from asking you to cancel.
4.  Make a commitment to your spouse, friend or dog to turn off your smartphone each night – It’s important that you recharge in the evening to be super productive for the next work day. Focus on the other aspects of your life that need attention once the workday ends, such as health and wellness, spirituality, personal relationships, family time, etc.  It’s easy to get caught up with selling homes, but learning to be efficient with your work and personal life will make you a better Realtor in the long run.
5.  Start work early – One thing that most successful entrepreneurs have in common is that they maximize each day.  By getting a head start on the rest of the world, they are able to ensure more gets done to reach their goals faster.  If you’re used to waking up and watching Price is Right, shoot for waking up an hour or two earlier.  Eventually, you’ll be up before the sun comes up – just like the rest of the successful entrepreneurs in the world.
6.  Try to keep conversations in email – If you have an assistant or work as a team, you’ll find yourself having a lot of duplicate conversations to keep all parties “in the loop”.  By keeping most communication in email, you can communicate the same information to multiple parties at one time saving you time.  You can handle more clients at one time and respond on YOUR time.  Lastly, your conversations are in writing and can indemnify you should there be a discrepancy in what was said.
7.  Maximize your after hours appointments – As part of putting together your ideal work schedule, establish which evenings and weekend days are reserved for business.  Don’t be afraid to let clients know that you are only available during these times.  Amazingly, clients will make those days work.  You will also get less grief from your family who are sick of getting short notice that you won’t be coming home for dinner or available on the weekend.
8.  Invest in time saving technology – One of the easiest ways to get your life back in by investing in technologies that allow you to work more efficiently, from anywhere. Nekst is an example of a tool who can manage your listing and closing processes.  Electronic signature programs like Dotloop or Docusign allow you to sign documents from anywhere.  Dropbox or Google Drive will give you easy access to contract documents whenever you need them.  You can improve your communication and response rate without leaving the beach or returning early from your weekend away.
9.  Schedule your time off – This is the hardest but most important tip.  Schedule your vacations for the year at the start of the year.  If you commit to working hard throughout the year, you will need this time to recharge yourself.  If you wait until the “right time” to plan a vacation, you will find that the right time never comes.

There you have it – 9 ways to better control your clients get your life back.  Should you have any other tips to share, please leave them in the comments below.

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