A True Story About Setting Priorities for the Self Employed
Setting priorities and establishing procedures are two secrets for success in any type of business, not just Sacramento real estate. Everybody is different, too, which is the beauty of how this works. You get to pick what works well for you and discard the things that don’t. For example, I have elected to answer my phone when it rings. Of course, it is with extreme rarity that I would ever in a million years hang up when another phone call comes in, although other agents do. Like last night for example.
Here, I found myself engaged in a conversation with a buyer’s agent who was about to write a purchase offer for one of my listings. We were discussing the framework of that offer when he suddenly expressed an extreme urgency to have to hang up. He had to, to, to, to “go do some things.” Well, I guess it beats dropping your cellphone into the toilet, was my immediate thought. Then he called back to continue our conversation when all of a sudden, once again, he blurted, “I have an extremely important phone call I have to take,” and here I thought that was what we were doing, engaging in an important phone call during business hours. This agent’s idea of setting priorities was different from mine, but what the hey.
When he called back a third time, he explained that he had to take that call because that was fiancée. His fiancée? Unless his girlfriend just fell off a ladder and broke her back, couldn’t he let the call go to voice mail? Of course, that’s just me and my way of setting priorities. And somebody did fall off a ladder, but it wasn’t his girlfriend. It was my friend in Texas. She sent me a text message that I spotted just as I was about to go out the door yesterday morning. I hadn’t yet tapped my messages and just read the message on my phone. I fell off a ladder, broke my back and both my legs. There was a telephone number for the hospital.
My immediate thought, given my cynical nature, was my web guy will do anything to get out of finishing the footer work on my home page and find an excuse for delaying it. Love him to pieces, but he seems too busy for me, and I’ve expressed that sentiment to him. But then, since there was a phone number, it must be something real. From whom? I quickly opened the text. And my heart fluttered. Freak out. How could I have possibly thought it was my web guy when it was my best friend from junior high who was in the hospital? Point being, this was the type of call to get off the phone for. That’s where I would be setting priorities.
Then, yesterday afternoon, another woman called about selling her home. When I answered my phone, she stuttered and said she thought she had reached voice mail and was ready to hang up. I replied, “No, no, no, you can’t hang up, you have to talk to me now because I answered my phone. Now that you have a live person, you are required to stay on your phone and talk.” I suspect she was stunned, before bursting out in laughter.