I need a vacation. It is rare that full-time Realtors get any dedicated time off. Yes, there may be days where we aren’t as busy. There may even be a day or two that our phone doesn’t ring, but for the most part, we are expected to be available to take phone calls, negotiate deals, show houses, and meet with clients any day of the week and all sorts of hours. And, Realtors have a “code”. It’s somewhat of a Murphy’s Law. Clients will be silent, listings will be quiet and as soon as the agent goes on vacation, the bottom drops out. A day before you’re scheduled to leave, everyone needs something, your phone rings off the hook, clients come out of the woodwork, and all your listings get offers. Seem far-fetched? Nope. It’s Realtor Code. I, honestly, don’t recall a vacation that I have had no work to do while I was gone.
The beauty of the career and a positive that has come out of a pandemic where it is acceptable to work virtually, is that most of what Realtors do can be done from anywhere. With the exception of showings and holding open houses, there isn’t much that I can’t do from my phone or computer. I have had virtual listing appointments while I was out of town. I have negotiated deals from a tour bus. I have taken calls in airports, scheduled showings from hotel rooms, and held virtual Buyer appointments with out of state Buyers from my car.
One thing I have realized is that we need our time away but there is no rule as to what that has to look like. I have a friend who was almost looked over for a listing because she was 8 ½ months pregnant and the Seller wasn’t sure she would be available at crunch time. She ended up getting the listing and literally negotiating a contract while she was in labor at the hospital. The doctor finally had to tell her she needed to put the phone down because she was about to have a baby. Now, I’m not saying you should be that extreme or expect your agent to be, however, it just shows that we don’t necessarily need to sit behind a desk, in a suit, in order to do a job well. If you are a Realtor, the best thing you can do is set expectations and listen. Most people don’t care if you take some time off as long as they know ahead of time and know who to reach in your absence. Most also don’t care if you are wearing jeans when you show up if you accommodated their showing directly after your child’s sporting event.
If you are a client, respect your agent’s time and give a little grace when necessary. We understand that you work during the day and typically focus your personal life in the evenings and on weekends. However, just because we chose this profession, doesn’t mean we agreed to have no time for family dinners, weekend activities, vacations, or personal time. You need time away from your job and so do they. If it’s not an emergency, write an email and tell them it’s fine to get back to you tomorrow. And if you call and they tell you they are happy to talk but, full disclosure, they are at Happy Hour with friends, don’t hold it against them – haha.
So, I’m going on vacation. And, I’m looking forward to getting an offer on that listing!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.