In the last moments of my life I doubt if I will regret not having shown another house. I think of things like that over the Thanksgiving holiday because it is the one of three holidays when I don’t work — not ever.
Maybe I shouldn’t say that I don’t work — as these holidays usually involve a lot of cooking and a house full of people who I don’t get to see often enough.
This year I will have house guests through the weekend, and predictably people who have a home they want to sell after the first of the year or next spring want to meet with me and have me take a look. The latter has already started and the last few days have been filled with urgent, unexpected appointments.
There are the people who are thinking about moving, maybe next spring, and think this weekend would be a wonderful time to go look at some condos. Inevitably there is the long-term repeat client who needs to have an offer written late Wednesday, when I need to start cooking.
As I write this early on Wednesday morning, I just got another late afternoon appointment that starts right when I had planned to pick up the turkey. No matter how carefully I plan I will struggle to get dinner on the table, because there will be at least one real estate emergency hours before thanksgiving.
When the weekend arrives there will be people from all over the country in town celebrating Thanksgiving with their families, and some of those people will want to look at homes. Some may find me while surfing the Web and give me a call late on Thanksgiving Day, asking if I can show them houses the following day.
On Black Friday everyone seems to shop, but when the numbers come in there are always more shoppers than buyers.
Early in my real estate career, when a client or potential client called I dropped what I was doing and helped them. I needed the money and believed that I was providing great service by being available. Most of the time they just interrupted time with my family and I never made a dime by being accommodating. …CONTINUED
There are many who argue with me about this, and there will be tales in the comments from Realtors who answered the phone on a holiday and got a sale because of it. I know it could happen, but the odds are against it and I don’t put a high enough value on money to be willing to give up my favorite holiday for it.
We all have our priorities in life and I suppose I have a price, but it is very unlikely that anyone who isn’t a member of my family will get my attention on Thanksgiving. Sadly, I won’t be thinking about my clients or checking my BlackBerry either. It is possible that I won’t tweet, and since I won’t be going anywhere I won’t check in on Foursquare.
I don’t regret missing the call from the person who will swoop into town and buy a $5 million house for cash. Such a client could exist, but my family does exist, they are here now, and they will be a part of my life long after the commission on the hypothetical $5 million sale.
There is much to be thankful for this year. There are many who have lost homes and jobs. I still have both.
Today’s connectivity and technology allows us to work seven days a week and 24 hours a day. What exactly is it that we are all working so hard for? Is there really such a thing as a real estate emergency? My business is important to me and so are my clients, but real estate is not my life … just one part of it.
Teresa Boardman is a broker in St. Paul, Minn., and founder of the St. Paul Real Estate blog.
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