A few days ago, I saw a post on Facebook from a Realtor looking for referrals for a commercial lender to do a complicated transaction. They weren’t satisfied because the bank they were using wasn’t open at night “when the clients were available.” So they were looking for someone else to help. Below that post, was a whole bunch of non-commercial lenders chiming in about how they are “always available, 24/7.” It struck me…
Why do we brag about “being available” 24 hours a day? That is NOT something to brag about. WHY do we continue to make this our standard? What is wrong with our industry?
It is insane. Congratulations for screwing up every evening, holiday, weekend and vacation. Oh, and for giving your family the message that it is not important to be present with your time. Or, even worse, the time with them matters less than closing that next deal.
Now, I know that some of you are thinking, “Jen, you are wrong. A career in real estate or mortgage has allowed me a lot of freedom.” I am not saying it doesn’t. But is it truly freedom if you stop whatever you are doing to pick up that phone or answer that email? Maybe we need to redefine what freedom truly is.
We have become servants to work, simply because we have allowed it. We have welcomed it! We brag to others about our constant availability. Woweee. Congratulations. 
Think about this – which types of clients most often waste the most of your time? I will bet you it is the ones who call and text you at all hours of the day and night. I’ll bet it is the ones who ask you to show them houses on Christmas Eve or those who have to see that house  or get pre-qualified RIGHT NOW even though you told them you have something else going on that night.
Who are your best clients? The ones that respect your time.
Boundaries. Everyone should make some of those. They will change your life. Pick 8 hours a day and work. Give your clients your full attention and let them know ahead of time when you work and how you work. You’d be surprised at what setting proper expectations ahead of time does. It sets proper expectations.
I also understand that, on occasion, you absolutely have to let a client know something – like when their offer is accepted or countered or if there is an issue of some sort. I am not talking about that type of situation here.
I am talking about stopping your whole life to be available for whenever the phone rings. Doesn’t matter the holiday, the vacation or the time of the day or who you are with…you pick up the phone. The pre-quals given late in the evening or while you are spending “time” with your family. Didn’t they know before this that they needed to get pre-qualified? Of course they did.
To my point – stop bragging abut being available 24/7. It is not something to boast about. It is out of control and the last thing – the LAST thing – that we should be perpetuating is that if you are in mortgage or real estate that your time and your lives don’t matter. I cannot think of one other profession that does this. 
We need to have those tough conversations about how this “standard” messes up our relationships. How you are “there” but really never there. Ever. Enough is enough. Put down the damn phone and stop using the computer. This isn’t going to matter 5 years from now.

This does. Be present. All of the money in the world won’t bring back this time- this moment – back. Ever. Freakin enjoy it.
I have a sign in my office that says, “Don’t ever get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” No truer words have been said.
Draw boundaries. Don’t be afraid to stand up and stand alone in a world where people are gonna think you are crazy. Take comfort in knowing one of the world’s greatest secrets – They are the crazy ones.

Thank you so much for reading today. I hope that I made you smile and think a little bit. To reach me, visit SALending.com

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