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by CareyBot

5 a.m.

I’ve already worked a full day. That’s because I spent the last eight hours writing offers and scanning contracts. I even managed to squeeze in a couple of listing appointments in my dreams. That was just a dress rehearsal, though. The presence of a mewing, overfed cat now resting atop my face — the one I am pretty sure I am allergic too — tells me it is show time.

First up is the steaming inbox. I cleared it before retiring last night, and this morning I am rewarded with 52 new messages, each more time-sensitive than the next. My Web site search-engine optimization is working overtime — I’ve got six new "leads," and all before my first cup of coffee!

There is an inquiry from a couple asking when the special assessment on their home will sunset (the assessment for the home in which they plan on growing old and dying). Another woman wants me to pick her up at the airport on Saturday and show her homes that, given her parameters, exist only in Georgia (the country, not the state), because she might move here some day — or not. A third "potential client" wants to know if any of our listings are for rent.

Three other Web site visitors simply stopped by to suggest that I could rank better on Google if I hired them to optimize me. This morning, I think I’ll pass.

As for the rest of my inbox, well, if I shut my eyes I can envision myself at the airline ticket counter on Christmas Eve when they have just announced that all remaining flights have been canceled.

"I want a walkthrough." "Where’s my contingency removal?" "Tell the buyers I’m not replacing the faucet, and if they don’t like it, I’ll just rent." "We need to see these eight homes at 9:30!" Some I dispense with; others I simply forward to my unsuspecting husband, who is currently out on an errand to refill my coffee.

6:30 a.m.

Clearing the inbox is like painting the Golden Gate Bridge; as soon as you are finished, you start over again. I’m already off to my next task — reviewing four of our agents’ transaction files and closing out several of my own — but I keep checking back, because the hits keep on coming. The buyer wants to cancel? It seems that for this half-million-dollar home, the leaking faucet is a deal breaker. I see a trip to Home Depot in my future.

7:30 a.m.

Where’s my daughter? Steve assures me she yelled "Goodbye!" as she was leaving for school. Or, maybe it wasn’t school. I check the date on my feed reader page. Yep, it’s Monday. School it is.

Still in my bathrobe, one pot of coffee down and with enough caffeine in my system to win the men’s downhill event quite handily — without skis — I order a couple of photo shoots for new listings.

And I write the property descriptions for a couple of brochures that need to be ordered. "What’s another word for ‘stylish’?" I am wondering when the instant chat box crashes my train-of-thought party. "Can I provide a market analysis to help with a property tax appeal?" asks the nice man who, like everyone else I have talked to this morning, has no real intention of moving. I sure can! I’ll get that to him this afternoon, I promise.

9:30 a.m.

The stager is on time. Today, our mission is to "prettify" a home that is decorated in "Early Encyclopedia Britannica." I didn’t know that Hummel made that many different, whimsical figurines! The owner has already moved on to greener, far-away digs, so it is up to the stager, one reluctant husband and me to rearrange the home in a way most likely to minimize the impact of the really bad wallpaper and the really big beer stein collection.

This bookcase is heavy! Good thing there are three of us to move it downstairs and into the garage. Steve has a new power driver, and he knows how to use it, so down the drapes come. He can also, it turns out, spackle like it’s nobody’s business. Forty-seven trips to the garage later, it becomes clear that we need more boxes. I’ll return later, I assure the stager, with boxes. And dust rags.

Noon

A girl’s got to eat, and this girl needs comfort food. Back at my computer, with some really rockin’ carne asada fries to my left — and suddenly thinking that maybe my jeans didn’t shrink — I start working on the ad that’s due to the printer by, uh, noon. I am also on the phone with a new agent who is joining us soon. …CONTINUED