When you look back on your past clients, I’d wager a bet that you see a pattern in your interactions with them. If you aren’t good at setting boundaries in real estate, I’m pretty sure you’ll find a history of late-night phone calls, demands for showings RIGHT NOW, unreasonable expectations of what you’ll do to sell their house, and a general sense that they don’t value your time and/or expertise.
Boundary setting is critical to growing your business
I get it. It’s hard to tell someone no when you work on commission.
But if you don’t set the rules for how your business operates, you can be assured that your clients won’t.
What do boundaries for an agent look like?
It looks like putting your phone on do not disturb at a reasonable hour in the evening. Now, I’m not saying to ignore clients or other agents when you’re in the middle of negotiations. That would be foolish. But on any random Tuesday, do you really need to be taking client calls when you should be relaxing, or playing with your kids, or even getting a good night’s rest? Believe me, the first time you answer the phone or text or email in the middle of the night, you’ve just sent a signal to your client that you are available 24/7 and we all know that’s not the case.
Boundaries mean setting the stage for how working with you will work. During your initial buyer or seller consultation is time to explain how and how often you communicate, what your working hours are, and how you handle setting appointments for showings. Letting clients know what to expect from you upfront will save you a ton of angst later.
It means not letting someone else control your day. Every morning, you should have a good idea of what you’ll be doing today. Your day may be jam-packed with real estate activities, barely leaving you a moment to catch your breath or shovel down some drive-thru food. Allowing a client or another agent to throw a wrench into your day will leave you feeling resentful and harried and none of us work well when we’re not at our best. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be the occasional critical task that pops up out of nowhere and has to be addressed right now. But that shouldn’t be the norm. If your day is already planned out, there’s nothing wrong with telling someone that you’re booked and asking for a good time to fit them in tomorrow.
It’s allowing yourself to be human. We all need time to recharge, to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, spiritually. Guard that scheduled time on your calendar with your life and you’ll thank me later. You can’t fill someone else’s cup if yours is running on empty. Your clients deserve the best version of you – when you’re at work, be at work 100%. When you’re taking care of yourself, do it 100% as well.
You can do this, I promise.