One of the best parts about working in real estate is the fact that you get to set your own hours and get to be your own boss — that’s what they tell you at least.
But what all real estate agents know is that freedom often comes along with more obligations. Sure, you can set your own schedule, but the flip side of that is that you also have to be available to your clients when and where they need you. And many times, that includes weekends.
The thing about working for yourself is that you don’t have a big boss you have to answer to, but you do have a lot of little bosses in the form of clients.
You are working for them. And although you have the freedom to choose who you work with and when you work with them, if you want your real estate business to thrive, then you’re going have to fulfill your clients’ needs to the best of your ability.
Working weekends in real estate
The thing about working in real estate is that you have to be available to work when most be people aren’t working. You have to attend meetings, show houses and put on open houses when your clients have the time. And the fact of the matter is that the majority of people work your typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job Monday through Friday.
That means that the evenings and weekends are when most of your clients are going to want to look at houses with you. It’s also when it might be easiest for seller clients to get out of the house for while so multiple showings can happen in a single day.
If you have clients coming in from out of town, then I’ll bet that they are most likely coming in on the weekend to check out a bunch of houses.
Weekend work-life balance
If you’re an agent, then you know there are a lot of benefits to working in the real estate industry. High income potential, flexibility and the chance to build something on your own, just to name a few. But working weekends doesn’t have to be a major drawback.
Below are a few tips for making the most out of your weekend while still killing it with your real estate business.
1. Make the weekends just about client meetings and showings
If you’re working in real estate, then there is no avoiding meeting with clients on the weekends. But one thing you can do to salvage some of your weekend time for friends and family is to make sure that meeting with clients is all you have to do.
Complete other tasks like lead generation, filing documents, checking voicemails and carrying out your marketing strategies during the week.
2. Put boundaries on your time
I know, you want to be available for your clients 24/7, and that’s a good thing, and a necessary thing. But you can’t ignore the rest of the areas of your life, or you’ll quickly burn out.
I know agents who block out one of the weekend days for personal and family time. They only make appointments on that day if it is very necessary.
Also, if your kid has a sports game or you have a family get-together, treat that like an appointment on your calendar. If a client wants to meet during that time, see if they are able to meet before or after.
3. Set clear expectations with clients
As with most things in life, communication is key. Be direct and upfront with your clients about when you work and don’t work. The vast majority of people are understanding when it comes to balancing work with your personal life.
As long as you are producing the results your clients want to see, they probably won’t mind if you say you aren’t working this Sunday to spend time with your family.
4. Hire an assistant
This might seem like a stretch, but it’s not. Hiring a part-time or virtual assistant is an investment that can pay back large dividends if you hire the right person.
These days you can hire a virtual assistant for a relatively low cost, and they can help you vastly free up your time by taking over many day-to-day tasks like:
- Updating and uploading your listings
- Making small changes to your website
- Managing your contact databases
- Handling filing and data entry
- Submitting paperwork
- Creating reports and presentations
As the saying goes, with greater freedom comes greater responsibility. As a real estate agent, you have much more control over your hours and income than the average 9-to-5 employee.
But what that also means is that it’s on you to grow your business and make sure your clients are happy. That means being available when they need you and often working during the times when most people are not at work. However, that doesn’t mean you have to work all day every day and be miserable.
Like most things, working in real estate is a give-and-take. Stay focused during the week, set clear boundaries and expectations, and work hard so you can start growing your business and building a team.
Just remember, your family and your personal life are just as important as work, so make sure you treat them that way.
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Dale Archdekin is the founder of Smart Inside Sales and the current director of lead generation for Global Living Companies at Keller Williams in Philadelphia. Follow him on Facebook or checkout his Facebook group.