A time for everything

By Vern McClelland

March 16, 2017 12:00 AM

I have an assertive personality and sometimes, act or speak when I should be thinking or listening.
My wife calls me cynical on occasion; I believe the label should be discerning!
Real estate has been a challenging and humbling career, with which I have a love/hate relationship.
I love the flexibility of being self-employed; determining how many hours I’m willing to put in and steering my own ship, so to speak.
The fact that people feel they have the right to my time from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days per week, without consideration of what else I might be doing is the part I hate.
Maybe I want to attend a dance recital for my granddaughter on a Friday evening, or go fishing Saturday with a friend without being interrupted.
The Sunday calls and texts are the ones that irk me the most especially if the question could have easily waited until business hours of the next day or handled via email.
This lifestyle value probably stems from being raised by parents who attended church Sunday mornings and spent the afternoon relaxing with a drive in the country or visiting friends.
Honestly, my fellow Realtors can be the worst offenders; if they’re working, then you should be too!
Our team carries more than 100 listings at any given time across a 5,000 sq-mile area, so the responsibility to respond to requests for information on properties is part of the job.
In a slow economy, our sellers expect us to do everything we can to attain a sale.
I know and support that.
If it doesn’t sell, I don’t get paid either.
I realize this is a world whereby technology enables instant communication, but surely there’s room yet for some discretion?
You can’t change other people’s behaviour, but I can manage my own.
Unless I recognize the after-hours caller’s phone number, it will go to voice mail and be screened for importance.
In fact, when I was first starting out and working alone, I used to put a message on my phone at night and on weekends saying that I would return the call the following business day.
I may have lost some business, but if so, the amount was too small to worry about.
Once we had the team in place, our members could be more responsive to growing client base but still cover for each other for family events or holidays.
The team has learned that our clients rarely need any one of us specifically, rather it is quality brokerage service they are looking for. Of course, priority is always given to negotiations.
Timing is a critical element in putting together a workable agreement to purchase.
Some clients have been with us for more than 12 years.
They clearly understand and support our policy of “call us when you need us, but need us when you call.”
Thank you.
I don’t want you to think that we work only bankers’ hours.
Not at all.
Tonight after supper I had three phone conversations while in my home office.
One was an update on an ongoing farmland negotiation between a landowner and the tenant.
The second was with the widow of recently deceased client about listing their investment property.
She works during the day and felt more comfortable discussing details from the privacy of her home.
The third was a teleconference with a young couple now living and working in a community three hours away.
After supper was the only time we could all talk together about progress on the sale of their former home I have listed, and to implement some changes.
In between calls I corresponded by e-mail with one client who lives offshore about some of the financial challenges he’s facing and another wintering in a sunshine state regarding a prospective tenant’s leasehold requirements for his commercial building.
Then after all that, I wrote this column.
Vern McClelland is an associate broker with RE/MAX of Lloydminster. He can be reached at (780) 808-2700, through www.vernmcclelland.com or by following the Midwest Group Lloydminster on Facebook.

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