So, of course I do not actually hate my job. I love my job! I’ve been working in real estate for 12 years and have ZERO intention of ever doing anything else. Unless, of course, someone wants to pay me to stay home and craft or something. But as with all jobs, there are aggravations.
I am pretty sure that I just decided to tell you guys all about the aggravations. Clearly, this is a bad idea. I am saying that up front so that when I come crying to this blog about how all my clients fired me and my broker yelled at me, I will have no one else to blame but myself. But I am going to accuse you of twisting my arm, so go ahead and deal with it so that you may be a source of support for me in the future.
Anyway, reason #1: No Holidays.
For a lot of the working world, today is President’s Day. A day when you don the wigs and fake facial hair of your favorite president! A day when you eat cupcakes with famous presidential quotes on them! A day when you watch movies about Lincoln (this one) and FDR while eating patriotic popcorn! A day when you do not do any banking (this one), send any mail, or generate any trash (sure wish I had remembered that BEFORE cleaning out my fridge) (also, this) and, for many people, a day when you do not work.
But not for me.
While the rest of Amurica enjoys their day of presidential worship, they are also bored and have some free time so they call me (and all my cohorts). Then my cohorts call me. Also, they email me, text me, and generally stalk me. I am tempted to change my outgoing voicemail to say “I am enjoying a rare Patriotism day and cannot take your call”, but that would actually be a lie because what I am doing is sitting around in my underwear, answering email and talking on the phone and scheduling things for days other than today.
Still, it would be nice to have a holiday sometime. There are no sacred days in real estate. I do get calls on every day of the year, including Christmas. There are seriously no boundaries. Not that some people do not respect customary holidays, but there are a whole bunch who do not. Those people ruin it for the rest of you.
Also, in addition to never having a holiday, there is also no time that is sacred. I do not get many calls after midnight, but it does happen. Usually the person says “I didn’t expect you to answer!”. Of course, when the phone rings at midnight, isn’t it universally expected that you should answer it because something terrible has happened to someone, not that someone just really-really wanted to know if we had heard anything back on their inquiry?
So my early birds start calling at 7am (are you up?) and my night owls call me until midnight (I KNOW it’s really late and I’m so sorry) and normal people call me all the rest of the time.
And while we’re at it, along with not getting holidays, I also not get weekends. That is less of a bitching-point and more of a talking-point to discuss the fact that while everyone knows real estate agents don’t get weekends, I do wonder when they think we DO get days off, because they sure as shit expect you to be at work during all normal business hours. As well as during all non-normal business hours.
So, if you are one of the people that calls your agent at 9pm on a Saturday night because you happen to be off work and thinking about it, please do not even TRY to console yourself with “I’m sure they work some time off in there somewhere”, because we do not. Ever.
Which makes me wish someone could publish something like a little “Guide to working with your real estate agent”. And it should say things, like:
When to call your agent:
1. If there is a (true) emergency
2. If it is during normal business hours
3. If it is at a pre-determined time which you and your agent have mutually agreed upon
4. If you suspect that your agent has gone missing or been murdered (i.e. following police rules, btw, which is 24 hours after they are expected to return)
5. If your agent misses an appointment with you (by all means, damn the torpedoes, cuz our asses should never miss an appointment without a very good reason)
When NOT to call your agent:
1. After hours of obsessive fretting over all the goddamn unknowns that you thought you could handle until you finally give in at 11pm at night when you are on the verge of tears. (Okay, I won’t lie – this is sometimes acceptable, because some of us totally do understand how nerve-wracking it can be.)
2. During NON-normal business hours (yes, I know you rise at 5am every day, come workday or weekend, but do normal people do that? No. They do not. Admit it. You are abnormal.)
3. During hours when the average person is sleeping (let’s call it 10pm to 6am).
4. On National holidays or common religious holidays (i.e., if I am a member of a weird religious sect that observes the birth of someone important on a random Tuesday in June, or isn’t allowed to touch mobile phones for a 12 hour window once a month, I would not expect you to know that and would likely provide you with a list of days/times that I will not be available to chat)
5. If you have already called me three times that day. Because A) we either already talked and you’re wearing me out or B) I am STILL not available and it’s nothing personal or C) you could always email and try to put all your thoughts in one place.
6. Because you thought of something random or not-really-all-that-important and are afraid you are going to forget it before we speak again. Hey, people, you can’t expect me to compensate you for your memory issues/lack of pen & paper to write it down on.
Yes, real estate business does occur during all the hours of the day and night, and even though you and I may observe some of the common courtesies of the time/space/holiday continuum, a lot of folks do not. So we will, of course, need to occasionally deviate in order to make sure that the important things happen. This is how it should be. That said, you really should let your agent drive the bus on the off-hours stuff. Unless you have a bad agent, in which case, what the hell are you doing? There are good agents. Why have a bad one?