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Staying Connected - A Blessing Or A Curse?

PDA's, Palms, Blackberrys, text messaging, mobile email, mobile web access.  It has become part of our world like it or not.  Yahoo ran a story recently that said for many "Balance is Better" meaning they embraced this connectivity.  70% of those interviewed in the Yahoo story claimed they were more productive as a result of this wireless craze and 65% said they have more flexible schedules because of it.

At the same time 26% interviewed said they felt like they had a "Ball and Chain" around their neck and 33% reported being easily distracted by work-related emails and calls during their personal time.  I recently had a buyer in my car that never stopped text messaging the entire time we were together.  I honestly don't believe he heard much of what I said to him.

In an interview real estate coach Howard Brinton conducted in 1997 Realtors W. Darrow Fiedler and Ron Kubek said they refused to be owned by cell phones.  They said their operation worked much like a doctors office.   No client was ever given their cell number.  All calls were funneled through their office with secretaries and assistants taking all incoming calls.  If there was an emergency their assistants and secretaries called them on their cell phones to deal with it. This way they only had one person calling them instead of several at a time.

Darrow and Ron went on to say that at the beginning of each year they plan their entire family vacations.  Their real estate business is then worked around the family vacations. This meant a lot to their spouses and both Darrow and Ron had thriving real estate businesses with Ron having 5 personal assistants to handle his incredible volume of business.

I used to be owned by my cell phone 24/7and people knew it.  I would receive calls at 10:00 p.m. and be out the door to meet the clients like a flash.  I quickly discovered that if people know you are always available they will take advantage of it to the extent we allow them to. 

Several years ago I made a life changing decision and knew my business would suffer because of it.  I decided to stop answering my phones in the evenings and stopped working weekends.  This shocked my daughters but this was important to me. Instead of my business suffering it grew and grew each year and I was rewarded with a record year in 2006.  I haven't gotten to the point where Darrow and Ron are in their lives but I have a much happier family life and a thriving real estate business.

I have seen Realtors handle calls a variety of ways.  Some will now have voice messages that say phone calls left after a certain hour will be returned the following business day and Sunday calls will be returned the following Monday. 

Whether or not many Realtors embrace this idea or not is unknown.  What I do know is that technology is good if used within reason.  When It starts to own us and control us is when it can become a curse.

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 16 commentsGeorge Tallabas • April 13 2007 09:25AM
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