Do You Have Work-Life Balance?

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Anthony Lamacchia – April 2018

 

 

Anthony: Hey, everybody, I’m here to talk to you about work/life balance. Do you have a work/life balance? Are you running your schedule or are your clients running it for you? Are you in charge of what you do everyday or are you just reactionary the entire day, having issues pop up all over the place, putting fires out and just feeling like all you do is run around from one fire to the other, kind of like the game whack a mole, is that how you feel? You can fix that. That is not how this business has to be. That is not how the realtor life has to be and it’s up to you to fix it. I want to talk to you about how to do that, and I’m going to spend a few minutes doing that here now.

The thing that spawned me into thinking about this and to wanting to do this, is I just spent three days with most of our top agents down in Aruba for our president’s club trip. Yesterday at the airport I asked a few of them, I said, “Hey, I wanted to do a Crush It video tomorrow and I can’t really think of what subject I want to do,” and one of our top agents, Diana Fotra said, “What if you do it on work hard play hard? That’s something you mentioned, Anthony, during the trip and I saw some of your hashtags on some of the videos and pictures,” and I said, “That’s a good idea.”

And then it got me thinking about the trip, we were at the airport in line and it got me thinking, “Here we are with our top agents, more than a handful of them, and not one of them has less than five or eight homes pending. Some of them have as many as 15, 17 and none of them have less than five homes on the market. None of them have less than 10 active buyers. These are very busy agents.” One thing I noticed, they were not on their phones the entire trip. They were not emailing the entire trip. They were in the pool with us for several hours. They were going out to the Jolly Pirate for several hours, never even looking at their phones. Why are they able to do that but still sell 30 plus homes a year?

The reason is they’ve learned how to manage their time. They’ve learned how to manage their expectations with clients. They’ve learned how to follow a system and process that is predictable so that they’re in charge of their time. Don’t get me wrong, none of them are perfect. Just like me, I’m not perfect. You occasionally get off track. You tell yourself you’re going to do something and then, “There I go doing it again, back down that road,” and you pull yourself back on track.

What are some of the things that you can do? First of all, if you are the type of realtor that feels like you’re just replying to emails nine o’clock at night, ten o’clock at night– Charlie, say hi, you don’t need to be doing that. That’s not providing good service. See, what I don’t want is people to watch this and think, “He’s a proponent of bad service.” No, that’ s not true. Go look online, go on Facebook, go on [unintelligible 00:02:38], we have more positive reviews than probably any other company out there, certainly here in Massachusetts. We have tons of them.

I am a proponent of realtors having a good life and realtors having a happy life, and you do not need to reply to clients’ emails nine, ten, eleven o’clock at night in order to keep them happy. You do not need to have dinners interrupted with your family to constantly be checking your phone and replying to things and answering phone calls.

See, I don’t sell anymore. I haven’t sold a home myself. I haven’t worked with a client in over eight years. When I was selling, I was still home four out of five nights a week, at the dinner table at 5:30 with my phone off facing down, and I do that to this day. And I’ll tell you, we never went out of business. I never lost a client because of that. I never lost a client because I said, “Hey, on weekends I’ll be a little bit slower to respond, I have things going on with my family.”

When you tell them that upfront, they go, “Okay,” but if you don’t tell then that upfront and if you say things like, “I’m always here, I’m available 24/7.” No one’s available 24/7, no one. You go to the bathroom, you take a shower, you do things that you wouldn’t answer the phone when you’re doing them, you follow me? Don’t say that. You don’t need to be available 24/7. If they want to hire a good realtor, they’re not looking for someone that’s available 24/7. The doctor is not available 24/7, right? They’re not. You are not a neurosurgeon. We’re not fighting ISIS.

It’s not like if we don’t get up and do something immediately we’re going to be run over by terrorists or a patient could die in the table. I know I sound– Charlie, I know I sound dramatic right now, but I mean it. I want you to think about that. You’ve got to keep things in perspective. Set expectations properly with clients from the beginning.

One of the top realtors I ever met up in the north shore told me that every time she goes on a listing appointment, at the end she tells them, “You will never be able to reach me on a Thursday night no matter what. That is date night with my husband and it’s been that way for 22 years.” You know what the clients say? “Okay.” Nothing wrong with that. One of the top agents in our company, who’s now a director in our company, but who was one of the best agents we ever had in the history of the company, Jackie Lou, she had a hard time doing this.

She used to reply to people at all hours of the night. She’d wake up at night to run to the bathroom and she’d be replying to an email, and finally I said to her, “You’ve got to stop this.” It took her a little bit and when she initially stopped, she was in the middle of dealing with a client, and the client said, “Why didn’t you reply to me last night?” I said to her, “They’re saying that because you’ve spoiled them. They’ve come to expect it. When they come to expect it, then they’re going to criticize you. But if you do it right from the beginning, they’re not.”

I’m going to share more tips for controlling your schedule in the weeks to come, because this is such an important topic to be talking about right now during busy season. It’s just not worth straining your relationship with your significant other or with your family, or feeling like you’re not there for your kids. Saturday mornings, you shouldn’t miss a soccer game. Why? Why do you have to miss it? Tell your buyers you’ll show them the house at 12:00. They’re going to be fine with that, if you explain it that way from the beginning.

More tips to come on this, but I’m already six minutes in so I’m going to stop now, but it’s really important that you take control. It starts with you. So think about that, think about the few tips that I gave, and in the days and weeks to come, I’m going to share more of them. Thank you all, have a great day.