A Day in the Life of a REALTOR®
March 4, 2020
This morning, I woke up at 5 am, not because it was time to wake nor because I need to be awake that early to prepare for my day. I woke up from my slumber because I was not sure if I had scheduled my 8 am appointment. I quickly pick up my phone, open my ShowingTime® app, and search through all the appointments I have scheduled for today. Whew, crisis averted. I properly scheduled the appointment. Why did that wake me? The reason is simple. An 8 am appointment would likely not respond in time to grant access, and I would be standing there with my clients empty-handed. Nary a shut-eye did I get after that moment; that adrenaline rush had me ready for the day.
After several failed attempts to fall back to sleep, I get up to shower and get ready for the day. I counted a quick blessing because sometimes early decisions like putting on a full face of makeup or taking extra effort with my hair become a factor. I get to do both today! Although I can technically set my own schedule, I still try to get up and get ready before the phone starts ringing at 8 am. The irony in the statement that I can set my own schedule, doesn’t escape me… In all reality, when my clients want to see a property, I drop what I am doing and go right then. Houses are selling faster than clients can get into see them; therefore, the fear that I could be the cause of my client missing out on their dream home is very real.
My first client is a homeless elderly couple. Literally, they are living out of a hotel because their house sold before we could find a suitable replacement. They are very specific in their wants, and they are willing to wait out the market until they find their perfect match. They are also over an hour late. As I wait for them to arrive, I begin to reschedule and shuffle around my day which is a bit challenging, since I really do not know when they will be arriving. It would be easy for some to explain to them that their late arrival would result in seeing fewer houses today, but did I mention they are homeless? My next client is at 11:30 am, and we have 4 lake houses to see. Normally, you can do that in a time frame of 8 am-11 am, but did I mention they were lake houses? I absolutely love to shop lake houses because that will likely be my next purchase, so I get to double down when shopping for my clients. The downside is they are rarely close together. Wait, I need to stop what I am doing because they just pulled into the driveway.
No sooner do I get all my clients moved back to accommodate my current client, she strikes two of the homes she sent me off the list, leaving only one more house to show her. Again, I find myself scrambling to reschedule her appointment and my other clients “in waiting.” I tried to adjust the appointment for the one house she still wanted to see; however, the agent was not responding. Again, these folks are homeless, so I decide to continue on to the next house in hopes that the agent will respond during my 50-minute commute…she did not. Upon our arrival, the home owner was arriving home and reluctantly invited us in to view the property. You see, we took her off guard so there was an awkward, yet polite, tension in the air. She wanted to sell her house, they wanted to see her house, so we all reluctantly pressed forward. When I struggled to get the door unlocked, she broke the tension by opening it for me. Although we offered for her to remain in the house during the showing, due to the awkwardness, she preferred to go walk her dog while we viewed her beautiful home. Unfortunately, it was not a good fit for my clients so I respectfully turned off all the lights, locked the door, and put the key back in the Supra® lockbox. I spent a few minutes closing up our time together, and I am off to the next client, 45-minutes away. She had already had her time slot shifted twice this morning.
Upon arrival, I introduced myself to this brand-new shiny client and again struggled to open the door. Why do these deadbolts make me feel less than smart? As soon as I hit the foyer landing, my phone rang; it was ShowingTime®. Traditionally, I do not answer calls when I am with clients so that they can have my undivided attention; however, I had moved so many appointments around twice already that my gut said to answer the call. Looking back, part of me is so thankful that I did, while a tiny part of me wishes that I had not. The amazing owner of the last house returned to her home, remember from walking her dog to give us privacy, to find herself locked out in 38-degree weather. She had no way to get back in and wanted to know if I could go back and give her access to her home. Thankfully, the shiny new client only wanted to see the current house, so that made one step of rescheduling easier. I wrapped up showing that house as quickly as I could. I drove as fast as I could, 45-minutes, back to the previous house to let the homeowner in, all the while, imagining her and Fido standing out in the frigid cold. Upon my arrival, they were both eager to see me, and she apologized emphatically. Surely, she knew this was my fault, and I continued to apologize over her and thank her so much for allowing us to impede on her day. She was incredibly sweet and kind about the whole situation and seemed genuinely grateful for me driving back to her home to give her access to what is hers. The guilt of that tiny part of me that wished I had not answered that call bled into that conversation.
I regrouped, started to reschedule my day, once again, and jetted-off to get to my next client; not in airplane but in a Prius. Yes, I was drag racing in a Prius… again. I had not eaten yet today but had no time.
During this entire process, I was blessed and cursed that my phone continued to ring with clients wanting to see houses. Remember, my fear that someone will miss out on their dream home because I could not get them in it before someone else went under contract? The line of clients that day got so backed up that I had no choice but to call in backup. Fortunately, there is an amazing REALTOR® friend that happily came to my rescue! It could have been the crackling of my voice as tears filled my eyes from being overwhelmed that day, but I chose to believe it was because she, too, had been there before and was happy to help me get caught up. In fact, she is always happy to help me when needed.
At the end of the day, everyone gained access to every house. I was up until 2:45 am writing three offers for homes that I had shown that day. Thankfully, all three were accepted and bound the following day! In this industry, we are not always that fortunate. In fact, there have been times that a house goes pending as soon as you call the agent to let them know you will be submitting an offer, thus making all that grind for naught. While I celebrate in my client’s successes of going under contract, I laid awake in my bed, beating myself up over the one client that was rushed through the home. That client has never reached out to me again. To this very day, it bothers me that my day got the best of me, and that could have been the result of missing an opportunity to be a part of creating new stories in my shiny client’s new home. I try to count my successes of the day, but I have to admit the failures hit home much harder. But hey…there is always tomorrow. The bad news is that it is already tomorrow.